Tuesday, October 10, 2006

APS Ethics Scandal; school safety.

Your honor student is a whole lot more likely to get beat up at school than s/he is to get shot.

Your child’s safety at school is directly affected by the atmosphere at their school. To the extent that adults are in charge; that the adult will is manifest; your child is safer. To the extent that students are in charge, that their will is manifest; your child is less safe.

It is against APS board policy for students to “sag”. Rightly or wrongly, the board prohibits the wearing of pants so low that underwear is deliberately exposed.

If you visit a typical middle school or high school, you will see a number of students sagging; without consequence, in plain sight, in manifest defiance.

This is not about sagging.

Our sons and daughters are less safe at schools where prohibited behavior is permitted; schools where the will of the student is super-ordinate.

The responsibility for the enforcement of discipline policies falls upon the administration and board. With respect to the issue of sagging; the board and administration are permitting prohibited behavior. They are not in control of our school campuses; students are.

They cannot hold students accountable for their misconduct, because they themselves will not be held accountable for their own.

Before APS Leaders decided that the issue would no longer be surveyed; before they decided (deliberately) to no longer compile the statistic; most teachers reported that the failure of the administration and board to control the behavior of students represented a significant deterrent to an educationally efficient environment.

APS has no discipline philosophy. Even after the problem was entered onto the record, the leadership of APS failed to provide a philosophical foundation for their discipline policies. APS’s discipline policy is indefensible by any argument on the record.

The student discipline policy, in that respect, is indefensible. Were that not problem enough; the schools’ leadership refuses to model the policy before students. They expect students to hold themselves accountable to a higher standard than they will hold themselves. They model only hypocrisy. This situation enables disruptive students to continue to disrupt classrooms.

The situation will not be addressed because it cannot without drawing attention to the issue of administrative and board member accountability.

The Leadership of APS cannot afford to make an issue about accountability because that discussion would inevitably turn to their own exception from accountability. They would have to defend their decision to except themselves from accountability.

The only defense of an indefensible position is to stonewall.

The refusal of the administration and board to hold themselves honestly accountable to a widely recognized, accepted and respected code of ethical conduct; makes schools inherently less safe.

I am compelled to remind readers that the media has not reported upon this situation or upon any other aspect of the APS Ethics Scandal.

1 comment:

ched macquigg said...

In the opening paragraph I used the phrase "honor student". The bumper stickers beginning with that recognizable phrase, prompted its inclusuion. In re-reading the post I can see that it might be construed as an expression of some prejudice regarding victims and perpetrators which I assure you was not intended. Future publication will have "honor" struck.