Schools Working on Discipline

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Meridian Public Schools officials are finding some common ground with Gov. Haley Barbour when it comes to discipline.

During his State of the State Address, Barbour said schools need discipline as much as they need computers.

MPS says discipline seems to be improving. The high school is reporting attendance averages over 96 percent, and district-wide less than two percent of the student body has been reported for disciplinary reasons this year.

But both students and administrators agree that any problems are too much. Behavioral problems cause disruptions in the focus and learning of a classroom.

MHS Principal R.D. Harris says schools and teachers literally cannot operate without discipline.

"Without discipline you wouldn't even have school," Harris said. "So I think it's the very essence of what we're all about."

Harris says getting parents involved in the discipline and educational process is one of the best ways to ensure that students are behaving.

School officials say bad discipline in schools leads to more crime. The number of crimes committed in schools yearly is startling.

School crime per year:

Theft - 1.2 million
Non-fatal violent crime - 764,000