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Reward program has flaws that can be easily fixed

Caitlin McCombs, Editorial Editor

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PRIDE passes are supposed to be a reward for good behavior. But is the teaching staff handing them out for the wrong reasons?

PRIDE passes are supposed to focus on positive actions. But is that really what they are focusing on?
Shores personnel began giving out PRIDE passes five years ago. But have they improved positivity and behavior around our school yet?

The answers to the above questions are yes, no and no.

Media specialist Anne Brainard said 1,382 PRIDE passes were handed out last year during first trimester; however, there has been a drastic decline in the number of PRIDE passes being handed out during the first trimester this year as only 779 PRIDE passes were given out. Because of this decline, the PRIDE pass system needs to be improved.

First, teachers need to hand out PRIDE passes more often because the more they hand out, the more good behavior will be rewarded and students will be encouraged to behave better. I know teachers can get caught up with class and everything that is going on, but students need to remind teachers that handing out PRIDE passes and encouraging good behavior is just as important.

Secondly, teachers need to hand out more passes for the right reason – no more handing out PRIDE passes for attendance.For example, somebody may not show up to school for three days, and when they finally come to school, the teacher will give her a PRIDE pass for “attendance.” Teachers may think they are helping by encouraging this student to come to school, but it is only rewarding the bad behavior.

And good behavior is what needs to be rewarded. For instance, last week, my friend and I were in the library when psychology teacher Heather Hall walked by with a handful of things. She happened to drop something, and I decided to pick it up and hand it to her. Hall rewarded my good deed with a PRIDE pass which was well deserved.

And teachers are not the only ones who need to make PRIDE passes better. Many students don’t even feel like turning them in. I mean, sure there are drawings every week, and at the end-of-the-year Ride with PRIDE assembly, there are multiple names pulled to win things, such as a tablet or even a car. However, all of the drawings are just luck.

For example, a student who received 12 PRIDE passes for doing good deeds and a student who received one PRIDE pass for attendance are both entered into the same drawing at the end of the year, and the student with only one PRIDE pass could be chosen even though the other student was more deserving of a reward.

Instead of just randomly drawing the names, the school should divide up the PRIDE passes based on what they were handed out for. This way students who just received a PRIDE pass for attendance could be drawn for different prizes than the students who received PRIDE passes for engagement or personal responsibility.

PRIDE passes aren’t improving the schools’ atmosphere as they should. Shores personnel need to begin to hand them out at the right time and more often. By doing this, Shores will become a place of good behavior and create a healthier environment for both the students and the staff.

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