Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Debate on student suspensions

The parents and grandparents who attended the meeting on suspensions in the Buffalo Public Schools need to know that the rest of Western New York is laughing at them. To place the blame on anyone but the students, is an insult to everyone's intelligence. People are sick of hearing nonsense like this...

During two often-heated public hearings, parents and others criticized what they said was a long history of building administrators meting out excessive punishments for minor infractions that fail to address underlying issues and that disproportionately affect minority students.

Those suspensions, they said, often do not correct behavior problems but simply set children on a path from school to prison. Many wind up dropouts.

Give me a break. If minority students are being disproportionally suspended, perhaps it is because they are disproportionally misbehaving. It all starts with parenting. These parents expect the schools to raise their children for them. I'm not a huge fan of Charter Schools, but the reason minority students do well at these schools is because the schools get rid of the students whose parents aren't involved. It has nothing to do with color. Kids from good homes are not going to act like fools and get suspended. Didn't anyone listen to Bill Cosby's speech?...

"They keep suspending children who look like me -- children of color," said Ina Downey. "Caucasian students aren't being suspended. Children of color are."

Black students account for 56 percent of the population of the Buffalo Public Schools. But during the first three months of 2011-12, black students accounted for 73 percent of short-term suspensions.

The teachers I've worked with (and I've been in dozens of Buffalo Public Schools), bend over backwards to avoid suspending any students. What choice do they have when students show up acting like animals? People are sick of hearing nonsense like this. The officials of the Buffalo Public School system need to get some guts and start telling these parents to stop making excuses for their kids' atrocious behavior. It's called personal responsibility.

Dozens take district to task over suspensions


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