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Vance school breaks tradition with no-nonsense approach

Posted September 4, 2008
Updated September 8, 2008

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— It's a school where the norm is breaking tradition – if students misbehave, their parents get called in with them for detention.

That's because the Vance County Learning Center has a no-nonsense approach to school.

"I do not play. And sometimes, the parents get upset with me," says Deryl von Williams, who founded the school two years ago with the goal to teach children who, for whatever the reason – discipline cases, failing grades, etc. – couldn't be taught in public school.

"Some children are getting in trouble, because they're not doing well in the classroom setting," von Williams said.

The school — separate from the Vance County school system – itself, doesn't look like much. There are tight quarters, cracks in the walls, lamps with no shades. With donated books, they learn.

Yet, many parents say they don't mind.

"It's about the kids getting what they need," parent Gwendolyn Terrell said.

And if they misbehave, parents will share the punishment.

"I get on the phone. I call mom at work," von Williams says. "I call mom at home. I call mom wherever mom is, and I say: 'When you get your lunch hour – I know you're at work, I know you don't have a full hour. I need you to stop by. I need you to sit with your child."

And many parents say they don't mind.

"I'm only interested in one thing," Mabe Malloy says about her grandson. "(That) he does not become a statistic to the street."

The North Carolina Division of Non-Public Education says the Learning Center, which teaches first through eighth grades, meets the requirements of private school, even though von Williams admits she has no background in education.

But she says students have left the center and have improved their grades at public school.

"We can be used as a model," she says. "This place works."

And that, von Williams says, is no nonsense.

18 Comments

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  • kingdomheiress Sep 9, 2008

    I think this is brilliant. There is a real education crisis in our nation, and we need an integrated community effort.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Sep 5, 2008

    So keep making excuses for social services and mean while a child is being abused, neglected, lost their life, no food etc. I believe the agency can do better than what they are doing in this day and time. Don't you. I would like to save a child instead of them losing their life, etc.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Sep 5, 2008

    I don't really think they have to the time. They are over-loaded with abused kids, etc. ALthough calling SS is a good idea, I don't think it is a very practical solution. They might interview about it, but if they even make a home visit, it will be much later, and nothing will be done about it.
    Miss Megs

    So honey, is this the real reason why children are constanly loosing their lives, being abused etc. because the social services don't have the time. That is a very stupid statement when children are needing help. If the agency need help they should hire more people and not neglect these children. My goodness the social services people are being paid and should do their work like they should.

  • Miss Megs Sep 5, 2008

    Dr. Dataclerk -- Have you ever dealt with Social Services? Not that I am disagreeing with you that they should be called if a child behaves in this manner, but I HAVE dealt with Social Services regarding problem children and families, and believe me, SS could care less about a kid acting out in school with curse words and temper tantrums. I don't really think they have to the time. They are over-loaded with abused kids, etc. ALthough calling SS is a good idea, I don't think it is a very practical solution. They might interview about it, but if they even make a home visit, it will be much later, and nothing will be done about it.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Sep 5, 2008

    "One even said, "he's yours between 7:30 and 3:00 so deal with it at school."

    This parents knew the rules that was laid out before her/him. So know the consequence of those rules and the parents being disrespectful to the staff. I believe Social Services should be called and have the home investigated. If the parent is not caring and says the problem is the school from start to finish. What exactly is going on in the home on a daily basis? Not pretty I am sure. Call Social Services TODAY and have this family investigated in the welfare of this child.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Sep 5, 2008

    Called three parents today about serious behavior problems (running from classroom, throwing a chair in anger, and saying "MF" loudly).

    This is just a 6 year old. Now if the parents cannot handle this young person by all means a the adult in the school should show this young person who is in charge. A nice paddle on the behind should fit this purpose just fine. If they don't straighten this young person out right now, hey the streets will be calling him and sooner than one desires he will be in jail and on his way to prison for life. Help him while he is in your charge. Have the parents investigated and see if the child need to be remove from his home. By all means call Social Services.

  • Dr. Dataclerk Sep 5, 2008

    What about the dads???
    Get so sick of everything falling onto the shoulders of the moms.Rev. RB

    I thank the Lord for all mothers. If it was not for the mothers, I have no idea who would take care of our children. There are some really good fathers in this world that take responsibility. I know, I am married to one. But you are refering to those fathers who bring children in the world and thats it. Nothing more. But you see, one day way down the road, when they have reached their golden years, only then and maybe they will wished the child was in his life. You have to be in and a part of a child's life for them to be in yours. It takes a real man to be a father (accept responsibility) and hear the child say daddy.

  • Adelinthe Sep 5, 2008

    "aweome idea, if they dont have time on their lunch break, they can come in on saturday"

    That I agree with, and if they don't want to come in at all, call DSS for a legal intervention because if the child's welfare at school is being neglected, it surely is at home as well.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • Adelinthe Sep 5, 2008

    wifemomteacher - "One even said, "he's yours between 7:30 and 3:00 so deal with it at school."

    So what did you tell that lunatic? I'da flamed their hiney good, and even have when I was a nanny which I was for 10+ years. I quickly reminded them that I was not the one who birthed the little darling and that it was their responsibility 24/7/365.

    Too many parents have kids and view school or day care as a shelf they can put the kid on when they don't want them around, and they think the kid doesn't catch on to this.

    And incidentlly, like on Nanny 911, my problems were NEVER with the children; it was ALWAYS something the parent(s) were doing...usually nagging the child unto a nervous upheaval or nagging one another in front of the child.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • Adelinthe Sep 5, 2008

    "I get on the phone. I call mom at work," von Williams says. "I call mom at home. I call mom wherever mom is, and I say: 'When you get your lunch hour – I know you're at work, I know you don't have a full hour. I need you to stop by. I need you to sit with your child."

    What about the dads???

    Get so sick of everything falling onto the shoulders of the moms.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

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