As we predicted, the Obama regime’s anti-suspension policy is backfiring. Los Angeles teachers complain unsuspended violent kids are intimidating them and effectively ruling their classrooms.
In 2011, the Education Department accused the Los Angeles Unified School District of discriminating against black boys, who were suspended for bad behavior at a disproportionate rate. The agency ordered it to reduce suspensions in the hopes that unruly minority students would stay in school and graduate.
“The district shall develop and implement a comprehensive plan to eliminate the disproportionality in the discipline imposed on African-American students,” the five-page decree says. The superintendent agreed to “modify its policies, procedures and practices.”
Last year, Los Angeles schools became the first in the state to ban “willful defiance” as grounds for suspension. As a result, their overall suspension rate dropped to 1.5% from 8% in 2008.
Instead of being kicked out of school or suffering other serious punishment, even repeat offenders get “restorative justice” therapy.
They can negotiate the consequences for their bad behavior, which usually involves “dialogue sessions,” in which teachers join unruly kids in “talking circles” to foster greater “cultural understanding.” Talk invariably turns to racism and “white bias.” Teachers are trained to make sure black kids “feel respected.”
The leftist group that has trained more than 2,000 LAUSD teachers and “restorative justice coordinators” says the program combats bias that contributes to disproportionate discipline.
Of course, it also provides rowdy minorities an excuse for continued bad behavior.
Indeed, the policy has only increased classroom disruptions and threats against students and teachers, just as we predicted in a January piece, “Anti-Discipline Push May Threaten Students.”
While suspensions may be down at LAUSD, student violence and misconduct are not. Offenders just aren’t being sent home at the same rate they were before the federal order. And they’re getting younger and bolder.
“Last week I was terrified and bullied by a fourth-grade student,” a teacher at an urban L.A. school said. “The black student told me to ‘back off, bitch.’ I told him to go to the office and he said, ‘No, bitch, and you and no one can make me.’”
Complained another LAUSD teacher:
“We now have a restorative justice counselor, but we still have the same problems. Kids aren’t even suspended for fights or drugs.”
Even threats against teachers are ignored, as administrators’ hands are tied by the new policy. Knowing there won’t be consequences, thugs can control the classroom, disrupting lessons for other kids, including minorities, who want to learn.
“Due to this ridiculous policy, this year at my high school we saw a far higher number of students acting as if they were running the campus and acting as they were on the same level as the teacher,” said a teacher at at a high school in the LAUSD.
Attorney General Eric Holder, who has joined the crackdown on schools that contribute to a “school-to-prison pipeline,” claims black students are suspended for minor infractions, such as “laughing in class.”
But federal data show most suspensions of black boys are for causing, attempting or threatening injury. Baltimore City Public Schools, for example, reported almost 4,000 student assaults on faculty and staff from 2008 to 2012. Classroom violence doubled in the past two years.
A recent survey of 3,000 K-12 teachers by the American Psychological Association found that 80% said they were victimized at school at least once in the current or prior school year.
Violence is still a problem in Oakland, Calif., schools after officials substituted counseling for suspensions on similar orders from the Obama administration.
If you think Obama is a lame duck and that his executive actions are meaningless, think again. His policies have dangerous consequences.
This is the Federal Government gone out of control! Obama has taken this country down the toilet in so many ways I am just sickened…unbelievable!
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