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School in Okla. City Suspends 6th-Graders (News Item of Interest to Teachers)




OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A public school suspended nearly all of its sixth-graders for class disruptions and a cafeteria ruckus this week, though many of the students were allowed to return after their parents met with school officials.

Sixteen of the 147 sixth-graders at F.D. Moon Academy were suspended Monday for class disruptions, and 120 students were suspended Wednesday after they picked up cafeteria tables, slammed them to the floor and talked back to faculty, school officials said.

Principal Elaine Ford estimated teachers spend 85 percent of their time reprimanding students and said test scores won't improve until disciplinary problems are resolved. The school, a magnet program for mass media communications and technology, is listed by the state as needing improvement because of low test scores.

"I wish you could be a fly on the wall because some of the time you'd be shocked at what your child is doing,'' Ford told parents at a meeting Wednesday.

About 125 of the suspended students returned to class Thursday, city schools spokeswoman Sherry Fair said. The suspended students will be required to do work at the school Saturday.

Jarona Knight, whose daughter was suspended, said after the meeting that she wasn't surprised by the students' behavior because some parents in the audience were yelling while school officials talked.

"If we don't get involved, I don't know who will,'' Knight said.
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