Parent group raises concerns over student conduct in Guilford County schools

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- A group of Guilford County parents are raising concerns about a state survey.

The North Carolina Teacher Working Conditions Survey is part of a process to create school and district improvement plans. The results are supposed to help educators and school administrators.

Nancy Deaton has two daughters in Guilford County schools. One is a rising junior at Grimsley High School, the other is about to start eighth grade. She's very involved in the schools and she also helped start the group Students and Educators First in order to help all students.

"We want to raise awareness and provide our teachers and educators with a voice," Deaton said.

Her main concern is student safety. That's why some of the results from the North Carolina Teacher Working Conditions Survey raised a red flag for her. One question in particular gave her major concerns. The question asks teachers if students follow rules of conduct.

"Over 5,400 teachers in our district responded to this survey and for those traditional high schools, with the 11 of the 15 showing a decline, it highlights that there is a significant problem," Deaton said.

Grimsley High School, for one, shows a drop of more than 50 percent since 2016.

"What has happened, what's caused the decline and how that's affecting the climates in our schools?" Deaton said.

She and other parents brought those concerns to the school board Tuesday night.

"What SEF would like to see is our superintendent and our board take seriously the results that are in this survey," she said.

The school board is going to address school discipline. Every year the district has a work session going over the data of school discipline from the previous school year. A district representative said that meeting did not happen last year, but they are working on setting up a date and time for this year.

Deaton hopes the school board and the superintendent will work with parents this year to stop the decline and to hopefully continue to create a safe learning environment for students.