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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

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Saturday, June 04, 2005

the consequence of no consequences

the bay area has some of the most affluent, and some of the poorest neighborhoods in the country. richmond california is one of the latter. at least a big portion of it is. tucked away behind the "other side of the freeway" is a whole different story, but it's all richmond. in today's sf chronicle is an article about one of the high schools in the area, DeAnza High School.
a couple quotes from article to get an idea what i'm ranting about. i suggest reading the entire article. you will probably be pissed too.

What was, not long ago, a proud neighborhood school with many parental boosters has become an outpost of commuter students, some of whom ride the bus from some of the toughest neighborhoods in the West Contra Costa Unified School District.

And the trend is rippling across the sprawling school district, which serves 35,000 students in five East Bay cities. Communities like Pinole and Hercules look on with alarm when they see that the De Anza parents have given up and pulled out, their children have transferred to other schools and teachers are leaving in droves.

ahh, the wonders of forced bussing. one of the quickest ways to disrupt a community and it's identity is to force it's children to attend schools away from their own neighborhoods. and why is the exodus from this school so pervasive?
"Behavior problems were not being dealt with. You were taking your life in your hands to walk down the hall,'' says Patty Halonen, who taught math at De Anza for six years. She lives in the neighborhood and saw a son and daughter graduate from De Anza in the late '90s. She got fed up and left in 2001 to teach in Marin.

and why isn't there something being done to make the school safer?
Over and over, you hear the same complaint -- there are no consequences for bad behavior. bolding by editor


why? i know this will strike at the heart of one of vigilis's favorite topics. we have become so litigious that the schools are afraid to enforce ANY kind of discipline whatsoever, because they could be sued to their knees. what have we done to our society where it is common practice to turn away from disruptive and destructive behavior because of a lack of an "over preponderance of evidence". i know there were better ways out there, but when i was in high school, the "board of education" was still a viable control tool, and was NOT spared. to hell with the child's "self esteem", if your behavior fell into the category of "take a trip to the councilor", you were almost guaranteed a swat or two on the ass. serious swats that made you see stars, and sit gingerly for hours later. and of course, when you got home it was a hundred times worse, because the school would call and let your parents know. in most of our homes, dad was a hell of a lot scarier than some overweight overworked school bureaucrat. and there were no calls to the cops because your dad beat your ass. chances are, if he needed help holding you down to get a really good swing, he'd be able to call a cop for help.
So, for example, when De Anza students burst into Larry Hatfield's computer graphics classroom earlier this year, threw a trash can at a bank of computers and a 20-ounce bottle at Hatfield, no one was punished. Hatfield even had photos of the assailants, but they had covered their faces.

"We have to have an over-preponderance of evidence,'' Greenwood says. "There's due process.''


and why don't these schools just toss the losers out to fend for themselves? in districts millions of dollars in debt, they need every student and the approximately $7000 per that the state funds for their education. but who in the hell is getting educated in anything but street survival in these schools?

and now in california, some handwringing losers in our state legislature are trying to cap the cop's ability to pursue bad guys. yes, there are accidents, and yes, people still die, innocent and guilty alike, during high speed pursuits. but what the hell is going to happen when the bad guys can do some illegal action, and get away cleanly to do it again and again when all they have to do is speed away from the scene? cops won't be allowed to chase them, so where are the consequences of their action? you want to wait for them to die and rely on some religious belief that they'll finally get theirs? what about poor victim number seven of many that was beaten or robbed or both by repeat offenders that know all they need to do is "run away, run away"?
sometimes i start to think i understand those whackjobs that finally lose it and decide to take out their frustrations on society or on those they feel have done some wrong. and that, my friends, scares me most of all.

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a geezer myself (Age 61) who had an Army Brat cousin who spent a year at DeAnza in 1960 when her father was CO of the Nike Hercules site up on San Pablo Ridge protecting the Bay Area. Was a decent enough school then--but then so were most things. Ahh....Progress!

6/9/05, 11:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a geezer myself (Age 61) who had an Army Brat cousin who spent a year at DeAnza in 1960 when her father was CO of the Nike Hercules site up on San Pablo Ridge protecting the Bay Area. Was a decent enough school then--but then so were most things. Ahh....Progress!

6/9/05, 11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a geezer myself (Age 61) who had an Army Brat cousin who spent a year at DeAnza in 1960 when her father was CO of the Nike Hercules site up on San Pablo Ridge protecting the Bay Area. Was a decent enough school then--but then so were most things. Ahh....Progress!

6/9/05, 11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I graduated from De Anza in the late 90s and worked as a substitute teacher in the district (for high schools and middle schools) for a couple of years in the early 2000s. The office administration and the security staff at some of these schools are total failures in terms of enforcing consequences for disruptive behavior (with an eye particularly towards De Anza High and Hercules High school).

My experience with the office and walkie-talkie folks at Kennedy (perhaps the worst, but at least with an admin and security staff that meant business), Richmond High, PVHS, Gompers, and North Campus (yes, even the two continuation schools) was considerably better than the experience I had with the clowns we've got in place at De Anza High and Hercules High. Even then, as the article says, hands are tied for the ones that actually try.

Cleaning up the ridiculous regulations and the swollen bureaucracy in downtown Richmond might take longer, but in the meantime, the community can do something to put pressure on these losers running the schools at the actual De Anza and Hercules campuses.

7/18/07, 1:18 AM  

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