Discipline in Duval is not as good as the super would have you believe.

A couple weeks back Superintendent Vitti said discipline was greatly improved. I had heard different but I was willing to entertain that I was wrong. So I asked and these were the answers. Spoiler alert those in the classroom doing the actual teaching have a different opinion than Vitti.

-No teeth in the new code of conduct! Multiple class 2s removed. Lots of restorative justice, code for counsel the student again! For fights only 1 day ISSP unless it’s a big fight! I see and hear about more fights and it will probably get worse because the consequences are light!!!

-3 fights before you are suspended is ridiculous! At schools where fighting has been a problem (like one i used to be at) I can’t imagine how that’s going.

I wondered about this when I read the report about the supe’s self-evaluation. He cites the drop as evidence of a much safer school climate. Those of us who work at schools see it the other way from what we experience every day. The drop in referrals and suspensions are a reflection of schools that are very much more unsafe. The offenders receive no consequence of any impact and feel empowered to increase the severity of their offenses. I agree we have discipline problems and I agree punishment is not the only answer, but it’s like we’ve closed all the jails and asked criminals to play nice and think we solved the problem. John Wesley said you can’t preach heaven until you’ve preached hell. I want to see restorative justice and positive behavior intervention to help address root causes of misbehavior, but we also need consequences. I’m reminded of those billboards that showed up about a year after Obama’s first election: Bush’s face with the message, “Miss me yet?” Mentally I see the same thing in Jacksonville. Pratt-Dannal’s face with the message, “Miss me yet?” You might not have liked EPD, but he allowed schools and principals the autonomy to deal with discipline issues as they needed to.

In my school, they send them right back and say teachers can’t send disruptive students out. Our dean has lunch duty and the office is closed then. His secretary can’t ever have students in her office I suppose. At other schools where I’ve taught, kids waited in the office for the dean to return.

So the dean’s secretary can’t work with one kid in her office, but I’m supposed to teach 34 other kids with one who won’t stop acting out. And I’m accountable for how much they all learn and imagine how empowered the disruptive student feels when he walks back in 5 minutes later and says “she said you can’t send me out.” 

The person above had a good AP. I’ve had some good ones too and what a difference they make. The dean at my school plays good cop in our waste of time conferences and leaves me to be the heavy. Be the dean and not their friend. They have enough friends – like their parents!

Discipline is out of control in virtually every school because administration is doing everything they can to stay off Vitti’s radar. They are all shaking in their boots for fear of getting transferred, demoted, or released. We have kids who walk the halls all day long, create disruption in the halls during class, and nothing happens. And the computer programs that the previous writer commented on is true. It’s a complete joke to have these programs (and Write to Learn does not accurately score papers), and I agree that the goal is to get rid of the teachers and do everything virtually. The writing is on the wall. Every time someone quits, Vitti probably smiles. They are easily replaced. Those of us who genuinely teach will be replaced by those who can boot up a computer. It’s a very sad state.

Vitti has indeed created a culture of fear that puts the EPD cartel to shame. But I could care less. I’m doing my job and plan to act ethically, even though it keeps me in constant trouble. I hope they do fire me. It will take them at least two years and then I’ll collect unemployment. Then I’ll get another job before 3,000,000 unemployed teachers flood the job market after being replaced by virtual school.

Student behavior has always been the Achilles heel of DCPS. They are extremely defensive about it. They always find ways to bury data about it.

Did you notice that Vitti said they “may” get there bus-riding privileges suspended? How about they WILL? Bet they don’t. They get a STERN TALKING TO. Blah, blah, blah…same as wah, wah, wah from Charlie Brown’s parents. I’ll bet that’s all the kids hear. 

Regarding classroom discipline, the contract says we can send kids out, but DTU doesn’t enforce the contract, though that is there sole purpose.

If Vitti’s policies are such a great success, why does he now need bus monitors and seating charts, yes for a bus! to stop bus fights. The large slice of humble pie he needs to eat would enter the Guinness World Book of Records.

It’s always turned around on teachers too, like we can’t handle the student or we need more “classroom management classes”. No, parents need to man up and teach the kids to respect adults. Teachers have enough to deal with. The last thing we need is a kid coming back to the class to take away from the other students learning.

3 Replies to “Discipline in Duval is not as good as the super would have you believe.”

  1. One of the commenters said, "Vitti has indeed created a culture of fear that puts the EPD cartel to shame." Am I the only one who has noticed that, after a year and coming on the job saying he will clean Prudential Drive out, that Vitti has put the EPD cartel back into power? Addison Davis, chief of schools? Iranetta Wright, riding high on running the DTO schools? Most of the outsiders left after a year. They figured it out; when will the School Board?

  2. Vitti was aware of the culture of fear and vowed to address it when hired. He's made it much worse. He ignores judges who say that teachers were unfairly targeted and fired. He promoted and supports known bullies.

  3. The system is a total joke. Teachers are getting assaulted and physically battered and they try to cover it up. They blame it all on classroom management issues when it is really the lunatics running the asylum. What is it going to take to expose what is really going on?

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