Re “Brown is urged to limit school suspensions,” Aug. 19
Could we please insist that the people who want to remake school rules (and curriculum) spend some time in classrooms — and not walk-throughs, real time? Good intentions don't ensure good policy.
Civil rights leaders and Assemblyman Roger Dickinson (D-Sacramento) think a state law banning expulsions and limiting suspensions for defiance is needed to protect some minority students.
No doubt something needs to be done about the number of these kids among those punished. However, to remove the penalty for defiance is to remove the last tool for enforcement. Once a student has defied a teacher and gotten away with it, the teacher has lost control of the class. Authority over students and discipline are necessary if the class is to function and they are to learn.
Lack of class control is surely a factor in the high percentage of new teachers who leave the profession in their first few years.
Those who argue against suspension for defiance want to prevent children from being “locked out of school.” But we also need to be concerned for the majority locked into classrooms in which little is learned because of the misbehavior of a few.
I found this article interesting, especially after an article earlier in the week about a student who is finding it difficult to adjust to top-level college competition. Maybe those students would have a better chance if their teachers' time weren't being taken up by those who have no interest in education and will only go to college if we continue the dumbing down of higher education.
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