Why This Teacher Needs Jackie Goldberg on the School Board

Image
As I wind up my 24th year of teaching in Los Angeles classrooms , I pause to think of my past lives in different schools and neighborhoods. While presenting to students in Finland I always included a slide of past eras of my life such as growing up in the Eastside, college and adulthood in the Westside, teaching on the Southside, and married life in the Valley. Apart from being a native Angeleno, significant years of my life have been spent living in many parts of town, and teaching in many communities. I love all of them.

Which is why I have no doubt in my mind that what students all over L.A. need more than anything is an ally on the school board. My South Central students need a warrior who recognizes that our teachers’ strike was more than just a salary dispute, but a movement to reclaim our rightful place as agents of change in the profession we love. One that will help us do our jobs serving students. My West Valley students need a fighter who will challenge our legislators to …

Suspensions don't work! Tell that to the other 35 students

http://meccawy.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/boy-girl.gif

Question: In lieu of suspensions for severe misbehavior, we offer what? A talking/healing circle?

What if the bully doesn't want to talk or let the victims heal?

We know suspension doesn't work for that ONE student who gets sent home. But does it help the other 35 who remain in school?

Who is fighting for the rights of the 35?

I think I might be the only social justice educator in favor of lifting the suspension ban.

Not for little things like talking back (I applaud it when it is thought provoking and reasoned.)

But for, I don't know, assault? Vandalism? Sexual and profane language?

When the powers that be tie our hands and do not allow the professionals who actually work at the school the authority to make these calls, the misbehaving students see a green light to go on a rampage. It's been happening since suspensions were banned. No, it is not just for willful defiance...a ban has sent a chill down administrator's backs for fear of attracting downtown's attention. So it includes virtually all causes.

If we cannot provide the type of resources needed to support the needs of challenging students, then we are literally handicapping our students from being productive members of society when they become adults by banning suspensions. And we are robbing the other 35 students of the full attention of the teacher.

There has got to be a better way.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

FULBRIGHT: Countdown: Day 7

"There Are No Emergencies"