Elsewhere (154)
Friday Ephemera

Let’s Talk About Our Feelings

In an eye-widening article that I recommend reading in full, Paul Sperry takes a look at ‘progressive’ education policy and its consequences

Thanks to talking circles and peer juries, “young people are now taking control of the environment,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan gushed in a 2014 speech to black students at Howard University. “It’s sort of a counter-intuitive thing for many of us as adults, but the more we give up power, the more we empower others, often the better things are,” Duncan added. “And empowering teenagers to be part of the solution, having them control the [classroom] environment, control the culture, be the leaders, listening to them, respecting them — when we do that, wonderful things happen for kids in communities that didn’t happen historically.”

Just weeks after “empowering teenagers,” San Diego public schools witnessed a surge in violent assaults.

A development repeated elsewhere, in Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Oakland, Santa Ana and Syracuse, and all of which is no doubt bewildering to such educators as Eric Butler, a “restorative justice co-ordinator,” whose prideful mantra is “I don’t blame, I don’t punish.” 

How very generous of him.  

After a black high-school boy repeatedly punched his teacher in the face, sending her to the emergency room, the teacher, who is white, was advised by the assistant principal not to press charges. The administrator lectured her about how hard it is for young black men to overcome a criminal record. Worse, she was told she should examine what role she, “as a white woman” holding unconscious racial biases, played in the attack...

A white sixth-grade teacher at a mostly black Washington, DC, school told the US Commission on Civil Rights she had similar “conversations” in which she was told that the bad behaviour of black boys is mainly the teacher’s fault. “I have been encouraged to examine and question how my own racial dispositions affect my teaching and my students,” Andrea Smith testified. During cultural sensitivity training required of school districts under restorative justice programmes, teachers are told they are largely to blame for bad behaviour of black students because they “misinterpret” African-American culture.

Via Darleen Click, who asks, 

I’m sorry, but exactly how does one misinterpret a punch to the face?

Answers on a postcard, please.