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WCCUSD: Not Enough Suspensions?

Last night, I attended the WCCUSD meeting on bullying and harassment.   I heard some of our kids describing how the school was unable to protect them from harm.  I also did learn about some very good, positive programs used at some school sites, although it wasn't clear to me if any of these programs were offered at Hercules High School, the site of a recent bullying incident.  By the way,  kudos to Jewyles Gutierrez for speaking up last night about the bullying he has been subjected to at Hercules High School!  Speaking up publicly takes courage.  Now, it's time for the community to step up. 

The one thing that I found hard to stomach last night were those parents or advocates who seemed to be completely against suspending kids who have committed acts of bad behavior.  Instead of treating these offenders as human beings with some level of intelligence, we have reduced these kids to something akin to feral cats, that somehow they do not know any better.  I left the meeting early, unable to stomach any more of the ineffective, touchy-feely nonsense.  I left questioning my liberal values with respect to school discipline policies, that such values might be part of the problem.  Yes, programs such as that of "restorative justice" are very positive and needed, but sometimes, we need to discipline our kids.  They are on the way to becoming adults.  They need to learn to be held accountable for their actions.  

And if that isn't a good enough reason to get tough on bullying, then how about doing it for the victims who have a right to attend school, unmolested verbally and-or physically.  The topic of bullying appears to have been lumped in with "conflict resolution."  Do you tell a rape victim that they need to work it out with the offender?  Then why treat victims of bullying any differently as if they are somehow part of the problem, that they were asking for it?  

And to those advocates who believe there should be no suspensions at all, I ask you to invite these misbehaving kids to your home for homeschooling.   The WCCUSD is rapidly becoming one large baby-sitter.  We are not doing our children any favors with this obviously failed strategy.  Boasting about the low number of suspensions is meaningless if children are afraid to attend school!

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