Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Replacing school discipline with criminal enforcement

After a commenter self-styled "College Cop" and I have been discussing the merits of school campus police in Grits comments the last few days (in posts here and here), I was interested to see a story from the Texas Tribune on ticket writing by police in public schools ("Tickets for 10 year olds?," June 2). Here's how the story opens:

With the rise of get-tough juvenile crime policies across Texas, the municipal courthouse has become the new principal’s office for thousands of students who get in fights, curse their teachers or are generally “disorderly” on school campuses — even in elementary schools, according to data collected from school systems by Texas Appleseed, a nonprofit research and advocacy group focusing on social and economic justice.

Dallas ISD’s police department, for instance, issued criminal citations to 92 10-year-olds in the 2006-07 school year, the latest year for which such data is available. Alief ISD’s officers issued 163 tickets to elementary school students in 2007. And “several districts ticketed a 6-year-old at least once in the last five years,” according to a recent presentation to the state Senate’s Criminal Justice Committee by Texas Appleseed. Such tickets, often given for “disorderly conduct” or “classroom disruption,” typically are handled in municipal courts or by county justices of the peace and can have fines of between $250 to $500, police and court officials say, though some courts route many students into community service in lieu of fines.

The boom in ticket-writing over the last decade or more tracks with the boom in the creation of school district police departments, says Deborah Fowler, Texas Appleseed’s legal director. In 1989, only seven school districts in Texas had separate police agencies. Today, more than 160 departments are attached to districts, which Fowler and others attribute to a rising fear of juvenile crime that originated in the 1990s. The trend fits into what Texas Appleseed researchers and others view as a dangerous melding of education and criminal justice that too often and too early introduces children to the law enforcement arena, often a precursor to prison as an adult.

Texas Appleseed collected such data from 30 different school district police departments. In advance of a planned comprehensive report into the practice, the organization provided The Texas Tribune with data it collected on Houston ISD, Dallas ISD and Austin ISD, along with statistical snippets from other school districts. Houston ISD also provided more updated statistics at the request of the Tribune. Overall, the organization found that young students — often under 14 — are regularly ticketed and that the practice tends to disproportionately target minority students.

Also notable was Thevenot's report on a recent Senate Criminal Justice Committee meeting focused on the subject:

At a Criminal Justice Committee hearing in late April, Sen. [John] Whitmire grilled officials from Aldine ISD about disciplinary practices in general and tickets in particular. Repeatedly, he pressed for answers on both the rationale for ticketing and the practical effect, injecting often that he felt the practice did little but haul low-income parents into courthouses for low-level student misbehavior and introduce kids to the criminal justice system prematurely.

“Can you tell me why you’d write a ticket," Whitmire asked, "instead of just ordering a kid to study hall, or to stay after school on a pretty day and write 1,000 times, ‘The world isn’t big enough for filthy minds?” as a teacher of the senator’s apparently once did.

The question was directed to Aldine’s Ken Knippel, assistant superintendent for safe and secure schools, who replied to similar queries that the number of tickets the district wrote was declining and conceded that ticket-writing “was not a solution” but sometimes an appropriate “consequence for the behavior.”

Such answers didn’t seem to placate Whitmire and some of his colleagues on the committee.

“Do you think the ticket stops the behavior?” Whitmire asked.

“No,” Knippel answered.

“They why do it?”

“I’m not suggesting that tickets are going to be the final answer,” Knippel said.

IMO ticketing students for in-school disciplinary problems not only isn't the "final answer," it raises many more serious questions than it resolves.

40 comments:

Jennie said...

I think ticketing is nuts. If you set boundaries and rules and follow through then most of it should not be necessary. When a student is disruptive send them to the office. Require that the parents come to the school and that the student can't go back to class until then. I promise that if parents are having to come to school daily because of the behavior of their children then the behavior will stop. If a parent does not come then refer the child and the parents to Child Protective Services. Parents do not want to have to miss work to come to school to see what their child has done wrong. Parents do not want to have to have a CPS investigation.

If behavior is unacceptable then make the parents accountable. If Mommy or Daddy has to miss work often enough then I am positive that they will change the behavior of the child.

I raised four children. I promise it only took one call to the office per child to make them behave.

I don't want a military state where we are asking the police and the courts system to discipline my child. It is a waste of taxpayers money. We need to make parents be parents and be held accountable for the actions of their children.

Anonymous said...

Though I don't agree with ticketing young children for negative behavior in schools, the fact is many parents will not go down to the school when their child is sent to the office. Teachers often have to deal with parents who are not engaged or who view the schools as the source of discipline rather than a source of education. In my own experience in teaching, I came across too many parents who expected teachers and school staff to discipline their children, never mind the fact that this one child out of 30 cannot get all of the attention. Several parents provide false addresses or false phone numbers, making it even more difficult for school officials to reach them. Unfortunately, schools have been forced to utilize the one resource they have to get parent's attention: the police. It's sad, but there is a greater cultural change that needs to take place in our communities before this trend can go away. Accountability, for some odd reason, has become a foreign word. That needs to change.

FairPlay said...

I think that this was all created by taking corporal punishment out of the schools. It seems amazing to me how many parents are against corporal punishment these days.

Anonymous said...

I loved corporal punishment when I was in school. In a matter of seconds, the punishment was over. It hurt for a few minutes, but that was better than having punishment eat into the time when I wanted to do other things.

The worst punishment for me was having to stay at school longer.

Anonymous said...

Tickets make the kids disrespect the police officers at a young age. A juvenile has no respect for the ticket. It is racial profiling poor income families and mental illnesses. The school wants a quick fix on problem kids and don't want to waste their precious time on inspiring them to be better human beings.

Anonymous said...

It all comes down to two things folks, power over the people and revenue for the state. Even Senator John Whitmire believes in this practice.

Anonymous said...

Ditto 2:08 and 2:15. Not to mention it was probably reinforced when you got home.

Jennie said...

Anon 2:01 you said " the fact is many parents will not go down to the school when their child is sent to the office" Who said give them a choice? In Georgia I know that a child has to sit there until the parent comes and gets them. No choice. Parent not there by the end of day then call CPS or suspend the child until the parent brings them back to school.

Anon 2:15 - The thing with corporal punishment is that you couldn't whack a girl on the backside only boys. It was unfair. A boy could misbehave and know that he could go to the office and take his licks. A girl got detention or suspended. Not to fair in my opinion.

Whatever happened to FEAR? I am almost 60 and I still say "yes mam" to my mother. I can't imagine raising my voice to her. I was scared of my teachers and wanted to please them. It is not that any of them ever did anything but I just "knew" better.

My adult children still know that if Mom says "Excuse me?" that they are in deep trouble. One raised their voice to me last week and I told them to leave my home. That I would not be talked to that way in my home. No discussion just leave until you can show me respect. It is a matter of boundaries - setting and keeping them.

How many of you have been to WalMart and heard the mom that is yelling at her child "If you don't stop that I am going to spank you" only to see them later in the store and the mom still saying the same thing. She doesn't follow through. The lesson learned is that Mom yells but does nothing so just ignore the yelling and do what you want.

It is up to the parents or grandparent or teachers to set limits and then stick to them.

Anonymous said...

"Whatever happened to FEAR?"

Yeah, why don't have all the schools scare the children? That'll make everything better.

Anonymous said...

To 6/02/2010 02:31:00 PM
The revenue from these tickets does not go to the state. It goes to the school district. Can we say $$$$$$$

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry, but you're incorrect about the revenue. These citations are filed in a court (usually municipal or JP), which then collects and shares court costs with the state, and collects a fine for the local jurisdiction (the city or county, depending on whose court it is). But frankly, most juvenile citations are "paid" through community service or Teen Court service (or not paid at all), and thus, they are not really money makers. Parents are not (and cannot be) ordered to pay them, so only the parents with the money and the concern about a citation hanging over the kid's head actually do PAY them. The majority of school citations go to kids whose parents either don't have the money, or don't have the concern. While the devaluation of the courts into a disciplinary mechanism ("passing the paddle," as Ryan Turner calls it) should be a SERIOUS concern for all citizens, let's not get distracted by concerns that aren't realistic. The kids aren't paying, and many of their low-income parents can't. It's not a money issue, unless you want to talk about how much money YOU'RE spending to fund courts caught in the middle of this nonsense.

Anonymous said...

"Houston ISD also provided more updated statistics at the request of the Tribune. Overall, the organization found that young students — often under 14 — are regularly ticketed and that the practice tends to disproportionately target minority students."

Whatever happened to responsible journalism? The above is an odd statement considering the following:

Houston ISD Students by Ethnicity
Ethnicity # of Students % of All Students
American Indian/Alaskan Native 531 0.3
African American 53,680 26.5
Asian 5,962 2.9
Hispanic 125,097 61.7
Native Hawaiian/Other Islander 373 0.2
Two or More 1,241 0.6
White 15,889 7.8
Total 202,773 100.0

How can you be a minority if you are the majority?

http://www.houstonisd.org/HISDConnectDS/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=62c6757761efc010VgnVCM10000052147fa6RCRD&vgnextchannel=2e2b2f796138c010VgnVCM10000052147fa6RCRD

Anonymous said...

The Texas Youth Commission did the same. At one time youth were brought out of class and given consequences. It became easier for laxy teachers and staff to just call LE and pass the buck onto them. The kids just gave up and the system got worse. Who is to blame more? The youth with their juvenile problems or the teachers and staff that were too busy and timid to actually do their jobs? It goes on all over the state. They have big raises yet still do little to benefir our kids. Shame....yes, a bid shame.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jennie from one perspective. I teach in a college setting, and the most effective way to deal with disruption is expulsion. It's hard to disrupt a class if you are no longer there. I also think it is the most appropriate response legally and ethically, because it is arrogant to hold that disruption of a class is a crime, or that failure to adjust to the requirements of an educational setting is a crime. Disruption of my class is not a crime, but you aren't going to be in my class very long if you do it.

Where I disagree is with Jennie's statement that, "...if parents are having to come to school daily because of the behavior of their children then the behavior will stop." Obviously, Jennie doesn't have much experience with the problem, at least as it exists lately. In most cases, if parents could control the behavior, they already would have done so. The answer is not to punish the parents, although the juvenile justice system fully operates on that assumption nowadays. Punishing the parents only exacerbates the stress the family is under and will probably just make the problem worse and result in the parents having less control. The differences between now and the time when Jennie's opinion was viable have to do with the results of the conservative revolution and its authoritarian basis. First, the very idea that police should have the role to discipline children and charge them with crimes for misbehavior in school reflects part of the overall differences in social policies, which are part of the problem. The philosophy behind the idea represents about the third decade of iteration of the conservative law and order principle that began with the conservative revolution. The idea is that all social problems can be solved by the force of police authority and punishment. The environment in which we raise children now reflects unworkable values and unworkable beliefs about human behavior and social conflict. Children sense something is wrong, and they realize it doesn't make any sense. It is like trying to teach them that 1+1=3. If they truly understand numbers, they will know something is wrong. They sense that the adult social world which has been constructed under the conservative revolution is senseless and unworkable. When severe punishment is seen as the sole option for maintaining order in society, it triggers a chain reaction of policy changes, habits, beliefs, and behaviors that are increasingly unworkable and increasingly frustrating for everyone. The unworkable idea is that nobody has to solve social problems anymore. The answer to all social problems and conflicts is to call the police. The implementation of authority and punishment therefore escalates in an endless cycle which ostensibly seeks order, so that all avenues of social control and conflict management are displaced and replaced with arbitrary police authority. That is one reason parents can't control behavior, because parents are limited in what they can do to control their children themselves. They are subject to the same threats from the same system. If they misjudge in their efforts to control their children, they will wind up being punished by child protective services themselves. Under the authoritarian philosophy of social order, everyone is powerless except for the police. Nobody exerts even their rightful controls for fear of being punished. All conflicts are left for the police to solve. That's at the core of what is wrong.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

1:18, IMO you absolutely nailed it. Good job!

Only one tiny quibble: You attribute this to the "conservative revolution," but in my experience the attitudes you describe are the result of a firm bipartisan consensus. It's a stance attributable generally to the political class, not to this or that ideology. Big Government Liberals are just as likely as conservatives (sometimes more so) to believe the state can solve every social problem with cops, laws, and jails.

College Cop said...

7:30 beat me to it, NONE of the revenue (for a "real" ticket) goes to the school/college district/university. On the rare occasion I've written a JP citation, any revenue went to the state and the county, the college district recieves no benefit.

The poster who pointed out that most of the tickets are "paid" in community service is also correct in my experiance.

something that is missing (as usual) from the reporting is a sense of context. Dallas ISD for example has 160 thousand kids and wrote 4000 tickets. A normal texas city (or county) of 160,000 people is writting WAY more than 4000 tickets per year (and reaping the financial benefit from doing so).

What you'll find is, normally, campus police (on all levels) use force less than traditional police, write tickets and make arrest a LOT less, and use both judicial and non-judicial diversion programs a lot more.

But there are problems. Not to pick on Dallas ISD PD, but when they transitioned to a police department (it was only a name change, Dallas ISD has had a TCLEOSe license for their security department since the 1970s), their 1st cheif was ex-Dallas PD. Like lots of school PDs that bring in ex-traditional cops, they then got flooded with traditionally minded officers. Officers who may have been more enforcement minded than was good for the situation.

It stims from the common misconcetion (displayed evenon this blog) that one size fits all for Law Enforcement/Policing. It does not, just because someone is a great street cop is not a detective make, a great detective might not fit on a swat team, a swat team member might suck with a K9 ect ect.

Well, someone who is a good traditional/territorial cop might not be the best campus cop and vice versa. Campus Cops need even more restraint, not because the citizens they are protecting are young (or even kids), but also because they are in an environment that is highly liberal, amongs faculty and administrators who are not the biggest fan of any kind of police.

This serves as a unique break of the excercise of police authority, something not usually seen in traditional LE (as I said in another posting, traditional cops tend to get a great deal of autonomy, campus cops are never physically far from supervision ever). This is why campus policing is or should be a model for the rest, there is police power yes, but it is seriously and severly curtailed and controled by civilian/citizen oversight like you wouldn't believe.

Some of the problems highlighted in the article are really about School PDs that are frankly doing it wrong, and in no way be seen as a reflection of the whole (same as with the constables).

WilcoMom said...

I'd like to see the statistics on Round Rock ISD ticketing students. I'd also like to know why they feel tasering students into submission is appropriate.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

College Cop, I agree that "campus police (on all levels) use force less than traditional police, write tickets and make arrest a LOT less, and use both judicial and non-judicial diversion programs a lot more."

However, before there were campus police, use of force, ticket writing, and arrests were used at even LOWER levels (nearly nonexistent ones in all but extreme cases). So why shouldn't we prefer that situation?

According to the Tribune, "In 1989, only seven school districts in Texas had separate police agencies. Today, more than 160 departments are attached to districts." Don't you suppose the use of arresting, ticketing, etc., was even more uncommon before 1989?

Campus cops are a recent phenomenon and though I know we disagree on this, IMO they're redundant and largely unnecessary. In fact their redundancy is part of why there's fewer arrests, tickets, etc. - we have all the cops needed to perform actual law enforcement functions elsewhere and they're mostly just not needed.

College Cop said...

""However, before there were campus police, use of force, ticket writing, and arrests were used at even LOWER levels (nearly nonexistent ones in all but extreme cases). So why shouldn't we prefer that situation?""

Because society changes. This isn't the 1950s anymore.

The same social changes that brought about both the seperation of law enforcement from the military sphere in the West and the organization of civil police forces in the 1st place (starting with King Louis XIV appointing the 1st Lt. General of the Paris Police in 1667) are occuring even today. The less formal stucrutes of the past just don't work on increasing populations that are themselves increasingly Urban.

""According to the Tribune, "In 1989, only seven school districts in Texas had separate police agencies. Today, more than 160 departments are attached to districts." Don't you suppose the use of arresting, ticketing, etc., was even more uncommon before 1989?""

Fistly on this, it's misleading. Take Dallas ISD for instance, they had a TCLEOSE license, but they called the depatment "safety and security". 1/5th of their personell were police, the rest security. Their more recent switch was just a name change. And more than a few ISDs had a similar situation.

Secondly, their is no mention of the School Resource Officers (SROs). SROs are police officers from traditional agencies assigned to the schools So while only 7 ISDs had official PDs, many more were simply contracting with local PDs for police to patrol the schools (when i was in high school in the late 80s, we had a Deputy Sheriff permanently assigned to the school, she had her own office).

Police didn't suddenly appear in Texas Schools a few years back, rather ISDs simply turned to the College/University model of having their own police forces. This freed up to local forces to get back to general Law Enforcement while maintaining a school police presance that largely already existed. It' gave schools and school boards much more say over what happens , also.

This IMO can be (but sometimes isn't) a good thing. ISD police can recruit officer who fit into the school, rather than getting leftovers from local PDs (in many places, assignment as an SRO was used as a punishment or a way to get cops with disciplinary problems off the street...).

""Campus cops are a recent phenomenon and though I know we disagree on this, IMO they're redundant and largely unnecessary. In fact their redundancy is part of why there's fewer arrests, tickets, etc. - we have all the cops needed to perform actual law enforcement functions elsewhere and they're mostly just not needed.""

I happen to think that the American model of increasingly decentralized (thus smaller and more easily held accountable) policing is better than , say, the centralized British model (most police forces in britain answer directly to the government via their Home Office). Special Jurisdictions chosing police officers that fit in that community rather than further draining general police forces (in the form of SROs, and having to answer calls at those institutions) is just a better option. The end result is increased local control of people who are given broad peace officer powers.

Of course, it doesn't always work that way (See HCCPD), but in my experiance it works WAY better with us than it does with the Civil Service protected mega-bureacracies.....

Anonymous said...

People are focusing on the behavior of police, but it's the school boards that establish and control the campus police departments. Residents of these school districts should start holding their elected school boards accountable for allowing or encouraging officers to cite disciplinary problems or for hiring officers who will ticket a 6 or 10 year-old.

Anonymous said...

Teachers and adminiustrators now get fairly good wages compared to regular Texas folks. Yet, they refuse to teach kids anything of value and refuse to do their jobs -such as discipline. They don't teach nowdays and are not responsible for much. They can't be fired so they do little and sit back and plan to retire.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

"People are focusing on the behavior of police, but it's the school boards that establish and control the campus police departments"

Excellent point!

R. Shackleford said...

This is just appalling. 1:18 bullseyed it, but what do we do to stop this trend?

Anonymous said...

"People are focusing on the behavior of police, but it's the school boards that establish and control the campus police departments"

That's debatable. Split opinions greet Texas school board training sessions

See here

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/education/stories/060110dnmetboardschool.1fabe98.html

Blue Roses said...

I think I love you, GFB!

Seeing these stats is a validation of the suspicions many of us have had for years.

Again, I say: Municipalities maintain and grow their budgets, sadly, on the backs of our children.

Excellent, excellent research, article and commentary.

I'll be back.

Jennie said...

"Obviously, Jennie doesn't have much experience with the problem, at least as it exists lately."

My youngest has just turned 19 then I think I know plenty about it. How about setting boundaries and consequences for it? What about teaching your children respect and right from wrong.

I have had children go to school in different states. Georgia (Cherokee County) does make the parents come to school or the children can not come back to school.

El Paso, TX did make me come to school when I had a child raise her voice to a teacher as she was busy putting on her makeup in class. I promise she never did it again - or if she did the teacher didn't see it.

You didn't like the word FEAR? Well, I am still afraid (as in fearful) of displeasing my mother. It is a matter of respect, of knowing that I will disappoint her. It is a matter of knowing that I was not raised to act that way and so I am afraid of her displeasure to have to tell her that I was that stupid and disrespectful.

One look at my childre and was all that it took. That look that let them know that I was not stupid, I knew what was going on, I would not be played and that I expected them to do better. Now if that is fear then I am thankful for it.

Anon said "Accountability, for some odd reason, has become a foreign word."

I agree 100%. It is never "anyone's" fault. It's sure not my fault my kid wrote on the wall with marker - right? It must be the teacher's fault for having a marker in the class. Or is it the school boards fault for allowing markers to be purchased?

Give me a break. A parent is responsible for the actions of their child until the day they reach 18. If you don't think you are responsible then obviously you are still not ready for all the responsibility that comes with raising a child.

I notice no one would bite on my comment about the parent in WalMart. I assume all of you have seen one of those parents.

Anon 1:18
"Obviously, Jennie doesn't have much experience with the problem, at least as it exists lately. In most cases, if parents could control the behavior, they already would have done so. "

No, I don't think so. People are so caught up in themselves that they aren't doing their job. Being a parent is a 24/7 job for 18 years.

"The answer is not to punish the parents, although the juvenile justice system fully operates on that assumption nowadays. Punishing the parents only exacerbates the stress the family is under and will probably just make the problem worse and result in the parents having less control. "

You must be kidding! Someone has to be accountable. Are you wanting the police and school to raise your child for you? Oh, do we have to tip toe to not stress out the family?

"The differences between now and the time when Jennie's opinion was viable"

My youngest just graduated from high school last year. I don't think that is a real long time - do you?

Anonymous said...

1:18 sounds like a politician. A lot of reason why as in fluff but offers no preventative measures; responsibilty and accountability.

I would suggest you go and read Lessons From A Third Grade Dropout by Rick Rigsby. Then you will realize even more where Jennie is coming from.

You go Jennie. I'm with you!

Gritsforbreakfast said...

2:46, while you're reading memoirs from the third grade, and Jennie fondly recalls her dread fear of Mom during her childhood 50 years ago, 1:18 is describing how your attitudes actually play out when implemented today as policy in the real world.

Anonymous said...

After you read the book, get back with me.

Anonymous said...

In response to my attributing our current police state nightmare to conservatives, Grits writes, "Only one tiny quibble: You attribute this to the "conservative revolution," but in my experience the attitudes you describe are the result of a firm bipartisan consensus. It's a stance attributable generally to the political class, not to this or that ideology. Big Government Liberals are just as likely as conservatives (sometimes more so) to believe the state can solve every social problem with cops, laws, and jails."

I think where we differ has to do with different ideas about the definitions of liberals and conservatives. From my perspective, there just simply aren't any liberals anymore. There haven't been since about the mid 1980s. It's the Overton window thing. The problem really is conservatism from my perspective, although I understand it currently is the only game in town, so it is sometimes hard to think in terms of there actually being an alternative. "Big government liberals" are nowadays not liberals. They are far-right-leaning moderates because that is all that is electable. I understand how this can be confusing in Texas, and especially in Austin, because their is an artificial social divide between two groups, one of which claims to be "liberal" or "progressive". They aren't. They are a long, long way from it. They are conservatives who like hip and trendy lifestyles and pot, but conservatives none the less. That is why the problem seems to be "bipartisan". It is, because there aren't any Democrats anymore, especially in Texas. Just because the conservative revolution was successful in almost completely wiping out all popular support for a political ideology doesn't mean that ideology itself no longer exists. If things are going to change, our so-called "liberals" are going to have to embrace some ideas that have been relegated to the political junk pile for so long that they appear strange and comical to everyone. Otherwise, it's just going to keep getting worse.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

I don't know, 2:47, IMO there are definitely elements of liberal ideology that promote all this. American conservatives think government is incompetent, which is why they (supposedly) want it smaller. But people who think government can accomplish anything are the most likely to implement criminal laws as social policy.

I know it's Texas so maybe it doesn't count, but if you look at who carries the majority of "enhancements," or penalty increase bills, Ds outnumber Rs by a country mile and the committee in the House that passed them all is 7-2 Democrat controlled.

I don't think the liberal/conservative axis split matters much on criminal justice topics. There are small l libertarian factions and religious-based value sets in both parties, though, that provide what counterbalance there is.

Anonymous said...

"It is, because there aren't any Democrats anymore, especially in Texas."

There ain't no democrats period. On 11-4-2008, dems were given power in the house, senate and oval office.

Seen any change? Anyone regret it or are you still believing that government and politicians are the cure for your lots in life and turn on that magical switch and all is going to be ok?

Anonymous said...

That is interesting stats on crime bills in Texas, Grits! Of course, in hindsight I could say it doesn't surprise me, but it does. On the other hand, it fits well into my understanding of there actually being no Democrats anymore; and yes, especially none in Texas. I do understand Democrats on a larger scale have their fingers as deep in the expansion of the police state as Republicans, but I think a lot of that is their desire to counteract stereotypes of being soft on crime, which is what their consultants' polls tell them threatens their re-election. So they work double time to deny it. They are ashamed of their base and they are ashamed of real liberal ideology. Obama made use of this himself in his campaign. Conspicuously missing from the behavior of Democratic politicians is any sign of loyalty to their base. They assume they are smarter than we are and that they must stick to the prevailing mantra that the country is "moving to the right" in order to keep their jobs. The "moving to the right" is an understatement, of course. For god's sake, it fell off the right side of the world 20 years ago. Because of that, I simply stopped thinking of them as liberals several years ago. The Clintons were the first to drive that point home in a big way.

On the other hand, as far as the "big government" thing, police, military and drug war funding are not part of the conservatives' idea of "big government". To them, "big government" is social programs, regulation of industry, and taxing entities. Police, military and drug war are exempt from the conservatives' hatred of government.

All in all, there just are not enough liberals to make a blip on the screen anymore. The conservative revolution succeeded. Now that we have reached the end of what that conservative ideology can produce and its problems are becoming bigger than its solutions, we are just adrift in a stalemate because there is no liberal ideology available in public discourse to fall back on -- to provide an alternative or solution. We are going to have reach back to some of the ideas that we allowed to be trashed during the conservative revolution. That is hard to do, because after decades of control, brilliant attitude manipulation techniques, and a continuous systematic effort to detect and weed out liberal thought, nobody even thinks like a liberal anymore. So the problem isn't "bipartisan", nor that our seriously flawed policies are both conservative and liberal. The problem is that liberals disappeared years ago and were replaced by clones that aren't liberal at all. That is why we are going nowhere and there is no end to the nightmare in sight. The balancing ideology has been removed from the public forum, but that doesn't mean that government by the right for the right will become viable and workable simply because alternative ideologies have been outlawed. You can force the population to deny that there is drought, but that won't make the grass grow!

Pirate Rothbard said...

Government funded schools don't work. And they're getting worse. What a surprise...

Jennie said...

Hey Grits - any reason why my last post was deleted?

Anonymous said...

"The Texas Tribune with data it collected on Houston ISD, Dallas ISD and Austin ISD, along with statistical snippets from other school districts. Houston ISD also provided more updated statistics at the request of the Tribune. Overall, the organization found that young students — often under 14 — are regularly ticketed and that the practice tends to disproportionately target minority students."

Again, pretty shoddy journalism.

Today, about 41,000 black students attend DISD schools. They make up 26 percent of the district compared with 106,000 Hispanic children, or 68 percent. White students are 5 percent of the district.

Hard to be a minority when you are the majority.

BTW, this is an interesting news article in the today's Dallas Morning News.

'Black flight' changing the makeup of Dallas schools

http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/education/stories/060610dnmetblackflight.1bffbc6.html

They ain't leaving because of ten year olds getting tickets either.

Concentrate on the real reasons we have problems with our school system state legislators. You are the problem with your incompetent micromanaging and bothersome meddling in something you have shown no ability to manage .

Anonymous said...

Such answers didn’t seem to placate Whitmire and some of his colleagues on the committee.

“Do you think the ticket stops the behavior?” Whitmire asked.

“No,” Knippel answered.

“They why do it?”

“I’m not suggesting that tickets are going to be the final answer,” Knippel said.


What political pandering........

How about this scenario...........

“Do you think the ticket stops the behavior?” Whitmire asked.

“No,” Knippel answered.

“Then why do it?”

"Because you made it law and gave us the authority to do so, moron!"

tbower said...

You ALL are missing the point! Poster 6/03 1:18 a.m. DID nail it! ALL of you posters should do a tour of duty as a substitute teacher. YOU WOULD BE ASTOUNDED at the degradation of respect for teachers, administrators and students alike. Face it, much of this is due to negative cultural influences, but lack of good parenting plays a role, too, along with the fact that so many families are forced to have two working parents. I'm a substitute teacher for a rural ISD and two urban ISDs. IMO the schools use ticketing (i.e. bringing a criminal case against a student) only when an actual crime has been committed AND when all other in-school disciplinary measures have failed. In some cases, police are called on a "first offense," but it doesn't take a brilliant legal mind to know when a 9- or 10-year-old student has misbehaved so badly as to warrant immediate steel bracelets. In 27 years as a news reporter, I've personally documented murders by 14- and 12-year-olds (and their trials in juvenile court). In both cases, the victims were parents (one was the parent of the killer and one was the parent of the killer's classmate). IMO, some of the blame for the degradation of discipline lies with the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which was designed to "mainstream" as many disadvantaged students as possible. While laudable, this effort has only held back the vast majority of well-behaved students of all racial, ethnic and economic strata. It does this in 2 ways. 1st, it forces the teachers to teach multiple lesson plans to nearly all classes. 2nd, it gives far too many chances to students who are troublemakers. Unlike in college, it is far more difficult to boot a grade-school student out of class for disruption. Do it too often, and the teacher is faulted for failing in classroom management. Yet, that's exactly what needs to happen. Why on earth should 1 or 2 students keep the rest of a class from learning the lesson? I guarantee that if you put closed-circuit TV in today's classrooms and allow parents to see what actually goes on in there, they would be infuriated by the amount of time most teachers have to spend on discipline and classroom management.

tbower said...

If 6/03 1:18 a.m. hit the bulls eye, here are some suggestions to reverse the trend: 1st, taxpayers and voters must educate themselves as to what actually is going on in their schools, by becoming substitute teachers, by demanding unscheduled tours of schools and classrooms and lunchrooms, by forming ad hoc focus groups aimed at holding school boards and school administrators accountable WITHIN THE CONSTRAINTS OF THE FEDERAL AND STATE LAWS THEY MUST FOLLOW. It does no good to play Monday-morning quarterback. You must get down and dirty with the school trustees, administrators, teachers and students. This MUST be an inclusive effort with participation by PTOs, teacher organizations, school administrators and MOST IMPORTANTLY taxpayers whether they have school-age kids, or not. The objective must be to pressure students and their parents to behave appropriately in the classroom and focus on learning. One excellent carrot-&-stick approach involves athletics and extracurricular activities. The schools that are rated satisfactory and excellent usually use this approach to good advantage to gain cooperation from students and parents, alike. It's simple: If the student behaves, the student is rewarded with the privilege of participating in extracurricular activities. Taxpayers are required to give students equal opportunities for an education. They are not required to allow misbehaving students to play football or play in the band or be on the drill team or be in the National Honor Society. The sooner students realize this, the better! IMO it's time to fine-tune our basic education opportunities and follow the time-tested European and Asian models by weeding out the unworthy students at earlier ages and grade levels. Put more precisely: We should be challenging our students at earlier ages and grade levels to learn more and behave better, and reward them by channeling them into ever more rigorous education opportunities, up to and including full college scholarships AND fully paid apprenticeships in trade programs for those less academically gifted. Believe me, they will respond as well as any students in the rest of the world. At first, the misbehaving students and their parents won't like it, but they'll come around quickly. 2nd, those of us who do get involved in reversing these disturbing trends in education, school policing and modification of student/parent behavior MUST ensure the rest of the voters at-large are well-informed and will support statutory changes to the system. Without those changes, we're all just playing our fiddles while Rome is burning.

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