LANSING, Mich. — Holt Public Schools has dealt with many problems this school year ranging from gun threats to the recent fight that sent a 15-year-old to the hospital.
Monday evening, the district held a behavior, discipline and policy summit to reiterate the district's code of conduct and address safety concerns.
The webinar started with Superintendent David Hornak giving a look into the school disciplinary policy, stating that every school has a student handbook and student code of conduct.
Before suspending or expelling any student, the district factors in age, disciplinary history and whether the student threatened the safety of the learning community, among other things.
Hornak also addressed the district’s zero-tolerance policy.
“Our job is to keep students in school and learning to the best of our capacity. And we also have to keep in mind the other students as well. To that end, depending on the circumstances, discipline could range from returning to the classroom immediately to permanent expulsion,” he said.
The district's transportation and safety committee has held 32 due process hearings this year required by policy.
“Each hearing has resulted in a suspension over 10 days and expulsion from school,” he said.
While answering questions sent in by parents, Hornak revealed that the district hired a mental health director and added additional social workers.
He also mentioned an increase in safety measures, such as expanding the number of cameras across the district and partnering with an organization called I Love You Guys.
“This program marries well with our current run, hide, fight - or, I like to say, a run, hide, defend program - that is used across the county,” he said.
A recent physical altercation at Holt High School put a 15-year-old in the hospital. Christine Lopez, the superintendent and school board administrative assistant, made a vague reference to a situation that parents were concerned about but said the district couldn't address it publicly.
“There were a number of questions that we cannot answer. So there were people wanting specific information about a specific incident. And we, as you mentioned earlier, are not able to share that information,” she said.
If you were a parent watching the webinar, Holt is encouraging you to send feedback on whether the meeting met your expectations.
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