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Saturday, February 2, 2013

Should the code of conduct be colorblind? Or should some races get a pass?

John Jackson of the Schott Foundation for Education said today at the Urban Education Symposium that African American children shouldn’t be suspended. He probably says this because of recent studies that say the more often a student is suspended the less likely they are to finish school.

The problem with this is Mr. Jackson doesn’t give any alternatives. He seems to be saying go ahead and ignore discipline as if it isn’t important. I have written about for years, the problems that arise when schools don’t discipline their students and I don’t think it is a stretch to say it has contributed to Jacksonville being the murder capital of Florida. You can’t go a day without reading about a horrific act of violence mostly committed by young men on our streets and do you know what most of these young men had in common? Most attended Duval’s public schools.

How many could we have saved had we come down hard for bad behavior when they were in middle school or elementary school? How many lives would have been changed if the school system instead of ignoring or paying lip service to discipline had decided that we should do something about it. Friends, if a child is not going to get discipline in the home then they have to get it at school because if not, then where will they get it?

I am not saying suspensions is just the way to go but when that does happen it often gives teachers a chance to teach and other students a chance to learn but if not suspensions then we need to get creative with discipline and find real consequences for bad behavior something that is woefully absent now.

Regardless the code of conduct and the administration of discipline should be colorblind. The offence not ones skin color should determine the consequence.  

Mr. Jackson before you suggest the elimination of suspensions from the discipline toolbox perhaps you should come up with meaningful alternatives because we ignore discipline at our and our children’s peril. 

1 comment:

  1. What is John Jackson suggesting? It sounds like he is advocating for a separate (but equal) Code of Student Conduct for black students. If this is true, it would be a warm and fuzzy solution to the problem but fails to address the fact that there is no separate legal system for black adults. If we intend to equally follow the laws of the land, we should deal with the same consequences. If John Jackson is saying that black students receive harsher disciplinary action for the same offenses that may get other students a slap on the wrist, then he should say so. Otherwise, his thoughts bear no weight with me.