The district is looking for new members for this committee. The deadline is November 15th.
This might be a good time to talk about discipline issues in our schools. What have you seen at your school, good and bad, in how teachers and principals handle discipline issues? What do you think would help - more strategies, more cultural competencies, stricter discipline (if you think it is lax), uniforms?
One issue that came up recently was the interaction between Hale's principal, Jill Hudson, and a student who had recently returned from suspension. As in any situation where there is conflict and physically interaction, there seems to be a variety of versions of what happened. (I'll have to read the police report.) But one report said that the student had been showing something to other students on a cell phone (and apparently the student either was not supposed to have a phone at school or what was being shown was inappropriate) and Ms. Hudson intervened. One report says that she "taunted" the student in some way. Most people say that the student did indeed chase her down a hall and she either stumbled to the ground in an effort to get away from the student or was pushed.
I bring this up as an example of issues around bringing back students from suspension and expectations when they return, policies around cell phone use at school by students, etc.
My throw-out thought is that discipline has to be consistent and fair. Expectations need to be set at the start of the school year and there needs to be follow-thru.
However, in fairness to teachers and principals, is that sometimes it isn't the time to follow-thru. As parents we all know there are situations where we'd like to take the time to discipline our children but save it. We pick our battles.
So what may look - to other students - like unfair treatment could be the case of a teacher who has seen other instances of misbehavior and has picked this time to enforce the policy. Many times there is a backstory before an incident that others don't know about and it may look like a teacher or principal is overreacting.
But the record is clear - our district has a record of disproportionality of discipline to students of color and that needs to be addressed immediately. I am disappointed that we have not heard more about this issue from the Superintendent.