How Going Soft on School Discipline Creates Hardened Criminals
Eric Holder’s Department of Justice, under the direction of President Obama, earlier this week issued a letter to the Department of Education announcing a new policy which disrupts the rights of both public and private schools across the country to enforce appropriate, uniform, “non-discriminatory,” discipline codes in their schools. The DOJ policy actually mandates special disciplinary treatment of students belonging to racial minority groups. To summarize this stupefying exertion of executive power; the DOJ is attempting to make it appear that disciplinary issues are equal in number and severity across all groups; boy, girl, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, etc., even if the reality is that discipline problems are more frequent among certain demographic groups, i.e. minority males. As Roger Clegg states in his National Review article regarding the policy:
If schools are pressured to “get their numbers” right in this area, they will either start disciplining students who shouldn’t be or, more likely, will not discipline some students who ought to be. If unruly students are not disciplined, the kids who will lose out the most will be well-behaved students in classes with undisciplined classmates, and those well-behaved students are themselves likely to be poor black or Latino kids. Somehow the Left always forgets about them in its eagerness to show compassion.
It is an uncomfortable fact, but a fact nonetheless, that black and Hispanic males, have more behavioral, social, and learning problems than whites, Asians, or females. And black and Hispanic females have more behavioral problems and criminal activities than white and Asian females. Progressive ideologues, of which Obama and Holder are perfect examples, are responsible for the kinds of policies that have degraded minority families, communities, and traditional work ethics, resulting in increasing numbers of minority kids failing socially and academically in American schools. The DOJ’s new injunction against uniform disciplinary codes based on the nature, number, and severity of student offenses, will either force administrators and other education professionals to discriminate against white and Asian students in order to inflate the numbers of their behavior infractions, or ignore misdeeds committed by members of Holder’s “protected” minorities.
The picture of behavior and discipline in American public schools is bleak to begin with. The DOJ’s highly destructive and unjust discipline mandate casts a pall of near hopelessness over institutions already beset with disruptions and increasing danger. My personal take on this is also bleak, and it’s very real. I have worked in Special Education for many years. The field of Special Needs Behavior is a relatively new and burgeoning field in SpEd. I’ve also worked in a juvenile detention school serving young criminals from the ages of about 14 to 21. I’ve seen the gamut of behavioral, social, and criminal problems in these populations, and I’m acquainted with what works and what does not when it comes to effective discipline and behavior modification. In warning to my readers I must say that the DOJ racially-based discipline model will embolden young criminals to an extent greater than anything our schools have had to deal with to date.
I began my education career in Los Angeles, and now work in a semi-rural area of Colorado. There is a relatively low black population in this town, and Hispanics make up about 16% of the local population. Within the local juvenile prison facility, at any given time, the male inmates are composed of about 50-60% Hispanics. The female population, though fewer in number, is usually about 80% Hispanic. These kids are incarcerated for a variety of crimes, and there is no racial discrimination whatsoever in their adjudication. The fact stands that Hispanics and blacks are more prone to criminal behavior as youngsters. It has nothing to do with racism or discrimination within the judicial system. It has everything to do with the disintegration of families, out-of-wedlock babies, government dependence, lack of education, and generational poverty. The white kids in such facilities are incarcerated for crimes similar to those committed by minority inmates, but at a proportionally lower percentage. It’s not about race, it’s about the kinds of homes these kids come from.
It’s unfortunate that the Obama Administration, Holder, and other executive agency heads, dismiss the root causes of why black and Hispanic kids are more prone to failure and crime both in and out of the American education system. Forcing school districts to fudge the numbers by hammering non-offenders and ignoring problem kids, all based on race, will increase discipline problems, and create a far more dangerous school climate than already exists.
The same mind-set behind the DOJ’s racist discipline mandate is also responsible for wanton black on white (and other ethnicities) crimes, such as the “knockout game,” growing Hispanic gang crime in virtually all American towns and cities, and exploding urban black on black violence. Young minority males, most notably blacks and Hispanics, feel entitled, emboldened, and beyond of the reach of the law–and Eric Holder is trying to ensure that they are. This dynamic is seeping into our schools, including elementary and pre-K institutions; the phenomenon of trickle-down lawlessness.
Excuses, slaps on the wrists, sob-stories, and cries of racism, will not help troublesome kids of any color succeed. Although schools can do little to compensate for shattered and dysfunctional homes, discipline codes can, and should, communicate to youngsters what is acceptable, and what is not, what will bring rewards and what will bring punishment, and what are the fair and just consequences for one’s actions. Administrators and teachers ham-strung by arbitrary and unfair “non-discrimination” policies handed down by Holder’s vengeful DOJ may be, unwittingly, creating the monsters that will crowd next-year’s headlines with unprecedented failure, crime, and violence.
by Marjorie Haun 1/16/14