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Anarchy in School

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Once upon a time, when American education was run by people with sense, it was understood that learning to be a good citizen was part of education, along with academics and phys ed.  An environment with fair rules that are fairly administered and where breaking them has adverse consequences develops in children a healthy respect for the norms of behavior and for the rights of others.

Katherine Kersten describes in the City Journal the disastrous effect of St. Paul school giving control of school discipline to ideologues who believed that "disparate impact" in school discipline was the result of teachers' biases and that dramatically reducing standards of behavior and frequency of discipline was the solution.  In fact, it produced anarchy.

St. Paul's experience makes clear that discipline policies rooted in racial-equity ideology lead to disaster. This shouldn't be surprising, considering that the ideology's two major premises are seriously flawed. The first premise holds that disparities in school-discipline rates are a product of teachers' racial bias; the second maintains that teachers' unjustified and discriminatory targeting of black students gives rise to the school-to-prison pipeline.

The Consequence of No Consequences

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Paul Sperry has this article in the New York Post:

New York public-school students caught stealing, doing drugs or even attacking someone can avoid suspension under new "progressive" discipline rules adopted this month.

Most likely, they will be sent to a talking circle instead, where they can discuss their feelings.

Convinced traditional discipline is racist because blacks are suspended at higher rates than whites, New York City's Department of Education has in all but the most serious and dangerous offenses replaced out-of-school suspensions with a touchy-feely alternative punishment called "restorative justice," which isn't really punishment at all. It's therapy.

"Every reasonable effort must be made to correct student behavior through...restorative practices," advises the city's new 32-page discipline code.

Except everywhere it's been tried, this softer approach has backfired.

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