Lack of Tiger Pride room brings students into support staff’s offices


Maya Edmonds

Pictured above is Kary Kuenzli Assistant Educator (AE) for 10th graders at South High talking to a student in her office located on the third floor. “It’s basically doing security…just clearing the hallways and making sure kids are getting to class,’ said Kuenzli about her job Photo: Maya Edmonds

Maya Edmonds, Staff Writer

The old Tiger Pride room at South High School is gone as of last year. Due to budget cuts we no longer have a room designated for disciplining students.
The Tiger Pride Room was a room where students would be sent by their teachers if they were misbehaving in class or were taken there if they were found skipping class and roaming the hallways.
“The Pride room was for students that received referrals and got placed out of class for various reasons,” said Terrence Roberts, Dean Security Monitor. “They might have been disrupting the class, they may have gotten into an altercation with another student and they can’t coexist in that class together, so we utilized the Pride Room to have them reflect on their behavior.”
When a student was sent to the Pride Room they were sent with any school projects and homework that they might have and were helped one on one by a designated staff member placed in the Tiger Pride room.
“We collect homework, we collect any class projects so when the student is out of the classroom they are not sitting there missing class work and getting an F, we are actually helping them with their homework because, we have a staff [member] that’s in there, kind of a one on one person in there helping them with their homework,” said Roberts.
The Tiger Pride room being gone is hard for some of the deans and security guards because there is no longer a designated space where students can be brought for an in-school suspension or just a place where students can reflect.
“[The Tiger Pride room being gone] is affecting me,” said Roberts. “If there is an incident where I’m dealing with a student as a dean and there is not a space that I can place my student besides my office it gets to be kind of a drag, where with the Pride Room we could actually place a student there and kind of figure out what is going on and what the altercation is about…. I would love to see it back.”
Now that the Tiger Pride Room is gone the replacement is having one or more student deans or Associate Educators (AE) for each grade on each floor to help with academic support and behavioral issues. Kary Kuenzli helps with 10th grade. Her office is located on the third floor in room 336.
“Their thought with having me up here is that if a situation happens up on the third floor it’s easier to bring students here to my office instead of having them walk all the way down to the first floor, where most of the support staff’s offices are located,” said Kuenzli
At first administration had to get rid of the Tiger Pride room because of budget cuts last year. However after a while they decided they would keep the Tiger Pride room cut and instead replace it with deans and AEs. The administration wanted students to be in the classroom with their class instead of in the Tiger Pride room.
“Initially we talked about cutting due to budget cuts and trying to find ways of working within the budget that we were given so that we could still have teachers, said Macy Ashby, a history teacher at South High. “There was also a discussion about taking away the Tiger Pride room because it is important that students are in class and if you just kick a kid out they are missing out on all of the other things that are happening in that class.”
Now with the AEs on every floor they can help students get back to class quicker so they don’t miss anything that would be happening in class.
“Each floor we have a dean or AE person that is there who is trying to work with students so they can stay in this classroom or she can take them out for a walk around the floor or take them over to her office for a few minutes and then bring them back to class,” said Ashby
“I think it is an ongoing challenge… I still agree that it is best to have kids in the class but if you have students that are still epically disrupting class sometimes you just need to have kids out,” continued Ashby. “If there is no where to send them than where do you send them…it needs to be paired with trying to encourage kids to engage in class and finding ways to collaborate between teachers and students to make class something that they want to be doing.”