Wooddale Middle teacher criticizes MCS's Blue Ribbon Plan

There is new criticism of Memphis City Schools Blue Ribbon Disciplinary program. The plan replaced corporal punishment.

For the first time a teacher is going on the record to say it isn't working.

Action News 5 received phone calls from teachers saying they aren't happy with the Memphis City School system.

At first none of the teachers would talk to us but now Linda Hatley says she's had enough.

Hatley thought Tuesday would just be a regular day teaching math at Wooddale Middle School like she has done for the past 17years.

"They did the X-rays which showed it's broken in three places," says Hatley.

Hatley is talking about the little finger on her right hand.

The injury happened when two girls started fighting at Wooddale in the hall while she was a hall monitor.

"Suddenly one was in front of me and one was behind me," Hatley adds.

Hatley says it wasn't a huge fight but somehow she got caught up in it.

She's not sure how her finger was broken. She says there are a couple of fights a week at Wooddale, most of them small ones.

"The problem is there is no fear factor. There's no fear of fighting, hitting. I've had problems with throwing this year. I've done everything I know to do. I've had them write essays," says Hatley.

Memphis City School Board Member Kenneth Whalum, Jr., has been critical of the Blue Ribbon plan.

Action News 5 Janice Broach talked with Whalum and says if Corporal punishment was back in the schools you wouldn't have problems like this.

"Blue Ribbon and some of the things the School Board has tried to do to make things better has not worked," says Whalum.

Linda Hatley believes corporal punishment does work.

Memphis City School administrators say the Blue Ribbon Program is working.

A spokesperson says according to research, fights in schools have dropped thirty percent over this time last year.

E-mails we get from teachers say they are afraid to report problems like fights because they will lose their jobs.

It is clearly a complex problem.

The Blue Ribbon program was created in 2005 to replace corporal punishment. The plan involves training principals and teachers to improve student behavior.

It requires an updated report during the school year to monitor the program's effectiveness.


to email Janice Broach.