Wicomico School Officials Address Student Conduct

SALISBURY – School system officials highlighted efforts this week to address concerns regarding student conduct at a Wicomico County middle school.

Superintendent of Schools Donna Hanlin released a statement on school safety this week after recent media coverage and comments on social media highlighted parents’ concerns regarding student conduct at Salisbury Middle School.

“Wicomico County Public Schools is working with administrators and staff at Salisbury Middle School to address the recent concerns about student conduct, and we are taking these concerns very seriously,” the statement reads.

In a message sent to families and school staff on Monday, Salisbury Middle School Principal Kris Gosnell noted an increase in student fights over the past two weeks.

“Please know that we take the safety and security of our students very seriously,” she said. “These situations have been dealt with immediately and we continue to strive to improve the climate for all students. Many of our routines have been reviewed and adjusted to minimize disruptions.”

Gosnell said students who engaged in fighting have and will receive maximum penalties, and that their behavior would not be tolerated.

“We are prepared to continue to make adjustments as needed to ensure that our students are able to come to school and learn in a positive and productive environment,” she said.

Hanlin said central office staff and additional school resource officers are on site to assist the school’s administrative team. She also highlighted the school system’s support for Gosnell and her disciplinary measures.

“As I indicated, we take this responsibility for student safety very seriously,” the statement reads. “However, it is very important to also emphasize that these issues cannot be solved by the school system alone. In many cases the issues that students bring to school are community issues. Parents and school administrators and staff must work together to find productive solutions, especially when issues originate in the community or on social media.”

Hanlin encouraged parents to talk to their children about what they see, read or hear in school and to report any concerns to school staff. She also noted that Gosnell is planning a parent meeting for the school community.

Hanlin said parents and students wishing to report their concerns without calling the school should can contact the Maryland Safe Schools hotline at 833-MD-B-SAFE. Every anonymous tip and report is investigated.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.