Natishia Steven of the ACLU was very critical of Judge Henry Davis for bringing attention to violence in our schools. She had two points, the first was figures released by Duval County don’t back the judges assertions about violence and second batteries don’t happen every day like the judge says. Both of these points remind me of the of the commercial where the girl says, if she heard it on the internet so it must be true.
First any stat coming from DCPS has to be taken with a grain of salt. Duval county until just recently has criminally ignored discipline for entirely too long. Referrals have gone unprocessed and punishments are watered down. Often what should or would have gotten get kids arrested in the past turns instead into a period or two in ISSP or some other slap on the wrist. For Stevens to look to DCPS for her stats shows a naivety to our problems and does a disservice to all the victims of bullying, assaults and batteries that take place in our schools.
Then let me ask you a question. If you were the parent of a child who experienced unprovoked violence would you care if it didn’t happen every day? Steven says, hey it only happened 78 times last year where children were arrested for aggravated assault, that’s not so bad.
I personally have seen the violence first hand and I have witnessed what happens when children don’t receive consequences for their behaviors and let me tell you the judge was right on. My only criticism of the judge would be the new administration has decided not to ignore discipline anymore and has put in place deans, added security and ISSP teachers, something I don’t think they would have done if discipline was the pretty picture that Stevens paints and we need to give these measures time to see if they work.