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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Comment: Where does county exec candidate Gerron Levi stand on school violence?

A Bowie High School student was savagely beaten in the school a few days ago.  The attacker has been in trouble in the past, but has been allowed to remain in school.  A June 15 news report says:

Sources tell ABC 7 News the boy who attacked the victim, a 10th grader, has been in trouble before and he and another sutdent face expulsion.

But the head of the Parent Teacher Student Organization told us penalties for fighting were lightened this year and troublemakers, even violent kids, are allowed to stay in school.

Bowie High School PTSO President Mary Nusser told us, "There's this effort to decrease the number of suspensions and decrease the number of expulsions...and it's a phony number because all they do is revolve these kids around."

Nusser says it's a real problem trying to expel the bullies. She says bullies' parents hire lawyers and then the school board overturns it. She says before you know it, the attackers are right back in school looking for their next target.

The PTSO seems very concerned that violent and disruptive students are allowed to remain in school and endanger other students.

Gerron Levi, candidate for Couty Executive, appears to support the policy of keeping violent and disruptive students in school.  Later the same day as the news report quoted above, the Levi campaign sent out a message calling for fewer school suspensions: [Full text of message]

Step 1: Cut School Suspensions in Half
As County Executive, I will lead a public education campaign to reduce high school suspensions in public schools. High school suspensions are eroding classroom learning time, undermining student achievement and driving the best teachers and education talent from the classroom. If we want better county schools, parents, families and communities must understand and be accountable for their respective roles to help their principals, teachers and the school system drive those suspension numbers lower countywide. I will lead the campaign with education leaders and community members across the region and we together will reduce suspensions and make the leap ahead! See more at: http://www.votelevi.com/issues/step1.shtml.

So, if Ms. Levi plans to reduce suspensions, what does she propose, if anything, to protect the victims--the other, innocent students who are in school to learn, not prey upon their classmates?  Whose side is she on?

1 comment:

  1. My experience in school was that quality, experienced teachers had good control over their students, the poor teachers (especially subs) did not. The gist of what Gerron was saying, was to reduce suspensions by having good teachers.
    The question of what to do with incorrigible students was not the subject of her proposal.
    (Since Gerron is a lawyer, I suspect she would know exactly what to do in the case of assault and battery!)