Are we pushing kids into the school-to-prison pipeline with suspensions?

Many schools maintain a push and pull approach to attendance. One one hand, school administrators make extensive efforts to push parents to get their children to class.

Yet, schools adhere to suspension policies that pull students out of their seats for minor infractions. In 2010, U.S. schools suspended more than 3 million students in kindergarten through 12th grade. And many of those students were minorities and children with disabilities, according to a new analysis of data from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

The review by the Civil Rights Project at the University of California, Los Angeles, found one in six African-American students was suspended from school, more than three times the rate of their white counterparts. Those findings are creating significant concern as school suspensions are linked to retention, lower graduation rates and funneling kids into what is known as the “school-to-prison pipeline.”

The analysis also found that more than 13 percent of students with disabilities were suspended, twice the rate of their non-disabled classmates. It also showed that one out of every four black children with disabilities was suspended at least once in 2009-2010.

The typical response is that black students misbehave more but the research refutes that contention. Instead, studies show that black students are punished more severely when they misbehave and for infractions that are often judgment calls — talking back or showing disrespect.

Students are increasingly suspended for nonviolent infractions such as truancy, dress code violations, inappropriate language, insubordination and disruptions.

“A driver in the increase in suspensions and expulsions has been the rise of zero-tolerance polices in the late 1980s and early ’90s,” said Russell Skiba of the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy at Indiana University on a conference call on the UCLA findings.

The UCLA analysis found disparate suspension rates across schools and among schools with similar demographics. “A number of districts in the same state don’t have high rates of the use of suspension and expulsion,” said Skiba. “The use of suspension and expulsion is, in fact, a choice.”

And it’s a bad one, said Tina Dove of the National Opportunity to Learn Campaign, an advocacy group supporting a moratorium on out-of-school school suspensions. Launched in late August, the “Solutions Not Suspension” campaign urges schools to adopt in-school disciplinary alternatives, especially for lesser infractions.

“As a former teacher, I know firsthand the negative impact of kids being out of school, out of their chairs on suspension,” Dove said in a telephone interview. “Every day, we are seeing more and more situations where children are sent out of school for random and capricious offenses. It is too severe — it is like imposing a life sentence for behaviors that are all too often a part of growing up.”

Dove understands her colleagues still in the classroom may disagree and tell her that the price of reduced suspensions is a higher tolerance of bad behaviors. And that leads to classes held hostage to troublemakers.

“This is by no means a call to ignore the elephant in the room,” said Dove. “There is no doubt that a disruptive child in the class makes the job of the teacher more difficult and makes it more difficult for the students trying to learn. But going to the opposite extreme — let’s just throw them out of the class — is also not good.”

UCLA study lead author Daniel J. Losen said some districts agree and are reducing suspension rates, citing the 84,000-student Baltimore City Schools, which, under CEO Andres Alonso, went from 26,000 suspensions in 2003-2004 to 10,000 six years later.

“We are turning the corner, but we haven’t fully turned it yet,” Losen said.

As a teacher, Dove said she came to realize that problem students often had problems. Perhaps, they couldn’t hear or see well enough to follow in class. They might be hungry. Mood swings in her high schools students often reflected personal or family struggles.

“Suspending them doesn’t solve any of these problems,” Dove said. “Let’s slow down. Let’s stop throwing them out. Let’s come together, teachers, administrators, parents, students and community, and devise a plan that works. We have already seen places that have done this. This is not poppycock. Working together, instead of working in isolation, creates alternatives so we can keep kids where we need them to be — in the classroom and learning.”

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

197 comments Add your comment

long time educator

September 11th, 2012
6:13 am

We need more alternative schools for every grade level, including elementary, for students who, at present, need a more structured learning environment than the regular classroom. It needs to be used more quickly, instead of suspension, with the option for the kid to earn his/her way back to the regular class with better behavior. There are always reasons why kids behave the way they do, but it does not justify allowing them to destroy the learning environment in the regular classroom. There are social reasons why most criminals end up in prison, but we do not let that stop up from separating them from regular society until their behavior is altered. The kids who can control their behavior will have an incentive to do so; the kids who cannot need to be educated in an alternative setting where they can do no harm. Since prison is so expensive, we should provide more social services to these kids before they become criminals.

mountain man

September 11th, 2012
6:35 am

If we do not enforce compliance with the rules in the classroom, how are we going to enforce compliance with laws outside the classroom. I don’t think we are PUSHING anyone anywhere, I think these students (and their parent) have decided for themselves that prison is where they are going. After all, they will tell you they don’t want an education. I just wish there was a way we could channel them into prison BEFORE they rob, rape , and kill.

Eddie G

September 11th, 2012
6:40 am

It’s always got to be about race, doesn’t it? ALWAYS. Let’s just overlook the behavior, and go directly to the pigmentation of the skin. Good God Almighty. I don’t care if they are black, white, brown, green, polka-dotted, pink, purple, or feathered. If they are not on task at school, if they are breaking rules and disrupting the learning process for other students, then put them out the door. Period. All of this “give them more chances and just hug them and love them more” crap is not working. They already get more chances than they deserve, regardless of color. Do the crime, do the time.

catlady

September 11th, 2012
6:58 am

Our system rarely suspends, even for pretty bad behavior. So instead the perpetrator gets to continue to mess up (technical term, I know) the education of countless others.

I agree, we need alternative placements for kids, all the way down to elementary.

Another HS Math Teacher

September 11th, 2012
7:01 am

Unacceptable behavior should not be rewarded by being overlooked. Students whose behaviors disrupt the classroom should be placed where they do not deny others their education.

Students who are not behavior problems should not be around them and teachers should not have to deal with them, because all the administrators do is dump most of them back on the teacher after hearing their parents vent. Put the focus on the student whose behavior needs to be changed.

Alternative school settings and genuine counseling is needed for these students with long-term behavior issues. Very few actually get this second chance that might turn their life around. How could this approach be any cheaper for the rest of us. As a taxpayer, I don’t see the point of wasting public money, when a more likely approach exists to showing disruptive students how to learn to fit into society.

Along with Eddie G, I think race is overplayed as an excuse and the “economically disadvantaged” label is also another card that has worn thin. Most disruptive behavior in schools occurs because it has in some way become rewarded or enabled by the larger social group.

Maude

September 11th, 2012
7:25 am

Get real! The kids that are so disruptive that noone can learn must go. It is not fair for kids who would like an education to have to put up with these disruptive kids! Teachers have no route to get rid of the trouble makers. If allowing 99% of the kids to get an education it is worth it to get rid of the disruptive kids. They will probaly end up in prison anyway.

Chris Murphy

September 11th, 2012
7:31 am

“The typical response is that black students misbehave more but the research refutes that contention.”

Yeah, OK, I’d like to see that research. (Reminds of the claim that black drug dealers are jailed more often and longer than white ones. Could that have something to do with the fact that white dealers tend to try to hide their activities, while black ones take over street corners, and whole neighborhoods, openly?)

Entitlement Society

September 11th, 2012
7:35 am

Really? Why do they always bring race into it? Anyway…. It simply is disruptive students. Teachers don’t want them intheir classrooms. Parents don’t want them there. Students don’t want them there. Ship them off to alternative school where they have a chance to turn their lives around or end up in prison. These kids are a huge part of why public education is such a wreck. The system is letting them get away with it. Get rid of these kids and maybe the teachers will have a shot at success again.

Mountain Man

September 11th, 2012
7:46 am

I have an idea! After three episodes of disruptive behavior in school, lt’s implant a RFID microchip in the perpetrator’s skull so we can track him/her later. Then after a crime is committed, we track those microchips to see if any were at the crime scene. Straight to jail! (of course, with our justice system, if they committed a home invasion, they would probably sentence them to one month… on probation!)

Mountain Man

September 11th, 2012
7:47 am

Let’s implant

Eddie Hall

September 11th, 2012
7:48 am

The sad truth is children are acting the way the are allowed to act at home. I would rather think the schools are showing the students early that behavior will induce a reaction. Bad behavior results in segregation from society. As a child that is a suspension as an adult, that is jail. Unfortunately just another example where schools are forced to play the role of parent.

Elizabeth

September 11th, 2012
7:53 am

Kids who are suspended on a regular basis are already on the” school to prison” pipeline. Anyone who believes anything else is deluded and has NO idea what is going on in our schools. The behavior does not begin in school; it comes from outside the school. I have been assaulted 3 times in the last 5 years by kids who have no boundaries and do not think they are subject to anyone’s rules or authority. I have been told countless times by student and parents that I “have no authority” over them or their children. We are already so constrained by parents , kids, and school boards that we have little disciplinary recourse.You don’t want to suspend them? Then what else can we do to remove this element so that the kids who want to learn can have the chance to do so? Give me a workable alternative and I will listen. Just keeping them in the regular school setting does not work and endangers not only the learning but also the safety of everyone else.Here’s my solution: If you want to keep them in school, send to an alternative school– a boarding school- that will work with them but keep them away from the general school population.If you take away our only way to control these criminal elements, then you lose me– and tens of thousands of teachers like me who will not work if their safety is compromised any further.But of course, this solution costs money– and we all know that money is the bottom line for our schools– not learning, not quality teachers, not providing support for all kids rather than just the problem kids who seem to have rights over all of us.This article is garbage but typical from those who have no conception of what our schools are like today.

John Konop

September 11th, 2012
7:54 am

This combined with drug laws is a major contributor to the increase in poor people. We need to treat mental and drug issues as a health problem not as criminals. Today a person has an mental health episode and or drug issue and instead of treating the problem we put them in jail, throw them out of school and they now have a criminal record. And this is especially hard on lower income people. Would you tell a person with a broken arm to suck it up and not treat the health issue? Would you punish the person for not being able to use their broken arm?

The Dixie Diarist

September 11th, 2012
7:59 am

Not quite the alumni magazine. For years I’ve bought a certain publication at the gas station up the street that contains fresh mug shots of those recently arrested. The tabloid-style newspaper is called “Just Busted.” I always wondered when I’d see a picture of someone I knew or, God forbid, of someone I was related to. The moment finally came, and it was a picture of a former student who was arrested for impersonating a police officer. I brought the Just Busted issue to school to show Lurlene, my principle. She said, without a pause, that years ago he should have been arrested for impersonating a student.

In another issue I spotted a picture of a mother of a former student. She used to come to conferences geeked up on prescription pills and wobble around in her chair and say things no one could understand, but we just kept on talking anyway so we could get it over with and get out of there. She was a good looking gal, real rich, too, who dressed in some mighty hot clothes for parent-teacher conferences. I was always legitimately fearful that one, or both, of her boobs were going to flop out of her blouse and knock over her enormous water bottle. She was arrested for destruction of public property.

http://www.adixiediary.com

Tayshon

September 11th, 2012
8:11 am

According to a new analysis of data from the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.
^
That sentence says it all. You don’t think they’re looking for something to justify their office.

catlady

September 11th, 2012
8:20 am

Someone might also cite that “broken windows” study, where it was observed that in areas where quality of life issues (broken windows, panhandlers) were addressed and eliminated, the SERIOUS crime rate also went down. I have thought for years that we should, at the very beginning of the school year, STRICTLY enforce all rules in a heavy-handed way, so that much is nipped in the bud, and the year won’t be spent with ever-escalating misbehavior.

Mortimer Collins

September 11th, 2012
8:31 am

“We” are not pushing kids into school to prison pipeline! The irresponsible, unqualified to cook french fries, non-caring parents are.

This being the case we are going to have a masssive increase in the prison population so school funding should be diverted to build bigger, more dreadful prisons.

red herring

September 11th, 2012
8:34 am

great post elizabeth… people who have not been assaulted by our youth of today have just missed out. too many people give advice that haven’t been in the position of being verbally and physically abused by these youths. Get them out of the classroom and in an alternative school or suspend them. The first time a student or parent informs a teacher “you don’t have any say so over my child” should be the last time that child is in that classroom. These children need to learn discipline and apparently they do not have any at home. If they aren’t gotten to at an early age they will probably never be. I think alternative school would be best for kids thru 12 y.o. after they become teens I think if they are “mild” disturbers perhaps alternative school but the real severe disturbers I say first time you’re out. If we haven’t gotten thru to them by their teens it is highly unlikely it will happen. Home is where this starts—I recall someone telling me once that their teen had been arrested for shooting someone at the mall and that he had been in trouble so many times before that she was just gonna “turn him over to god” because she couldn’t do anything with him. These type parents need counseling as well as the student.

the prof

September 11th, 2012
8:42 am

RFID isn’t the same as radio-tracking.

teacher&mom

September 11th, 2012
8:49 am

We need more alternative schools.

Here’s my experience with students who are placed in a strong alternative school program….the majority of students THRIVE in the controlled environment. In fact, many students who are returned to the main building will slowly escalated their behaviors so they can return to the alternative school.

Unfortunately my district’s alternative school is small and can only take a limited number of students. We also need an alternative school for the upper elementary grades.

If our legislature was sincere about improving education, they would fund and expand the alternative school program.

Have A Smile! ☺☻

September 11th, 2012
8:59 am

For years I’ve bought a certain publication at the gas station up the street that contains fresh mug shots of those recently arrested.

Why are you buying garbage like that? And I’ll kindly remind you that arrest does not guarantee guilt or conviction.

Not sure why some people like contributing to that kind of rag. That contributes nothing positive.

The Dixie Diarist

September 11th, 2012
9:10 am

RIGHT FROM THE OL’ CLASSROOM: Lawful Thinking at the Last Second

A popular question directed my way during chapter 28, State Government: The Judicial Branch, is always … Do you think I’ll ever have to go to prison?

That’s fair. It’s a real-world question to the real world information we’re learning in a chapter whose key words and phrases are plaintiff, defendant, criminal case, prosecution, felony, capital felony, misdemeanor, jury, superior court, trail jury, grand jury, indictment, and the word that gets them all hot and bothered the most: juveniles. Something about the word … juveniles … sets them off. That’s been quite a revelation, and makes me think that when they’re hanging out with each other over the weekends that they talk about how much they’re watched by their parents or the police and the delinquency of the kids they know down the street who’ve gotten in some serious trouble.

But it gets us talking and that’s good. It’s gets them talking about when their mother got pulled over for speeding … or when she went through that stop sign and got caught. But what scares me is that some of them wonder why people have to obey laws. They ask why they’re so oppressed and regulated and controlled?

Petal asks in a dark tone … Why are there laws in the first place?

I give them the simplest and most powerful and easiest-to-understand answer: in hopes of attempting to keep billions of people from killing each other.

In a tone of voice, as if she was defeated, Petal said … I guess you’re right.

http://www.adixiediary.com

williebkind

September 11th, 2012
9:23 am

You guys are too funny! You have too many problems and concerns. I suggest you see a psychiatrist and take a pill. Or build a school for each child with a different teacher for each subject.

Pride and Joy

September 11th, 2012
9:26 am

catlady makes a good point when she says “I have thought for years that we should, at the very beginning of the school year, STRICTLY enforce all rules in a heavy-handed way, so that much is nipped in the bud, and the year won’t be spent with ever-escalating misbehavior.”

Poster Mary Elizabeth said she takes a heavy approachin the beginning of the school year and sends kids to the office after having a come to jesus talk with the principal so that he will back her up. Then the rest of the year goes more smoothly.

I had a teacher I just loved. She made us, in the seventh grade, sit up straight in or chairs and at the ends of the school year, we had to turn our desks over and scrub them to perfection — and here was the kicker — she was impeccably dressed. Not garishly dressed as many APS teachers are in their Coach tennis shoes, hats and purses and designer watches — but classically dressed — no labels showing. Her appearance, her speech, her mannerisms were impeccable. She PRACTICED what she preached. She was a role model for all of us and I loved her for it. She was also a dang good science teacher.
If we expect kids to exhibit good behavior, we need teachers to do the same and show up on time, prepared, with good grammar and good manners.
Teachers and administrators need to practice what they preach.

Bobby

September 11th, 2012
9:32 am

I never understood the point of suspension. Almost like the kids were being rewarded. Instead, heavier use of Alternative School and/or After School Detension should be used.

claytondawg

September 11th, 2012
9:39 am

Seems to me that most of the responders are in agreement that alternative schools could help the disruptive students, along with keeping the teachers available to teach. Instead of blaming this group or that group, let’s deal with the real issue at hand: disruptive students who create a less than ideal learning environment in the classroom. Disruptive students should be removed quickly into an alternative situation. Now, both student and parents can shoose which path/direction to take in the student’s education. He can choose to improve himself/herself and eventually return to the normal classroom setting to continue his education; or, quite simply, get the GED on his own.

PatDowns

September 11th, 2012
9:58 am

“Every day, we are seeing more and more situations where children are sent out of school for random and capricious offenses…”

“There is no doubt that a disruptive child in the class makes the job of the teacher more difficult and makes it more difficult for the students trying to learn….”

Since when have belligerence, verbal abuse and even violence been deemed just “random and capricious” acts? Teachers are not trained, nor should they be trained, to handle out of control, disruptive students, PERIOD. They are in schools to teach. Get those students into alternative schools, quickly.

Quit wringing hands and making excuses – poverty, bad parenting, blah, blah, blah. These conditions have been around for YEARS. Our crazy, mixed up pervissive society has led to this epidemic. For G-d’s sake – its time for the system to actually take back the classrooms.

Two strikes (unless violence is involved) and off to alternative schools – no matter the age – run by professionals who are trained dealing with anti-social behaviors. If the students show improvement, then the next year they can go back to their home schools.

Not matter what, though, STOP making excuses for behaviors that hinder the schoolroom environment.

PatDowns

September 11th, 2012
10:00 am

pervissive = permissive

RCB

September 11th, 2012
10:00 am

Pretty soon we’ll have more alternative schools than regular schools if these trends continue.

Warrior Woman

September 11th, 2012
10:14 am

“Suspensions for minor infractions” is a falsehood. This report considers cursing teachers and classmates, sexual activity in the classroom, bullying, and assaults on classmates that do not result in serious harm to be minor infractions – all classed as disruptive behavior. The reality is that far too many students that should have been suspended, expelled, or sent to alternate school are left in classrooms to destoy the learning environment for everyone. Students that disrupt learning for the rest of the class need to be removed. The students trying to actually learn something should be the priority for both classroom attention and funding.

mystery poster

September 11th, 2012
10:29 am

Last year, the news reported on a school where EVERYONE who violated dress code the first week was suspended for a day. At the end of the year, those who stayed out of trouble had the suspension expunged. I thought this was a great idea. The students knew that the rules were enforced and if they said something, they were prepared to enforce it.

skipper

September 11th, 2012
10:46 am

The problem with all this is home-training. You cuss a teacher, and this sounds harsh to some, you oughta get your a$$ kicked like the old days. “You ain’t puttin’ yo hans on my chile” is now a mantra. Schools are expected to raise these kids, and it is not their job!

Same ole same ole

September 11th, 2012
10:51 am

One disruptive kid disrupts the education of all the other kids. Teachers can’t teach and deal with a trouble maker at the same time. However, I don’t think suspension is the answer. Send them to some other room where they have to sit and be quiet and read until they can behave. The only thing suspension does is guarantee they’re not going to get an education.

Mortimer Collins

September 11th, 2012
10:53 am

We can discuss, dissect, opine, wish, hope, pray, counsel, reward, suspend, expel, finance, study etc, until doomsday. However, until the responsble persons, PARENTS and “PARENTS” take charge of their offsprings behavior nothing will change.

The construction of more disgusting, nasty, smelly prisons should begin in earnest as we will never have a shortage of criminals or “criminals in waiting”.

AlreadySheared

September 11th, 2012
10:56 am

“The school-to-prison pipeline” – what a bunch of hooey. Try the “chaotic-undisciplined-impoverished-single-mother-home to prison pipeline”.

The most helpful/honest sentence in the above article is buried towards the end:
“Mood swings in her high schools students often reflected personal or family struggles.”

Higher school suspension rates are an symptom, not a cause.

MiltonMan

September 11th, 2012
10:59 am

So once again a liberal institution (education) wants to dictate yet another area where one should not be responsible for their actions.

mark

September 11th, 2012
11:01 am

Where will the money come from to fund these “alternative schools”? At last check, the state of GA was broke, teachers furlough or let go!! The student ratio is less than the 34:1 that is at most high schools. It cost twice as much to education at student at an alternative school. Although expensive, not as expensive as those for profit prison that charge $55/day or about 22,000/year.

catlady

September 11th, 2012
11:07 am

I think it would be very interesting to see what the study considers a “minor infraction.” Are you privy to this, Ms. Downey?

Once Again

September 11th, 2012
11:13 am

Government schools already ARE prisons. Why should we be at all surprised?

My approach

September 11th, 2012
11:15 am

I always begin a new school year off the same way. I tell my students that if they act like they don’t have rules, then I will act as though I have no rules. I let them know exactly what I make, which is next to nothing, nad explain to them if I’m pushed I will push back because I can make almost as much waiting tables or bartending. I then invite them to step up. No one ever has.

William Casey

September 11th, 2012
11:30 am

I suspended a lot of people when I was an administrator but it was never for “minor offenses.”

cobbmom

September 11th, 2012
11:40 am

I taught in a school system that had an in school suspension teacher in every school, including lower grades elementary. The crime rate was lower and the ISS classes didn’t have many students in them since every child and parent in the system knew it was there. When the behavior has concrete consequences in lower grade levels it lessens the problem in middle and high school. It wasn’t an option for parents to decline ISS, if they didn’t want their darling sent it wasn’t just an out of school suspension, it was a visit with the family court judge.

Jessica

September 11th, 2012
11:44 am

Assuming that kids go to prison later because they were suspended in school is a causal fallacy. Kids who break the rules and get suspended are more likely to become adults who break the law and end up behind bars. Bad parenting and poor choices are the root cause of both. You can’t blame schools for trying to enforce the rules and protect good kids from disruptive, dangerous ones.

Bernie

September 11th, 2012
11:47 am

The above article is filled with Truth and a honest reflection of our current Education system when it comes to discipline matters. The Two groups specifically, the Disabled and Students of Color as stated have always been treated more harshly and penalized with greater impunity when it comes to discipline. They are always viewed as LESS THAN. The frustration of such issues has also fueled and contributed to the RACE to establish Charter schools as an alternative instead of addressing the core problems, all of today’s educators are faced with. The solution is not an easy and simple one. Just as in resolving of any problem of a difficult nature. There is no quick fix and short cut. It will take time,patience, dedication and daily hands on work to get a better handle of its causes,as well as solutions from the Adults in the room.

Unfortunately, We as the Adults and community members do not have the patience,time and/or the dedication that is required so imminently. So go and build your Charter Schools and your many Prisons to be filled to capacity.

This will only delay the return of a problem that is hardened and years in the making. The next time the problem will return holding a GUN and demanding your valuables when you least expect. You will think then, Hey….. I remember You!

Sandi Eichler

September 11th, 2012
11:52 am

I couldn’t agree more that we suspend kids for the wrong reasons! Keeping kids out of school for truancy is not a punishment; it is exactly what most truant kids want!
I am a teacher, and I have a so-called “Gifted” son who has been suspended several times due to minor infractions, or bad behavior that is being reinforced by keeping him out. There has to be a better way, especially for those kids who are not behaving badly; they are simply not being completely compliant.

mountain man

September 11th, 2012
12:04 pm

“Today a person has an mental health episode and or drug issue and instead of treating the problem we put them in jail”

I am sorry – but a drug problem is NOT a health issue – it is a choice. No one MADE that person take drugs the first time – or smoke that first cigarette. They CHOSE to take that first hit. That is a lot different from a person who catches a virus or has cancer because of their genetic make-up.

In-school suspension is DUMB, giving the perp exactly what he/she wants. Instea, keep them in suspension AFTER school, and make the parents ressponsible for picking them up. Maybe then the parents would CARE.

We could avoid a lot of this straight-to-prison pipeline if girls didn’t get pregnant and have kids they cannot afford to take care of.

mountain man

September 11th, 2012
12:06 pm

“I think it would be very interesting to see what the study considers a “minor infraction.””

Probably assaulting the teacher.

Lexi

September 11th, 2012
12:08 pm

Rather weak to cite to a biased entity the “fact” that minority students don’t misbehave more than other students. Every honest educator I’ve ever spoken to about class decorum tells me your assertion that “[t]he typical response is that black students misbehave more but the research refutes that contention” is palpably false (though it reveals again your own preconceptions).

A new classmate of my childrens just moved to their private school as a high school junior. The kid’s father is a middle school teacher who told me he takes about 20% of each class period to explain to the same young innocents basic class decorum, time that cannot be devoted to teaching his core subject. Guess why he finally took the plunge to independent schooling? Who thinks “talking back” and “showing disrespect” helps foster learning?

I am skeptical of any assertion that kids are disciplined more now than a generation or two ago. Back then kids were suspended for cutting classes and talking back to teachers. Now days, the offenders get special attention for those behaviors, and sometimes severe scolding for physically assaulting teachers and administrators. Simply, there were no police officers patroling the halls of my integrated public high school, and that school did a good job of educating all who graduated. Coincidentally, no one excused or averted their eyes from bad behavior.

It’s also very likely that kids who engage in those behaviors are on trajectories straight to prison, and, there is no demonstrable cause-effect relation between suspending them and their realizing their destinies. There is a clear connection between their distracting behaviors and the deleterious effects on the educations of their classmates who are in school to get educated.

Janet

September 11th, 2012
12:09 pm

I would support the idea of a alternative school for repeat offenders. But I’m guessing we would then run into “separate but equal” education quality issues and ACLU would soon be involved.

mountain man

September 11th, 2012
12:11 pm

“Today a person has an mental health episode and or drug issue and instead of treating the problem we put them in jail”

You know, I don’t do drugs because I don’t want to get arrested and I don’t want to lose my job if I get tested. I don’t drink and drive because I CARE if I drive the wrong way and kill some innocent person (and maybe myself). People who do drugs are dangers to society (especially since most have to commit crimes to get the money to pay for drugs). They deserve to go to JAIL for a long period. And do hard labor while they are there. Maybe then when they get out they won’t want to get sent back.