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Lisa Love is the new principal at Harrisburg High School, who decided to issue more than 500 suspensions to a school of 1,100 students, making the people wonder what did those students do.

Lisa Love is principal at the school since January, and she instantly noticed a popular problem among the students, most of them had a concerning amount of unexcused absences from class.

“The problem I’ve noticed here as principal is that students are coming to school but they are not going to classes when they get here,” Love said. “Many parents send their kids to school and they’re thinking they’re going to class. I needed to reach out because of the enormous number not going to class. … If you’re not in class, all you’re here to do then is to wreak havoc upon the school and disrupt the work that we are trying to do here…to focus on student achievement.”

Lisa Love thought that one way of dealing with the problem was to suspend the students who had an excessive amount of unexcused class absences. Assistant Principal Keith Edmonds explained how they established who will get the suspension, 35 missed classes within a 45-day marking period.

“Right now, the process is just to weed out where our issues are so that we can properly address them,” said Edmonds. Love agreed, saying, “If you’re not in class, all you’re here to do then is to wreak havoc upon the school and disrupt the work that we are trying to do here…to focus on student achievement.”

Love continued, “We don’t like to suspend,” adding, “I don’t even like talking about suspensions. But because we’re in a place where our school is a priority school, we need to send the message that we value education first.”

Superintendent Sybil Knight-Burney supported Love’s idea to issue one-day suspensions, saying it should be a “wake-up call” to parents in a school district where rate is 30 percent lower than the statewide average

“In order for us to get different results, we have to do something different,” said Knight-Burney. “We can’t do the same ol’ same ol’ and then complain about it when we’re getting the same ol’ results.” Indeed, that would be the definition of insanity.”

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18 Comments
  • Kelli says:

    ~I don’t see a problem with the principal suspending these students. As they said themselves, the way they were trying to solve & deal with the problem wasn’t working out, so why in the world would they keep doing the same thing?! Maybe this will be the wake-up call both the students & the parents need. -And if the parents, or the students for that matter, want to be mad at someone, then they need look no further than in the mirror and be angry at themselves …The students for not following the rules & not going to class, and the parents for not intervening and doing something about it before it got to this point …The anger certainly doesn’t belong toward Principal Lisa Love- that’s FOR SURE! 🙂

  • JSW says:

    I say “GOOD FOR LISA LOVE!!!” I hope the rest of you sorry Principals looking the other Way TAKE NOTE!! Especially in California where your Students are WALKING all over you!!! THIS is Supurb Leadership and Accountability. These Kids NEED This and will thank her!! I THANK Her!!!

  • Ken says:

    It’s about time. Thank you

  • AmHistory Teacher says:

    Skipping classes so the cure is to send them home? Really? Where most will run wild unsupervised? A better idea would be to require parents of chronically skipping students to escort them to every class all day long. No excuses. Where’s the administration and dept. chairs? Part of my duties was to sweep skipping students to D-Hall where they were required to work. The root cause is of this is the breakdown of the family, the accompanying lack of respect, and the unconnected parents, all of which students bring to school. Apparently, this principal’s funding is not tied to daily attendance rates as our schools are. So we go the extra mile to get and keep students in class successfully, including every teacher and staff member “sweeping the halls, RR,” etc., at the beginning of their planning periods and personally delivering to a military style Detention Hall.

    • Catherine says:

      Yes…REALLY… This is only a one-day suspension, and a wake-up call to the parents and students involved. As Ms. Love has indicated, she is new to the school and wants to make a difference. It is Pennsylvania law that ALL children go to school. (Some are Home-Schooled or Cyber-Schooled under the monitor of that child’s school district.) Warning notices are mailed home to parents of students of excessive absences or tardiness. Eventually, this may result in taking the parent to court and being fined. Unfortunately, attendance issues may have fallen by the wayside in this school, but she is taking the tough needed measures to make improvements… Way to go, Lisa Love!!

  • Cathy Borrego says:

    Suspensions should be in school suspensions.

  • Paula Kramer says:

    Are the classes worth attending? Do the students skip classes because they’re not learning anything anyway? I want to hear the students’ perspectives.

  • sarita says:

    What a wonderful woman! Such a great principal! She sets a great example for all schools.

  • CF

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