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Free screening of "Paper Tigers" followed by Q&A

Georgia Southern to host free screening of Paper Tigers followed by Q&A to discuss school discipline and students’ emotional learning

On Tuesday, Nov. 13, Georgia Southern University College of Education is screening Paper Tigers, an award winning documentary that follows a year in the life of six students in an alternative high school. The screening, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 6 p.m. in University Hall, room 156 on the Armstrong Campus of the University.

Called “absolutely riveting” and “profoundly important,” by the New York Times, Paper Tigers focuses on the alternative discipline strategies at Lincoln Alternative High School in Walla Walla, Washington. There, principal Jim Sporleder faces a school riddled with violence, drugs and truancy, and brings to his educators and students the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty, violence and disease that affect families all by utilizing an approach to discipline that includes understanding and treatment rather than judgement and suspension. In just three years, the approach reduced the number of fights at the school by 75% while graduation rates increased five-fold.

“As we are beginning to recognize the importance of social emotional learning, this film speaks to the necessity for schools to examine the way it approaches students' issues related to toxic stress and mental health,” said COE professor Regina Rahimi, Ed.D. “This film focuses on a school in Washington State, and its successful approach to supporting kids' success. It is an important reminder to teachers, parents, mental and health professionals, juvenile justice professionals and community leaders that we need to develop holistic approaches to supporting today's youth.”

Following the screening, the College will host a question and answer session featuring experts in the education, mental health and juvenile justice fields to discuss their take on the film and the status of school discipline. Panel members will include: Savannah Chatham Teacher of the Year, Kiwonda Riley; Debi McNeal, Principal of Richmond Hill High School; and K. Foard, program coordinator for the community intervention program Work Readiness Enrichment Program (WREP).

Rahimi says she hopes that students and professionals will come together for this screening to converse about how local and area schools can consider alternative approaches to student behavior.

“It’s important to start a discourse with stakeholders about the difference we can make right here in our local schools as well as educate our future teachers who we are training right now for challenges they will face in their very own classrooms,” she said. “Sharing insight from various perspectives--the classroom, the juvenile justice system, mental health counseling--can help to create a comprehensive dialog about what can and should be done.”

For more information about Paper Tigers, visit

Tuesday, November 13, 2018 at 6:00pm

University Hall (Armstrong Campus), Room 156
11935 Abercorn Street, Savannah, GA 31419


Armstrong Campus


College of Education




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