PRIDE Period’s Suspension Causes Backlash from Students and Teachers

Khadija Naeem and Shaun Hoffmann, Staff Writers

  Old Mill High School’s PRIDE Period is a 45 minute period that occurs after first period Tuesday through Friday. Students can redo work, fix up their grades, or have free time in the gym, weight room, or library. The week before winter break PRIDE Period was suspended for two days due to events that occurred. Students, parents, and staff had different opinions on the suspension of PRIDE. 

  We interviewed Mr. Edwards, the assistant principal, other staff members, and 10 students varying in grades. All information was collected in the past three weeks. We first asked students about their opinions on PRIDE Period and polled students on whether the suspension of PRIDE was fair or unfair. We interviewed Mr. Edwards on the history of PRIDE and his opinions on this period. 

  Students were asked if the recent suspension of PRIDE was fair or unfair, 10.3% of them agreed thaPRIDE’s suspension was fair, and 89.6% did not think the suspension of PRIDE was fair. 

  PRIDE Period was brought to Old Mill by former principal Mr. Todd (current principal of Broadneck High School)  in 2012. This period was inspired by other schools in Anne Arundel County, and only two schools in the county do not have a period similar to PRIDE. Originally PRIDE was two blocks of 30 minutes, red block and blue block. One block students would use for lunch, and the other would be used for work to be done or for free time. PRIDE Period’s name was inspired by the PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support) initiative and stands for Productive, Respectful, Involved, Determined, and Empowered. PRIDE has now changed to be a single 45 minute period.

  There has been previous suspensions of PRIDE Period, and the most recent one was the week before winter break, December 18-20th. PRIDE can only be suspended by the principal, Ms. Smith. This particular suspension was due to the behavior of students. There was a controversy about this suspension by students, parents, and staff which caused backlash. Many students found it unfair that PRIDE was taken away for three days because they were not the cause of the behavior. 

  “A lot of the kids who were actually involved in the physical altercation were suspended and weren’t even here while PRIDE was suspended,” said Mr Edwards. “But there were so many kids that kinda ran to watch the fights and didn’t follow the directions.” 

  Many students enjoy PRIDE Period because it helps their grades and gives them free time to hang out with their friends. Staff has mixed opinions on PRIDE, most teachers like it but some staff do not like it because of the extra hallway time that makes them have to monitor the halls to see if students are going to their chosen locations. PRIDE has helped improve students’ grades. 

  “I don’t have a lot of time after school to get my work done,” said freshman Mikayla Carrol. “So I have to resort to PRIDE Period at school to get everything done.” 

  PRIDE Period is an important part of Old Mill High School and benefits many students. The three day suspension caused backlash, but if behavior is corrected then PRIDE hopefully won’t be suspended again.