Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ortiz y Pino Bill encourages ignoring petty misdemeanors at school

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


Jeremiah Leonard said...
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ched macquigg said...

Thank you for your questions. On the first, I'm not sure that the broken windows policy/theory if the analogy I would select.

As to the hegemony, I believe in site based management whether the interference comes from APS, or in this case the legislature.

Jeremiah Leonard said...
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ched macquigg said...

I don't think a child's toy gun should be against the law. If somewhere it is against the law, then a child who brings a toy gun to school is subject to the law and the consequences for breaking it.
It is up to the police do decide how to proceed.

Let's not forget that when a child deliberately breaks the law, they are refusing to comply with the lowest standards of human conduct worth writing down.

The very first rule is, you have to obey the rules. Or, there are no rules and there is no authority of adults over children. Where there is no authority, there is no control.

Mymymy said...

Ignorantia juris non excusat.
However, one intention of the education process is to (help) make the child aware of the boundaries/laws/rules set by the community - otherwise noted as the "community standards."

In aggressively pursuing petty misdemeanors to ends outside the education process, it would set a new community standard - that the child is not valued enough to be educated rather than be punished.

Passing correctable actions by easily-to-rehabilitate children into a punishment-first system (Municipal/County/State system), tells the child directly that they are not valued enough for additional time or other resources to be utilized in helping them learn, and would increase anxiety levels in the schools to certain deadly levels.

Due to increased anxiety levels that we already have in the broader population, we already see high rates of heart attack, stroke, self, drug and other abuse leading to early death.

We don't need to add to the current rate of population decline in the city. We need to use any and all additional resources we have to teach... not to jail.

ched macquigg said...

When did "aggressively pursing" petty misdemeanors become part of the discussion?

You would be surprised I guess, that I am absolutely in favor of additional time and resources being spent on helping children learn to behave.

While that is going on, they need to know that there are consequences for deliberate misconduct. Supplying those consequences, imho, will not lead children to believe we don't value them.

Jeremiah Leonard said...
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ched macquigg said...

Rather than saying, we should follow the law no matter what it says, I would say, people cannot be allowed to decide when the law does and does not apply. That decision is up to people charged with enforcing the law.

I would say that authority and control are what enable teachers to channel a child's innate empathy and creative energies, as opposed to wasting their time dealing with students who are misbehaving.

There is an old saw among teachers, that you spend 80% of your time on 20% of your students - the ones who are out of control.

Jeremiah Leonard said...
This comment has been removed by the author.