In open letter, MPS Superintendent tells parents to "step it up"

MILWAUKEE -- While Milwaukee Public Schools is still lagging behind most of the state, student achievement within the district is growing at a steady rate. In an open letter to parents, Superintendent Gregory Thornton says his district needs more parental help when it comes to curbing bad behavior.

Superintendent Thornton wants to hold students accountable when they break the rules.

Brown Street Academy Principal Ava Morris told FOX6 News she couldn't agree more. Morris said she remembers when students were afraid to misbehave at school because of punishment coming from parents.

"We need that old school mentality where kids are afraid, because they know that we're working together toward seeing them be successful -- that we're not going to tolerate behavioral issues, and when they get home they get that same message," Morris said.

Principal Morris applauds parents like Shirley Goodman who volunteers at the school.

"I only have one, and it took me a long time to get a child, so I like being around him and participating the activities that he do," Goodman said.

In Superintendent Thornton's open letter he also outlined some of the things MPS is doing to curb bad student behavior, and tells parents to "step it up." 

Principal Moore says when parents are more involved, it's reflected in the students' attitudes.

"Sometimes our parents just come to the school to check on their children, and just to see the difference in their attitude -- they straighten up, they hold their heads a little higher. They know that 'my parent came out for parent-teacher conferences.' 'My parent came to check on me.' 'My parent called to check on how I was doing.' Just knowing that genuine concern is there makes a difference in the life of a child," Moore said.