If New Britain schools Superintendent Kelt Cooper goes forward with his pledge that students caught swearing at faculty members this year will be “out of school for five to 10 days,” it would make foul language just about the most severely punished offense a New Britain student can commit, at least based on the district’s past history of sanctions for misconduct.
The harsh penalty – announced at a rousing convocation at which Cooper summarized his goal for improving student comportment with the memorable catchphrase “Don’t talk smack, don’t show crack” – would see potty-mouthed students facing tougher sanctions than are typically imposed for stealing or fighting, and would put them at least on par with students punished for drug- and weapons-related offenses.
Below is a chart showing the average length of sanctions imposed on New Britain students involved in 2,866 assorted incidents during 2010-2011 school year, according to state Department of Education data. Note that not all of the sanctions involved out-of-school suspensions, with students sent home in 44 percent of the cases.
As my colleague Don Stacom reports, Cooper is sending the message that school officials have had it with disrespectful behavior by students. To underscore that resolve, students booted for profanity will be sent home, Cooper said, with a bar of soap.