Share
News

Connecticut High School Resumes In-Person Learning, Only to Realize Pandemic Measures are an Effective Way to Avoid Dealing with Student Misbehavior

Share

A Connecticut high school that recently resumed full in-person learning for the first time since the onset of the pandemic sent students home temporarily for remote learning, blaming issues with misbehavior.

New Britain High School, in suburban Hartford, is “hitting the refresh button” and will restart the school year, Principal Damon Pearce wrote in a letter late Tuesday to students and families.

Pearce initially said instruction would be done remotely through the end of this week, but the district later notified parents that students would be welcome back Thursday for a half-day.

A meeting was planned later Wednesday with the mayor and district leaders.

Vilmaris Diaz said the switch left her daughter, a junior at the high school, in disbelief. Diaz said her daughter much prefers in-person learning and that the change left families, including hers, scrambling to rework their schedules.

Trending:
Buttigieg Hits Back at People Who Are Upset That He's on Paid Leave During a National Crisis

“I’m assuming the behavior we are dealing with may be slightly worse than what we’ve had in the past because of the pandemic, and kids’ adjustments, but I don’t think it was a reason for us to attempt to go remote for three days,” Diaz said.

Mayor Erin Stewart said she was told the school made its decision because of difficulties controlling student behavior, particularly vandalism and fighting.

“I’m disappointed in this decision, it’s not fair to the majority of students who behave respectfully and want to be in school to learn,” Stewart, a Republican, said in a Facebook post.

She said rule-breakers should face consequences, including removal from school, and she offered the assistance of the New Britain police.

Should the school have remained open?

As students return to schools after a year and a half of learning disrupted by the pandemic, many districts have reported issues with behavior, including vandalism promoted by a viral TikTok challenge.

Since New Britain’s school year started two weeks ago, high-schoolers have had to adjust to being around more than 2,000 other students, Pearce said.

Many did not come into school buildings at all last year because of the coronavirus. Those who did show up attended a school that had fewer than 500 students present most of the year.

The problems involve a small minority of students, school officials said.

Superintendent Nancy Sarra said in a letter to families last week that educators were working to help students handle conflict peacefully.

Related:
Florida School Takes Opposite Approach to Vaccine, Telling Students to Stay Home After Getting It

Sarra’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Eric Scoville, a spokesman for the state Department of Education, said the district’s actions conflicted with state guidance that does not recommend a move to full remote learning.

He said there have been discussions with local officials and the state will provide help responding to the behavioral health needs identified by the district.

In his letter Tuesday, Pearce urged parents to speak with their children about “acceptable and appropriate behavior” in school.

The principal later acknowledged confusion over the announcement of the switch to remote learning.

In a letter announcing that students would be coming back Thursday, he said school staff used the opportunity of the remote day Wednesday to address some of the student needs observed at the high school.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →



loading

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

Tags:
, , , , , ,
Share
The Associated Press is an independent, not-for-profit news cooperative headquartered in New York City. Their teams in over 100 countries tell the world’s stories, from breaking news to investigative reporting. They provide content and services to help engage audiences worldwide, working with companies of all types, from broadcasters to brands.
The Associated Press was the first private sector organization in the U.S. to operate on a national scale. Over the past 170 years, they have been first to inform the world of many of history's most important moments, from the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the bombing of Pearl Harbor to the fall of the Shah of Iran and the death of Pope John Paul.

Today, they operate in 263 locations in more than 100 countries relaying breaking news, covering war and conflict and producing enterprise reports that tell the world's stories.
Location
New York City




loading

Conversation