Unfortunately suspension is needed for some discipline cases in schools to maintain a safe learning environment for students. But how does keeping a student out of school or the classroom, help that student learn from his or her mistakes?
We are fortunate this year to be a part of an alternative suspension program called wRight Choice. Located in the lower-level of the Buffalo Courthouse, wRight Choice is an alternative to suspension for Wright County students in grades 6-12. Students attending wRight Choice can keep up on their schoolwork with help from a licensed teacher. The day is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. with the morning devoted to academic support and the afternoons alternating between probation; presentations about chemical health, children's mental health and public health; truancy intervention; and community service.
Principals have to recommend or parents have to request that a student attend the program. Those attending wRight Choice are expected to write a "restorative justice letter" that is submitted to the school and families. Students write about what they did, who it affected, how it harmed people and what they learned.
It has been said that parents appreciate not sending the kids home, teachers appreciate that students are supervised, getting their homework done and gaining decision making skills so they don't end up in this situation again.