Restorative Justice – an Abysmal Failure

Walter Williams sheds light on another education policy gone horribly wrong:

Nationally, black junior high and high school students are suspended at a rate more than three times as often as their white peers, twice as often as their Latino peers and more than 10 times as often as their Asian peers. According to former Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the “huge disparity is not caused by differences in children; it’s caused by differences in training, professional development, and discipline policies. It is adult behavior that needs to change.” In other words, the Education Department sees no difference between the behavior of black students and white, Latino and Asian students. It’s just that black students are singled out for discriminatory discipline.

…The new discipline imposed on public schools is called restorative justice. Rather than punish a student through exclusion (suspension), restorative justice encourages the student who has misbehaved to reflect on his behavior, take responsibility and resolve to behave better in the future.

…violence increased in 50 percent of schools and decreased in 14 percent. Gang activity increased in 39 percent of schools and decreased in 11 percent. For drug and alcohol use, there was a 37 percent increase while only 7 percent of schools improved.

…One Chicago teacher told the Chicago Tribune that her district’s new discipline policy led to ‘a totally lawless few months’ at her school.

One Denver teacher told Chalkbeat that, under the new discipline policy, students had threatened to harm or kill teachers, ‘with no meaningful consequences.’

… After Oklahoma City Public Schools revised its discipline policies in response to federal pressure, one teacher told the Oklahoman that ‘[w]e were told that referrals would not require suspension unless there was blood.’”

…Since most of the school violence and discipline problems rest with black students, there are a few questions black parents, politicians, academics and civil rights advocates should ponder. Is academic achievement among blacks so high that black people can afford to allow miscreants and thugs to sabotage the education process? For those pushing the Obama administration’s harebrained restorative justice policy, can blacks afford for anything to interfere with the acquisition of academic excellence?

 

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