Education

Why bad behavior in Horry County Schools is going down while enrollment is up

The multipurpose room at Ten Oaks Middle School in the Carolina Forest community on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017.
The multipurpose room at Ten Oaks Middle School in the Carolina Forest community on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017. jblackmon@thesunnews.com

More students, more problems?

Not in Horry County.

While enrollment across the district grew by almost 2,000 students between the 2015-16 school year and last year to 44,361, the number of behavioral issues has gone down across all school levels from 71,672 incidents to 58,109.

Those incidents include everything from fights, bullying and profanity to tobacco or tardies.

“I think a lot of it is what we’ve done to be proactive with students,” said Chief Officer of Student Services Velna Allen, adding that the district was taking steps to make students value the school as a place they want to be.

In addition, expulsions have gone down as well, from 137 in the 2015-16 school year to 106 in the 2017-18 year.

“We want our number of infractions to go down every year,” Allen said. “It’s making students aware and getting them to buy in to our schools, to realize this is your school and we want you to be here, treating each other with respect.”

Elementary school, middle school and high school levels have all seen an increase in enrollment the past two years while misbehavior has decreased at each level.

At the elementary level, incidents have decreased from 12,797 to 11,055. At the middle school level, they’ve declined from 14,810 to 11,578 and in high school, the numbers have gone from 44,065 in the 2015-16 school year to 35,476 last year.

“We spend a lot of time and energy on resources to help kids learn to respect people of other cultures, other races, so I really thinks it’s being more proactive,” Allen said. “We are not encouraging administrators to be more lenient, we’re encouraging them to address every infraction but we’re also encouraging them to do some things up front before infractions occur.”

Interim Chair Neil James liked the results.

“The numbers speak for themselves,” James told Allen. “Thank you for all your hard work.”

Christian Boschult, 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian

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