In an effort to appear “woke” and “non-discriminatory,” California Governor Gavin Newsom has banned the time-honored practice of suspending trouble-makers in schools throughout the state.
The ban, which was already in place for students in grades K-3, now extends to students from third to eighth grade, and applies to both public and charter schools. Naturally, progressives are hailing the ban as a way to lower the number of African-American, Hispanic, gay and transgender people in the nation’s prisons.
California State Senator Nancy Skinner, who sponsored the absurd bill, claims that minority students are suspended from school more frequently than their white counterparts.She also asserted that there is a very real connection between school suspensions, the inability to complete high school, and eventual incarceration.
At the same time, there are many who doubt that prohibiting schools from suspending trouble-makers will make a positive difference. The fact is that the link between school suspensions and eventual incarceration is arguable. There is no solid proof that sending a student home for bad behavior increases the likelihood of that student eventually winding up in jail. On the other hand, it’s not too hard to see that a student who insists on repeatedly disobeying authority in school will likely disregard the law as he or she grows up.
Not suspending students for willful defiance won’t necessarily reform bad students into model citizens. Instead, it will teach students that there are no serious consequences for bad behavior. Students who actually want to learn in class won’t be able to as misbehaving students will have the run of the classroom as teachers aren’t able to have them removed.
The consequences of failing to discipline students with behavior problems are far more serious than simply disruptive classrooms and frustrated teachers. Andrew Pollack, who lost his daughter Meadow Pollack in the Parkland, Florida high school shooting, recently noted in his book that the educational system in Florida was extremely lenient on the future shooter because, like California’s lawmakers, the Florida educational system believed that punishing disruptive children was discriminatory. The sad result was that Nikolas Cruz was able to legally purchase a gun.
This same situation could easily unfold in the state of California. Students with no bad marks would be allowed to buy firearms even if gun control laws mandating increased background checks were put in place. Naturally, the left would never realize that the problem isn’t that guns are legal, but rather than schools should be able to discipline their students.
The truth is that children need discipline in order to lead successful lives in the future. This discipline should ideally come from parents and family members. At the same time, schools should be permitted to discipline students and even kick them out of school entirely if necessary.