has a story, which has been at the top of The Dead Pelican for a day or two, about the high suspension and expulsion rate of school kids in Louisiana; reportedly it is about five times the national average for expulsions and twice the national average on suspensions.
Similarly, Louisiana Senator Ann Duplessis has introduced SB 628 which would make it extremely difficult for administrators to suspend students for things like fighting, disrespect of authority, or willful disobedience. The proposed alternative would be a Positive Behavior Support system in which students are rewarded for good behavior and when they misbehave, counseling and mediation is the preferred course.
I've read the Duplessis bill, which currently is set to be heard by the Education Committee today. I'm reading the background report now, which is a 48 page PDF file, if you'd like to look at it. I'm about halfway through the report which so far blames racially biased teachers and administrators for the high suspension rate, as well as an increased police and security presence in schools which makes schools feel like a prison with security cameras and school resource officers randomly wandering through the halls and snatching up kids for arrest. So far, no mention of parental involvement or support. I'm sure I'll get to that....right?
You can read SB 628 here.
So what are your thoughts on school discipline? As parents, how much responsibility falls to you and how much on the child himself (depending on age?) and how much on the school? What do you think about a positive behavior support system? How do you feel about security presence in schools? And do you think kids should be suspended for fighting? Short of advocating home school, which I know many people do, what about the future of public education?
I'm going to finish reading this report so I can be fair, and do some checking on some of their sources. But I'd like your thoughts in the mean time!