TUSD Assistant Superintendent Jim Fish told the Star that MacEachern had misunderstood what is meant by the board's plan to adopt a more "restorative" culture and that seeing a two-tiered system of discipline in the policy is "far-fetched."
"This would apply to all children," Fish said. "There is no such thing as treating one class of students differently."
Fish explained that suspensions and expulsions, which he sees as punitive and ultimately damaging to the students' academic progress, will be reduced across the district, replaced instead with disciplinary measures that present "restorative" learning opportunities.
For example, Fish related to the Star, he dealt recently with a pair of students involved in a fight. Instead of an automatic suspension, he called the boys, their parents and a counselor into a meeting. The group discussed how the boys' actions affected others and how disappointed the parents were. After the students expressed remorse and shook hands, they went back to class instead of being sent home.
"We're teaching kids about the mistakes they've made," Fish said. "People miss the point because they assume when they're disciplining kids, they're doing that. But they're really punishing kids. If you're out of school 10 days or 45 days and you're not dealing with the infraction, you haven't changed your thoughts or behaviors or actions."
Read the Post-Unitary Status Plan and decide for yourself.