Holley seeing more young students with discipline problems

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 20 March 2013 at 12:00 am

HOLLEY – Robert D’Angelo said it is a worrisome trend, the young elementary students facing superintendent’s discipline hearings.

Those hearings are called when students face long-term suspensions, usually for more than five days out of school. Those hearings tended to involve students in higher elementary grades or middle school.

But this year D’Angelo said he is seeing students in lower elementary grades, even kindergarten.

“People and families are under stress and we’re seeing it manifest itself down to 5-, 6-, and 7-year-olds,” he told the Board of Education on March 18.

The district may need to provide more services to help students struggling with social and emotional problems, he said.

Board of Education President John Heise said financial pressures are straining families. He noted the district has started a backpack program where food is sent home over weekends with some students.

D’Angelo meets with many of the struggling students’ parents, and he said those families need assistance.

“In order to be successful, we have to work with parents, but many of the parents are needy themselves,” D’Angelo said.