Sustained Outrage

‘How much do they need to know?’

Kanawha school board member Robin Rector has asked Superintendent Ron Duerring to clarify what information principals receive about students who are released from a juvenile detention center or similar facility and then return to a regular school.

Rector said she was concerned about what she read in a Sunday Gazette-Mail story, where some Kanawha County high school principals said they do not always know what  a student did after they’ve returned to school.

In the story, principals were asked particularly about students who had been charged with offenses related to drugs or violence.

Rector worries “that there is a lack of understanding among principals about what information is available to them.”

“I want to make sure that the principals have all the information they need to deal with this,” she said.

The question is: How much do they need to know? she said.

Also, Rector wants to keep school board members in the loop and school officials a “little more in tune with how this is handled.”

“The scale seems to be leaning a little more heavily toward [protecting] the student than toward protection of the general population,” she said. “And that’s why I needed to know.”

At the same time, Rector does not want to “create a scare or a stir.” Many students who get in trouble deserve a second or third chance, Rector said, and she hopes that teenagers who return to high school aren’t haunted by a bias because of what the principal learns.