Meridian School District Reaches Agreement with DOJ

The Meridian School Board has signed a consent order dealing with student discipline. The U.S.
Department of Justice and private plaintiffs had
questioned whether student discipline was fair and applied in a non-discriminatory manner.

The consent order will now be sent to United States District Court Judge Henry Wingate for approval.

"The district’s main focus, in relation to discipline, will be intervention for students instead of just punishment," said school superintendent, Dr. Alvin Taylor. "Discipline, in the past, has been more assertive and focused on consequences; but now we will look into the cause of student behavior and put measures in place to help prevent those misbehaviors."

Taylor said the district will not lose focus on one of its main goals to maintain safe and orderly schools.

As part of the agreement, the Meridian Public School District will implement the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program.

The district says implementation has already begun and will be full-scale for the 2013-2014 school year.

The district says PBIS focuses on encouraging and rewarding students who exhibit positive behavior. Discipline policies and procedures will be revised for the upcoming school year as well.