Northampton Supervisor on student behavior: “we have to take our heads out of the sand”

May 15, 2024
Northampton County

Longtime Northampton educator and Supervisor Oliver Bennett took time at Tuesday night’s Northampton Board of Supervisors meeting to discuss student behavior, which he said was the real reason many teachers were leaving.

“Poor discipline, profanity, disrespectfulness, these are the reasons teachers are leaving, not housing,” Bennett said. “20, 30 year teachers are leaving, and I can’t blame them.”

Bennett said he felt like we are failing our youth. While he understood times had changed, he still felt discipline was important.

“When the police stop you, they don’t ask you for your mouth and lip service, they ask for your license and registration… We are allowing too much with this younger generation. Sheriff Doughty, you are going to be busy, because discipline in school and in the community is rough.”

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He added he could never remember hearing so much profanity in all his years as an educator as he hears right now.

“We have to take our heads out of the sand and look at reality, it is what it is.”

He also discussed the upcoming school renovation, an $82 million project the County recently approved.

“I’ve had a lot of folks ask me ‘are you spending our money wisely?’ and I tell them I hope we are… but then I look on the other side and I say well, I don’t know. Do they need a new facility? Yes they do. But if you put me in a new house because I tore up the other one that you gave me, what makes you think I’m not going to tear up the new one?”

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Bennett concluded saying he wanted to bring this issue up in closed session, but was encouraged to say it openly, which he did, which was followed by applause of those in attendance.

Board Chair Betsy Mapp said she was sorry it was even necessary for Bennett’s comments, but it was necessary.

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