Bridge Boys: Group tackles high minority student suspension rates

Department of Education numbers show minority students are being suspended at high numbers here in the Hoosier state. One South Bend schools leader is looking to stop that in our area.

Mike Boyd is the coordinator of Bridge Boys at Dickinson Intermediate school. The focus is to encourage minority students to stay in school and have greater focus on the road in front of them.

Boyd has done social work for about 10 years and started this program back in March. He works with parents and students to help keep them on track.

Students who have been suspended or face suspension take part in a two tier system.

The first tier is an after school program with tutoring. Each student is required to do give back hours to get more involved in community service.

The second tier of the program is during school focusing on retention and personal responsibility.

Boyd says the focus of the Bridge Boys program is not to scold students, but rather to uplift them and tackle what he feels is the root of the problem.

"It's about re-imaging," said Mike Boyd. "When a kid feels as if they are considered a bad kid by society's standards or what people say we focus on re-imaging and re-channeling some of that emotion."

Boyd says the program has made great strides since March, and all of the students in it are on track for success.

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