BPS to end suspensions for youngest students

WBUR reports BPS is immediately stopping all suspensions of kindergarteners and first and second graders and will limit suspensions of older elementary students - in response to a threatened lawsuit by Greater Boston Legal Services.

Neighborhoods: 

Topics: 

Free tagging: 

Ad:

Comments

Makes sense to me...

By on

These new rules are great for minor violations, like cutting classes, arguments or tardiness. In these cases, you are not punishing the child (who probably enjoys the unexpected vacation from school), you are punishing the working parent, who now has to scramble to find a daytime childcare option, or take a day or two off of work, possibly without pay.

I used to have so many arguments with my daughter's high school when she would mouth off to teachers or cut classes. She knew exactly how serious of an offense was too serious for a detention, but was almost guaranteed to get her a suspension. I told them that staying home from school was EXACTLY WHAT SHE WANTED.

School staff agreed with me, but their hands were tied by directives from above.

up
Voting closed 18

The answer is simple- in school suspension

By on

I remember a classmate getting an in school suspension. He was a cock SOB who was on his way to Harvard. A lot of us enjoyed watching him work with the grounds crew. Of course, a few years later we saw that he did whatever the Harvard euphemism for being suspended for a semester is (maybe "he withdrew for a semester")

Anyway, in school handles multiple aspects of discipline, without punishing the parents.

up
Voting closed 9

The only problem with in school suspensions....

And they still have them, is that you now need additional staff to babysit these kids. I'm all for some sort of remedial detention/mandatory study hall type stuff, but for 1st graders? If a 1st grader is facing an out of school suspension, there really need to be a legit reason.

I guess the point is that you don't want the "good" kids or "good parents" to be punished by having the "bad kids" disrupting their education. I know I'm not offering any answers here, but I think if people saw why these 5-7 year olds were getting suspended for, their might be more understanding with the school system.

up
Voting closed 18

In school Suspensions

By on

There are more than enough unassigned teachers in BPS who can be assigned to a in-school study hall for suspended students Let them earn their keep.

up
Voting closed 6

Sounds good.

But then we are just having free day care? And do we want these unassigned teachers around children? Aren't they unassigned because they can't be fired?

up
Voting closed 9

You say

"Free day care" like it's a bad thing.

up
Voting closed 14

Ugly

Such an ugly word. Since you feel so strongly, I assume you've had yourself sterilized.

up
Voting closed 10

You talk about my

By on

You talk about my sterilization when it should be these breeders who you should be worried about getting some birth control.

up
Voting closed 2

Enough, friend

By on

You don't like people who have children, we get it. If you feel the need to be so offensive, you might want to find another site to talk about the topic to your heart's content.

up
Voting closed 5

Question

Who is going to wipe your ass and feed you when you are too old to do it yourself?

Ain't gonna be people your age - and if you think the pathologically greedy owners of over half the US Senate are going to let you keep your hard earned money, you are already showing signs of dementia.

up
Voting closed 8

What does my ass wiping and

By on

What does my ass wiping and the US Senate have to do with people popping out kids that don’t have the financial means to raise them? Your point, if I could understand it, is pretty stupid.

up
Voting closed 3

You are the stupid one

By on

Her comment seems pretty strightforward to me.

If there aren't any young people, any immigrants and YOU don't have any money because the Republicans have taxed your savings into oblivion to pay for tax cuts for the super wealthy (and also taken your health care and Social Security to do the same), you will die from stewing in your own feces.

I get that. You are stupid if you don't.

up
Voting closed 7

In school study hall outside of a classroom IS classified as sus

By on

You legally are required to count up minutes of a check being removed from their learning spaces as in school suspension time. If you are removing to a study hall space to separate from their peers as punishment it is the same as suspending them, which is what is being eliminated here in this move.

up
Voting closed 1

Must suck

For the kids who are bullied and enjoy the few days of peace when the suspended kid isn't around.

up
Voting closed 69

So the punishment for

By on

So the punishment for bullying and being a disruptive disrespectful pupil in going to be ?????

up
Voting closed 17

Read just enough of TFA to predict with confidence

By on

that after suspensions go bye bye, in-school discipline will be next in the crosshairs.

Blank slate my ass. Some kids can be molded into good citizens with punishment for misbehavior. Others can't and just need to be removed from classrooms where they are only capable of making trouble.

up
Voting closed 38

Logical fallacy

By on

Slippery slope is a logical fallacy.

up
Voting closed 5

So close

but inevitably, so far from the answer.

Remove from the class, sure! Remove from the school, not the answer. Not for K-2 year olds - they need support and help, not to be tossed out of the education system.

But then you did admit that you read a little bit of the article before you were overloaded with information.

up
Voting closed 16

Numbers? Estimates?

By on

How many kids are "born bad." While there currently is one 2 year old who needs constant attention, due to his narcissistic and compulsive behaviors, my understanding is that a tiny percentage of human beings are bona fide psychopaths or at best extreme narcissists. The charge to the larger society is to provide the means for people born without conscience or sense of boundaries to fit in the larger society - productively instead of behind bars (or in government, especially the White House).

Some kids can be molded into good citizens with punishment? A tiny percentage needs to be trained at the end of a stick. The question is what is needed for every child in terms of creating a fundamental positive mental structure of boundaries, right and wrong and what is needed to maintain that structure. Factory education, based on business models, has always been a mediocre form of education. Whether more money is needed or we need to completely rethink how education and human beings work is a better question than just tweaking systems that are designed to provide mediocre results for moderate amounts of money.

For those who have to be removed what do you propose? Summary execution? Trials that determines they can not be educated and therefore should either learn to join a gang or be executed as a crime prevention tactic?

I believe that the behavior in children mirrors ourselves and our values. What are the greatest influences on children in establishing values and behavioral norms for them? Dysfunctional parents? Absurd movies of super heroes? Computer games that teach violence and acting out are acceptable?

Add cars. Cars dissolve neighborhoods. If cars did not exist neither kids nor adults could leave their neighborhoods as easily. Escaping our misdeeds or just plain rudeness would be much more difficult. Before blaming babies for bad behaviors we would be better off examining how our values - the real values, not the prettied up values shape kids. And by real values what do I mean? Money, power, escape from problems instead of learning healthy ways to deal with challenges. Poor mental - spiritual health arising from drug addicted and/or alcoholic family members; religious leaders who preach a good word but practice bigotry and hatred; political and civic leaders who pretend to be servants but actually want to be petty dictators.

Children are mirrors of the adult world that they live in.

up
Voting closed 6

I don't propose any universal solutions because

By on

I don't think any exist. There was plenty of dysfunction before easy transportation and mass communication. Every language spoken by humans has a vast vocabulary to describe every flavor of it in fine grained detail.

What modernity enables is self selection of the good by conscious acts of self preservation by escape. It's not just flight of individual people from bad school districts. It's geographic sorting of people and businesses across state lines to greener pastures, it's mass migration, it's the very founding of this country as a city on a hill unencumbered by old world grievances and squabbles*.

That's not a bad thing. If we all had the crab mentality of making it hard to go out on a limb or reach for the stars, then no one would be the first to climb the mountain because the Twitter outrage machine would have shamed him into timidity for daring to dream that he could while some poor bastard can't get a job to feed himself because of innately low IQ and consequent incompatibility with success in society. So I am at peace with the fact that after about 100,000 years or so of human evolution, we still produce a range of people, some of whom are at the bottom rung and aren't capable of going higher. It's a concession to observed reality.

*Which of course gives us (and Australia, New Zealand, Canada, etc) the paradox of simultaneously being a multi-ethnic settler nation but also needing to keep a lid on whom we let in so as to keep out that which we all fled from at some point in our history.

up
Voting closed 4

Whoa. Sounding like a liberal!

By on

Your 2nd paragraph is so on target. Self selection by escape. Worthy of remembering. The problem is there is no more escape. Yea, parents with the money can move out to a wealthier area where the level of education is higher and the degree of neighborly (and hopefully familial) dysfunction is lower. But there remains many people who can not escape.

So do we maintain urban factories that produce criminals? Or do we as a society address what pushes many people into criminal conduct or creates criminality?

Laws are to protect everyone, to impose some degree of fairness, to maintain order, to fulfill the ideals of both the Constitution and the principles that stand behind the Constitution.

Yet laws still are not used as they should be. They continue to be used to create classes in society. Sometimes those classes are based on wealth, sometimes on skin color.

Example: Cocaine versus crack. Extremely similar yet in 1986 the penalty for possession was far greater for crack. Was there a legitimate reason? No. It was about who used what. Even with the change of penalties crack garners a greater punishment.

Coke was the white person's drug of choice. Crack the black persons. That was and remains the reason for the disparity in sentencing.

To put all responsibility on an individual for their behavior ignores the fact that conditions of life promote one set of behaviors over another. Fortunately the Federal system provides some recognition of that fact in sentencing. But it does not go far enough.

The war on drugs failed a long time ago. When crystal meth and now opiates (pushed ironically in legal contexts) became prominent the war on drugs was squashed by reality. But billions continue to be spent, billions continue to be wasted, suffering unending continues because as a nation we put our heads underneath the sand pretending that one day bad drugs will just go away.

That is what was said during Prohibition. If the harmful addictive drugs were recognized as public health problems there would far more success in helping people stop using and far less money spent in warehousing people (especially poor black, brown and white). Gangs would be hurt; they will remain because so long as there is money to be made outside of law (prostitution, non-state gambling, murder for hire!) there will be people ready to take on the job.

But if we want to decrease the problems of acting out in schools or acting out in society we need to stop escaping from the harder and uncomfortable solutions that actually serve the purpose of helping people of all skin colors. Until we reject the model of the prison-industrial complex that profits off the suffering of others we will just have more of the same. More crime, more acting out, more unteachable children.

In 12 Step programs there is an idea. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

up
Voting closed 1

Not to burst this sudden meeting of the minds

By on

but the repeating insanity that I see is predicating "progressive" policy in school discipline on the blank slate hypothesis that all children are capable of being rocket scientists if it weren't for those racists fifty or a hundred years ago that wronged their great-grandfather.

Whether it's in the genes or in the transmitted culture, or in the microcosm of the transmitted culture of their particular family line, some people will have more difficulty availing themselves of opportunities made available to them. Short of Nazi eugenics, that cannot be fixed.

Given that we're not going to squash that particular mosquito with a sledgehammer, the policy question to ask is how much of it will we tolerate and how will we work around whatever amount of it that there is.

By tolerate I mean not threatening lawsuits over a supposed school to prison pipeline that I promise you no educator anywhere ever aspired to invent or administer. And by work around I mean refraining from loudly dreaming about removing the means for escape by people who have the clarity of perception and the work ethic to undertake the escape so that they and their children have a shot at climbing the mountain.

up
Voting closed 5

Are Children born bad?

I think there is much truth in what a number of the earlier commentators have stated. For some children, a suspension might just be what they want and the real punishment would have to be to stay in school. For studious kids, why should they suffer because of disruptive or bullying classmates?

But suspensions are often an admission that we can't handle a child, and the suspension could be seen to a young person as a rejection or giving up on them, when perhaps many others in their lives have done the same.

Having policies that identify problem children, deal with them in a fair and rational matter, and having alternative classes or schools for many of these most difficult kids seems to be a step in the logical direction. The teachers should be trained, experienced and paid commensurate with the difficult task of making them into productive members of society, not just kicking them to the curb.

It sounds easier than it is, but in a civilized society that values all of its citizens, it seems to me to be an investment worth doing.

I applaud this policy as a step in the right direction, but it needs more follow through to be successful in my opinion.

up
Voting closed 18

Here's the difficulty with follow through

By on

If the goal of the flower children threatening the lawsuit is to end the "school to prison pipeline" then any policy that warehouses the bad apples away from potentially good kids will be attacked as discriminatory, even if done with the best of intentions and executed in good faith.

Why? Some kids can't be taught. They will cluster in any program tailored to them (that's a bit of a tautology but it's a point that ought not be forgotten) and thus the graduates of any Super Duper Success and Leadership Academy so conceived and euphemistically named will have lower average lifetime earnings, higher rates of incarceration, and if the selection process is 100 percent accurate, no amount of per-pupil spending will fix it.

And it'll turn into another political hot potato that no one wants to deal with.

up
Voting closed 7

Argument fails at flower children

By on

Attacking a group of people with whom you disagree with a disparaging term such as flower children undermines much of your argument. It suggests a bias that demands facts conform to preconceived ideas.

How many children can not learn? Saying some can't be doesn't make it true. The reality is that no child can not learn unless their brain function is nominal. The notion that no child can learn sounds more like a moral condemnation. Even an expression of needing to be able to morally condemn some children.

Ironically even those tiny percentage of amoral - if not truly immoral - can manage to reach amazing heights and (as far as we know) manage to evade the punishment of the law for illegal or at least illicit conduct.

The only person who can not learn is either dead or is so hardened or arrogant that they are completely shut off from life.

up
Voting closed 5

Jordan Peterson to the rescue

By on

The answer to how many is about one out of every eight in the population at large, or about 320,000 per year nationwide.

This is roughly the number of people with an expected IQ below 80. 80 keeps getting thrown around as the empirically determined cutoff below which the ability of an individual to contribute positively to an organization's bottom line diminishes appreciably. That's obviously subjective and not a clean dividing line because that number came from the cutoff imposed by the US military for contributing positively in the context of wartime service. But a shift to either side of that number will still leave a lot of people on the wrong side of it.

Just so I don't get accused of shit when I don't mean to be, I'll give an example from my own high school graduating class, which was nearly all white and nearly all upper middle class. About two percent were unreachable. They had diagnosed intellectual disabilities. Two percent is an IQ of about 70 or lower.

In Pennsylvania in the early 2000s, a community service project was a requirement of graduation. In my school district you got to pick your own and I picked volunteering with the middle school math teacher.

She taught five sections of 8th grade algebra composed of the same demographics: all white, all middle class, all with a potential tiger mom or tiger dad back home ready to advocate for their kid. One or two of the sections were "honors track" two were "mid track" and one was the euphemistically named "conceptual track" for the less talented kids.

If I were to stop there, I could say that 1 out of five is an IQ of about 85 or so (Dr Swirly can check my math, I'm typing on a phone and don't have an ERF() function handy). But I'll go further, because as temporary teacher's aid it was my job to actually help the kids with their lessons one-on-one. My memory is fuzzy since it was a long time ago, but I remember being directed to help three different kids learn how to expand quadratic polynomials. (a + b)x(c + d)=? kind of stuff.

One boy got it and understood it with individual attention. And if memory serves toned down the clowning by a tick. One girl cried her eyes out when I informed her that she'd have an easier time following the lesson if she weren't spending her time conversing with her neighbors. And one boy wasn't much of a clown or a jerk but just didn't get it, and later I was informed that he had a diagnosed intellectual disability.

So out of that small sample of three, between 33% and 66% of the lower 1/5th of students weren't teachable for an overall estimate of between about 1/15th and 1/7th of an all white upper middle class suburban school district.

So the Jordan Peterson number looks pretty solid.

Now that's the number of unteachability, now disruptiveness in class. But I'll tell you, they're probably pretty close to each other. I find it hard to picture the honors track lessons not getting derailed if the low track kids were interspersed in between and being completely lost and bored.

up
Voting closed 3

More than half

By on

if "average" is being defined by people who implicitly think a human being isn't fully formed until at least a master's degree and isn't worth talking to unless he holds a PhD, preferably in SJW.

up
Voting closed 1

Wow

Not one person is asking how a trained competent teacher has so little control of a 2nd grade classroom? Not pointing fingers. What is the class size? What is going at such a school? Discipline isn’t punishment. If an 8 year child cannot be regulated to participate into a classroom then something is wrong. Punishment is a cop out. The child needs to be evaluated. The classroom needs to be evaluated too. If you can’t critique your work, you can’t improve it.

up
Voting closed 13

School I work at has like 25

School I work at has like 25-30 kids per class with one teacher Only takes one kid to disrupt any sort of learning going on.

We'll have a Dean following a student for hours because they won't enter the Dean's office and they can't be touched until they're a danger to themselves or another. Completely disrupting every class they pass, out of school suspensions prevent this.

Doesn't help when parents curse out the school leaders and deans in front of their kids and totally undermine any sort of school authority figures to the student. Lots of "my mom says I don't have to listen to you".

A lot of parents don't believe that their child could act such a way. But it's different when they're not around.

up
Voting closed 15

Bring back caning

By on

I had exactly one month of schooling in the old country before getting the rest of it here. Back there, and back then, there was corporal punishment. Here there was not by the time I got here. Little boys and little girls back there were a lot less likely to mouth off and make trouble for the same one teacher per number of pupils than kids of the same age here.

Around the early 1990s there was a continuous wave of immigration from over there. Mostly Jewish families with school aged children. We were early in the wave and I watched how new kids from over there who came into the Philadelphia public schools after an even longer time in that system adjusted. The longer they had been in that system, the longer it took for the rod up their asses to dissolve into good old fashioned American flippancy.

Not super long, of course. By the time we all reached high school, were were all good irreverent pre-hipsters. And my unscientific guesstimate says there aren't any more brain surgeons or rocket scientists in that cohort than among the native-born, or any fewer mental defectives, for that matter.

But there were fewer juvenile troublemakers during the brief period before we had all internalized the idea that we weren't going to be spanked stupid as punishment for doing stupid things in class.

up
Voting closed 3

You beat your children?

Great way to make them pathological liars and sociopaths just like you.

Maybe you shouldn't be talking about it here.

up
Voting closed 5

When I was in elementary and Junior High School, as they called

By on

Middle School back in the early to mid-1960's, I witnessed several incidents in my classes, when kids (namely boys) who acted very badly in class get swatted, cuffed, and in general, physically roughed up by the teacher.

In my younger brother's class, during the mid to late 1970's, there was a French teacher who was fantastic as a teacher, but who had a lousy temper. One one occasion, a kid in his class deliberately walked across the teacher's desk and squashed his lunch. The teacher hit him. The principal of the school warned the French teacher that he'd be fired if he ever laid his hand on a kid again.

Later, a couple of the kids in one of the French teacher's class were fighting, and the French teacher hurried over and knocked the two miscreants' heads together. After that, the school administration fired him.

up
Voting closed 5

Good

Such casual adult on child violence was likely one of the precursors to the whole massive baby boomer crime explosion.

up
Voting closed 4

Actually, however,

By on

The baby-boom generation had already reached its crime-prone adolescence by the time the 1960's rolled around.

The two incidents with this particular French teacher happened during the 1970's, when the baby-boomers, who'd been born between the years 1947-1955 had already reached their twenties and early 30's.

up
Voting closed 7

Technically?

Baby boom ran to 1964. It peaked in 1955-56. (red line in figure)

The first of Gen X entered high school in 1979.

IMAGE(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/66/US_Birth_Rates.svg/1016px-US_Birth_Rates.svg.png)

up
Voting closed 2

I don't think that caning is such a good idea.

By on

It can backfire horrendously, in more ways than one.

As for parental punishment of kids, I can see slapping or even spanking a kid as a very last resort, if a kid does something that's extremely dangerous to them or others, or if his/her behavior is very, very extreme, but that's as far as it should go.

When I was growing up, I knew kids whose law-and-order parents would take the belt strap to their hide every time they acted out, or sassed them back, or who got slapped or spanked at home constantly.

up
Voting closed 6

That's one extreme we were at before

By on

The one or two kids gaming the system knowing it's more trouble to discipline them than to let it slide as described in the post I was replying to to above is the extreme we're at now.

There's a happy medium somewhere but it may very likely involve empowering school officials to lay their hands on kids who have it coming to them.

up
Voting closed 4

Stuck at stage 1

Stage 2 is why is this happening? Their parents suck and the teacher is not allowed to assault them are not the answer. We already know this happens so how about looking at successful classrooms? How about bringing parents to school to sit in class with there child.

up
Voting closed 8

Not to mention

How much recess are these kids getting? Is the work expected of them age appropriate?

My sons had a 5th grade teacher who took a lot of abuse from the system and parents, but consistently produced high results by making sure the kids had plenty of time to run, play, and burn off energy.

Current expectations that kids can sit still and shut up at young ages, and do class work that is two grades above what their grandparents were expected to do is the root cause of a lot of mayhem. Kids aren't wired to sit still at young ages - they are wired to learn by moving their bodies. Let them run!

https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2014/08/06/336361277/scientists-say-chil...

up
Voting closed 12

The kids in question got recess twice a day,

By on

through the 8th grade. We all got recess. All kids have days when they get a little antsy and can act out sometimes, but, when I was in school, back in the day, there were some kids who acted out more than others, and acted in more extreme manners, and therefore ended up being treated accordingly by some teachers.

One girl in my grade even got her mouth washed out with soap by her English teacher just for cursing in class, and another girl in my grade got a detention from the Home Ec. Teacher for saying the work "puke" during Home Ec. class. One boy in my French class got a detention just for saying "Jesus Christ" during French class. All of those things went too far.

up
Voting closed 6

especially true for boys

By on

We need to admit and respect average gender differences in behavior. Boys and girls brains are wired differently. It is normal for boys, on average, to be more restless. But being restless is demonized as bad. Part of the problem is a serious lack of male teachers and what some sociologist term the girlification of schools. To add to the problem, many boys are raised in single mother homes and have no adult male authority figure at home or school.

up
Voting closed 8

Heresy

By on

Don't expect to land a job at Google after saying something awful like that.

up
Voting closed 5

When I was growing up, I also knew boys who were raised in

By on

decent, two-parent homes, who constantly bullied, acted out, constantly got into trouble, and ended up with both regular and in-school suspensions in high school, because their parents were simply unable to manage them, despite being decent people. Several of these same boys that I knew received a three-week suspension during Senior year of high school, for having gone up to the high school and hazed the Freshmen, who'd started a few days earlier than the Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors, for Freshman Orientation.

. Some kids do mellow out as they get older, while others don't. Sometimes, the attitude "Well, these bullies will get theirs later" does pan out--karma, as it's called.

One guy I knew became a severe alcoholic, another became a heroin addict who ended up serving a jail term for stealing in order to obtain heroin, and another ended up with early-onset Alzheimer's disease and ended up being put into a special home.

up
Voting closed 4