I am a KHS graduate and my kids are 3rd generation KISD students. I am deeply concerned about the direction in which our school district is headed. Discipline problems, teacher retention and low test scores are just a few issues that have given myself and many other parents cause for worry. I have been working as a substitute at KHS, KMS, and KIS which has given me a first hand look at what is going on in our schools.

As a sub, I have learned that not much happens when a teacher sends a kid to the office, the kid just comes back laughing. There is little respect for the teacher, and whatever consequences there are, the kid is willing to take. I know hands are tied to an extent due to state laws, but I think we can all agree that there have to be consequences that happen that will prevent bad behavior. What can be done to help teachers? What can be done to allow learning to take place without the distraction of discipline problems? This is a huge concern for parents.

While visiting with teachers, I have seen an atmosphere of discouragement on our campuses. Why are our teachers leaving? Do teachers feel supported in our schools? Do they feel like they can communicate with their administrators without repercussions and get an issue resolved? There are exit surveys in place for these teachers to tell their reasons for leaving. Who reads these? The principals? The superintendent? Do the board members get a copy of the survey? Not only are our teachers leaving, but there are many community members and teachers paying 1000+ in transfer fees to send their children out of the KISD district. Whether it is discipline, low test scores or even lack of programming, these issues must be resolved.

I love Kilgore! We want people paying to come to our district because it is the best around. We want to help to bring positive change to our district, and that begins by our School Board and Superintendent addressing these concerns instead of telling us everything is fine. Ask a teacher, ask a student, ask a parent. Everything is NOT fine.

Shannon Thompson

Kilgore News Herald

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