State Senator Gerald Ortiz y Pino has sponsored legislation, SB 528, link, to amend school discipline policy requirements. It comes before the Senate Education Committee tomorrow morning, link. The newly revised discipline policy requirements begin on page 4, line 8.
They will make it nearly impossible to hold (chronically) disruptive students accountable for their misconduct.
The onerous revisions include the following language;
Each school district or charter school discipline policy shall ... not require the reporting of petty acts of misconduct and misdemeanors to law enforcement agencies.Petty misdemeanors that would otherwise involve police and create a record for hooligans who decide to break the law, will not; not as long as they break the law in a classroom or cafeteria, and not at the mall.
And "petty" according to whom, the principal, whose job it is, to protect the public perception of the school, or according the victim?
The record of law breaking at school, disrupting classrooms and the education of other students, is already being hidden and distorted in a deliberate effort to manipulate public perception. There is a deliberate effort to minimize problems and create a community belief that there are fewer discipline problems than there really are.
Kids by their very nature, test limits. The more you give them, the more they will take. Turning a blind eye and deaf ear to petty misdemeanors encourages more serious misdemeanor. Ask anyone who works in a classroom, or school bus, or cafeteria.
Whatever else this legislation will do, it will enable the leadership of the APS to continue to hide the truth about the effects of chronically disruptive students and the ongoing administrative failure to control their disruption. This is why the need a publicly funded private police force to enforce the law in schools - so they can enforce their own laws, not ours.
It is a bad bill.
photo Mark Bralley