Paso Robles News|Friday, May 24, 2019
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Teachers claim discipline crisis at Paso Robles Joint Unified School District 

—Teachers who work for the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District are letting their voices be heard, and after a recent survey of the teachers’ opinions, the results see an increase in an overall trend of unhappiness with the current situation on student discipline and teacher morale. Teachers say that schools are being underfunded, understaffed and not supported in the ways in which to properly discipline the students who act out, and say the general feel between admin and teaching staff is not well in many cases.

The Morale Discipline Survey of the Paso Robles Unified School district had 199 anonymous responses, and 200 teachers from 16 schools participated in the survey. What was reported is the fact that teachers say that what they say doesn’t make a difference. They know what the students need, and the administrators take away the tools that help them make students lifelong learners, said one teacher.

Another teacher expressed, “There’s too much being changed/implemented too fast; difficult to keep up with. Staff is overwhelmed with too many students, too many responsibilities, Assistant Principal’s at PRHS cannot do any one job well when they are triaging behavior/discipline in overwhelming numbers. Classrooms are at max capacity. Our mental health services/response for students outside of TLC are insufficient for the amount of mental health need presented in North County. Discipline is inconsistent, lagging in response time, and the office shouldn’t be seen as a ‘fun’ place to hang out with the ‘cool staff’.”

Another teacher said, “The CA standards are not age-appropriate. We continually ask students to do things they are not developmentally capable of doing.”

The teachers say there is a need for better discipline and treatment of difficult students, and a large amount of the problems may stem from a lack of communication and trust between teachers and district administration, survey results show. Repeatedly, teachers mention staff members not feeling secure enough to open up about suggestions, and the behavior consequences lack any real beneficial outcomes. Lack of support, trust, and pressure to fit into a mold restricts most teachers from using their freedom and creativity to help students grow and learn, according to the to the survey. Lack of consequences, ineffective interventions, and inconsistent outcomes make extra work for the teachers, and an increasingly unruly, disrespectful body of pupils, according to the to the survey.

For more information and to read the discipline survey in full, click here.

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