Lopeman, MUSD Board to talk classroom discipline, campus safety

School bus MUSD
The Maricopa Unified School District Governing Board will hear a report on classroom discipline and campus safety from Superintendent Tracey Lopeman on Feb. 22. [Michelle Chance]

At the Feb. 8 Maricopa Unified School District Governing Board meeting, two people during the call to the public came forward and spoke in horrifying and graphic detail of behavioral incidents among students in the classroom.

The board was legally precluded from commenting, however board President Robert H. Downey directed Superintendent Tracey Lopeman to investigate classroom discipline and campus safety in district schools and report back.

Subsequent to that, InMaricopa wanted to know whether incidents of misbehavior really are widespread, or whether they are limited to a few isolated incidents and really are not a problem and.

By a whopping 10 to 1 margin, readers who responded said the district has a problem. It is among the largest margins ever in our readers’ poll.

The poll is unscientific and there is no way of determining whether those who voted actually have first-hand knowledge of what happens in a classroom.

Among the 320 respondents to the question, “Does Maricopa Unified School District have a discipline problem in its classrooms?” 291, or 90.9 percent, selected, “Yes, kids often are disruptive, disrespectful and there are no consequences for their misbehavior.”

The remaining 29 votes, or 9 percent of respondents, selected, “No, while there might be isolated behavioral incidents, it does not rise to the level of ‘a problem.’”

New State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne has said he’ll make correcting school discipline problems a priority. He is pushing for a school resource officer on every public-school campus in Arizona.

The MUSD Governing Board meets again on Wednesday, Feb. 22, and student discipline and campus safety are on the agenda for a work-study session. Lopeman and district administration will present information, including data, policy and practices.

The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. in the district Administration Building board room.