He’s Right Of Course, Turning Back The Clock On This Predictably Disastrous Progressive Policy Requires More Competent Leadership Than This…

Brevard County (Florida) Sheriff Wayne Ivey chose the county jail to make a passionate public statement about the deteriorating discipline in public schools and its catastrophic consequences last month. Flanked by law enforcement partners, school board chair Matt Susin, and 18th District State Attorney Phil Archer, Ivey needed urgent reform.

As it was his job,to keep schools safe from all forms of harm,  “the clowns who continually disrupt our classrooms, our assemblies, with their bad behavior” had to change, Ivey said, and he pledges to be active in executing that change:

“Our teachers are distracted, they can’t do their jobs anymore, they’re spending more time dealing with children disrupting their class than they are in teaching those that came there to learn….As a result, we are losing teachers in mass order. Teachers that can no longer take having their class disrupted by these clowns. We are losing those that came here to passionately teach our students, that are passionate about teaching others.”

 Ivey pointed to “the failure of school discipline policy” in Brevard County allowing a minority of students to repeatedly engage in class violence, disrupting lessons while attacking teachers physically and verbally. The sheriff said that teachers and principals were “handcuffed” regarding  discipline, with excessive bureaucratic obstacles rendering the process to request disciplinary action slow, burdensome and ineffective.Ivey said he had witnessed chaotic student behavior while speaking at an anti-bullying assembly, noting that the disruptive students were not obviously unconcerned with possible consequences of their actions. “They’re not worried about getting in trouble, they know nothing’s going to happen to them, they’re not going to be given after school detention, they’re not going to be suspended, they’re not going to be expelled,” Ivey said. “Unlike the old days, they’re not going to have the cheeks of their ass torn off for not doing right in class.”

Now, he claimed, “school discipline is going to be put back in place in Brevard Public Schools.” Ivey said that he had the support of the school board, the teachers union, principals, the state attorney’s office, and school security.

Supposedly aggressive new policies in line with Ivey’s lament were proposed in a subsequent school board meeting on Dec. 13, but specific plans have yet to be released.

Well.

What Ivey described is a nationwide  problem of long standing, and its getting worse. The current Department of Education has no intention of addressing it, and can be counted on to oppose the kinds of measure Ivey would favor. The school conditions he described are the reason my wife and I pulled our son out of Alexandria’s mega-school, Alexandria City High School more than ten years ago,  Its name was changed from T. C. Williams High School in 2020 because the 30-year school superintendent hadn’t absorbed—in the 30s,40s and 50s—the wisdom of school integration before the rest of the nation and the US. Supreme Court had, and thus his significant contributions to the community and the school system obviously amounted to nothing; after all, a black lifetime petty criminal had died under the knee of a bad white Minneapolis cop.

But I digress. The corrosive and intellectually deficient idea that the “disparate impact” of school discipline on minority students meant that teachers could inflict virtually no discipline at all has metastasized into efforts to eliminate grades, standards, testing, and eventually education itself. The public schools’ mission is now more concentrated on race than the traditional “Three R’s.” Is that an exaggeration?  The very first sentence on the Alexandria City High School  website states that the school “places racial equity at the center of everything that we do as a school division.”

As well-intentioned as Ivey’s urgent address may have been, it would be hard to make more blunders if one were trying to accomplish something other than blowing off steam:

  • Staging the speech in from of the jail was bonkers. The law enforcement system needs to stay out of the school discipline issue except in extreme episodes. Tying the two together walks right into the “school to prison pipeline” argument, which claims that school discipline must be all but eliminated.
  • Do you see any Africa-Americans with the sheriff? Like it or not, school discipline is a racial issue. Without the support of the local NAACP and black community leaders, Ivey’s call for action is certain to be tarred as a racist ‘dog whistle.”
  • Ivey’s nostalgia for the good old days when disrupting class resulted in a child’s ” cheeks of their ass torn off” disqualifies him completely. Corporal punishment in the schools was disgavored when I was a kid; longing for it now marks any official as a clueless barbarian, and, frankly, an idiot. This is the guy whose going to lead school reform?

Advocates for school discipline are right, but if they can’t do any better than this, they might as well just shut up and commit to private schools and home schooling. It is unethical to presume to address a crucial pubic policy issue, take the lead, and then botch it as badly as Sheriff Wayne Ivey did.

10 thoughts on “He’s Right Of Course, Turning Back The Clock On This Predictably Disastrous Progressive Policy Requires More Competent Leadership Than This…

  1. Jack wrote, “The public schools’ mission is now more concentrated on race than the traditional “Three R’s.””

    True but don’t forget the focus on gender identity and pronouns.

    Let’s face it, focusing on teaching the three R’s and the sciences are way down the priority list for 21st century “progressive” controlled school systems. The old education standards (the status quo) are well behind pandering to race, gender identity, pronouns, anti-white culture, equity and anti-police all while they actively purge history, push the climate apocalypse, push anti-Constitutional and anti-status quo ideals and openly support cultish hive-mindedness. Progressives version of public education has become social indoctrination and the three R’s and science are completely secondary to social indoctrination.

  2. The school board propping up Sheriff Wayne Ivey in the manner in which they did as the poster child of what could have been a positive movement for change is a bit like the Dali Lama propping up Donald Trump as the poster child for being humble.

  3. When I was a kid, my favorite books were the “Little House” stories by Laura Ingalls Wilder. In one of her books, “Farmer Boy” – about the childhood of her husband Almanzo – Laura related a story of how the small one-room school attended by the students was disrupted constantly by bigger boys who resented having to go to school and physically threatened any teacher who tried to teach. Their fathers bragged that the boys would beat up the teacher and break up the school…so, no help from home then.

    At one point, Almanzo’s father and the new teacher discuss the matter, recalling how a friend of theirs had tried to teach and was severely beaten by these bigger boys.

    In a memorable scene in the book, the new teacher deftly handles the brutes by keeping a bullwhip at his desk and taking them on when threatened. The boys flee and the other students are free to continue their education.

    Now, this was just a story. A story that took place in the 19th century. And, of course, I’m not advocating arming teachers with bullwhips to dispatch unruly students.

    But, I think the nostalgia here is for a time when students could generally learn unencumbered by disruptive students, particularly violent disruptive students. I’m not sure I know what the solution here is.

    • The problem is that there is absolutely no fear whatsoever of effective punishment for unruly students and that is exactly how social justice warriors want it. Social justice dictates that putting fear, of any kind, in the mind of a student to “force” compliance to cultural rules is child abuse. This is why classrooms across the country have degraded into a relative free-for-all for students where the disruptive and disrespectful students can disrespect, abuse, and assault teachers and other students at will but all the adult authority figures have their hands tied because they will be sued if they do as little as hurt the feelings of a student. Yes this is how the absurdity of progressive’s social justice nonsense is running amok throughout our society leaving the inmates to run the asylums.

  4. Unfortunately, it seems like the threat of law enforcement intervention might be the only effective deterrent to this behavior, at least for the unpredictable future. Any other consequences most likely play into their own hands as things presently stand. Agreed, though, that the most important ally by far are the various black leadership organizations. It wouldnt be difficult to sell a disparate impact on their constituents as the most likely result of failure in school discipline.

  5. Would your calculus have changed if the Sheriff had pointed out the choices the kids have.
    Prison is a likely outcome for bad behavior and the school to prison pipeline is a function of choices made by the student and their circle of influencers.
    There is no policy designed to facilitate school to prison. This is another fallacy designed to shift blame from those who choose to act immaturely or aggressively that imposes costs on others .
    We need to call this out every time we here it.

    • Maybe there is no school-to-prison pipeline, but there are plenty of programs to acclimate children to prison culture. The police at the door, the metal detectors, the drug-dog searches, the random drug tests, the lockdowns, the cafeteria food… At our local school, the teachers are allowed to issue tickets. They can write a disorderly conduct ticket for a student, call the resource officer, and the officer will sign it. The student then has to go to court about it. As usual in the public school system, this is applied unevenly and mainly to the poor kids in school. So, maybe not a direct pipeline, but it is similar.

      On a side note about the cafeteria food, a friend of mine was fired as a cook for the county jail because his food ‘tasted too good’.

  6. I happen to agree with Sheriff Ivey with regards to the problem of unruly children in classrooms. I had actually written a response in which I recounted a second-grade experience I had where an unruly classmate was taken to the back coatroom and spanked – hand-to-bottom – by the principal. You could have heard a pin drop in that room afterwards and Robert never acted up in second grade again.

    But that’s not really the problem. Schools have problems, but I believe this is a problem beyond school. And I’ll probably get in a LOT of trouble from some of you what I’m about to write.

    The solution to this problem starts at home. Too many children are being taught by their parents to defy authority…that “no teacher has the right to make you behave or tell you to do anything.” Or they’re being “disciplined” with the ridiculous “I’m going to count to 3 and then you’re in trouble” mechanism or some form of non-punishment, like “take your phone and tablet and go to your room for time out.” Or even worse, they are told by school authorities that any form of parental discipline is abuse and should be reported.

    By the way, there were times I would have given my right hand (I’m left-handed) to be faced with “time out” as a punishment.

    These methods don’t teach children to obey authority. They teach children that it’s perfectly acceptable to disobey – and repeatedly disobey – authority up to a certain point, at which time he/she go to your room to sit for a bit. So when they get to school, it’s little wonder that the kids – now in the shape of students – think being told to “follow these rules” is just the “one” of a count to five. They think police should give them 3 or 4 chances to break the law before punishment is actually enforced. Many kids don’t respect authority outside the home because they weren’t taught to respect it in the home. And that’s the parents’ fault.

    Again, I’m probably in trouble here, but you know what young children understand? It isn’t long-winded explanations or treatises on reasoning and “making good choices”. They understand pain, and that pain, properly applied with love, in moderation, on a child’s behind, is a great teacher. But even if it doesn’t involve spanking…consistent, proper, immediate discipline at home goes far in creating respect and obedience in the classroom down the line.

    Just my thoughts. Please chew carefully before swallowing.

  7. In Madison, AL two students were engaged in a physical altercation on a school bus. The assistant principal tried to intervene to break up the fight. One of the belligerent students aggressively attacked the assistant principal to the point of biting him. His immediate response in the heat of the fight was to slap the biting student to bring her to bear. There is now argumentation in the community (parents) about what punishment should be meted out to the assistant principal. The superintendent of the system refuses to punish the principal, the two students have been suspended. I say thank you and give the assistant principal award. What say you all?

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