Saturday, February 11, 2012

Update on school discipline

I am long overdue on reporting the outcome of what happened with our
Adventist School in Bere. I have been spending a lot more time over at
the school in meetings trying to help this situation with the
discipline. I believe we have come to some conclusions that are
working. But the more I am over there the more I am finding that needs
to be fixed. And there are some new projects that we have been working
on that I want to report the success of.

My first meeting was with the vice principal of the 7th-10th grade
school, which they call college. The meeting went perfectly and we were
able to put together a plan of using detention as their new discipline.
The next day we presented it to the Principal and he accepted everything
and added a couple really good things too. I know that God was in
everything that happened with out a doubt. They were both so excepting
of the new rules and started implementing them the very next day. The
first day they had 42 students that had to stay for detention. The
second day 7 students and the third day, I am happy to report, zero.
Hallelujah! The kids hate detention. So it is working for the upper
grade school.

Now for the primary school things are a lot different. I found out that
the principal of the upper grade school is not over the principal of the
primary school at all. I have been under this impression for almost
three years. I was told that I would have to go and do all of this
again with him. Valery told me he would help me out since he can speak
English and he could translate but it would all have to come directly
from me. As we were discussing this the primary principal comes in so
we took that opportunity just to do it right then and get it done. We
told him everything that the upper grades are doing. He seemed to be
excited to get it going but the meeting was just not as thorough as it
was with the other principal. There were no notes taken. I had a
feeling this was not going to work. But he left saying that if it is
working for the upper grades then he was going to give it a try.

A few days later I stopped by the primary school to see how things were
going. The principal reported that he is doing detention only about
once every three days. I am thinking, what? That is not consistent
discipline. He does not want to commit to staying after school an extra
hour everyday to do detention and he can't find time during the day to
deal with all the problems. So now I am thinking that I am going to
have to find a way for us, as a mission, to support a salary to get a
supervisor to help with discipline just for the primary school. I
believe that it is too much for the principal to teach full time and be
the principal and take on all of the discipline for over 300 students.
This is such a big problem in this school that I think it is highly
important to do what we can to find a solution.

Tuesday this week I was walking past the primary school and I could hear
a noise. I wasn't quite sure what the noise was and was really
resisting to go and look in the windows. I knew if I did that everyone
would look at me and extra attention is something that we Americans try
to avoid. But something was almost pushing me that way and saying that
it is my duty to know what is going on in there. As I got closer I
looked in one window and could see a student standing up getting ready
to read. But I kept on hearing that same noise and I couldn't figure
out what it was. And than as I came up to the next window I could see
the female teacher furiously banging her book up against the head of a
small boy. I quickly turned the corner and walked right into the room
not giving one thought to the attention that I was getting ready to put
upon myself. I walked right in front of the teacher and firmly said,
"What are you doing? You know that you are not suppose to do this.
This is the school of God! Could you see Jesus doing this same thing to
this child? No! I don't think so!" I couldn't believe all these words
came out of my mouth in French. I made my point and grabbed the child
and took him over to the principal. Explained to him what happened and
he told me it wouldn't happen again and that he had talked to all of his
teachers already about no hitting the children in this school. I have
heard since this incident that this is still a daily thing happening in
the classroom. Please help pray for me that I will know what to do
next. How do I get this done here. I am thinking that the supervisor
over all the discipline would be my best bet right now. Someone fully
committed to take on the task. Prayers needed here!

Ok, now for some good stuff that is happening. One church in North
Aurora, Illinois has stepped forward and told us that they are
interested in helping the school with its needs. They have picked our
family and our projects to be their mission for this year. They
approved the project to put some tables in the primary school. There
are six classrooms and twelve tables needed in each room. We started
this project and have three of the rooms finished already. The children
love the desks and it is making such a difference for them. I wanted to
share a picture with everyone. I do want to say thank you to all of
the members of this church that is putting so much of their time and
money into the lives of the children here in Bere. I pray that God will
richly bless you all in your lives here as we get ready for the soon
coming of our Lord and Savior.

God bless all of you, in many different states, that are our support
system in every way! We love you and thank you!

We are 100% volunteers and your donations are deeply appreciated, as are
your prayers, both of which will contribute greatly to our mission.


Harrison Seventh-Day Adventist Church

PO BOX 969 Harrison, Tn. 37341