School discipline codes do little to address the causes of school violence.  Rules need to be consistently enforced.  While building principals need wider latitude to address these concerns, flexibility should not be leveraged as a pretext to accommodate misbehavior. Whatever is laid down should be enforced 100%.


In the wake of the violence at Bartram High earlier this month, the reportage and the reform movement in general, have been remarkably silent about the lack of parental involvement when it comes to teaching their children basic social skills.  Punctuality, preparation, proper attire and most importantly, a willingness to do one’s best are the keys to success in school as they are later in life.  These fall squarely in the purview of parents, the child’s first teachers and especially, with the students themselves.  Parents need to be actively involved in and attentive to these fundamentals to ensure success.  Sadly, many are not.  As has been told, where behavior misses the form, the consequences like the reportage if any should ensue, are highly reactive, outrageously miss the point and are often blithely glossed over.  The students who assaulted and came perilously close to killing Pewu Johnson and Alphonso Stevens earlier this year, are undoubtedly still attending the same school!


Yet many in the reform movement seem to believe that reconciling one’s own failings and shortcomings with those which can be found in others will solve these problems.  The folks deserve better.  Inconsistent disciplinary practices and cheerleading for students who misbehave will not avail.  Neither will a falsely perceived want of education funding.  While children have a right to an education, they do not have a right to disrupt the educational process.  Morally defective children who chronically misbehave should be appropriately disciplined.  Those who do and will not comport, eventually must be removed. We as teachers made a career decision to educate children.  We did not choose to be abused.  Dr. Hite and the S.R.C. must be made to understand these universalities and be understood by them.  As ever the bemused cynic, I confess myself most disappointed.