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Politico’s Chilling Synopsis of Florida Safety Panel’s Recommendation

January 4, 2019

I just finished reading the synopsis from Politico’s daily blog on education that is pasted below:

‘WE NEED TO BE UNLEASHED’: A public safety panel advising Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis called for giving law enforcement more authority in schools.Committee members, meeting by phone Thursday, embraced that recommendation and others made by the Parkland public safety commission in a report sent to state lawmakers Wednesday.

Jeff Bell, president of the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association, called for eliminating student discipline programs, a recommendation put forth in a school safety report from the Trump administration last year. “We need to be unleashed into the schools,” Bell said, and “show consequences to the kids so that when they grow up and turn 18, we aren’t actually creating a pipeline to the prison system.” POLITICO Pro Florida’s Andrew Atterbury has more.

The last thing schools need is good guys with guns who have an attitude that they need to “…show consequences to kids”. Evidently Mr. Bell shares the view of many conservatives that restorative justice programs, interventions that engage parents, and expanded mental health and school counseling programs are inconsequential. As one who worked as a high school disciplinarian for six years I am curious what kinds of “consequences” the police will offer that do not contribute to the pipeline to prison.

If the purpose of discipline is to change the behavior and thought patterns of students who misbehave, and the purpose of policy is to implement evidence-based programs, I cannot see how unleashing police will help. But then we are experiencing a shut down of our government because a majority of Senators and House members do not see the value of spending $5,000,000,000 on a wall that was supposed to be funded by Mexico, funding that is requested without any evidence that it will make any difference whatsoever.

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