Since President Barack Obama pressured educators to adopt a new code of conduct making it harder to suspend or expel students of color, even kids who punch out their teacher aren’t automatically kicked out of school anymore.
Previously, “If you hit a teacher, you’re gone,” said Peter Kirsanow, a black conservative on the US Commission on Civil Rights. But that’s no longer the case, he says, thanks to race-based discipline quotas sweeping the nation’s schools.
But a former St. Paul, Minn., science teacher, who was “beaten and choked out” by a 16-year-old black student, blames the discipline policies, which he says are “preferential towards African-American students.”
“The district is not suspending students for fighting, theft, drugs and alcohol in an effort to show less students of color are suspended,” Ekblad said, adding that the administration has even paid principals as much as $2,500 in bonuses for low suspension rates.
- In Harrisburg, Pa., a series of violent altercations with students led to a wave of teacher resignations last month. At least 45 teachers quit due to safety concerns stemming from “alternative” discipline practices and a three-year backlog of expulsion cases — including more than 100 involving assaults on teachers. Even elementary-school teachers complained of kids slapping, kicking, scratching and spitting on them.
- In Buffalo, a teacher who got kicked in the head by a student said: “We have fights here almost every day. The kids walk around and say, ‘We can’t get suspended — we don’t care what you say.’ ”
- In Charlotte, NC, assaults on faculty have climbed two years in a row, as schools implement Obama’s discipline reforms. “There were staff that were afraid of students,” said Annette Albright, one of more than 300 staffers hit by students in the last reported school year.
- In Silver Springs, Md., disobedient students became more brazen, bringing “knives in school [and] threatening teachers,” after Montgomery County public-school administrators told teachers that “the number of minority suspensions had to be closer to the percentage of the whole student body,” high-school history teacher Jamie Frank complained. Even repeat offenders are given a pass: “It’s most likely that that child will be back in school if they are a minority student,” Frank said.
- In Oklahoma City, which softened student punishments in response to a federal bias complaint, “Students are yelling, cursing, hitting and screaming at teachers, and nothing is being done,” an Oklahoma City public-school teacher said. “These students know there is nothing a teacher can do.”
- In Milwaukee, which also has complied with the Obama mandate, a 16-year-old black student in August knocked a teacher to the ground and punched him over and over, while a sixth-grader tried to strangle another staffer with his lanyard and faced no consequences.