When I first got wind of an Obama administration policy that requires public schools to based student discipline on race, I thought it must be bogus. When I read the headline at an Examiner website…
…I dismissed it as overheated rhetoric. Must be twisting some far more reasonable story to create controversy.
President Barack Obama is backing a controversial campaign by progressives to regulate schools’ disciplinary actions so that members of major racial and ethnic groups are penalized at equal rates, regardless of individuals’ behavior.
His July 26 executive order established a government panel to promote “a positive school climate that does not rely on methods that result in disparate use of disciplinary tools.”
“African Americans lack equal access to highly effective teachers and principals, safe schools, and challenging college-preparatory classes, and they disproportionately experience school discipline,” said the order, titled “White House Initiative On Educational Excellence.”
“What this means is that whites and Asians will get suspended for things that blacks don’t get suspended for,” because school officials will try to level punishments despite groups’ different infraction rates, predicted Hans Bader, a counsel at the Competitive Enterprise Institute. Bader is a former official in the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights, and has sued and represented school districts and colleges in civil-rights cases.
“It is too bad that the president has chosen to set up a new bureaucracy with a focus on one particular racial group, to the exclusion of all others,” said Roger Clegg, the president of the Center for Equal Opportunity.
Why? Why does there have to be a racial component here? How about punishing kids for their behavior and ignoring their pigment? How about kids who get into repeated trouble get tougher penalties–regardless of what the troublemakers look like?