My thoughts on the First Coast High/Sub fiasco

All over social media and the news there has been a video of an out of control classroom and the pleas of a mother that said this was the rule not the exception.  

I was asked not to long ago about discipline in our schools before the arrival of superintendent Vitti and to be honest it wasn’t good then either. Often referrals went unprocessed and kids then too played the system, the big difference then was the system was undefined, kids new they could get away with anything short of order but it wasn’t codified like it is now.

I have been pretty critical of the districts feel good restorative justice policies and changes to the code of conduct, I believe they both lend to children’s ability to push the envelope and they have taken an already bad situation and made it worse.

The fact that this happened at First Coast high school and the parent says they asked the principal for help only to be ignored is also particularly frustrating. Principal Al Brennan must know where the bodies are buried as never have I seen a principal do such damage to a school and keep their job. He is an embarrassment and represents all that is wrong in the district.

I also find it reprehensible that the district chose to play off the incident and blame the substitute teacher firing them. So many of these subs are put in no win positions and told to handle, i.e. endure any problems that occur.  Many teachers are already hung out to dry so it is no wonder that students ignore and disrespect these strangers especially since they aren’t required to listen to or respect the teachers of record.

Finally people shouldn’t think this is an isolated incident or just occurs when subs come in, nor should people think it is every school or every classroom. I maintain that for the most part we are doing a great job. The problem however is things like what happened in the video happen often enough that we should be concerned.

Discipline is hard but when the district ignores it, it becomes worse. I fear we are courting a real tragedy here.

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