Chancellor Banks needs to install a serious discipline code
Schools Chancellor David Banks has much on his plate but ensuring safety on school grounds needs to be Priority No. 1, as the alarming stories teachers have been telling The Post make clear.
Fact is, Team de Blasio turned the Department of Education’s school discipline code into a complete joke with their progressive views — and students know it. As the number of suspensions handed out by principals and superintendents plunged through this year, teachers and parents say classroom disorder has soared.
A veteran teacher at one troubled Bronx high school told The Post of harrowing violence that goes unpunished. One incident, for example, involved a gang-related altercation in the middle of the school day where a student began slashing his peers with a boxcutter.
No one gets suspended, the teacher said, as principals are pressured “from above not to suspend students, or to take any punitive measures at all [and] there’s no accountability for any bad behavior.”
Another educator confided, “We have teachers getting kicked at, spit at, cursed at, things thrown at [them] and the kid is back the next day like nothing happened.”
DOE data show that suspensions plummeted more than 42% from 2017 to 2021 and, indeed, have been trending downward ever since the department “revamped” the discipline code under Mayor Bill de Blasio. For years, school-climate reports contradicted the DOE’s insistence that school crime was low.
Kids now fear to set foot in their schools unless they’re carrying a weapon, and that has led to more weapons seizures. This school year is shaping up to be a particularly dangerous one for school-safety personnel, with 84 cops and school-safety agents injured — 56 seriously enough to need hospital treatment — due to student misconduct through March 2022.
According to Chalkbeat, DOE officials credit their restorative-justice programs — which refer rule-breakers to conflict circle sessions and guidance counseling — with lowering days lost to suspension. But again, that only fueled misbehavior.
Banks needs to install a completely new disciplinary code pronto, one students take seriously. Kids need a safe place to learn; neither they nor school staff should be robbed of their sense of security in school.