Oklahoma City public schools adopt new code of conduct

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OKLAHOMA CITY - After several complaints on student discipline issues, the board rolled out a new code of conduct.

Monday night was a packed house, filled with teachers.

While the district did roll out a new student code of conduct in hopes of addressing discipline issues, some don’t think it will help at all.

A cold night, a hot topic inside the Oklahoma City public schools board meeting.

"We’ve made some great progress with the support of the unions of Oklahoma City Public School and actually coming to an agreement on the student code of conduct," said Tierney Tinnin, OKCPS spokeswoman.

The new code is supposed to give the students a clearer idea on what respect, responsibility and safety means in the classroom.

"What that does: give our staff members and also our students and parents some guidelines as to how to behave and what happens if you do misbehave in the classroom," Tinnin said.

But, some teachers don't think it will help.

"I have students who want to be defiant. I also have students who want to tear stuff up," said Robert Lowery, an OKCPS teacher. "We have 35 students that are 45 percent of the discipline problems. We have almost 800 students, and almost 10 percent of them are the discipline problems."

They think an alternative school is a better solution.

"What we want are classrooms that are free of disruptive students, chronically disruptive students," said Ed Allen, president of the OKC American Federation of Teachers.

"We know this is a big deal, and it's going to take a lot of change in of behaviors and training and actual support of teachers and principals that we admit we did not do in the past," Tinnin said.

Some board members think the  focus on discipline is not in the right place.

"If we could start focusing those great things or identifying those great things happening in our district, those teachers will be able to see there is a light at the end of this tunnel: 'I am going to be able to grow, I am going to be able to have a successful career,'" said Gloria Torres, school board member for district six.

The code of conduct will be handed out to students on Jan. 4, the first day back from winter break.

A copy of that new code will  be available online at that time, as well.

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