Baltimore County schools have exhibited an almost total inability to discipline students for years (“Bullying incidents on the rise in Baltimore County schools — renewing debate about zero-tolerance discipline,” Oct. 30). I taught in BCPS from 1998 to 2009, and too many people, parents included, are too busy keeping their heads in the sand to notice.
Even prior to the 2014 zero-tolerance rollback, discipline was pushed aside in order to "make the numbers look good." Parents and politicians should go visit some Baltimore County Schools and watch some classes from the hall (no warning, no prep, and don't pick the nicest school; just sign in and see what actually goes on).
Before I left in 2009 it was tolerated by the school system for students to shout at teachers, disrupt classes, swear and hand in virtually no schoolwork. Students were not disciplined, and students were passed on grade level to grade level despite major behavior issues and despite learning virtually nothing.
Do we want our students to learn and become productive members of society? Or do we want the numbers to "look good" and to doom more generations to failure in the real world? I am just glad to see parents calling for tougher discipline. Training teachers more is not going to help when students are allowed to be out of control in the classroom. A system-wide policy of actually maintaining discipline, accepting that the numbers will not look good and holding back children who fail will not only massively improve the learning environment, but will create a better future for the children.
Eric S. Hanson, Westminster