Fights and bad behavior: 2 more reasons schools are going remote these days

Some students are struggling with the socialization skills necessary for in-person learning, a superintendent says
By: | November 29, 2021
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Behavioral problems, including fights and gun violence, have driven a handful of administrators to shift their schools to remote learning amidst the pressures of the continuing pandemic.

Reynolds Middle School, part of Reynolds Schools District in suburban Portland, Ore., closed for two days before Thanksgiving and has moved to distance learning until Dec. 7. During the shift, administrators, teachers and staff will enhance social-emotional supports and safety protocols, Superintendent Danna Diaz said on the school’s website.

“The shifts in learning methods and isolation caused by COVID-19 closures and quarantines have taken a toll on the well-being of our students and staff,” Diaz said. “We are finding that some students are struggling with the socialization skills necessary for in-person learning, which is causing disruption in school for other students.”

Sixth-graders will return to in-person learning on Dec. 7, and 7th and 8th-graders are scheduled to be back Dec. 10.

North of New York City, the Newburgh Enlarged City School District gave parents the remote learning option after “two separate shooting incidents near campuses” on Nov. 22, the New York Post reported.

“The district believes that our schools are safe and that students learn best in this environment,” the district said on its website. “This option can be either an asynchronous assignment for each class period/subject area or via live, synchronous instruction.”

In Virginia, a major “altercation” resulted in an asynchronous learning day on Nov. 17 for students at James Monroe High School in Fredericksburg City Public Schools, administrators said. “This message is to inform you that a large group of students was involved in an altercation at James Monroe,” said an announcement on the school’s website. “Rest assured that everyone is okay. However, we are still investigating the incident which will take some time.”

And finally, in Michigan, students at Bloomfield Hills High School shifted to remote learning Thanksgiving week after a family filed a $150 million lawsuit alleging “dangerous racism,” according to published reports.

Parents Cedric McCarrall and Carmen Davidson-McCarrall sued the Bloomfield Hills School District in suburban Detroit on behalf of their 15-year-old daughter and other African American students who have experienced “serious, malicious and racist pronouncements and threats of death and bodily injury,” according to a copy of the lawsuit posted by ClickOnDetroit.com.

“Despite being notified of race discrimination and related injustices by students and parents, Defendant has failed and continues to fail to take steps reasonably calculated to stop the discrimination and ensure the Plaintiffs’ safety,” says the lawsuit.

The closure allowed district and building administrators to gather with staff for a discussion of recent incidents at the high school, Director of Communications Karen Huyghe told District Administration.

“We know the district will emerge stronger and better as a result of these conversations, undeterred from its commitment to all students and facilitate a school environment of safety and support for every student,” Huyghe said.