Local Principal Seeks to Develop Students, Not Criminals

Story Highlights
  • The Obama Administration set guidelines for school discipline.
  • Principal doesn’t want to label students as criminals.
  • Some situations require legal action.

ATHENS, GA- A local principal says he’s already ahead of the curve when it comes to President Obama’s recent recomendations on school discipline. The Obama Administration set guidelines on Wednesday that suggest that schools send students to the principals office as opposed to court.

Kelly Girtz is the principal of Classic City High School. He says he tries his best to avoid dealing his students with the law. He believes that, “as soon as you begin to label kids as criminals you are more likely to find that they are criminals.”

Girtz prides himself on the small number of students he’s had to involve with the law during his time at Classic City. He says that, “Most of the things that go on are things that I can handle. Maybe in my four years as a high school administrator there might have been three or four or five incidents that resulted in a criminal charge.”

Girtz admits that at times legal actions are neccessary, but he says he is doing his part to help carry out the President’s vision for disciplinary reform. He says, “If I can convince the student to do the right thing, or interact with the student or the student and parents and have that be my remedy I’d prefer that to a legal remedy”
The recommendations from the Obama Administration are non-binding, but if schools don’t take action there could be consequences.

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