Author Topic: DOJ to schools: its racist to punish students for behaving badly texting in class  (Read 274 times)

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Offline rangerrebew

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I'm sure everyone is aware students learn more when behaving badly and texting in class.  I think Holder should have worded the problem as "students paying attention and learning are a threat to the welfare state."

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DOJ to schools: It’s racist to punish students for behaving badly, texting in class

Posted By Robby Soave On 3:04 PM 01/09/2014 In | No Comments

The Department of Justice wants schools to directly consider race when disciplining students, taking care to ensure that some races are not punished more often than others, even if students of certain races misbehave more often.

Eric Holder’s DOJ co-wrote the letter with the Department of Education, and sent it to public schools across the country yesterday. First among its decrees: Schools should not strive to treat all races the same; rather, they should treat the races differently, levying weaker punishments when necessary, in order to effect equal outcomes among students of all races.

The problem? Not all races are equally likely to misbehave at school. Boys, for instance, get into trouble much more frequently than girls. And black, Hispanic and Native American children — who are far more likely to grow up in single-parent households — have higher misbehavior rates than white and Asian students, according to Roger Clegg of National Review.

But the DOJ’s recent guidelines instruct schools to discipline racial groups equally. In practice, this would mean either punishing certain kids more harshly because they fall into a better-behaved racial category, or opting not to punish students who happen to be black, Hispanic or Native American.

This philosophy, known as “disparate impact,” will harm well-behaved students, according to Clegg.

“If schools are pressured to ‘get their numbers’ right in this area, they will either start disciplining students who shouldn’t be or, more likely, will not discipline some students who ought to be,” he wrote. “If unruly students are not disciplined, the kids who will lose out the most will be well-behaved students in classes with undisciplined classmates, and those well-behaved students are themselves likely to be poor black or Latino kids. Somehow the Left always forgets about them in its eagerness to show compassion.”

The letter, however, makes crystal clear that this is exactly what the federal government expects from schools:

“Schools also violate Federal law when they evenhandedly implement facially neutral policies and practices that, although not adopted with the intent to discriminate, nonetheless have an unjustified effect of discriminating against students on the basis of race.”

It also lists disciplinary policies that it would consider racist:

“Examples of policies that can raise disparate impact concerns include policies that impose mandatory suspension, expulsion, or citation (e.g., ticketing or other fines or summonses) upon any student who commits a specified offense — such as being tardy to class, being in possession of a cellular phone, being found insubordinate, acting out, or not wearing the proper school uniform.”

One may wonder what schools should be policing, if they are not allowed to address tardiness, possession of prohibited devices, insubordination and school uniform violations — but the letter does not elaborate on disciplinary causes it finds acceptable.

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Offline mountaineer

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Linda Chavez: The Federal War on School Discipline:
With much ballyhoo, the Obama administration announced this week that it will keep a close eye on school districts that discipline minority students at higher rates than whites. Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan held a joint press conference to release a “Dear Colleague” letter to school districts issuing guidance on school discipline that will likely encourage districts to make race a significant factor in deciding how to administer punishment.

Holder and Duncan claim their intention is to ensure nondiscrimination in school disciplinary procedures — but the guidelines they’ve offered will result in exactly the opposite.

Black and Hispanic students, on average, experience higher rates of school suspensions and other serious disciplinary actions — there is little doubt or debate on that score. A Washington Post study last year found that in the DC region, black students were far more likely to be suspended from school than whites or Asians. Just outside of Washington in suburban Montgomery County, Md., 6 percent of black students were either suspended or expelled from school the previous year, while only 1.2 percent of white students suffered the same punishment.

The most recent available national school-suspension statistics show that some 15 percent of blacks, 7 percent of Hispanics, 5 percent of whites and 3 percent of Asians are suspended at some point in their school life.

But the real question is: Why? If black and Hispanic students engage in behavior that’s punishable by suspension at higher rates than whites or Asians, then we shouldn’t be surprised that their punishment rates are higher, as well. On the other hand, if behaviors don’t differ or if black students who commit the same infractions as whites get harsher treatment, discrimination is likely the cause.

Unfortunately, the DOJ and DOE guidelines go far beyond discouraging actual racial discrimination. In essence, the administration wants school districts to guarantee that minority students don’t experience higher rates of suspension or other serious punishments for disciplinary infractions. It’s certainly laudable to try to bring down suspension rates for blacks and Hispanics — but there are right and wrong ways to go about it, and the administration has chosen the worst way.

The guidelines tell school districts that any discipline policy that results in an “adverse impact on students of a particular race as compared with students of other races” is problematic. The district must prove that the policy is “necessary to meet an important educational goal” and that there are not “comparably effective alternative policies or practices that would meet the school’s stated educational goals.”

In the DC-area study, for example, minority students were far more likely to be suspended for “insubordination” than whites. The easiest way to fix the statistical disparity would be for school districts to eliminate insubordination as an infraction punishable by suspension. But who’d benefit?

Students who refuse to follow the rules and behave disrespectfully to teachers and administrators would learn they could get away with it with no consequences, setting them up for future failure in the work world. Students who behaved would find themselves in unruly classrooms, and teachers would find their authority and ability to teach undermined.

Meanwhile, the real culprit for racial differences in disciplinary problems among students would go unexamined. More than 70 percent of black babies are born to single moms, as are about 60 percent of Native Americans and 50 percent of Hispanics, but less than 30 percent of whites and 20 percent of Asians. Children who grow up in fatherless homes are exponentially more likely to face school suspension or engage in early criminal behavior.

According to the Fatherhood Coalition, fatherless teens are three times more likely to be suspended from school and fatherless teen boys are 10 times more likely to become chronic juvenile offenders than those raised in homes with two parents.

Forcing school districts to weaken disciplinary policies or set racial quotas in implementing them serves no one. And those who’d suffer the most would likely be minority students stuck in undisciplined classrooms.

“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual – or at least that he ought not so to do; but rather he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” Samuel Adams, April 16, 1781.

Offline Chieftain

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DOJ simply does not have the authority to make any kind of rule like this.  It is blatantly unconstitutional and will eventually be withdrawn either because of court action, or, more likely, by the next Attorney General. 

Offline Chieftain

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