A Sept. 8 Gazette article was confusing and poorly written. The headline on 6A “Schools/Drug-related expulsions on the decline” was directly above a table that shows exactly the same number of drug-related expulsions (in Iowa schools) for 2011-12 as 2010-11.
In the accompanying article, same page, it was noted that Cedar Rapids and Iowa City chose not to expel students for weapons, drug or violent/disruptive behavior. Furthermore, in reviewing the data as presented it would appear that the policies in place have had little or no effect on the number of discipline actions taken in the last six school years.
The quotes within these articles continually confuse/amuse me. For example, “I’m optimistic (the drop in weapons-related expulsions) is because we’ve had fewer kids bringing guns to school,” or “ … we know that being in school has a direct correlation to your achievement,” or “ … you have a lot of kids … who have the right to an expectation of being safe.” These quotes were attributed to administrators of our state agencies or unions and show a remarkable lack of insight into how effective our discipline practices are as well as a lack of appreciation for effective communication.
Of course a decline in expulsions could be traced to fewer violations (if, in fact, it did occur) and I hope that going to school will correlate with achievement. And by the way, all kids, not a lot of kids, have the right to expect a safe environment.
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