Fodder For Our Prison System??

jail cell 2HOUSTON — As school districts across the country consider placing more police officers in schools, youth advocates and judges are raising alarm about what they have seen in the schools where officers are already stationed: a surge in criminal charges against children for misbehavior that many believe is better handled in the principal’s office….

Such criminal charges may be most prevalent in Texas, where police officers based in schools write more than 100,000 misdemeanor tickets each year, said Deborah Fowler, the deputy director of Texas Appleseed, a legal advocacy center in Austin. The students seldom get legal aid, she noted, and they may face hundreds of dollars in fines, community service and, in some cases, a lasting record that could affect applications for jobs or the military.

Source: With Police in Schools, More Children in Court – NYTimes.com.

As if we needed more opportunities to put our citizens into the prison system; we are far and away already the number one incarcerater in the world. Now it seems, especially in Texas that we are dipping into the youngest generation for additional fodder.

I don’t know how the NRA feels about our prison system. Since they seem to have so much sway with our government representatives maybe they should chime in here with their opinions. I know that our prison systems were severely privatized by Mr. Bush and most Republican governors in the last decade or so. I also know that those corporations are among  the most profitable in America. But to increase profits, and isn’t that the sole purpose for corporations, means more prisoners.  I know there are documented cases of judges getting kick-backs for sending more people to prisons but I just don’t know how wide-spread this is.

Lets get back to the core of this post. More police in our schools as the NRA is advocating is adding to misdemeanor tickets in a serious way.  Is that a necessary requirement for protecting them from a nut job with a legal assault weapon?  Maybe there is some grand conspiracy that I am missing out on here. 🙂

11 thoughts on “Fodder For Our Prison System??

  1. Sorry- I should explain my “reasoning”.
    Now, seriously dangerous children are given aides and passed from year to year as the teachers and other students cower to their terrible moods. They cannot be given more then 10 days ISS/ OSS because they are “emotionally handicapped”. It is against the law!
    Calling a parent in to “handle a situation”- Bahahah! Usually the parent either doesn’t show or chooses to turn around and charge the teacher or other student with abuse.

    Remember when you and I were kids– a parent could legally beat you or put you in juvie if you ran away.
    The lady in Connecticut thought teaching her kid to shoot was a good idea. AGGGG!
    I guess the ticket is a better deal.

    If throwing tickets at the situation works—heck—something has to! Certainly gets everyone’s attention! Teachers have NO power and administrators are in a worse position than teachers.
    The day is coming when the police will be called abusive for restraining a child from stabbing another with a pencil….oh wait…that has already happened!

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    1. Janette, I sympathize with your pain and anger and apparent burnout and only hope that all teachers don’t have your vision of the school system. If so then it seems the next generation is doomed. Maybe privatizing our schools is the only answer now.

      Are the police in the schools there to protect the kids or to arrest them? You make our current education system seem pretty dreadful. I hope the average kids don’t see it that way. The kids I come in contact in our local high school have pride in their school and seem to enjoy being there. They don’t seem to be gloom/doom as you indicate that environment is.

      And no, I haven’t taught in a middle or high school and it sounds like maybe you shouldn’t either. Maybe you should find a less stressful occupation for yourself. Something that gives you a little joy in your life…

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  2. One thought I have is that — If it were financially feasible, it would help to make our seconday schools smaller. High schools here have gotten so large they become unmanageable. (The sports crowd might like them large tho, because they get a bigger better pool of athletes for their teams.) But, it’s a no-go, of course, because it would cost too much to maintain more buildings…tho the cost would be worth it in the long run. This is just one thing we could do right with our wealth instead of giving billions to corrupt dictators and banks..but I digress.
    Janette is absolutely right about parents today. It’s a different world, and if their kids screw up it’s somebody else’s fault….don’t touch MY child. Maddening. Yes, tickets may seem stupid, but when schools are desperate they try whatever they can to handle things. They have to do something because it is DEMANDED of them. I can’t blame them for “trying” different ways to maintain order.
    That being said, have faith R.J. it’s not all doom and gloom out there, there are still loads of worthy schools and teachers out there….they just don’t make the news.

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    1. Thanks for the somewhat upbeat comments Jane. I suspect you are right about the school size. I grew up in a small farm community and therefore a small high school (my class was 69 strong and that isn’t much different there even today). We had a fairly diverse class and there just didn’t seem to be much peer pressure as maybe there is today.

      With school vouchers becoming more common things might start changing. Instead of your kids attending your assigned public school they can choose the flavor they want (creative, strict discipline, occupation specific, etc). Maybe it is time for public, same size fits all to move over.

      I am glad to hear that not all teachers think everything it gloom and doom in our current system. Thanks for putting a different spin on this discussion. Since I have no children/grand kids I am not very informed in this area.

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  3. Wow! That is quite a reaction.
    You mentioned the problem. I gave you the reason most teachers only stay for 2-3 years in the classroom. I am glad you chat up the dis spirited and disenfranchised students at your local high school and get a different view. I am sure a “Columbine or Newtown” could never hit your rural community.
    Many large cities have problems- but they are so off the radar no one puts it on TV. They also pay big bucks to being in private companies to run their schools. Look up Edison.
    BTW- a juvenile record for minor violations does not stop one from joining the military.

    Don’t worry, I am retired from the classroom. I was the person the sixth grade (350 students)called when they had an out of control student in the room. I can calm the best of them, and talk them through almost anything. My classroom was commonly loaded with the most “interesting students”.
    Many of my students stood or walked during my class since I do not advocate ADHD meds, but encourage diet and exercise changes.

    I now spend my mornings volunteering to teach a 30 yr old to read.
    But what do I know.

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  4. I forgot to comment on Janette’s words:

    “Now, seriously dangerous children are given aides and passed from year to year as the teachers and other students cower to their terrible moods. They cannot be given more then 10 days ISS/ OSS because they are “emotionally handicapped”. It is against the law!”

    This sounds pretty strong to me. Laws or practices must vary greatly from state to state and district to district. Here in Minnesota no “seriously dangerous” children remain in regular classrooms. We have seperate facilities within the district to deal with these behavioral disorders. Minnesota invest pretty heavily in all levels of Special Ed. Other disruptive..but not dangerous..children are assigned to SpEd rooms with aides and Special teachers. Still others may be “home bound”…and must hire tutors or be home schooled.
    To my knowledge no one cowers to their moods…they deal with them as professionals. Nothing is perfect. But, as I said our state invests heavily and it helps the in overall management. Just wanted to add that in case anyone thinks all schools are that dangerous.

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  5. I love this diversity of opinion. What I seem to glean from your discussions is that not all is gloom and doom but there is gloom and doom around. Because school system are controlled locally so there is bound to be a pretty big diversity of the problems and how they are handled.

    Janette, I was responding to Jane about small classrooms with my personal example. I don’t know why you hit me with a Columbine example here except for maybe shock purposes. Yes, I thoroughly realize that no class is exempt. Maybe in fact the rural ones are even more possible as there were more guns available to them than in the cities, at least in my times. Thanks for the discussions ladies….

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  6. Jane-
    You do live in one of the excellent SPED states. I gave workshops in 48 states and Minn had interesting consortium schools. iit seems to work. i am not sure how they are doing with the Autism flood though. Many New Englad states have whole schools for the mentally handicapped or emotionally disturbed. Kids are bussed in from all over.
    One part of Georgia that I worked in did the separation thing. They had SPED in one, large, county school. Taught them all together. It was interesting that there was not one white child in that school. Even good ideas can get abused.
    The IDEA act states “least confining” for Sped student. Most states have interpreted the law as “in the regular classroom as much as possible”. The down side of keeping them all in one school is the lack of positive role models and the possiblity of being mislabeled (like the gentleman who I am working with now).
    The law stands that a labeled SPED child cannot miss more then 10 days of school by OSS. They can be placed on out of school teaching, but a SPED teacher has to be present. Kids who are required to find their own teachers are not labeled SPED, but incorrigible – usually by the court system. If the parent gets the labelEmotinally disturbed for their child, the child must be given services until they leave the system- just like a mentally handicapped child.

    It is a fascinating problem. Again, the main reason teachers leave the classroom 2-3 years after they begin teaching is being unable to cope with discipline of students AND teaching the curriculum.
    Thanks for exercising my brain again 🙂

    RJ – my previous comment was based on your first comment to me, not your response to Jane.

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  7. Yes, Janette, you’re right, the students who require special services are not always seperated unless they are violent. Most will may spend part of the day in regular classrooms, part of the day in smaller special classrooms. They go on field trips etc…accompanied by aides. Sometimes tho, less stimulation is what they need to control themselves, especially for the autistic kids. The general thinking is that the earlier the intervention the better the outcome. Elementary schools in my district focus strongly on early intervention for both academic and behavioral problems. By the time the students are in middle school and above it gets harder and harder to be effective.
    Thanks for allowing us to speak through your blog, R.J. It’s hard to stop replying when it’s a topic we find so interesting. I think I’m done now. 🙂

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  8. Use my blog for communications any time you want. I get an education just listening to you two discuss educational items. My original question, paraphrased, was is the purpose of putting police in every school as the NRA wants to protect the kids or to arrest/ticket the students. I guess the answer sadly is both of the above…

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