Putting the respect back into Respect and Protect
One of new superintendent of schools C.C. Lesterﾒs first goals for the school year is to tweak the Respect and Protect program.
When Lester came to Pocahontas County as principal at Marlinton Middle School, he instituted Respect and Protect, a program utilized to prevent bullying and to reward students for good behavior.
Lester brought his knowledge of the program from his previous school where the students and faculty had a positive reaction.
ﾓWhen I came over to Pocahontas County at the middle school, I came home one day and I told my wife that I couldnﾒt believe how the kids were talking to each other,ﾔ Lester said. ﾓShe told me that I needed to bring that program here.ﾔ
Lester set up training with the State board of education for the teachers at MMS and began the program.
ﾓThe faculty showed a lot of interest in it,ﾔ he said. ﾓThey came in on a Saturday and all my teachers attended a staff development workshop and worked with Don Chapman of the state office and the leader of the Respect and Protect program from Scranton Elementary School in Ohio. Then the school developed its standards.ﾔ
The Respect and Protect program has BIFs or Behavior Intervention Forms, which are given to students for poor behavior. Once a student receives a BIF, he or she is subject to disciplinary action, including detention or suspension.
Lester has found that in recent years, the amount of BIFs being distributed has reached an outstanding number.
ﾓWhen you find yourself with a student that has 100 BIFs, you think ﾑoh manﾒ because youﾒre supposed to get three stamps before you get a BIF,ﾔ he said. ﾓItﾒs getting away from them [the teachers].ﾔ
Lester plans to review the program, which is now enforced in all the county schools, and retrain the faculty on the standards of Respect and Protect.
ﾓIt will work fine, but if you donﾒt monitor it, it will slip away from you,ﾔ he said. ﾓThey donﾒt need to use it as a ﾑgotchaﾒ thing. We need to catch kids being good instead of catching them being bad.ﾔ