MCS adds campus monitors to schools - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

MCS adds campus monitors to schools

The Memphis City School Board approved a new plan for increased school security.  Campus monitors are the thrust of the plan.  They'll also be beefing up partnerships with area churches and stretching their in-school disciplinary program.  But beyond that, the school board president was clear, she's tired of taking the heat for parents who aren't pulling their weight.

School leaders came to say what they're going to do to make school campuses safer.
But school board president Sara Lewis hinted right away that the buck stops at home.  "Frankly ladies and gentleman, I'm tired of getting the emails where people blast me and blast my colleagues because of the misbehavior of a few dozen students," she said.

And the blasting has apparently been full power this month.  During the past weeks, police have been called to break up fights and to confiscate drugs and guns at three area high schools.

"We need to start whipping children again," Lewis said.  "Memphis City Schools did not disallow - or outlaw - corporal punishment at home.  If you think your child needs corporal punishment, he is with you, then you should administer it at home."

Meanwhile, the city school system is doing more.  Superintendent Carol Johnson announced the hiring of 60 new campus monitors.  Craigmont, Kingsbury and Hamilton High Schools will each get three new paid adult monitors watching the hallways.

"We think that the adult presence will eliminate a lot of the problem because they'll be shepherding students to class if they're not in class on time.  They'll be just monitoring if students try to leave the campus," she said.

Coupled with a new gang specialist and other community activities, Johnson says the administration is getting more involved.  But - as board president Lewis points out - they can't do everything.

They hope to announce their gang specialist by Friday.  Meanwhile, they're having a job fair at the school board Tuesday at 4pm to fill the monitor positions.

The superintendent also announced that she was recently told more than 70 para-professionals don't meet No Child Left Behind criteria and could be laid off.  She's hoping some of them can be transitioned into these campus monitor positions.

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