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Teacher protesting In-School Suspension program cuts
BEAUMONT- by Haley Bull
A Beaumont teacher is protesting the layoffs of middle and high school in-school suspension teachers in the Beaumont school district.
The Beaumont school board voted last week to eliminate more than 200 positions, many of them teachers, in an effort to save millions of dollars. The list included all middle school and high school ISS teachers. Monday, the board is expected to vote on the list by names attached to the positions.
West Brook High School in-school suspension teacher Julie Clinton is traveling all over Beaumont holding posters and collecting signatures for a petition.
Sunday, she stood outside the Beaumont Public Health Department. She said she hopes the signatures will persuade the board of trustees to keep certified teachers in ISS classrooms.
"Every child is due the opportunity to have their education. They should not be sent home, they should be able to learn even though they have misbehaved," Clinton said.
People driving by pulled over to add their name to the growing list of signatures.
"Anytime you mess with our community, I'm gonna stop and pull over," Michael Motton said.
"I think basically the future of Beaumont depends on preserving the resources we have here," Linda Ray said.
"Support the children and the teachers for the advancement of Beaumont," Mark Toups said.
By Sunday afternoon, Clinton had collected more than 700 signatures from adults and more than 100 signatures from students, including one of her former students.
Carnell Beard graduated this past spring. He said he's seen the effects removing a certified teacher from an ISS classroom has on learning.
"You basically had to do it on your own and learn from other students," Beard said. "It was just basically like a mini playground, you know. We just got on our cell phones, got to talk all day, I mean we really didn't do our work."
Clinton said it could affect other students as well.
"I'm afraid what will happen if there's not certified teachers in the classroom, the kids that are in the classroom that act up if they go to the office and they don't have a place to put them and they're not going to suspend them, then they will have to be put back into the classroom," Clinton said.
She said that would jeopardize students in the regular classroom and be detrimental to ISS students since they would not learn consequences for their actions.
She said she plans to give the petition to trustees ahead of Monday's board meeting.