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Friday, May 23, 2014

Mommas are talking in Duval county and they are not happy!

School Discipline, by Greg Sampson

We employees can talk about discipline all we want to, but it is now out of our hands. Mamas are talking, and they are not pleased.

Then we have this reaction from two school board members:

Let me summarize it for you:

                Jason Fischer: Fight? What fight? (Don’t blame me.)
                Paula Wright: Boys will be boys. (It’s the end of the year.)

What do we want from our Board? How about some passion about the safety of students. How about a recognition that we are bleeding enrollment because the children do not feel safe in our schools—not in the locker room, not in the cafeteria, not in the hallway as they move from one class to another.
The superintendent goes on ad infinitum with his surveys about how to develop career academies to keep students from leaving for charter schools. That’s not the issue. They are not safe. That’s the issue.

Clueless board members do not help. The discipline initiatives that began this school year: deans of discipline, restorative justice, keeping violent students in in-school suspension instead of out-of-school suspension, have not produced the results we need.
The superintendent admitted his approach last spring was wrong: “the one size fits all maybe didn’t work.” But he doesn’t understand that, as long as he sits on high on Prudential Drive insisting on making all the decisions rather than listening and trusting the people who work at the schools, he will never get it right. If the principal of First Coast High believes he/she needs seven security guards, there is a reason for that, and it isn’t a perverse desire to strip classrooms of resources.

Board members, you need to hold the superintendent accountable. While it isn’t your job to micromanage the schools and decide on student punishment short of expellable offenses, we did elect you to examine the superintendent’s policies for effectiveness. Please schedule a workshop in the next 30 days to thoroughly examine why student behavior has gotten out of control this year.
Mamas are talking, and they are not pleased.


  1. Where are the PE teachers in that locker room? Shouldn't they be present? My son was beat up in MMS locker room 10 years ago. I was shocked that no adult was even around.