Local News

Failing Grades Force Officials To Put Goldsboro Students On 'Lockdown'

Posted March 12, 2004 8:39 a.m. EST

— Teachers at a Goldsboro middle school are fed up with failing grades and a lack of interest in learning among some students, so administrators took things into their own hands.

Eighth-graders at

Dillard Middle School

in Goldsboro have their feet planted firmly on the ground because they are not allowed to leave the classroom. The principal ordered all students to stay in their classrooms for the entire day -- no switching classes, no cafeteria, only restroom breaks.

"I don't think it's fair to put all of the eighth-grade students on a punishment. Take the ones out causing the problem and put them on the punishment," parent Dejon Broadie said.

Principal Tania Horton said the move is aimed at getting kids to focus on their schoolwork. Last year, 92 percent of eighth-graders passed. Currently, more than half the class is failing.

"When we go from having one or two students in each eighth-grade class last year not passing to the majority of the class not passing, that's scary," Horton said.

"They [students] have other agendas. They come in with other things than learning being a top priority, which is our top priority, which means we have a conflict right there," teacher Rosemary Singleton said. "They're not about what we're about. We want everybody to be on the same page."

Students are not thrilled with the idea, but they are dealing with it.

When asked if the new policy was unfair, student Brittany Shealy said, "A little bit, but some people deserved it. She can't just punish some and not the others. We deserve it, I guess."

"It's helping us get on task and stuff," student De'Andre Roberson said.

The school sent letters home explaining the situation to parents, including the fact that students do have lunch. The school provides a bag lunch in the classrooms.

The superintendent also supports the idea. With just nine weeks left in the school year and end-of-grade testing coming up, teachers said they cannot afford to ignore the problems.