Documentary on Alternative High School to Screen in Kalispell

By Dillon Tabish

Montana SOARS, an organization that seeks to end stigmas associated with mental illness and provide better access to community services, will be hosting an upcoming screening at Flathead Valley Community College of the educational documentary Paper Tigers.

The film will screen Wednesday, Feb. 10 in the Arts & Technology building on campus. The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. with the film beginning at 6:15 p.m. The general public is welcome and the showing is free.

Paper Tigers follows a year in the life of an alternative high school that has radically changed its approach to disciplining its students while becoming a promising model for breaking the cycles of poverty, violence, and a disease that affects families.

Jim Sporleder, principal of a high school riddled with violence, drugs and truancy, landed on a plan from an educational conference he attended in 2010. Three years later, the number of fights at Lincoln Alternative High School had gone down by 75 percent and the graduation rate had increased five-fold. Paper Tigers is the story of how his school made such dramatic progress.

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