Chronic discipline problems, truancy and a negative school culture can all lead to poor student outcomes. In most schools, a minority of students disrupt the entire classroom, and teachers spend an average of 45 minutes per incident attempting to resolve an issue.
Located on the North Carolina border in eastern Tennessee, the rural Blount County school system has 20,000 students and four major high schools. The district is very socioeconomically diverse, and includes students living at the poverty level, some from wealthy households and many others in between. Tensions between these student populations can create a host of serious problems—including bullying, prescription drug abuse, and weapons possession.