Days in ISS drag, students say

By Alfredo Rodriguez

Have you ever wondered what it’s like in ISS? You don’t want to know because the in-school suspension building is a sorry excuse for a portable. Portable 303 is small, three of the six student computers aren’t working, it’s often cold, hot, or stuffy, and a couple of holes have been knocked into a wall.

There are no windows to look out of — this room was once a bathroom, a staff member says. Everything — walls, floor, ceiling — is beige. Sitting here feels like being in a cave.

“It’s boring, and it’s dumb,” says a seventh-grader who was in ISS last month.

Custodians have painted over the male anatomy that some kid drew on the inside of a closet door, but you can still make out a faint outline. After someone dumped two gallons of glue onto the closet floor several months ago, the staff worked hard to clean up the mess, and it keeps the portable in excellent shape, custodian Miguel Chang says. It’s probably one of the best-maintained classrooms at Okeeheelee, he says — it’s just old.

On Dec. 9, four kids are here — one girl, three boys. They say they got in trouble for cursing, failing to show up for Saturday school for a dress-code violation, and, in one case, for throwing a desk and cursing.

The kids here do nothing but work. If you don’t have any assignments from a teacher, you
either do Reading Plus or work that the supervisor, Le’Chaundra Portee, gives you. She’ll
make you do definitions in a civics or science book.

Some kids learn to not get in trouble because they don’t want to be here anymore. There are kids who don’t want to be in class, so they get ISS.  But I get why people don’t want to return. This is a bad place — boring, dingy, and not worth getting in trouble for. From experience, I don’t like this place.

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