NYC schools to improve safety by replacing suspensions with "talking circles"

If you live in the greater New York City area and have never seriously considered home schooling, this may be the time to do so. Apparently the idea of disciplining poorly behaved children has fallen so far out of favor that it’s going to be almost entirely discarded. When kids start fights, destroy property or commit any of a host of other unacceptable actions, suspending them and sending them home so their parents can deal with them will largely be a thing of the past. Instead, we’ll focus on getting in touch with their feelings.

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…

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

What could have prompted this? Oh, wait… let me guess.

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.”

What’s more, the movement — which is driven by new race-based anti-discipline guidelines issued by the Obama administration — is creating friction between teachers unions and the liberal mayors they otherwise support.

Of course it was prompted on race based quotas. What else could it have been? Unfortunately, this is a long running brand of insanity which never produces positive results but is always politically popular. It is an unfortunate reality in the public school system that problem solving has to start with some sort of demographic pigeonhole analysis and making sure you pass all the tests of political correctness before you can attempt to correct any deficiency.

Were we still allowed to have sane people in administrative positions at schools, one might think to start with being truly “post-racial” and just identifying which kids were causing problems no matter what their skin color happened to be. Of course, suggesting that discipline be race neutral can’t be allowed today. But remember that this phenomenon only works in one direction. In the more suburban areas up my way, the majority of kids who cause problems and get suspended in the school closest to me are white. But guess what? That’s because a larger percentage of the kids are white. It also has nothing to do with the problem at hand. They aren’t misbehaving because of their race… they’re misbehaving because they lack discipline and are a bunch of brats. And addressing that problem by removing one of the few bits of discipline left which is available to school administrators and replacing it with “talking circles” isn’t going to solve anything.

Political correctness and race obsession are finishing the long process of destroying our school systems. It’s bad enough that a generation of “time out parents” are flooding the streets with ill mannered and frequently violent little thugs. We don’t need the schools abetting their efforts.

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