Instead of going to school or being sent home, Greenwood Community High School has some students serve their suspensions along local roads and in parks, picking up trash and pulling weeds.
The alternative suspension program requires students who skip Saturday school twice to spend a Wednesday at the Greenwood Community Center studying and doing community service. School officials say the program is a more severe consequence for the students, and in the past four years, fewer students have skipped Saturday school.
Across the county, local schools grapple with the question of how to best punish students and deter bad behavior. Annual reports show 690 suspensions for all high schools across the county for the 2010-11 school year.
At Whiteland Community High School, the school has started taking away cellphones or driving privileges when students skip or disturb other students in class. Now, officials are considering a new program in which students who have been suspended serve their time at school. Franklin Community High School used to have a similar program but got rid of if due to funding. Now officials want to look at restarting that program, too.