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PAISD on right track creating Dean of Discipline post

Port Arthur ISD Superintendent Mark Porterie and the board of trustees are taking a bold but necessary step with the creation of a Dean of Discipline position in the district. Porterie gave details of the new position at a Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce Luncheon on Tuesday and said that while incorrigible students would receive much of the attention of the new dean, incorrigible parents are the real target.

And it is the parents, not the students, who will be the challenge when action is taken to stop disruptive behavior in the classroom. There are some parents who think their children can do no wrong and any trouble they get in must be the fault of someone else — other students, teachers, administrators. There are some parents who will threaten every action they can think of, including suing the district, the school board, the superintendent — and there will be a lawyer out there ready to help them do it. The board and administration will need a spine of titanium to stand up to the threats.

One student being disruptive in a classroom can stop 20 or more other students in the class from learning the material the teacher is trying to teach. Those students have a right to an education and if a small number of students are causing many others to miss out on valuable instructional time something must be done. Creating a Dean of Discipline position will ensure that someone is working full time to stop the disruptions.

But to be successful the Dean will need the support of the administration and board, but most importantly, they will need the support of the community. Port Arthur ISD can be a top quality educational institution but it won’t be because a Dean of Discipline is hired, it will be because the community demands it.