The PJ Tatler

L.A. School District Bans Suspensions for 'Defiance' With Predictable Results

Most liberals are ignorant about a lot of things — history, economics, and language to name a few.

But it is an understanding of human nature for which liberals are most ignorant of all. How else do you explain the idiotic policy in the Los Angeles School District that now bans student suspensions for defiance?

L.A. Times:

In a South Los Angeles classroom, a boy hassles a girl. The teacher moves him to the back of the room, where he scowls, makes a paper airplane and repeatedly throws it against the wall. Two other boys wander around the class and then nearly come to blows.

“Don’t you talk about my sister,” one says to the other. The teacher steps between them.

When she tries to regain order, another boy tells her: “Screw you.”

It’s another day of disruption on this campus in the Los Angeles Unified School District, which has been nationally hailed by the White House and others for its leadership in promoting more progressive school-discipline policies. The nation’s second-largest school system was the first in California to ban suspensions for defiance and announced plans to roll out an alternative known as restorative justice, which seeks to resolve conflicts through talking circles and other methods to build trust.

The shift has brought dramatic changes: Suspensions districtwide plummeted to 0.55% last school year compared with 8% in 2007-08, and days lost to suspension also plunged, to 5,024 from 75,000 during that same period, according to the most recent data.

The district moved to ban suspensions amid national concern that they imperil academic achievement and disproportionately affect minorities, particularly African Americans.

But many teachers say their classrooms are reeling from unruly students who are escaping consequences for their actions.

They blame the district for failing to provide the staff and training needed to effectively shift to the new approach — and their complaints are backed up by L.A. schools Supt. Ramon Cortines. He said the new discipline policies, which were pushed through by the Board of Education and former Supt. John Deasy and which he supports, were poorly executed. He compared the implementation to the flawed effort to equip students and teachers with Apple tablets.

“I will compare it to the iPad,” Cortines said. “You cannot piecemeal this kind of thing and think it is going to have the impact that it should have. Don’t make a political statement and then don’t have the wherewithal to back it up.”

To paraphrase the Bard: “The fault, dear liberals, is not in the stars but in your nonsensical understanding of human nature.”

It’s so simple any child could explain it. Most young teens, especially boys, will test the limits of authority whenever they get the opportunity. This is not specific to blacks, or Americans, or urban, or rural, or any other sub group you can name. It is the universal human condition known as “adolescence.” And to actually ignore the fact that young people must be thunked over the head with a two by four (metaphorically speaking) to teach them that actions have consequences is balmy.

I would love to see a video of those “talking circles.” I’ll bet those disruptive kids partake in them with enthusiasm, right? What moronic nincompoop came up with the idea that these mini-thugs would respond to a lot of talk from people they don’t respect or care much about at all?

Doesn’t this sound like a program our president could get behind? It’s progressive. It’s new. It’s different.

And it doesn’t work.

I feel sorry for the teachers. But even in the worst schools, there are kids who want to learn, who want to better themselves. They’re the ones we should be feeling sorry for. They’re the ones whose education is being short circuited because administrators think it’s more important to appear stylish in disciplining kids than do what is necessary to maintain order.