School Discipline, by Greg Sampson
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:
Fischer: Fight? What fight? (Don’t blame me.)
Wright: Boys will be boys. (It’s the end of the year.)
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
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.
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.
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.