Monday, March 17, 2014

Sad, Sad, Sad

We are hearing that some community advocates have made the assumption that the Action Plan put forth by the "Be the Change" movement and supported by the Syracuse Teachers Association is designed to unfairly discriminate against both our minority population AND the special needs population. It is not unexpected, but still saddening to know.

To be clear...

The plan addresses only the most violent and disruptive behaviors, comprised primarily of three groups of students:

  • Students who physically assault staff and fellow students, often causing bodily injury.
  • Students who bring weapons into school, creating an unsafe environment and threat of injury.
  • Students who are chronically disruptive (and we are NOT talking about minor disruptions or those created by children with IEPs, but continual disruptions that are intentional and designed to create exactly the havoc they are currently wreaking), creating chaotic classrooms and/or school buildings, and negatively impacting every other students' NY state constitutional right to a sound education.
This plan does not seek to, nor would we advocate for, deny students due process. We want to ensure that ALL students' rights are protected, including the 95% of SCSD students - of all races, religions and personal beliefs -  who are being hurt or whose educations are being compromised.

To that end, the "Be the Change" movement is striving to create a safe and orderly learning environment in our schools and advocating for intensively supportive programming for those students who fall into one of the three groups above - with the goal of providing them the social-emotional and academic skills that they need to be successful in school and in life. And we welcome all who want to join with us in the discussion.

And for those who assume that this is intentionally racist - with color never having been mentioned - we ask...

Why would YOU assume
that the kids impacted are minorities?


  1. First, why does everything need to be turned into a race issue? The last thing I am concerned about in the City School District is anyone's race. Everyone should be primarily concerned with our children's safety and education. I have sat in my son's school and witnessed the poor behavior of students, teachers, and staff. It is pathetic. I have no idea how any kids are able to learn with all the chaos going on around them. Teachers are frustrated with student behavior and the fact that they have no authority over them. Some students are disrespectful to teachers. They are not only mouthy, but have tried to physically harm them. Can you imagine what happens once the kids leave the school grounds? Something needs to change - since when do kids get to run the school? Respect is what is lacking. Teachers need to respect kids and vice versa. Kids will imitate what they see, whether it be positive or negative behavior. Right now, so much time is spent trying to deal with kids causing trouble that everyone forgets about the kids trying to learn. Our greatest gifts are the kids we have and they are being treated as if they just don't matter. How do you think that makes them feel? Here they are trying to work hard in the midst of all the chaos, swearing and violence going on around them and the best that can be done is just to hope that they do well in spite of it? Completely unacceptable! Administrators, Teachers, Staff and Parents all need to work together to encourage the students and each other to better serve the Syracuse community. Our kids have a great opportunity through the Say Yes Program to get a college education. If the teachers can't do their job effectively, then can we really blame the kids if they don't get to go to college? We are all failing our kids and that needs to change. For whatever reason the District has proven that they can't get a hold on things and make them better, so someone else needs to. It is imperative that things change in this district...for everyone, but especially for our kids. The kids deserve better!

  2. Race is a knee jerk as it gets results, sadly the results ignore the problem, BUT Hey I would like to see the current break down of our population...% black, % white, % Hispanic, % Asian, and others! THEN how do they correlate to the discipline?

  3. For people to assume that it is about race tells me that they believe it the minorities that cause the disruptions and in mu opinion that assumption is racist..

    It is not fair or right to keep abusive, disruptive and violent children in a classroom regardless of race. Children who chronically exhibit those kinds of behaviors create a learning environment that neither productive or safe for students, teachers and support staff.

    I have been told by some people after being injured by a student that I just have to learn to deal with it because it is a CULTURE of some of our population. I disagree with that and believe that that comment is racist. I don't know what world the people that believe that come from but in my world being abusive IS NOT A CULTURE and IS NOT OK! It is not about race.

    It is not about culture it is about the safety of everyone involved. Our students deserve to come to school and learn and the staff deserve to come and teach. We all deserve to be SAFE!