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No consequences for student misbehavior leads to classroom turmoil

The latest education news out of New York City will shock no one except life-long educationists: Not suspending chronically misbehaving students results in disarray in the city’s classrooms.

It’s not uncommon for school and district officials to tout lowered suspension figures mainly for publicity purposes; however, ask those in the trenches (aka teachers) and they’ll tell you (off the record) a different story.

According to CBS New York, Big Apple schools have reported a 50-percent drop in student suspensions, but parents have been withdrawing their children and putting them in other, safer, schools … “even if they have to pay for private [education],” said State Senator Leroy Comrie.

Comrie says student flight is occurring in about 40-percent of his district, and lack of classroom discipline is to blame. “[Parents] don’t want to have to have their children in an environment where they’re assaulted and there’s no accountability,” he said.

The lawmaker added that chronically disruptive students “need to be separated from the school population.”

From the article:

Teamsters President Gregory Floyd, who represents school safety officers, agrees.

“There’s chaos in our schools and it’s going to get worse,” he said. “The children know they can get away with everything.”

Floyd says the softening of discipline began with a DeBlasio administration policy started several years ago that issued warning cards instead of criminal summonses.

“Parents should be outraged,” Floyd said. “They should be horrified and outraged.”

Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza says the drop in school suspensions is a good thing, because educators need to focus on keeping students in the classroom.

“What we don’t want is to put students on a school to prison pipeline,” Carranza said. “The minute you put a student into the criminal justice system you’ve started him on a path. We’re educators, we’re about preventing students from having that kind of a track record.”

The Trump administration not long ago ditched Barack Obama’s school discipline “guidelines” which held over schools the threat of intervention if their (racial) discipline numbers weren’t “correct.” As you’d expect, teachers and school-based administrators responded accordingly to the Obama rules, which meant more lenient “punishments” for misbehavior.

As a Trump White House staffer said, “One of the things [we were] concerned with what was the recurring narrative that teachers in the classroom or students in the hallways and on campus were afraid because individuals who had a history of anti-social, or in some instances, aggressive, trending toward violent behavior, were left unpunished or were left unchecked.”

Read the CBS New York story.

MORE: No, teachers are NOT racist b/c of disparate rates of racial discipline

MORE: Another big city school district burned by misguided discipline mandates

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About the Author
Associate Editor
Dave has been writing about education, politics, and entertainment for over 20 years, including a stint at the popular media bias site Newsbusters. He is a retired educator with over 25 years of service and is a member of the National Association of Scholars. Dave holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Delaware.