Contained in Brenda Cassellius’ counterpoint is a bigotry that’s frightening. Contained in Cassellius’ counterpoint is a startling set of admissions:
American Indian students are 10 times more likely to be suspended or expelled than are their white peers.
African-American students are eight times more likely to be suspended or expelled than are their white peers.
By themselves, these statistics are meaningless. From Cassellius standpoint, though, they’re proof of racism. Then Cassellius makes this statement:
Contrary to Kersten’s claims, no one wants to take away a principal’s ability to suspend or expel a student for violent offenses or criminal activity, which we all agree will never be acceptable.
That isn’t accurate. The Promise Program was implemented by the Obama administration. According to Paul Sperry’s reporting, its stated goal was to “slow the ‘school-to-prison pipeline.'” The end result: “[Nikolas Cruz] had a clean record, so alarm bells didn’t go off when they looked him up in the system,” veteran FBI agent Michael Biasello told RCI. ‘He probably wouldn’t have been able to buy the murder weapon if the school had referred him to law enforcement.'”
It’s obvious that the goal of the PROMISE Program was to not report bad behavior. Then there’s this:
Broward school Superintendent Robert W. Runcie, a Chicagoan and Harvard graduate with close ties to President Obama and his Education Department, signed an agreement with the county sheriff and other local jurisdictions to trade cops for counseling. Students charged with various misdemeanors, including assault, would now be disciplined through participation in “healing circles,” obstacle courses and other “self-esteem building” exercises.
Thanks to the PROMISE Program, Nikolas Cruz had an unblemished record, which allowed him to get the gun that killed 14 students and 3 teachers. Cassellius said that “violent offenses or criminal activity … will never be acceptable.” It’s not only acceptable. It’s policy. It isn’t just policy. It’s that ignoring the PROMISE Program’s policies will get federal funding cut and get the school investigated by the US Department of Justice.
Minnesota needs an educated, skilled population to ensure shared social and economic success. An education system that works for all students must be our highest priority, and the truth is that currently, school discipline practices are hindering too many of our children’s chances at academic and social success.
This is BS. In the 1940s through the 1970s, we were told that disciplining students was stifling these students’ abilities. The leader of that movement was Dr. Benjamin Spock:
When Dr. Spock’s book Baby and Child Care was published in 1946, its simple core message was revolutionary: “Don’t be afraid to trust your own common sense.” Between that and his insistence that parents should show love and affection to their children rather than constant strict discipline, Dr. Spock challenged the conventional wisdom of early 20th-century childrearing like no one else.
Actually, Dr. Spock didn’t challenge conventional wisdom as much as he disagreed with the principles of the Bible. It’s worth noting that once he became a parent, Dr. Spock started rejecting the principles he espoused as an author and child-rearing expert.
Finally, it’s worth rejecting Commissioner Cassellius’ insinuations that teachers are racist. She leveled the same accusation against Kathy Kersten. It isn’t that she thinks this. It’s that progressives utilize that tactic to stifle dissenting opinions.