(10/21/2009)
The Calhoun Board of Education has scheduled another special meeting October 27th to consider four expulsions at Calhoun Middle-High School.

Sources have indicated the expulsions are linked to illegal drugs.

Earlier this month the board expelled a student "classified as dangerous."

Calhoun Middle-High School principal Karen Kirby said earlier this year, the school has been making consistent progress in preventing and handling problems.

Kirby acknowledged that several students have been expelled for drug related and aggressive behavior problems.

"There is mandatory expulsion with the possession of a controlled substance," Kirby said.

"It's important to remember that most students behave appropriately, and even the students who do have problems, they generally allow staff to reason with them," said Kirby.

Kirby said, "Compared to students in many urban schools, our problems, while serious at times, are minimal."

Discipline actions dropped from a high of 461 in 2006 to 308 in 2008.

The number of students exhibiting aggressive conduct dropped from 221 in 2006 to 137 in 2008.

Kirby indicated there has been a shift in drug usage from the menu of illegal drugs to the abuse of prescription and non-prescription medication.

While there is drug abuse happening within the school at times, the Pride Survey shows that abuse happens mostly at home or with friends during evenings and weekends.

Kirby, in a press release to the Herald and the Calhoun Chronicle, said "The recent published comments about weapons and sexual activity at the school are not accurate," referring to statements by Calhoun Sheriff Allen Parsons.

"During my tenure as an administrator at Calhoun County Middle/High, the police have not been called to the school for weapons possession, nor am I aware of student sexual misconduct in the hallways," she said.

Parsons, in a meeting with Calhoun commissioners advocating for the placement of a deputy at the school, recalled an incident shortly after 9-11 when a student with a gun was reported near the school grounds, saying "If we don't do something about this now, something really bad will happen."

The Calhoun Commission decided this week not to approve a grant for a deputy at the school because of budget concerns.

"The students of Calhoun Middle/High are truly above average in moral character and values, and reflect those of their parents, churches and the teachers with whom they have daily contact," Kirby said.

"Our parents and volunteers have witnessed the occasional problem we encounter dealing with 650 students daily. However, they are normal problems and not excessive or extreme," she concluded.


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