I'm once again receiving significant support for the DESPERATE NEED of a restructuring of discipline enforcement locally in our schools. I've talked about it, blogged about it, and now appeared on TV locally. This is a focus that I will continue, do to tremendous, widespread support for the idea that I'm continuing to receive from stakeholders.
Some district leaders condescendingly, deridingly, attempt to marginalize my initiative on getting control of our discipline enforcement failures in the schools. I won't take it personally, I'll stay positive and I'll stay persistent. And I'll clear up the misconceptions they perpetuate about me.
I never give up on a kid in our schools who wants to learn and is not a predator and a chronic nightmare to everyone around him/her
No, It's not that "I don't understand the issue"
No, It's not that "I'm over-reacting"
and no, it's not me catering to "disgruntled outliers" Nope, it's none of this.
At a PTA function I attended yesterday,
a High School teacher that was present made it a point to come over to my table and shake my hand stating:
"You are right-on about discipline-thank you, and I have a lot of stories I could tell" (I'm going to be meeting with him soon)
Another stakeholder, a parent, came by my table, gave me a hug, and said:
"Good job on bringing up the discipline problems"
A former ALL STAR teacher that we lost to a neighbor county last year (in large part due to a deteriorating, dysfunctional discipline climate in one of our elementary schools) stated in a recent communication directed to me:
"I saw you on the news! praise God for the boldness in addressing this discipline problem!"
Another teacher wrote:
"Thank YOU, for continually speaking FOR teachers and issues that other members want to sweep under the carpet because they actually have NO IDEA what teachers go through on a daily basis............TRYING to teach students who want to learn, but constantly being disrupted by students with multiple referrals. Yes, you are correct, younger teachers do not want to speak up because they are no longer "tenured", so they endure things day in and out that should not be..........My heart aches for teacher friends I have in other schools who have to endure with NO SUPPORT. And these are ELEMENTARY schools!! I can't imagine what it's like in middle school and high school. Keep fighting the good fight!!"
Another teacher wrote:
"lack of discipline in the school district is a major reason teachers are leaving the system. Behavior is a big issue in the school district. I don't believe we are helping children when we are constantly allowing them to continue with negative behavior and no consequences are given to them for their negative behavior."
On the issue of the current leadership team's reaction to fixing this discipline issue, another teacher wrote:
"They live in a dream world of ideology and too long out of the mainstream. The truth is, solving the problem would be difficult at first, but zero tolerance would be quickly embraced by everyone involved. It is truly the answer. The taxpayer, the student, the parents of those who do what they are supposed to do!!!"
Another Parent wrote me about his concerns:
I wanted to take the time to say, Thank You, for your comments regarding the
need to begin the process of reclaiming a respectful standard of behavior
and compliance in Escambia County Schools and establishing a consequential
path to students continue an often As the father of a 7th grade XXXXXXXX at
XXXXXXXXXX and a XXXXXXXX in XXXXXXXXX grade at XXXXXXXXX,XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXs,
I sincerely believe the lack of definitive and escalating set of
consequences which students are savvy enough to be aware of lead to the lack
of courtesy, cooperation and at the very least, compliance with standards of
behavior. By the PNJ article on the 2-16-15, I am led to believe there is
not a limit to disciplinary events which force the parents or guardians to
act or be notified further non-compliance will result in expulsion. Tell me
this is not the case. I just had the unfortunate conversation with a good
friend whose son will be attending St. Paul's Catholic next year for 6th
grade because of the accounts of harassment, bullying, intimidation and lack
of consequences for offenders[in his district-ed school]. His outstanding son who simply was never
evaluated for XXXXXXXXXXX, wants to be able to experience the Workforce
Development department engineering robotics and energy courses and
participate in the new Technology Student Association club next year but
because he is not in the XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX will face the disturbing accounts of
behavior during transition, lunch, and in several cases, classroom
occurrences. These accounts widely discussed by everyone in the feeder
patterns of XXXXXXXXXX, XXXXXXXXX and XXXXXXXXXXX overshadow the
outstanding education and educators which exist at Workman Middle. To put a
relevance to this comment, my XXXXXXXX relays the weekly accounts of behavior ,
language, and conduct which seem oddly familiar with my experiences in
1979-80 as a 6th grader there. The difference being that we had to face dean
XXXXXXXXXXX in the XXXXXXXXXX office. He was fair but did not mess around.
I am concerned the school system will continue to lose outstanding families
to private and parochial schools until this school system makes the
difficult and possible unpopular decisions to reign in the purposeful
disruption of the academic environment and behavioral expectations
concerning the rights of students to attend an institution with realistic
expectations of respect and in harmony with education's primary functions
intellectual and personal development.
I am basing these comments and directing this commendation to you towards
your fellow board members and my family's board member, XXXXXXXXXXXXX,
from the PNJ article. I hope you and your fellow members find
these words encouraging and constructive. I look forward to hearing the
progress the Escambia County School Board makes in continuing this dialogue
to reach an equitable but effective set of policies regarding disciplinary