New rules implemented at Seminole Middle School after discipline issues last year

SEMINOLE, Fla. (WFLA) – After dozens of parents complained about the lack of discipline at Seminole Middle School last year, Pinellas County district leaders say the first day of the new school year was success.

Video of students pushing school employees and running wild in the hallways last year sparked concern from parents whose children go to the school.

“My kid deserves the right to go to class in a safe environment,” said one parent at a district meeting back in May.

Last year, numerous calls from the school had been made to the Pinellas Co. Sheriff’s Office for service.

In April, three students were arrested.

School administrators implemented new rules to help prevent future problems.

Pinellas Co. Schools released the following statement:

“Seminole Middle School values parental input and looks forward to working with parents to ensure a successful school year. All concerns about school safety and student discipline were listened to and addressed. Teachers and staff members at Seminole Middle School worked over the summer on a plan to address all aspects of student behavior. Parents and students learned about behavior expectations during two orientation sessions this week and expectations are being reviewed with students during the first two days of school.

  • With the support of teachers and staff, there will be increased supervision in all areas of the school.
  • Classroom behavior plans aligned to the schoolwide expectations were developed by teachers.
  • All parents are invited to join the PTSA, SAC or register to volunteer at the school.

Procedural changes:

  • Students may go to their lockers before school, before and after lunch, and after school.
  • Students will be escorted to lunch by teachers, sit with their class and follow cafeteria expectations.
  • Cell phones will be kept in lockers.
  • Teachers will walk the halls every period to reinforce the expectation to be to class on time.
  • Bullying and harassment reports will be swiftly addressed by an administrator and the SRO.”

Parents picking up their children from Seminole Middle Thursday said they’re optimistic about the new rules.

“I’m a very hopeful parent that they’ve made these decisions and we’re gonna see what happens,” said Andrea Cappelli.

“I think any problems that were in the past, we can put behind us and move forward,” said Eric Tellman.

But, some students feel the new rules are too strict and unfortunately, the good students have to suffer for the actions of others.

“I feel like they’re missing that there’s a really big majority of kids that are not doing it,” said student Patrick Cappelli. “So putting in new policies that oppress us and them, but not just target or find the people that have done something wrong.”

In another change, the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office no longer covers Seminole Middle School, instead school resource officers, provided by the district, will handle incidents on campus.

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