BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS PLAGUE CALHOUN MIDDLE-HIGH SCHOOL – School Trying To Solve Problem

By Bob Weaver Oct. 2016
Calhoun Middle/High School, according to school officials, is making significant efforts to address behavioral problems in the system.

How serious are the behavioral problems, particularly in Calhoun Middle School, is difficult to determine, with school officials not clearly defining the depth of the problem or where the problems are.

Middle School discipline, according to educators, is a wide-spread problem in West Virginia schools.

Calhoun Superintendent of Schools Tim Woodward, in responding to a request about behavioral problems that required a police presence at Calhoun Middle/High School said, “We have consistently invited law enforcement into our buildings. The relationship between our agencies is essential to positive school and community relations.”

“In terms of more recent visibility of police I am not aware of any one issue that has created any new presence,” he said.

“Unfortunately in schools, peer conflicts arise and trigger other issues. The principal has the discretion to ask the police for a visit or visits until all the residual peer interactions have been solved,” Woodward concluded.

Assistant Superintendent Kelli Whytsell says major efforts are being made to improve behavioral problems.

“Calhoun Middle High School has implemented Positive Behavior Intervention Support programs in grades 5-12 to support positive behaviors in students. The school has had staff trained in implementation of the PBIS program,” Whytsell said.

School officials, at the request of the Herald, released behavioral interventions for grades 5-12 for the school year 2015-16.

In a public statement regarding discipline made to school officials and the public in August, Cody J. Cunningham, an instructor at Calhoun Middle/High School, he acknowledged that at each level of development students grow and encounter different struggles. The same strategies used in an elementary school may not translate well into a middle school or a high school.

“Our problems are legion, from broken homes, broken lives, paycheck to paycheck living and a host of social-emotional problems, and these flood our halls and classrooms. Yet, the core faculty has not given up. We, who are here, stand ready to adopt new strategies and schedules, and we have,” said Cunningham.

Cunningham acknowledged that Calhoun County is among the lowest of low-socioeconomic status areas in the state.

“Is it the teacher’s fault when the students put forth such little effort in their schooling that more time is spent disciplining for insubordination than teaching?” Cunningham asked.

“No one wants to attend a place, work in a place or be a part of a place that many in a community think is incompetent and lazy. Partner with us and allow our changes to continue building a better Calhoun County,” Cunningham said.