Brevard school board holds special discipline policy meeting Thursday

‘If our teachers can’t teach and they’re just managing discipline, then we’re not teaching,’ board chair says

VIERA, Fla. – In just the last few weeks, Brevard County School Board Chair Matt Susin said 42 teachers and eight bus drivers have quit because of student behavior.

Susin said the unions fear even more staff will leave.

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“They said we have hundreds of teachers that are talking about leaving over the Christmas break because of the disciplinary policy,” the board chair said.

Now, school board members are meeting Thursday to modify the district’s policy, Susin said, and hopefully, stop teachers from quitting.

The meeting follows an announcement last week by Susin and Sheriff Wayne Ivey in front of the Brevard County Jail, promising a disciplinary crackdown.

Susin said enforcing suspensions will be part of the conversation as examples of recent bad behavior will be shared.

Cape View Elementary School grandparent Chuck Baird said he supports holding students accountable for misbehaving.

“The teachers don’t need to have to be worried about getting hurt or something like that, especially with the older kids,” Baird said.

Marie Baker, though, worried what stricter enforcement might mean for her grandson with autism.

She said he’s been in trouble before at the elementary school.

“And the teachers don’t get his side of it,” she said. “They call him a liar. If two kids get in trouble, both of them should be punished.”

Susin said Thursday’s discussion will also be about understanding behavior issues and offering resources to help students and staff.

“Look, if our teachers can’t teach and they’re just managing discipline, then we’re not teaching and we’re not doing what’s right for the rest of those kids,” Susin said.

Thursday morning’s special meeting starts at 9 o’clock.

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About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.