Suspensions abolished on account of suspected racial profiling.

Data collected by the U.S. Department of Education from schools around the nation shows that the zero-tolerance approach to school discipline has a discriminatory effect. African-American students are suspended from school more than three times as often as white students across all grade levels.

In LAUSD, African-American children make up nine percent of the student body, but they account for 26 percent of all suspensions, nearly half of which are for willful defiance offenses.

Seattle and New York City school districts faced civil rights investigations by the U.S. Department of Education for an alarming rise in suspension rates in recent years, particularly among African-American and Latino boys.

New York City saw more than a 130 percent increase in suspensions from the 2002-2003 school year to the 2010-11 school year, when schools came under mayoral control.

By eliminating the willful defiance category, LAUSD expects a drastic cut in suspension rates. That would continue an aggressive campaign by Superintendent John Deasy, who has already slashed the districtwide suspension by two-thirds since taking the helm last year.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/suspending-kids-mouthing-off-defying-204038950.html

So, there are two things that I want to clarify for people who tl;dr the excerpt. I wasn't able to fit everything in the limited title space, so...'1. Suspensions as a punishment are not being removed completely, the school district is simply no longer going to suspend people for 'Willful Defiance'. Willful Defiance is made up of offenses like eating in class, talking back to a teacher, etc.' aaaaand '2. It's not being removed as an offense. Willful defiance will still be punishable, it just won't be punishable by suspension.'

With that out of the way...I want to point out two more things that I found interesting. The first is that the fact that minorities are overwhelmingly more likely to be punished for an offense is one of the main arguments that was brought against the death penalty, and the other thing is that it's somewhat pointless. Even if it's not punishable by suspension, it's still punishable. I don't expect the rates of this offense dropping if they're still being punished for it. But forcing them to stay in school for their punishment just strains the school more than necessary (They have to find a place to put them all and have people watch over them, for starters).

So! That's the current situation in LA.

The take away from the article is this is supposed to reduce the drop out/crime rate of these kids that would have been suspended. Now does the school have the resources to do this... apparently not but maybe that's where a little luck might help provide for some new guidance counselor type people to deal with the trouble cases.

Obviously the former policy isn't working so aside from instituting capital punishment in classrooms for misbehaving students the options are kind of limited. Occasionally a throw stuff against the wall and see what sticks method is for the best.

Edit: I'd like to point out something though, you say racial profiling yet I don't see that in the article. It says that it inherently affects latino's and african american's more. That just means hispanic and black kids are more likely to be disruptive in class not that white kids weren't getting expelled for the same offenses there also isn't an alternative crime that carries a lesser sentence to a "white crime"(ala crack vs powder cocaine).

This sounds like a great idea to me, actually. Typically, especially in elementary and middle schools, the kids who act out are the ones who aren't learning in the typical classroom environment. Gathering them all into one area and handing them off to a teacher who can engage them in a different way might be the key to their success. Is it guaranteed? No, not even remotely. It is much more likely they'll be handed off to someone who doesn't care and forces them to sit in silence all day long doing worksheets. However, there is a chance that this could turn into something legitimately better for them, and that chance is 0 when suspending them. So I say go for it.

dmase:

Edit: I'd like to point out something though, you say racial profiling yet I don't see that in the article. It says that it inherently affects latino's and african american's more. That just means hispanic and black kids are more likely to be disruptive in class not that white kids weren't getting expelled for the same offenses there also isn't an alternative crime that carries a lesser sentence to a "white crime"(ala crack vs powder cocaine).

"We know that taking kids out of school is not an effective solution for dealing with students who have behavioral issues," said Tonna Onyendu, an organizer with the Liberty Hill Foundation, a nonprofit group that helped craft the proposal for LAUSD. "What's worse," he said, "is it leads to racial profiling in the classroom."

I'm not entirely sure what your definition of racial profiling is. It has nothing to do with levels of offenses...

For a while after 9-11 (and probably still now), men that fit the stereotypical middle-eastern appearance would be more frequently pulled aside from 'additional screening'. That's an example of racial profiling.

Kopikatsu:

dmase:

Edit: I'd like to point out something though, you say racial profiling yet I don't see that in the article. It says that it inherently affects latino's and african american's more. That just means hispanic and black kids are more likely to be disruptive in class not that white kids weren't getting expelled for the same offenses there also isn't an alternative crime that carries a lesser sentence to a "white crime"(ala crack vs powder cocaine).

"We know that taking kids out of school is not an effective solution for dealing with students who have behavioral issues," said Tonna Onyendu, an organizer with the Liberty Hill Foundation, a nonprofit group that helped craft the proposal for LAUSD. "What's worse," he said, "is it leads to racial profiling in the classroom."

I'm not entirely sure what your definition of racial profiling is. It has nothing to do with levels of offenses...

For a while after 9-11 (and probably still now), men that fit the stereotypical middle-eastern appearance would be more frequently pulled aside from 'additional screening'. That's an example of racial profiling.

Teachers don't pick out kids based on their skin color and decide whether their behavior is "willful defiance". Saying blacks are more likely to commit violent crimes isn't profiling, it's fact in the US. Saying that a man should be searched because he is black and they are more likely to commit violent crimes is profiling.

These minority kids are more likely to be a disturbance in class but there is no intention by a teacher or administrator to get minority kids out of the school or in trouble more often, in fact i wouldn't be surprised if most of the teachers and administrators at these schools are minorities or really wanted to work with underprivileged minority kids.

It's a fact in LA that "whites" are the minority. And when I say that I mean the chance of racial profiling is severely reduced because the people who could conceivably do the profiling would basically be uncle toms(for lack of a better word).

How the hell is 'willful defiance' even worthy of a suspension to begin with? I'm pretty the only things that could get you suspended from my high school were actual crimes like graffiti, drugs or physical violence. Suspending students for talking back, eating at inappropriate times or refusing to follow a dress code seems gratuitous and self-indulgent. Those things are deserving of a detention at most.

Article:
It also meant making a complete cultural shift that started with training teachers to respond differently when confronted with disruptive students in the classroom. Rather than recommend suspension for a student who shows up without a pencil - something that happened often - teachers were trained to find more productive solutions without engaging in a power struggle.

I mean what the fuck is that? A kid shows up without a pencil, you lend them a pencil, or ask another student if they have a spare pencil. You don't fucking punish them. How ridiculous.

Wilful defiance is a term used when a teacher wants to suspend a kid because they feel like waving their dick around. I'm really not surprised to see that statistics suggest it's used in racial discrimination. When I was forced out of school, I was also suspended for the equivalent of wilful defiance by a administration teacher who didn't like me and decided I'd be the next victim of his abuse of power so he could get hard. It's nothing you fight either, because it's boils down to the teachers word versus the students. Even if there were witnesses, unless they were another teacher they are written off.

I'm glad somewhere decided it abolishing it. The powers of teachers really need to be limited; currently they are used primarily when being abused.

dmase:

It's a fact in LA that "whites" are the minority. And when I say that I mean the chance of racial profiling is severely reduced because the people who could conceivably do the profiling would basically be uncle toms(for lack of a better word).

It specifically points out that black students make up 9% of the student body. You'd be hard pressed to say 9% is a majority.

The implication there was that black students are punished more often because they're inspected more critically than other students, not that they actually act out more. Although considering our prison rates, I imagine they do actually act out more.

manic_depressive13:

I mean what the fuck is that? A kid shows up without a pencil, you lend them a pencil, or ask another student if they have a spare pencil. You don't fucking punish them. How ridiculous.

Suspension is a bit harsh, but it's still not coming to class prepared. What does just writing it off accomplish? If you came to work without everything you needed, you'd probably get in trouble there, too. School is supposed to be where you learn how to function in the 'real world', yes?

Kopikatsu:

manic_depressive13:

I mean what the fuck is that? A kid shows up without a pencil, you lend them a pencil, or ask another student if they have a spare pencil. You don't fucking punish them. How ridiculous.

Suspension is a bit harsh, but it's still not coming to class prepared. What does just writing it off accomplish? If you came to work without everything you needed, you'd probably get in trouble there, too. School is supposed to be where you learn how to function in the 'real world', yes?

I'll tell you what writing it off accomplishes. Studies have shown repeatedly that punishment has a negative effect on motivation, while if a student perceives that you care about them they are more likely to put in effort. So instead of shitting all over their motivation and causing them to see you as a tyrannical nutjob, by simply lending them a pencil (becuase let's face it, it's just a fucking pencil) you demonstrate that you are a reasonable person who cares about the kid's wellbeing and progress. It shows that your primary concern is their ability to complete the lesson, rather than exerting power and control over them when the issue at hand is so miniscule it almost makes me sick.

manic_depressive13:

Kopikatsu:

manic_depressive13:

I mean what the fuck is that? A kid shows up without a pencil, you lend them a pencil, or ask another student if they have a spare pencil. You don't fucking punish them. How ridiculous.

Suspension is a bit harsh, but it's still not coming to class prepared. What does just writing it off accomplish? If you came to work without everything you needed, you'd probably get in trouble there, too. School is supposed to be where you learn how to function in the 'real world', yes?

I'll tell you what writing it off accomplishes. Studies have shown repeatedly that punishment has a negative effect on motivation, while if a student perceives that you care about them they are more likely to put in effort. So instead of shitting all over their motivation and causing them to see you as a tyrannical nutjob, by simply lending them a pencil (becuase let's face it, it's just a fucking pencil) you demonstrate that you are a reasonable person who cares about the kid's wellbeing and progress. It shows that your primary concern is their ability to complete the lesson, rather than exerting power and control over them when the issue at hand is so miniscule it almost makes me sick.

Not to mention that the threat of being known as the guy who always has to borrow a pencil is mildly dissuasive. There is already psychological reinforcement. If it's not significantly interfering with the learning of anyone else, I don't see much of a reason to make a big deal out of it. If someone feels like you're on their side, and that you have expectations of them, then they'll likely put forth some effort to meet them.

I'd also hazard a guess that it helps to be able to explain exactly (and accurately-- no bullshit) what your motivations are in the larger scheme of things.

Kopikatsu:

dmase:

It's a fact in LA that "whites" are the minority. And when I say that I mean the chance of racial profiling is severely reduced because the people who could conceivably do the profiling would basically be uncle toms(for lack of a better word).

It specifically points out that black students make up 9% of the student body. You'd be hard pressed to say 9% is a majority.

The implication there was that black students are punished more often because they're inspected more critically than other students, not that they actually act out more. Although considering our prison rates, I imagine they do actually act out more.

manic_depressive13:

I mean what the fuck is that? A kid shows up without a pencil, you lend them a pencil, or ask another student if they have a spare pencil. You don't fucking punish them. How ridiculous.

Suspension is a bit harsh, but it's still not coming to class prepared. What does just writing it off accomplish? If you came to work without everything you needed, you'd probably get in trouble there, too. School is supposed to be where you learn how to function in the 'real world', yes?

LA is hispanic. The article says hispanic and black. Not to mention LA neighborhoods are largely separated by race(like in many cities but more so in LA) so there will be a school that is 50% black while the one down the road is 5% so on and so forth.

Edit: woops I re-read the article and is says latino for seattle and NY not LA.

dmase:
Edit: I'd like to point out something though, you say racial profiling yet I don't see that in the article. It says that it inherently affects latino's and african american's more. That just means hispanic and black kids are more likely to be disruptive in class not that white kids weren't getting expelled for the same offenses there also isn't an alternative crime that carries a lesser sentence to a "white crime"(ala crack vs powder cocaine).

This is the exact argument people in favor of the death penalty use: Blacks get the death penalty a lot because blacks commit a lot of murders. Stats show that to be true as a proportion of their population in the United States vs. the proportion of murders they commit. Raw majorities don't work in this kind of analysis, so it is better to use the "Proportion of the school district's population that is (blank) commits X% of the punishable by suspension offenses."

Because it should be noted that in some cities and school districts, certain minorities can be the majority of the school age population. Some border states, for instance, have school age populations that are a majority Hispanic.

Big_Willie_Styles:
This is the exact argument people in favor of the death penalty use: Blacks get the death penalty a lot because blacks commit a lot of murders. Stats show that to be true as a proportion of their population in the United States vs. the proportion of murders they commit. Raw majorities don't work in this kind of analysis, so it is better to use the "Proportion of the school district's population that is (blank) commits X% of the punishable by suspension offenses."

A guilty verdict is more likely to be reached in cases of black on white crime than the other way around, and I believe black people are more likely to get the death penalty when convicted than white people.

thaluikhain:

Big_Willie_Styles:
This is the exact argument people in favor of the death penalty use: Blacks get the death penalty a lot because blacks commit a lot of murders. Stats show that to be true as a proportion of their population in the United States vs. the proportion of murders they commit. Raw majorities don't work in this kind of analysis, so it is better to use the "Proportion of the school district's population that is (blank) commits X% of the punishable by suspension offenses."

A guilty verdict is more likely to be reached in cases of black on white crime than the other way around, and I believe black people are more likely to get the death penalty when convicted than white people.

Wrong. It is because black on white crime is more common than the other way around so one side has a lot more data than the other. Also, conviction isn't true guilt. Did the person really commit the crime and got away with it or did he or she just plead it down because of lawyers? Also, the severity of the crimes must be considered. Murder vs. assault for instance. And the states these happen in have to be heavily considered. Certain states, like Texas, are known for being very strict on murderers.

It all depends on the state a murder occurs in because some states have officially or unofficially abolished the death penalty (PA hasn't executed a death row inmate in about 30 years even though the death penalty is technically still legal here.)

One must compare apples to apples.

Big_Willie_Styles:
Also, conviction isn't true guilt. Did the person really commit the crime and got away with it or did he or she just plead it down because of lawyers?

That certainly would be the implication, yes.

While I agree suspension as a punishment really helps no one, I'm going to go on a limb and say that black students being a disproportionate amount of them has little to do with racial profiling. If its anything like it is in my High School, its because they are more likely to be doing the things that receive a suspension. It may be a cultural thing, but from what I see from personal experience and from the records I see, its not the teachers.

What a load of horse shit, blacks do the crime they get punish, and if it's mostly just them doing the crime even if they are only 9% of said school population then oh well. Seems like ignorant dumbasses doesn't feel like reading into the reason why, and instead sees blacks and to lesser extent hispanics are a small portion of school and are getting suspended/arrested at a higher rate than whites, clearly it's racism going on.

Big_Willie_Styles:

dmase:
Edit: I'd like to point out something though, you say racial profiling yet I don't see that in the article. It says that it inherently affects latino's and african american's more. That just means hispanic and black kids are more likely to be disruptive in class not that white kids weren't getting expelled for the same offenses there also isn't an alternative crime that carries a lesser sentence to a "white crime"(ala crack vs powder cocaine).

This is the exact argument people in favor of the death penalty use: Blacks get the death penalty a lot because blacks commit a lot of murders. Stats show that to be true as a proportion of their population in the United States vs. the proportion of murders they commit. Raw majorities don't work in this kind of analysis, so it is better to use the "Proportion of the school district's population that is (blank) commits X% of the punishable by suspension offenses."

Because it should be noted that in some cities and school districts, certain minorities can be the majority of the school age population. Some border states, for instance, have school age populations that are a majority Hispanic.

If that was an accurate comparison there would be leeway but there is a zero tolerance policy. A better comparison are the laws in certain states where you kill a cop you get a death penalty, a zero tolerance policy. That means without exception if you kill a cop no matter your race you get executed. It's hard to discriminate when using a zero tolerance policy. When there is leeway for punishments race and favoritism come into play.

Haha, "willful defiance"? Sounds like a catch-all term equal to the "Don't be a dick"-rule that the Escapist has.

Anyway: Is it possible that black students are expelled more often because..They commit more offenses?
I don't see any statistics. Without knowing exactly what is jugded as 'willful defiance', it is hard to determine if there is any racial profiling going on at all.
Now, let's presume it covers dress-code (not saying it does, just roll with it), and blacks has a tendency of wearing more 'street' clothes (I hate that term, but once again, just roll with it. Insert 'urban' or 'ghetto' or whatever if it suits you), then blacks will get more suspensions, because of what is in essence a culture clash (since I assume most teachers will be white and will not support that kind of dress-code). Same might go for proper use of language, or wearing a cap to class, or whatever. You get it. It isn't necessary racial profiling then, but more that one specific minority culture tends to violate a code more than others.
Said code is stupid, but equal.

Daft Time:
Wilful defiance is a term used when a teacher wants to suspend a kid because they feel like waving their dick around. ... I'm glad somewhere decided it abolishing it. The powers of teachers really need to be limited; currently they are used primarily when being abused.

Ha! Try working in a class of 30 kids - 6 year olds, let alone 16 year olds - and tell me with a straight face that you feel like you have "too much" power and your options to maintain a respectful working environment should probably be reduced.

There are a lot of hard-working, dedicated teachers out there, often working with classes of kids that are so challenging that if they make it through a day without being reduced to tears it's a minor victory. And you think teachers need to be brought down a peg? Try seeing things from the other side of the fence, buddy.

/rant

Realitycrash:
Haha, "willful defiance"? Sounds like a catch-all term equal to the "Don't be a dick"-rule that the Escapist has.

Anyway: Is it possible that black students are expelled more often because..They commit more offenses?
I don't see any statistics. Without knowing exactly what is jugded as 'willful defiance', it is hard to determine if there is any racial profiling going on at all.
Now, let's presume it covers dress-code (not saying it does, just roll with it), and blacks has a tendency of wearing more 'street' clothes (I hate that term, but once again, just roll with it. Insert 'urban' or 'ghetto' or whatever if it suits you), then blacks will get more suspensions, because of what is in essence a culture clash (since I assume most teachers will be white and will not support that kind of dress-code). Same might go for proper use of language, or wearing a cap to class, or whatever. You get it. It isn't necessary racial profiling then, but more that one specific minority culture tends to violate a code more than others.
Said code is stupid, but equal.

If this were indeed the case then I don't see how it can be seen as anything other than a racist rule. If you make a rule banning head scarves, when it's overwhelmingly Muslim children who wear them, despite the fact that wearing head scarves doesn't hinder anyone's ability to learn, then that rule is racist. You can't just shrug your shoulders and say "whelp, it's just an unfortunate coincidence that it's Muslim children who break this rule". It fucking isn't. It's an arbitrary rule which anyone could see would have a disproportionate effect on children of a certain background. It is therefore by definition not equal.

manic_depressive13:

Realitycrash:
Haha, "willful defiance"? Sounds like a catch-all term equal to the "Don't be a dick"-rule that the Escapist has.

Anyway: Is it possible that black students are expelled more often because..They commit more offenses?
I don't see any statistics. Without knowing exactly what is jugded as 'willful defiance', it is hard to determine if there is any racial profiling going on at all.
Now, let's presume it covers dress-code (not saying it does, just roll with it), and blacks has a tendency of wearing more 'street' clothes (I hate that term, but once again, just roll with it. Insert 'urban' or 'ghetto' or whatever if it suits you), then blacks will get more suspensions, because of what is in essence a culture clash (since I assume most teachers will be white and will not support that kind of dress-code). Same might go for proper use of language, or wearing a cap to class, or whatever. You get it. It isn't necessary racial profiling then, but more that one specific minority culture tends to violate a code more than others.
Said code is stupid, but equal.

If this were indeed the case then I don't see how it can be seen as anything other than a racist rule. If you make a rule banning head scarves, when it's overwhelmingly Muslim children who wear them, despite the fact that wearing head scarves doesn't hinder anyone's ability to learn, then that rule is racist. You can't just shrug your shoulders and say "whelp, it's just an unfortunate coincidence that it's Muslim children who break this rule". It fucking isn't. It's an arbitrary rule which anyone could see would have a disproportionate effect on children of a certain background. It is therefore by definition not equal.

A ban on a religious piece of cloth might be discriminating, yes. A ban on a certain style of clothing, a statement of fashion, isn't. Not if they can back up why just that, and no other, were banned. But if they were equally ruthless and said "Hey, school uniform" or "Hey, any subculture", then I don't see the problem.

Batou667:

Daft Time:
Wilful defiance is a term used when a teacher wants to suspend a kid because they feel like waving their dick around. ... I'm glad somewhere decided it abolishing it. The powers of teachers really need to be limited; currently they are used primarily when being abused.

Ha! Try working in a class of 30 kids - 6 year olds, let alone 16 year olds - and tell me with a straight face that you feel like you have "too much" power and your options to maintain a respectful working environment should probably be reduced.

There are a lot of hard-working, dedicated teachers out there, often working with classes of kids that are so challenging that if they make it through a day without being reduced to tears it's a minor victory. And you think teachers need to be brought down a peg? Try seeing things from the other side of the fence, buddy.

/rant

I'll try to do that, remembering how I was kicked out of High School for "wilful disobedience". Huh, still don't care. If suspending kids has truly helped you remain control of a class, I'd be interested. I've rarely seen it used as anything more than a tool to for teachers to get their rocks off, and I've never seen "wilful disobedience" used to "maintain a respectful working environment".

There are a lot of great teachers out there, but giving them this broad, zero-tolerance tool that kids can't defend themselves against is only asking for abuse. Don't ignore the obvious racial profiling in the application of this ability in the OP either, buddy.

Realitycrash:
A ban on a religious piece of cloth might be discriminating, yes. A ban on a certain style of clothing, a statement of fashion, isn't. Not if they can back up why just that, and no other, were banned. But if they were equally ruthless and said "Hey, school uniform" or "Hey, any subculture", then I don't see the problem.

My point is that head scarf isn't always religious, but such a rule would overwhelmingly affect Muslim students. I don't think it really matters whether it's a religious or merely a cultural thing. Even if there is no racist intent I think it's irresponsible to implement rules that have no verifiable effect on learning, but which negatively affect people of a certain heritage. What if the black kids are wearing 'street' clothes because they're the only clothes they have? The rule itself can certainly be said to be racist in such a case, even if the rule makers did not intend to be discriminatory.

manic_depressive13:

Realitycrash:
A ban on a religious piece of cloth might be discriminating, yes. A ban on a certain style of clothing, a statement of fashion, isn't. Not if they can back up why just that, and no other, were banned. But if they were equally ruthless and said "Hey, school uniform" or "Hey, any subculture", then I don't see the problem.

My point is that head scarf isn't always religious, but such a rule would overwhelmingly affect Muslim students. I don't think it really matters whether it's a religious or merely a cultural thing. Even if there is no racist intent I think it's irresponsible to implement rules that have no verifiable effect on learning, but which negatively affect people of a certain heritage. What if the black kids are wearing 'street' clothes because they're the only clothes they have? The rule itself can certainly be said to be racist in such a case, even if the rule makers did not intend to be discriminatory.

In my school, all forms of headwear were banned. Hats, caps, scarves, etc. Would you still say that that rule is discriminatory? Most students don't have a burning need to wear a hat, but Muslim students do as it's a part of their religion.

If yes, then I own a hat that's basically a big styrofoam alligator head. Should I be allowed to wear that in school? I also have a grim reaper mask that fully conceals my face. If a Muslim student can wear a burqa, should I be allowed to wear that mask as well?

Kopikatsu:

manic_depressive13:

Realitycrash:
A ban on a religious piece of cloth might be discriminating, yes. A ban on a certain style of clothing, a statement of fashion, isn't. Not if they can back up why just that, and no other, were banned. But if they were equally ruthless and said "Hey, school uniform" or "Hey, any subculture", then I don't see the problem.

My point is that head scarf isn't always religious, but such a rule would overwhelmingly affect Muslim students. I don't think it really matters whether it's a religious or merely a cultural thing. Even if there is no racist intent I think it's irresponsible to implement rules that have no verifiable effect on learning, but which negatively affect people of a certain heritage. What if the black kids are wearing 'street' clothes because they're the only clothes they have? The rule itself can certainly be said to be racist in such a case, even if the rule makers did not intend to be discriminatory.

In my school, all forms of headwear were banned. Hats, caps, scarves, etc. Would you still say that that rule is discriminatory? Most students don't have a burning need to wear a hat, but Muslim students do as it's a part of their religion.

If yes, then I own a hat that's basically a big styrofoam alligator head. Should I be allowed to wear that in school? I also have a grim reaper mask that fully conceals my face. If a Muslim student can wear a face covering scarf, should I be allowed to wear that mask as well?

Getting off-topic here, moving away from racial profiling towards religious rights.
I personally have no problem with allowing serious practitioners of a religion to wear something that conceals their face (unless prohibited for security-reasons, which usually isn't the reason).
I draw the line when public servants (cops, judges, whatever state-employee) do it. The state should be separated from any form of religion or expression of such. It's supposed to be a neutral representation for all. So sorry, but no.

Kopikatsu:
In my school, all forms of headwear were banned. Hats, caps, scarves, etc. Would you still say that that rule is discriminatory? Most students don't have a burning need to wear a hat, but Muslim students do as it's a part of their religion.

If yes, then I own a hat that's basically a big styrofoam alligator head. Should I be allowed to wear that in school? I also have a grim reaper mask that fully conceals my face. If a Muslim student can wear a burqa, should I be allowed to wear that mask as well?

I have stated repeatedly that I support a student's right to wear anything that doesn't interfere with another student's learning. I see no reason to make a fuss about an item of headwear that sits flat on a student's head. I have no intention of turning this into a religious debate. I brought up the head scarf as something that has cultural significance for people of a certain background.

A better example might be if you banned sushi for health and safety reasons, on the basis that it sometimes contains raw fish, then suspended any student who broke the rule. On the one hand there are many alternative foods to sushi. On the other hand, it is culturally significant to people of certain backgrounds and may well be part of their staple diet. You would probably end up severely disadvantaging students of a particular background for the sake of an arbitrary rule that has no tangible benefits when you stop to think about it. Even though people of every race can eat sushi, it would still be a racist rule since it is overwhelmingly more likely to affect students of an Asian background.

Again, while it's easy to dismiss this on the basis that "black kids break rules more", I think it's far more useful to assess why those rules even exist in the first place, then establish why some children would be more likely to break them than others, then try to address it in a way which is less fucking idiotic than suspending someone for such a minor issue. I mean why the hell shouldn't a kid eat in class? It's not as though chewing makes your brain shut off. People don't concentrate well when they're starving so if snacking on a sandwich meant the kid actually absorbed my lesson I can't see myself giving a crap. I see people snacking in lecture theatres all the time and the room has never imploded. Maybe if teachers were willing to treat students more like people and less like fucking animals to have arbitrary rules enforced on them and to accept commands without question, they wouldn't need to keep suspending kids just to assert their dominance.

Future teacher here.

Daft Time:

I'll try to do that, remembering how I was kicked out of High School for "wilful disobedience". Huh, still don't care. If suspending kids has truly helped you remain control of a class, I'd be interested. I've rarely seen it used as anything more than a tool to for teachers to get their rocks off, and I've never seen "wilful disobedience" used to "maintain a respectful working environment".

There are a lot of great teachers out there, but giving them this broad, zero-tolerance tool that kids can't defend themselves against is only asking for abuse. Don't ignore the obvious racial profiling in the application of this ability in the OP either, buddy.

Damn Escapist ate my post. Here's an abridged version of what I wrote: it's the threat of punishment that makes it effective, not the application. A good teacher will of course see suspension as a last resort and not get trigger-happy. Also as for racial profiling, the impression I got from reading the story was that there was no racial profiling, but the disproportionate number of black kids getting expelled made it appear a racist measure?

As I've mentioned in other post, I educate. I deal with on average 150 kids a day in my job, and I teach them some things about the 17th century world.

As far as behavior goes, I will state the following.

1. It's not race, it's school location
2. If it's after lunch then they are more rowdy
3. If its before the end of the day (~2PM) they tend to be listless
4. The rudest and most interrupting have thus far been private schools, both christian and jewish.
5. On the opposite side, the politest and most interested ones have been private schools, both christian and jewish.

Schools represent a microcosm of the community they serve. If the community is rough or bad, then the children bring that with them. Kids bring their house with them when they go to school, in some form. When I do my job, a kid is just a kid, and I don't care what race he is, if he smarts off or disrupts things I will correct the behavior to within my prescribed limit.

I don't think it's racist to say that their may be an issue in black neighborhoods; what is racist to say is that it's BECAUSE they're black. Instead of screaming about racism or classim, wouldn't it be better to just identify why their seems to be this issue and correct the source?

I was suspecting some kind of, "statistics are rascist!" reaction, but I think that it's a great idea to change something if it's not working. Although I must say that I'm with the neigh sayers though, I don't think this really solves the problem though and saying "it'll reduce suspension rates" isn't that impressive considering that reducing the amount of situations that a punishment can be used will obviously reduce the number of instances when it is used. All I think this'll do is ease the burden on parents, especially ones who take advantage of the fact that the American public school system is often nothing more than a glorified daycare.

 

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