Saturday detention is working, board learns

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 23, 1998

By SANDY SEAL / L’Observateur / November 23, 1998

RESERVE – East St. John High School students don’t necessarily likepicking up trash. Or mopping floors. Or removing gum from desks andgraffiti from walls.

That’s why the school’s Saturday detention program seems to be working so well, Lt. Vernon Bailey, the school’s resource officer, said.”They don’t like picking up trash, and they don’t like the other kids watching them pick up trash,” Bailey told the St. John the Baptist ParishSchool Board Thursday night.

The school board voted during the summer to re-establish a Saturday detention program at East St. John High School. The first of six sessionswas held Sept. 12, and approximately 300 students have attended so far,Bailey said. Eighty more students were expected to be in detentionprogram this morning, he added.

The best news, Bailey said, is that none of the 300 students who’ve been in Saturday detention this year have been more than one time.

“We’re doing positive things with the students,” he said. “Theeffectiveness of the program is that none of the students are repeating.”The detention program is held from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., and during that timestudents are required to clean up around the school or around the football field.

Board members questioned Bailey on parental participation, and the officer said parents have told him they like the program.

“They are enjoying it,” he said. “They say they can’t get the kids to workat home, and we get them doing it here.”Parents are required to drop off and pick up the students, Bailey said. Andif the student chooses not to attend the Saturday detention – a last resort punishment, he or she is placed in the in-school suspension program.

Board member Matt Ory, who asked Bailey to update the board on the program, said he is pleased with what he heard.

“The primary goal behind the program is to get the parents involved in the corrective action of getting control of their children,” he said. “I don’tknow why this program was dropped before. Hopefully, it won’t be droppedagain.”Similar Saturday detention programs are in the works at other schools in St. John Parish and are expected to begin early in 1999, SuperintendentCleveland Farlough said.

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