• Teacher Fam

    There are two teachers in my family and we have several friends who are teachers here in OC. This topic is a regular discussion. Some thoughts about this heavily-one-sided piece:
    – There have been instances of students caught with drugs in restrooms (including middle school) and the school administration didn’t want to report them to law enforcement because they didn’t want it on the school’s record
    – There are students who use profanity toward teachers and constantly show extreme defiance (e.g. “F you,” “what are you going to do about it?,” get out of their seat to talk with others across the classroom while the teacher is talking, etc.). They do so because (1) they don’t care about education and (2) there are no meaningful consequences (go to the Principals/Vice Principal’s office and then back in the classroom two minutes later).
    – “Students of color” are not targeted — the reports of behavioral problems are based on students’ actions no matter what color of a student’s skin. Our friends have taught in different school districts within Orange County — there are schools where a majority of the students want to be there (they value education and their parents push them to succeed) and there are other schools where a large number of students don’t care. The teachers are trying everything they can within the framework they are given. The students and their families need to have accountability as well.
    – The State’s education leaders (the State level who shape our education policy) need to spend a lot of time visiting classrooms. I think they are naive to what many teachers face in terms of the growing behavioral issues among students. Today’s environment is a lot different than years ago when they might have been in the classroom.

    • LFOldTimer

      It’s a money deal. The more kids they can cram in a classroom the more revenue the school collects. The schools get paid based on per capita attendance. Suspending the knuckleheads means less revenue for the school. Money is #1. Education comes in a distant second. California’s declining tests scores prove my point. They need the revenue to pay the teacher’s salaries and pensions. The answer? Work a second job to send your kid to a private school.

  • I Teach

    Santa Ana teacher here. Few things:
    1) Less suspensions does not translate to better discipline. As a matter of fact, most of the high schools in Santa Ana seem content assigning Saturday schools which students know they really don’t have to attend. Guess what? When the students are suspended, they don’t screw it up for everyone else. The district is happy to not suspend students since they get more money for the students attending school (ADA=Average Daily Attendance).
    2) Restorative justice rollout has been a joke. Administrators aren’t willing to invest the time or energy into training teachers or making it work on a school-wide level.
    3) Joven Nobles is a joke. I’ve had several students attend, and they all turn out just as immature, but with a fancy certificate/title/photo op with Boys and Men of Color, who don’t know what teachers struggle with.
    4) Why do minorities have higher rates of suspensions? Higher rates of poverty=more crap they have to deal with=more behavioral problems. Simple as that. Not discrimination, especially when you’re in a district that’s 90%+ Hispanic/Latino.

    What we need are more counselors, therapists, and mental health professionals. Students are so wounded, not taken care of by their families, and restorative justice is not addressing the main issues (poverty, familial situations, etc).

    • LFOldTimer

      Thanks for a viewpoint from the front lines.

      Not surprised.

      Btw, the system encourages poverty. The ‘war on poverty’ is a myth. Just like the ‘war on drugs’.

      • Rivett

        Begets radicalism.

  • Paul Lucas

    Good news. Restorative justice is a positive step. keep up the good work.

  • LFOldTimer

    Ok. So suspensions plummeted.
    What about crime?

    • Ltpar

      As one of the on the line teachers suggests, “less suspensions does not equate to better discipline.” By the time a student is suspended, they have been through a full cycle of options and corrective interventions to get them straightened out. There are some kids who do not want to be straightened out and keeping them in the classroom disrupts the education process for other students. Bottom line is, Restorative Justice is just another liberal feel good program, used as a smokescreen for the systematic destruction of the public education system. What better way to destroy a country from the inside out that to continue to churn out uneducated and illiterate students.

      • LFOldTimer

        Yeah. Anybody who lives in California and pays attention understands how the quality of K-12 education has deteriorated to one of the worse academic levels in the nation. Back in the day California used to offer good public school training. Not anymore. It didn’t get that way by itself. The biggest problem is that many parents don’t value education. So their kids suffer. But a disruptive kid shouldn’t be able to impede the education of a kid who wants to learn and make something of him or herself in life. And for adults to allow that to happen is disgraceful and unforgiveable. Nobody wins. Everybody loses. Back in the day a ruler to the backside solved the classroom disruption problem. Today that would land a teacher in jail. The weakest links have taken over the classrooms. California’s test scores prove it.

      • Paul Lucas

        yeah lets just lock those kids up. You must love lou correa

    • David Zenger

      Unfortunately there is a GIANT hole in the middle of this article. The reporter is simply repeating a series of facts she has been sold but that don’t add up to anything: suspensions are down because…students are not being suspended. Does “restorative justice” work? Prove it.

      What is needed here is some explanation as to what has happened to the disruptive and belligerent students that likely refuse “restorative justice.” Are they roaming the campuses? Are they succeeding academically in any sort of demonstrable way? Are they just shunted to back of the classroom where they play on their smart phone all day?

      • LFOldTimer

        Doesn’t matter what the hooligans do. They still contribute to the headcount and thus the school revenue. And that’s all that really matters. If they disrupt the educational experience for their fellow students who desire to achieve something in life – well, that’s just the cost of doing business.

        Again, focus on the test scores. That cuts right to the chase.