Students on brink of failure learn ways of rescue Class clown gets serious about study, turns in high marks

March 16, 1992|By Monica Norton | Monica Norton,Staff Writer

Larry Brown enjoyed being the class clown.

"To be honest with you, it was kind of fun," Larry recalls. "Sometimes the class would be quiet and I would just say something.

"But I never thought I would get in any serious trouble. I never thought I would get put out," Larry adds.

Two years ago, Larry's antics resulted in his suspension from Bates Middle School in Annapolis. But he was allowed to re-enter the eighth grade at Adams Park Learning Center.

The learning center was created for middle school students who have been suspended from other Anne Arundel County schools and are one step from expulsion. And, by all accounts, Larry has become one of the center's success stories.

Shy and humble, Larry, 15, casually mentions that he was inducted this year into the National Honor Society, an organization that requires a 3.45 grade point average -- B plus. Larry now attends Annapolis High School, where he has earned an A minus average over two semesters.

He also plays football, basketball and baseball for his high school -- and his attitude has undergone a big change.

"I always knew I could do the work," Larry says, adding: "I just didn't do it. It was a matter of getting my priorities straight."

The learning center helped Larry get his "priorities straight."

"There wasn't anything else to do," he says. "Everywhere you looked, there was a teacher. You were in a class with three or four other people. But it helped me because I didn't want to be there. I wanted to get out of there so bad."

Larry was allowed to leave the learning center halfway through his freshman year. He says his attitude now is much calmer and he has a clearer idea of what he wants from life.

"I want to go to college and learn a little more," he says. "I want to get a good job, study business, maybe somewhere in Virginia. I just want to get out of here and do something."

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