February 28, 2012
GULFPORT — A few weeks ago, Dr. Lowery, Assistant Principal of the Fundamental program, announced on the BCHS Morning Show that he was leaving the school to become head principal of Thurgood Marshall Fundamental Middle School, taking the place of Dr. Dallas Jackson. In Fundamental classes, many students responded with a simple, “What!?” He had been at the school with us for about six months and then he’s gone just like that.
“He was one of my favorite bosses ever and really pleasant to be around. He always had a smile on his face and was good with the kids and their families.” said Mrs. Randolph, guidance counselor for the Fundamental Program. Some of the challenges of being an overseer of a Fundamental program can include keeping track of the rules, appropriately dealing with violations, and monitoring dress code violations. Since Dr. Lowery’s leave, the program has gotten strict, teachers becoming more wary of what students wear and even going to lengths as measuring the distance between a girl’s knees and her skirt.
For those who are unaware of what the Fundamental program is about, it is a program that enforces professionalism with strict dress code, parental involvement by participating in meetings/conferences, and requiring teachers to assign at least two homework assignments a week. To ensure that students follow these rules, they have a system of ‘demerits’. Certain offenses give a different amount of demerits (ex. No homework = 2 demerits, no materials = 1 demerits, etc.) and these can tally up quickly.
The cap for the demerits is a total of ten in one individual class and upon reaching this cap, your parents are contacted by the Intervention & Appeals Committee or the IAC. You may also be sent to the IAC by receiving more than 2 referrals. There, the Committee acts as a court, addressing your reason for being there, delivering letters from your teachers based on your behavior, and giving you a chance to appeal your case. Then, after discussing while your outside of the room, they will make a verdict on whether to let you stay or leave. Automatic dismissal results in you leaving the program and going to your zone school while stripping your ability to apply to any other Fundamental/Magnet program. Allowing you to stay means you will be on a period of probation for a set amount of time and violating it will result in automatic dismissal.
Recently, we have met out new AP, Felicia Davis, who taught English before taking on the role of an assistant principal. Behavior since his leave has remained the same within the Fundamental Program. “We’re business as usual,” say Mrs. Randolph, “but we do miss him!”