Since Bill de Blasio became Mayor and appointed Carmen Farina as Chancellor, the New York City Public Schools feel more unsafe. First, was the elimination of the cellphone ban that has resulted in mass student academic distractions. Then it was the effects of the more lenient student discipline code that saw suspensions plummet but allowed the school environment deteriorate as misbehaving students were returned back to his or her class to distract the classroom learning process. Finally, the emphasis on "restorative justice" that is a joke to chronically misbehaving students who learn quickly how to play the system and continue to distract other students and reduce teacher authority as they are quickly returned to class.
A case in point is John Adams High School, a "time out" renewal school that has seen their suspension rates drop from 382 in 2011 to 93 this year. The reason is that many incidents are downgraded or not reported outside the school. As one teacher said about the reduction of confiscated weapons at the school.
“Of course the number is down — nothing is reported,”
Many staff believe the school is unsafe and there is a report that the entire Science department did not reapply for their positions next year. Moreover, the Principal is widely disliked as he refuses to take real action against misbehaving students and has even allowed an 18 year old student who allegedly taped a sexual performance by a minor and was arrested by the NYPD who now faces criminal charges, was still allowed to attend graduation with his class. Susan Edelman's piece goes into further details about the school. Back in April Chalkbeat also wrote about John Adams High School as well.
Unfortunately, John Adams is not the exception. There are far too many schools who have unsafe environments, many of them renewal schools like Flushing High School. Not only is social justice crap but is downright dangerous in many of our struggling schools.
To the Mayor, DOE, and the Unity and MORE caucuses of the UFT, you should be concentrating on smaller class sizes, adequate school resources, and school safety not this restorative justice crap that does not work. In only makes schools unsafe.