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    15 Apr 2016

    ‘Stop arresting our children,’ Terry parents tell school officials

    Some parents of students at Terry High School are concerned over discipline they said is too tough.
    The parents told school officials during a school board meeting Thursday night that students are being arrested at the high school now more than ever before. The parents claim the arrests are for minor offenses.
    “We have some very, very serious concerns regarding discipline at Terry High School,” parent Karen Gates said.
    The parents attended the meeting wearing T-shirts that said, “Stop arresting our children. Let kids be kids.”
    One parent said if a student steals something at the school, they get away with it, but if they get into a fist fight, they go to jail.
    Hinds County School District superintendent Dr. Delesia Martin defended the policies.
    “I think it is very important that everyone here understand that when a student is detained here at Terry High School, it is for a very major situation,” Martin said.
    “Since the 2013 school year there have been 57 arrests, just at Terry High School (and) 31 arrests this year,” Lydia Wright, with the Southern Poverty Law Center, said.
    The SPLC has been working with parents and wrote a letter to the school district asking school officials to reconsider the discipline policy.
    “As a result of these arrests, a large number of students are being pushed out of Terry High School and into the juvenile justice system, (which) is the school-to-prison pipeline,” Wright said.
    “The Hinds County School District does not involve law enforcement in classroom or behavior-management unless a crime is being committed,” Martin said.
    Discipline wasn’t the only issue brought up at the meeting. Parents are also seeking better communication from the school district, which in response is planning a serious of community solutions meetings. The first is scheduled for April 28 at Terry High School.

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