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.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

When Frustration Boils Over Regarding School Safety

A frustrated parent attended last night's board meeting, and he gave the board and superintendent an ear full!  His issues--incompetence in record-keeping, ineffective administrators, ineffective teachers, and most importantly---violence and bullying in school and a lackluster response to these incidents of violence.

Watch his speech to the board at minute 5:32 of the public forum part of this video.

His son has been the victim of bullying, as has his nephew.  Both students were recently assaulted at the same school.

His nephew had his nose broken in an assault, and his son was punched and kicked in a classroom in front of all his peers--bruising his ribs badly.

This parent is more than frustrated.

After the meeting, in a private meeting between this parent, law enforcement, district administrators, myself, and superintendent Thomas, the  conversation continued.

"There is a disconnect between you all and what is going on in those classrooms.  I want you to do your jobs and keep these students safe." His anger and frustration was evident, yet he kept his

 composure as he discussed his dissatisfaction with the way his son's situation had been handled by school based administrators.

"The bullying and violence that is happening in this school is going to lead to something bad, very bad happening if one of these students snaps!"  said the parent.  He continued, "I am teaching my son how to defend himself, and trust me I spent a career in the military and I know how to do this and I know how to teach my son how to defend himself!"

He expressed frustration with the school's policy (mandated by Federal Law) that does not allow the parents of the victims of bullying or assault to know the punishment meted out to the attacker.

"This makes no sense" he said.  "If I file a police report, which I can do, I will get all the information on the attacker and what his punishment is, what he will be charged with!"

"Do I really have to press charges to know that these incidents are going to be handled appropriately in Escambia County Schools?" he asked, the exasperation evident in his voice and via his animated body language.

As I said previously, multiple times on this blog, we must remove violent predators from the general population for the safety of students who are serious about their education. Whatever it takes.  We can and should massively expand Camelot, and fill it with the violent, aggressive, abusive predators that are common in several of our middle and high schools.

If we continue to use pacifist, vanilla punishments accompanied by appeasement and looking the other way combined with the  minimizing and downplaying of assaults on campus---this is a path to failure.

Our enrollments will continue to decline, our teachers will continue to churn out of the schools where these violent students are thriving, and innocent students will continue to be victimized no matter what proclamations we read at meetings and no matter what rules are on the books.

The concerns this parent expressed are not uncommon, sadly, in our district.  We have some students that are violent and our approach toward them is not working.

If we don't really take this seriously and address it, parents will circumvent the school's protocols and start independently pressing charges against these violent attackers to ensure appropriate punishment and/or justice is administered.

And nobody with a brain will blame them for doing this.

Right now, parents like the one who attended our meeting last night have lost confidence in us.

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