A Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, school issued on Monday 500 suspension notices to its students. Total enrollment at the school is only about 1,100. At least 100 of the students served a single-day suspension on Tuesday, according to a report by PennLive.
Officials at the school announced the suspensions were issued to students who were deemed to have amassed too many unexcused absences from class.
The decision to suspend students from school, thereby not allowing them to attend classes, as a punishment for not attending enough classes is part of a larger strategy being implemented by the school’s new leadership, which said students aren’t taking their coursework seriously.
“The problem I’ve noticed here as principal is that students are coming to school but they are not going to classes when they get here,” said new school Principal Lisa Love, according to PennLive. “Many parents send their kids to school and they’re thinking they’re going to class. I needed to reach out because of the enormous number not going to class.”
“We don’t like to suspend,” Love said, according to a report by WPMT-TV. “I don’t even like talking about suspensions. But because we’re in a place where our school is a priority school, we need to send the message that we value education first.”
WPMT reports the Harrisburg school has some of the worst test scores and graduation rates in the state.
“In order for us to get different results, we have to do something different,” district Superintendent Sybil Knight-Burney said. “We can’t be doing the same old, same old, and complain when we’re getting the same old results.”