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24 Stupidly Unsafe Working Environments

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FAIL construction osha unsafe safety funny - 5382405

OSHA is rolling in its clearly marked, highly secure grave.

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sjk
13 hours ago
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5 US Government Screw-Ups That Are Funny Yet Terrifying

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Germany Owes Britain and Poland Billions in WWII Reparations

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Daniel Kawczynski is the Conservative MP for Shrewsbury, the county town of Shropshire, England. He is campaigning for Germany to pay billions to help rebuild Poland from the damage the Nazi party caused in World War II. Experts place the cost of rebuilding at £850 billion in modern currency.

He also believes that Germany owes Britain for damages caused in that war. At the end of the war, the cost of damage was determined to be £120 billion in 1945. That would come to £3,620 billion today.

Kawczynski is the only Polish-born member of the British Parliament. His question is: “How has Germany compensated Britain for the destruction it caused this country during the World War II?”

He questions how Germany can demand that Britain fulfills its obligations to the European Union when Germany has never paid any compensation to the British for the damage it inflicted on the UK.

Coventry city centre following 14/15 November 1940 raid

Kawczynski said the issue is a relevant one because of the ongoing Brexit debate. He mentioned that, just four years ago, the British paid off the US loans they had received under the Marshall Plan for rebuilding the country.

But Kaczynski is just as passionate about seeing Germany repay Poland, his country of birth. He pointed out that more than one million Poles now live in Britain.

Kawczynski believes that Britain has both “a duty and responsibility” to aid Poland in getting compensation from Germany for the damage caused by the war. By the end of the war, Warsaw was completely destroyed, and six million people had died on Polish soil, according to Kawczynski.

Kawczynski’s own relatives were killed in the war after it was discovered that they were hiding a Jewish family.

While the Marshall Plan helped many countries recover from the war, Poland was prevented from receiving any of that aid by Josef Stalin.

George C. Marshall, pictured here as a General of the Army before he became the U.S. Secretary of State. It was during his term as Secretary of State that he planned, campaigned for and carried out the Marshall Plan.

Kawczynski feels that time is running out to get Germany to pay reparations to Poland and Britain. There are not many alive today who were alive during the war. This generation now may be the last to have direct contact with anyone that lived during that time.

Kawczynski is working to arrange a debate in Parliament within the next few weeks.

Polish foreign minister Jacek Czaputowicz said that Poland is working on its own plan to get reparations from Germany.

He gave a speech to the Polish Parliament that focused on relations between the two countries. He pledged to discuss with Germany their need to repay Poland for the losses it suffered during the war. He intends to use legal, political and financial methods to obtain the compensation he believes Poland is due.

On September 1, 1939, at 4:45 am, 1.5 million German troops invaded Poland while the German Luftwaffe bombed airfields and German warships and U-boats attacked the Polish navy in the Baltic Sea. According to Adolf Hitler, the actions were defensive actions, but England and France did not buy it.

On September 3, both countries declared war on Germany and World War II was underway.

After the Warsaw Uprising, 85% of the city was deliberately destroyed by the German forces.

It was Hitler’s plan to annex Poland to provide more living space for the German people while enslaving the native Slavs. It was a continuation of his plan which started with the annexation of Austria followed by the Sudetenland and Czechoslovakia. He had been able to accomplish all of that without provoking the world powers of the time and believed Poland would be no different.

Even with the declaration of war by the European powers, Germany was still able to advance 140 miles and reach Warsaw one week after the invasion began. The Polish military hoped to hold out until their allies could open a western front, but Germany had secretly promised to split Poland with the USSR who joined the German attack at this point. On September 28, Poland fell and was split between Germany and the USSR.

Then, in 1941, Germany violated the agreement they had with the Soviets and attacked the Red Army, seizing the rest of Poland for Germany. While they held Poland, the Germans killed almost three million Polish Jews in concentration camps.

In 1945, the Soviets liberated Poland from Germany and established a communist government.

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sjk
6 days ago
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Sounds like Kawczynski needs to be deported back to Poland since he is not a true British patriot. Also, it is not Germany's fault that Stalin prevented Poland from receiving Marshall Plan funds. He needs to sue Russia and former Polish government members instead.

Also, making Germany pay inflated "reparations" for alleged damages WORKED SO WELL THE LAST TIME THEY WERE TRIED AFTER WWI.
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Why Teachers Only Get A Fifth Of The Money Taxpayers Spend On Their Schools

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In response to the lack of desired spending on public schools, teachers have periodically protested across the country. The most recent example of this was in Oklahoma, where teachers went on strike even after the state legislature passed a bill to raise taxes and teacher’s salaries.

This fuels another problem of high teacher turnover, fewer new applicants, and larger class sizes. If all a prospective teacher has to look forward to are larger classes and lower pay, he or she might do better finding a different career.

This problem is nothing new, nor specific to Oklahoma. All American public school districts, even in the most affluent communities, struggle with adequate funding, and all eagerly look for ways to have their state and local governments raise money. All the same, nearly all district leaders will claim it is impossible to lower costs in order to pay teachers more or hire more teachers.

But why? Why should it cost close to $20,000 a year to teach a student in New York? Why should it even cost more than $7,000, as it does in miserly Oklahoma? If a teacher makes less than $40,000 a year, and her class of 30 students brings in close to $240,000 a year in public funding, more than four-fifths of education spending does not go to the teacher’s salary. Where does that money go?

The All-Purpose Public School

It goes towards many things that most people, and most educational reformers, do not think much about. So many clamor about teacher pay as though schools were simply large buildings primarily filled with teachers, students, and a handful of administrators and counselors. In reality, schools are large, sophisticated organizations encompassing a multitude of different functions.

Besides actually educating students, schools also serve as athletic complexes, town halls, soup kitchens, hospices, rehabilitation centers, reformatories, convention centers, and many other things. While some people think learning only requires a lesson on reading or math, for the public school it also includes emotional wellness, physical fitness, advisory lessons on respecting others and staying away from narcotics, and a host of special interests and hobbies.

While some think of a school campus as a place for a class to gather and do schoolwork, public schools are also places that have athletic facilities, updated Internet networks, performance centers, and full-time security staff with cameras in every hall. While some think of that eccentric English teacher telling his students how to diagram sentences and enjoy Shakespeare, the public school employs the reading specialist, the special education contact, the counselor, the assistant principal, and various central office bureaucrats to coordinate and intervene on behalf of students.

This says nothing about the students who attend a typical school. Their needs may range from upper-level college instruction and career training all the way to regular assistance using the bathroom and swallowing solid food. A few students do fine organizing their time and practice self-control, but the majority needs a great deal of structure, support, and individual attention. Students who pose a serious danger to others necessitate a small army of individuals who handle discipline, detention, and documentation for innumerable infractions against the student code of conduct.

Furthermore, all these different students learn in different ways, resulting in a vast array of teaching methods. Some learn better with direct instruction, others in groups, others through observing, others through doing, and still others learn some completely different way.

With so many students constantly feeling bored and restless—which must have something to do with the way the teacher teaches and not the fact of their youth and the smartphone in their pockets—districts train and retrain teachers on the newest method to “engage” students while maintaining rigorous academics. Whether these new methods work is always a matter for debate, but few will argue that yearly training inevitably costs vast sums of money.

With every new need, new constituency, and new crisis, schools continue to grow. Like the state growing ever larger, the school does the same. At least supporters of limiting the size and role of government can invoke the wisdom of the American Constitution and the founding fathers; supporters of doing the same for schools lack analogous authorities. Rather, they only look like heartless Saturns scarfing down the futures of innocent children when they dare to object to essential adolescent amenities like multi-million-dollar football stadiums.

Slimming Down Public Schools

Lacking any defining principle, public schools have tried to become all things to all people. This model leaves the door wide open for alternative schools that focus their mission. Instead of winning every extracurricular event, maximizing test scores (or, more accurately, minimizing failures), and being in compliance with every state standard, charter and private schools offer a refuge from all that.

Overly smug school choice proponents tend to miss this critical point: these alternatives benefit enormously from the fact that they do not have to take in every child and provide every service. Schooling is indeed much cheaper when campus leaders dispense with the bureaucratic accretions that bloat the average public school. If public school alternatives similarly took in all students, not just motivated ones, and sought to provide every possible learning program, not just additional standardized test review (i.e., more “drill and kill” with practice questions), they would easily lose all means of competing with public schools in the neighborhood.

This does not mean school choice is unfeasible or bad. On the contrary, the very possibility of losing students to charter schools has forced education leaders to rethink public school and stop taking their good students for granted. One can see this in the Dallas Independent School District, which has implemented new academies and International Baccalaureate programs instead of pampering their athletes with new equipment or giving each of their students new iPads. Indeed, nothing spurs innovation and eliminates waste like competition, education being no exception to this rule.

Nevertheless, competition has its limits when society ties public school teachers’ hands. Somehow, someway, they have to answer to every social ill—which is a big reason most social reformers see education as the key to enacting their (usually progressive) agenda. Until people are ready to accept a school that simply teaches its students and nothing more, they will have the multiplex that continues to expand.

To reverse this trend would mean that schools must outsource, downsize, or eliminate certain responsibilities that require so much staffing and infrastructure, specifically athletic programs, special education programs, and disciplinary programs. For the first item on the list, Amanda Ripley clearly and thoroughly lays out the case against high school sports and highlights its heavy toll on school budgets, particularly in states like Texas. In Europe, clubs host and organize athletic programs, not schools. It is not unreasonable to expect American schools (and colleges) to join the rest of the developed world and follow this model.

Addressing Special Ed and Discipline Requires Lawmakers

Reforming special education and disciplinary programs, however, would be far more complex and require a change in laws. As with American public schools in general, the problem with these programs begins with a lack of definition. Special education covers a vast range of supports for all kinds of disabilities: physical, mental, and emotional.

A student who struggles with focusing on algebra can qualify for special education services, along with the nonverbal autistic student needing constant assistance. Public schools do what they can to minimize the costs of these services (a bad thing for the students truly needing them), but they will still be expensive, even with assistance from the federal government.

A solution would again start with legislators setting boundaries for their schools, clearly defining what educators can and cannot do to correct misbehaving children.

To truly eliminate these costs, federal and state legislators will need to determine what special education really means. If it means providing hospice care to a severely disabled young person, then they should probably classify it as such and separate it from the educational realm. If it means providing therapy for the emotionally disturbed, again, they may want to reclassify it and outsource treatment to organizations outside the school.

If it means students who need a little more time for reading a text because they are dyslexic or need a pass for the elevator because of back problems, then they can simply accommodate such students and do away with the many offices, committees, experts, and aides to make these simple decisions. To be fair, this suggested remedy simplifies a very complicated and emotionally fraught issue, but if cutting the costs and focusing the role of school is the goal—and it should be—then special education must be addressed.

Reforming discipline programs presents challenges as well, and for a similar reason as special education: what is law and what is practice become entangled and confused. A solution would again start with legislators setting boundaries for their schools, clearly defining what educators can and cannot do to correct misbehaving children.

This then brings up two contentious issues: compulsory schooling and student remediation. Administrators and support staff spend much time chasing truant students, and teachers write up referral after referral for unmotivated, misbehaving students whom they must teach alongside well-behaved students since the powers that be have decided a separate remediation class would deny these reluctant kids an opportunity to learn equally with the others. If the approach public schools currently take does little good for these types of students, and effectively harms the other students, maybe people should consider different, less costly, solutions than disciplinary campuses and truancy courts.

A Level Educational Playing Field for School Choice

Oscar Wilde famously said that “to define is to limit.” In education, this is especially true. For too long, schools have suffered from a lack of definition, leading to unlimited spending. If communities and their leaders can come together and resolve some of these ambiguities, then they can begin to reel in expenses and even start paying teachers competitively.

Moreover, if public schools become lighter and more nimble in their operations, then the prospect of school choice and fair competition becomes more realistic. Otherwise, charter and private schools will exist on the margins, picking off disgruntled students and teachers, while public school districts slowly go bankrupt trying not to lose these students as they hope to satisfy all their other obligations.

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Fire All Striking Teachers And Send Their Paychecks To Students’ Parents

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Oklahoma, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Arizona public-school teachers have stuck children in the middle of a game of chicken, and that’s why they think the taxpayers who pay their salaries are going to blink. All four states are experiencing mass teacher strikes this spring leaving hundreds of thousands (not a typo) of students and their families in the lurch. Their Republican-dominated state legislatures are largely capitulating rather than using unions’ exploitation of teachers and children as an opportunity to finally make long-overdue reforms to U.S. education.

Arizona teachers are planning pre-school “walk-ins” on April 11 as a potential precursor to strikes. They want a 20 percent hike in base pay, among other things. Oklahoma teachers just entered their second week of strikes that have suspended school indefinitely for some 500,000 kids. Oklahoma’s state legislature already raised the average teacher salary $6,000 this year, but the strikers say it wasn’t enough. They want a $10,000 salary increase.

The strikers say it’s all about the kids, but it’s really all about the money. If they cared about the kids, they wouldn’t use them as a bargaining chip by abandoning or threatening to abandon classrooms. Many states and localities are facing massive debt and unfunded pension crises created largely by decades of unrealistic financial demands from government employees, the largest category of which is usually teachers. More self-delusion will only make things worse.

Research has also long and conclusively shown that school spending hikes usually don’t go to teachers, they go to administrators and other bloat outside classrooms. So the kids are just unions’ human shields on their way to raid the kids’ public bank accounts — again.

A Lack of Money Is Not the Problem

Showing no self-awareness and little knowledge of her own field, geography teacher Tony Henson said of the walkouts from more than 100 Oklahoma school districts, “It’s like the Arab spring, but it’s a teacher spring.” The Arab spring was a response to governments that torture people of the “wrong” religions and political beliefs. It’s beyond clueless to compare that to holding kids hostage to get $10,000 more a year from fellow citizens who preserve a culture that opposes terrorist tyranny.

A global perspective is not all the perspective the striking teachers — and politicians caving to them — lack. They lack a rudimentary knowledge of the situation they’re complaining about. It has nothing at all to do with a lack of taxpayer spending. That is in gross oversupply and has been for half a century.

As the Cato Institute’s Neal McCluskey has shown, U.S. public K-12 spending has skyrocketed over the past 50 years with no improvement in academic outcomes. Other researchers repeatedly find increasing spending doesn’t help students. That’s because, as noted above, schools typically don’t send more money to classrooms, they use it to increase bureaucracy and nonacademic programming.

Arizona and Oklahoma do spend proportionately less on K-12 than many other states do, but there’s still lots of money there for teacher salaries. According to the latest federal data, for example, Oklahoma taxpayers spend approximately $7,800 per K-12 student per year, and employ 1 teacher for every 16 students. That’s about $125,000 per teacher. (Arizona’s number is $170,000 per teacher.) So why is the average Oklahoma teacher salary somewhere in the $30,000s? The money is obviously there for a large pay hike using existing spending. Where does the other $90,000 per classroom go?

No, it’s not all the special-needs students. There aren’t actually many highly physically disabled U.S. kids who require hyperexpensive care. It’s overregulation and lack of market discipline.

Overpromised Pensions and Other Wasteful Spending

States promised such outsized retirement benefits to the last generation of public-school teachers that they’re paying off this promise with current revenues. A national average of $6,800 per year per teacher pays former teachers’ pensions that state and local governments failed to save up for while those teachers were working. That’s money that could have instead boosted current teachers’ salaries. The problem is only going to get worse as more baby boomers retire and legislatures continue to hide their heads in the sand.

It’s not just that states and districts failed to save up for pensions they knew would come due, it’s that they offered literally the cushiest pensions available to teachers, notes a 2016 study: “as a group, [teachers] have by far the highest retirement costs, even compared with other public-sector employees. While the average civilian employee receives $1.78 for retirement benefits per hour of work, public school teachers receive $6.22 per hour in retirement compensation.”

Maybe teachers would be willing to trade promised huge future benefits for higher current wages, especially given that typically teachers are allowed to retire onto these outsized pensions much earlier than most private-sector workers do. Maybe legislatures should consider trades like this before rushing immediately to increase taxpayer outlays, especially given that research finds teachers are overpaid by an average of 50 percent relative to their skills and mental abilities. The overage comes almost exclusively from their fat benefit packages.

Employer Taxes and Regs Soak Up Workers’ Earnings

Estimates vary, but in general each employee costs an employer approximately an extra 20 to 30 percent of a worker’s take-home pay, in employer taxes, government-mandated unemployment insurance, and government-mandated benefits, etc. So taxpayers spend $36,000 to $39,000 to pay a teacher $30,000. That’s on top of the personal income and other taxes (such as the tax on her time to file taxes) the teacher herself pays out of that $30,000.

Thanks to Obamacare, of course, health costs have skyrocketed in recent years, soaking up an even bigger portion of teachers’ (and many other people’s) salaries. This is one of teachers’ particular complaints in Kentucky. If state and federal lawmakers didn’t leech away that big a percentage of what teachers earn, that money could go to the teachers who earned it without having to take even more from the taxpayers who provide teacher salaries.

Schools’ Hiring Binge Dilutes Teacher Wages

Over the past approximately 60 years or so, the number of public school employees per public school student has almost quadrupled. The “Great Recession” of 2008-09 merely paused this trend for a few years; it has continued since. Remember, this massive hiring glut has accompanied no improvements in graduates’ achievement.

So public schools now employ many more staff per “customer,” which necessarily depresses the wages of all those employees (if two people divide an available $100,000, each gets $50,000; if eight people divide that same $100,000, each gets $12,500). While inflation-adjusted public spending per student increased 27 percent between 1992 and 2014, an EdChoice study found, teacher wages actually fell an average of 2 percent during that time (in real dollars). In other words, schools were spending a lot more money, but they were spending it on things besides teachers.

In fact, when schools laid off a tiny percentage of staff during the Great Recession, data shows they were more likely to lay off teachers than non-teaching staff. Clearly, whoever is running U.S. public schools doesn’t put academics and teaching first. Think about this when you see dilapidated classrooms and textbooks, and other poor teaching conditions, on social media. This is not because the money isn’t there, it’s because the money is going to priorities besides classrooms.

Stupid Rules Siphon Teachers’ Money and Time

The teachers do have one thing right: They are as much the victims of our public education structure as their students and their families are. Not only is money that could and should go to great teachers siphoned away to overbuilt sportsplexes that benefit relatively few students, former teachers whom legislatures didn’t save money to fund in retirement, and increasing numbers of non-teaching staff, the governments that employ them tax teachers’ time and potential income pool with an ever-increasing and counterproductive pile of regulations atop the employment taxes and mandates I mentioned above.

Education regulations are almost always decided by non-teachers, and the effects are about what you would guess from that fact. Rather than benefiting students, these regulations typically require or justify ever-expanding employment for the very bureaucrat types who come up with them. I’m talking about things like teacher licensing mandates, which researchers have long found do not improve teacher quality and traffic in disproven education fads (but do provide easy-access cash cows for state departments of education and teacher colleges since teachers are required to keep buying their products to maintain certification); ever-increasing testing and data-entry mandates; centralized curriculum mandates like Common Core; centralized teacher evaluation and ratings systems; and the massive data entry required to document things like student behavior problems and special education services.

This is one major cause of the administrative bloat shown in the graphs earlier. I’m not aware of good recent data putting specific numbers to this phenomenon in K-12, but take a look at the effects of the same thing in higher education:

The typical teacher loves to teach but greatly dislikes the system inside which she is forced to function just to be able to do what she loves. Teachers need real relief, not the insult of ignoring the real causes of their pain while throwing money in their direction they will most likely never see.

Putting millions more dollars into a broken public education system is what we have been doing for the past 60-odd years. Teachers are right to point out the results exploit them and their students. The answer is not a bigger hit of the same drugs causing cardiac arrest, it’s rehab.

Coming clean requires a full transplant from a toxic ecosystem to a healthy one. That means, quite simply, disbanding the system we know and starting fresh: Take the locus of power from a metastasized system no one can control, break it up into millions of pieces, and give that power to the people for whom public education exists in the first place. Power means money and choice.

Fire the teachers and administrators. Close the schools. Send education dollars directly to students’ legal guardians on their behalf. Then let families band together to decide which teachers and programs to rehire and restart, and which to let lie. Let each family have the power to prioritize their own kids’ specific needs and hire teachers accordingly in a plethora of mutually agreeable arrangements, instead of a few unelected bureaucrats determining what priorities everyone must have.

The alternative is, quite simply, sooner or later, bankruptcy. If teachers think the system is rot now, wait until they smell that one.

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sjk
7 days ago
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Truth! Yet another example of why sending your kids to government school is child abuse. Fire the teachers and give the money to the parents so they can send their kids to private school.
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School Rules That Allowed Parkland Shooter To Get Guns Coming Soon To Your District

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Nicole Landers, a mother from the Baltimore area, found out the hard way that her Maryland public school cannot be trusted even to perform that most basic task: “As a parent you think you can trust the school system to protect your child.”

Unbeknownst to her and thousands of parents around the country until recently, the Landers’ school system is reporting to a higher authority: U.S. Department of Education investigations that push schools to implement so-called “reconciliatory justice” discipline programs and encourage administrators to turn a blind eye, even to behavior that rises to the level of criminal offense, in order to lower suspensions, expulsions, and juvenile arrests.

Landers’ first conflict with her public school came when her 17-year-old son witnessed a high school classmate threaten a third student with a knife and reported it to the school authorities under promised anonymity. A week later, the knife-wielding student threatened her son for making the report, and Landers found the school’s response frustrating at every turn. She filed a separate report with the police, who told her that if it happened again, her son should step off campus and call 911.

“We don’t know what happens in the school,” she says the officers told her. Still, the school claimed it couldn’t remove the threatening student from her son’s bus route or classes.

“The other student has rights, too,” she says administrators told her.

Landers didn’t know it at the time, but it was the first of many times she would hear that phrase in place of disciplinary action against students who endangered her children with behavior went far beyond the normal playground spats most of us remember from our own childhoods.

According to Landers, her 12-year-old daughter and two other girls were consistently sexually harassed by a boy in their grade. After nothing came of the reports she filed, the boy escalated to touching her daughter inappropriately in school. Regardless, she says, the school only offered these girls unfulfilled promises and, of course, “the other student has rights.”

Last fall, Landers’ nine-year-old son was severely bullied, enduring attacks like being hit in the face and thrown into the mud. Because of them, she says, he told her over Christmas that he was suicidal.

“My fourth grader [told] me he doesn’t want to live anymore on account of a student who will not leave him alone,” she said, breaking down for the first time in our conversation. Yet, she said, the school still effectively did nothing. “The other student has rights,” she heard again. Sadly, Landers’ story is not unique.

A Pattern of Ignored School Violence

In 2016, according to police reports, a San Diego teacher’s aide walked in on a 15-year-old, developmentally disabled male student raping his classmate, a severely disabled boy with cerebral palsy who cannot speak more than a few simple words. Despite an interview where the student admitted to the crime and statements from witnesses, the case was cancelled for lack of evidence, reports the Voice of San Diego (VDS).

The victim’s mother didn’t even hear that the incident had been as severe as it was until a year later, she said. The school administration told her the aide had interrupted the boys before the assault actually occurred, and labeled the offense an “obscene act”—a category that does not require expulsion—in official paperwork. Despite this incident and 11 others of sexual or violent offences, the student was transferred to another school in the district, VDS reported.

In New York City, where Mayor DeBlasio touts an alleged decrease in the number of crimes on K-12 campuses, a student recently stabbed his classmates, killing one and sending the other to the hospital. The director of the school safety officers’ union told The New York Post, “Let’s say a kid brings a box-cutter, a razor blade… those were [once] offenses where those weapons would be confiscated, vouchered in a precinct and documented in a juvenile report.” “Those things are not happening now,” he continued.

Instead, principals are under pressure to handle incidents like knives in school “in house” and not to report them. Sometimes that even means violent students have their weapons returned to them, so as not to create a bad report.

Making Rules that Endanger Kids

Max Eden of the Manhattan Institute has documented how these same discipline policies allowed the Parkland, Florida school shooter to slip through the school discipline cracks without an arrest record. An arrest record would have prevented him from legally buying the gun with which he murdered 17 people. Broward County, site of the Parkland shooting, was one of the nation’s first school districts to implement “restorative justice” policies the Obama Department of Education pushed on school districts. Dozens of similar stories have come out since the Parkland shooting.

If parents were looking for help from the Trump administration in Washington, they have thus far been disappointed. While Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is “considering” repealing the Obama administration’s Dear Colleague guidance letter that pushed these discipline policies, the department has taken no action beyond meeting with Landers and others whose children have suffered under the new discipline policies.

Both national teachers’ unions, the American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association, support the guidance as a way to fight “institutional racism,” despite rank-and-file teachers reporting declining school safety, as well as being assaulted and threatened. Even if the guidance is repealed, the progressive cultural forces in favor of “restorative justice” rather than traditional disciplinary practices will remain, as they did in Broward County, which adopted the practice well before and even inspired the Obama-era federal guidance.

School Choice Is the Only Solution for Powerless Parents

For too long, conservatives have treated school choice as a back burner issue. But the Left has taken over large parts of the public school system, introducing values and structures that many families find abhorrent. Sometimes, as with these Department of Education discipline investigations, these transformations take place behind the scenes, and parents only become aware of how the district operates when their children slam headlong into the effects.

When the ‘restorative justice’ that led to such tragic consequences in Broward County, San Diego, Baltimore, and elsewhere comes to your district, do you want to be powerless?

If Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie and his friends at USDOE want to push leniency instead of discipline and allow dangerous students endless “second chances,” let them implement their policies with families and students who have voluntarily bought in to their ideas.

“Parents are done with it, and we’re on the move… if you don’t make changes we’re going to take our children out of your school,” says Landers, who has started a Facebook group to help parents share their stories and organize.

A pediatric nurse married to a small business owner, and mother to a child with special needs, Landers and her family are trying to figure out how to afford sending all her kids to private school, whether that’s one parent picking up a second job, or quitting to homeschool. Both would bring serious financial difficulties.

Conservatives should fight, through programs like universal education savings accounts, to give the Landerses, and every family, the ability to seek education that accords with their values and responsibility to keep their children safe. Only by empowering them over the dollars they pay as taxpayers, and sent in their children’s names to the public schools that have served them so poorly, can we ensure that the system has an incentive to change.

When the “restorative justice” that led to such tragic consequences in Broward County, San Diego, Baltimore, and elsewhere comes to your district, do you want to be powerless? Without the financial leverage broad school choice affords middle-class parents, Broward County’s discipline experiment is coming soon to a district near you. Landers left me with a warning for parents across the country: “We’re going to repeat Parkland… and worse.”

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