Watts calls on legislature to allocate funding to address school discipline

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The leader of a faith-based non-profit organization and Charleston church says he wants Gov. Jim Justice to call lawmakers in for a special session to address issues of discipline in West Virginia schools.

Rev. Matthew Watts, pastor at Grace Bible Church and leader of the Hope Community Development Corporation, told MetroNews Thursday significant steps need to be taken in order to prevent more students from being punished for bad behavior.

“It is unrecognized, it is unaddressed, and it is not fully understood. In my opinion, it is the most significant unaddressed issue in the state of West Virginia and nationally,” Watts said.

Watts’ remarks came after the state Department of Education on Wednesday released new data regarding discipline incidents including the number of in-school and out-of-school suspensions among K-12 students in 2022.