I am one member of a five person board. The opinions I express on this forum are mine only, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Escambia County Staff, Administrators, Employees, or anyone else associated with Escambia County Florida. I am interested in establishing this blog as a means of additional transparency to the public, outreach to the community, and information dissemination to all who choose to look. Feedback is welcome, but because public participation is equally encouraged, appropriate language and decorum is mandatory.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
Home to Prison Pipeline Part III
(NOTE-SOME VIDEO CLIPS LINKED BELOW ARE UNCENSORED AND CONTAIN VULGAR LANGUAGE, VIEWER DISCRETION STRONGLY ADVISED!)
The Idea of a "School to Prison Pipeline" should be properly called what it is, a "Home to Prison Pipeline"
Are teachers and school staff really the reason why so many students are on the so-called "School to Prison Pipeline?" As I've pointed out here and here, I don't believe so. Some students come to school looking for trouble and are not interested whatsoever in school--and often these same students attack fellow students, teachers, and staff. And when appropriate discipline is meted out, like in this horrific case from Mobile where two students attacked a teacher with brass knuckles, there are some who still cling to the naive belief that this is somehow the school's fault. It is absolutely ridiculous. Excellent writer Thomas Sowell captures much of the problem in today's well written piece from Town-Hall
Locally-we had a student in February that we did not expel, we simply shuffled him to another school, a charter school, after he had amassed more than 50 referrals! Disrespect, defiance, profanity, classroom disruptions, failure to follow directions, cussing at a teacher, calling the teacher a Mother- F%^&#@er, collecting a couple of arrests for shoplifting, and we still have him in school. Are we putting him on a pipeline to prison? Or are we overcompensating and bending over like circus contortionists to not do what we should have done with this student--EXPEL HIM! Bending over backwards for disruptive, abusive, and dangerous students does nobody any good whatsoever, and simply confirms the fears that many parents harbor as they pull their own kids out of our schools to shelter them from this abusive conduct and toxic environments like this. And then there are the teachers that we ask to take this abuse- it is not right, and they don't deserve it, and if we don't confront these issues with strong discipline-we won't have anybody willing to teach in some schools!
Everyone should read this expose that appeared in Townhall last October, it really sets the table on the issue nobody wants to talk about.
And then watch this video from Baltimore ABC 2 News and hear the tragic, heart-wrenching story of teacher Jeff Slattery and what happened to him.
And then look at this example from earlier this month in Santa Monica. A well respected wrestling coach discovered a student with drugs and a weapon, and the student attacked him. the coach subdued the student using wrestling, and the superintendent of the district attacked the coach's actions and suspended this employee. There was such a huge backlash to the scapegoating of this coach that even the liberal LA Times sided with the coach and rightfully excoriated this weakling superintendent of schools out there. (Coach Black has been reinstated)
Or, how about this teacher, simply trying to get a trouble student to leave class, and he gets attacked by the student, puched, and kicked. [ NOTE---I do not endorse nor do I agree with everything the presenter in this video espouses after the video clip, these are HIS opinions, not mine]
Now, if you have the stomach, watch this selection of various videos from around the internet of students misbehaving badly in class. Should school employees and other students have to tolerate this sort of behavior? No way!
The uncomfortable fact of the matter is that schools must not hide the problems by not disciplining students to lower report-able incident numbers and thereby sweeping this problem under the rug, as some feel Cincinnati, Ohio, and several districts in Georgia have done.
Are we doing this here locally? We've stopped reporting the incidents to the Board on the monthly meeting agenda, and at last month's meeting several board members "golf-clapped" when the superintendent announced there "were no student discipline issues to report on the agenda!" (that's because the thirty or so items that used to be called expulsions are now called "placement changes"-- and the board simply receives a list of these without the background info. But these are still serious infractions, drugs, fighting, violence. weapons.) I didn't clap because I know there were/are plenty of discipline issues--and many are going unpunished, or not punished severely enough--to appease certain folks who think we target minority students for discipline in a disparate manner, which is absolute, 100% complete garbage that is not true!
Strong consistent and colorblind discipline needs to be applied to keep students, teachers, and staff safe, and political correctness needs to be taken out of this mix, otherwise the public school system will implode.