Schoolhouse Beat

California school ends safety approach that required students to kneel

The Yucaipa Calimesa (Calif.) Unified School District has ended a policy that was being used at one elementary school that required students to kneel down before being dismissed to class. CBS Los Angeles says that the principal at Calimesa Elementary School in Yucaipa had instituted the policy, which called for students at various times of the school day to kneel down on one knee and wait for the principal or another administrator to dismiss them.

The district says the kneeling was an element of a safety approach being piloted at the school. It is called Positive Behavior Support.

"For a few days, school personnel at Calimesa Elementary School asked students to 'take a knee' when the bell rang," the district's web site says. "The purpose behind this practice was so that school personnel could quickly observe the entire playground. It was brought to the district’s attention that this practice concerned some of our families. The district responded to concerns regarding the program by no longer having students 'take a knee.' The intent of this program was not to upset families in any way or disrupt learning at the school. It was intended to improve safe conditions for every student that attends Calimesa Elementary School."

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