Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Chaos Reigns At Cleveland's South High School

Over at Number 2 Pencil, Kimberly has the alarming story of the Cleveland school administrator that was knocked unconscious when he was struck in the head by a chair that had been thrown by an out-of-control "student:"

The flying chair that knocked out a Cleveland high school administrator on Monday should send alarms throughout the city. When going to class means risking a hospital visit, education stands no chance. And when adults look at chaos and call it order, they undermine the school district's credibility and put more students in jeopardy.

Monday's fracas at South High School that sent an administrator and a student to emergency rooms is only the latest example of uproar in local buildings. As Plain Dealer columnist Regina Brett reported on Sunday, Glenville High School suffered an incident of its own last week that bloodied students and teachers and led to the arrests of two teens. Journalists' visits to Collinwood High School, meanwhile, have revealed an institution where students are completely comfortable loitering in hallways when they should be in class.

Clearly, this school is in a state of anarchy. Can you imagine what it must be like to be a rule-abiding student who must attend such a failed institution? Can you just imagine the bullies that good students must contend with?

Locate your nearest teacher. Ask him or her what is the one thing that could be done that would most improve the effectiveness of our inner-city public schools. Very possibly, that teacher would say something along the lines of: "Improve school discipline and remove the little thugs that make teaching and learning in a mainstream classroom all but impossible."

Adolescents that will not control their disruptive or defiant behaviors should be removed from mainstream classrooms and placed in smaller, more structured classroom environments more suited to their needs.

But that takes a political will that is too often lacking.
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