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Discipline: Totally Out of Control!
MACE has been stating since its inception
in 1995 that the number one problem in public education in Georgia (and the nation for that matter!) is the lack of discipline.
Disciplinary problems are totally out of control! Furthermore, no one wants to address this pernicious and draconian problem.
In fact, in Gwinnett County this past year, several thousand (about 40,000) serious disciplinarian offenses
were left off of the state-mandated report. Hey, that’s nothing compared to the forty (40) schools in the Atlanta
Public Schools which reported nothing. That’s right – nothing! The worst disciplinary
problems in the state are in the Atlanta Public Schools. Just this past week, the local media reported that
a couple of students at Atlanta’s Connelly Elementary School brought butcher knives to school. The
cursing, defiance, and disruptions are regular occurrences. It takes butcher knives to get the media’s attention. It
hasn’t been a good year for Atlanta superintendent Beverly Hall. Atlanta attorney
Glenn Delk has been giving her fits in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about her disingenuous
response to the system-wide audit conducted by an accounting firm. Delk points out all of the horrific
waste in the Atlanta system, and he contends that, counting all sources of money coming to the school system,
the Atlanta system spends over $13,000.00 to "educate" each child! One solution: Get rid of all of the heavy
layers of bureaucracy and let the teachers teach, and support the teachers when two or three students try to disrupt their
classroom instruction. It only takes two or three malcontents to disrupt the learning processes for all of the other children.
Clayton’s new superintendent Barbara Pulliam has hit the road cracking
the whip. Educators (teachers and administrators) are walking so lightly in Clayton County that their heads are bumping the
ceiling. By most accounts, Pulliam is a "control freak." She sounds very much like another "Beverly
Hall" – top-down, heavy-handed management. What’s Pulliam going to do about the disciplinary problems
in Clayton County? This past Friday, there was a luncheon riot at North Clayton High School.
Twelve students were arrested. Clayton County Police Captain Jeff Turner stated, "Before you knew it[,] the
whole cafeteria was a brawl" (Clayton News Daily, February 21/22, 2004, p.1). Well, well. Perhaps one of
these days, these educrats will realize that concepts like curriculum, accountablity,
achievement, etc., are just empty, hollow phrases until control and order are established in the schools.
The late Bishop Hooker often stated, "Order is the first law of the universe." We wish that the present-day
educrats understood that. Then, teachers would be able to teach!
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