MCS Board member wants to resolve Blue Ribbon controversy - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Andrew Douglas reports

MCS Board member wants to resolve Blue Ribbon controversy

The Memphis City School District's alternative to corporal punishment met new controversy.

Opponents of the Blue Ribbon program addressed the Board of Education.

Teachers have complained its not working-- one school board member wants to begin hearings about it-- and the public continues to come to these meetings asking corporal punishment be allowed back.

Half the public comments had one theme in mind: Putting corporal punishment back into the city school systems.

Most were straight forward and at times emotional.

"The system has tied our hands. What I mean about that nobody can do anything and they done put it back on the parents," says Feye Metcalf.

Grandparent Bob Morgan adds, "teachers are afraid and disruptive children are keeping others from learning. We must do something different."

New School Board Member Kenneth Whalum Junior says none of the concerns are new to him. He says they're all concerns that he heard before while out on the campaign trail.

"We have our heads in the sand collectively and we're in a grand state of denial trying to pretend everything is peachy keen when its obviously not. Man and I'm concerned about that," says Whalum.

He's so concerned he's try to push forward a resolution eliminating funding for the Blue Ribbon program while opening dialogue between teachers and board members about the program's problems.

So far, his resolution and ideas have been sent off to committee and the issue has not been addressed.

When we asked Memphis City School Superintendent Carol Johnson, she admitted not everything is working perfectly and she's looking for feedback.

"There are a number of ways for us to hear some of its using technology, some of it is sending out surveys, some of it is hosting some of it is hosting parent student and staff meetings," says Johnson.

So expect the Blue Ribbon critics not to go away anytime soon.

Board member Kenneth Whalum is expected to bring another resolution to the table soon.

This one would ask for a public hearing just for teachers to respond to board members without losing their jobs.

We'll let you know if that passes.

Click here to learn more about MCS Blue Ribbon plan.

Click here to email Andrew Douglas.
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