"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rhee Fiddles While Schools Burn

Fenty and Rhee have been so focused on creating insecurity among school employees that they lost track of the security needs of students. They have been so intent upon shutting down schools, charterizing the rest, and de-professionalizing the teacher corps that the work required to hold communities together through the cohesive capacity of neighborhood schools has somehow been forgotten. Evidence? The growing outbreaks of violence in the DC Schools. Who will get blamed? Parents and teachers. What will be the remedy? More police, of course. From WaPo:
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, November 20, 2008; Page B01

A melee yesterday at a Southeast Washington high school left five students injured, including three with stab wounds, on a day when police, parents, teachers and city officials held a series of meetings to discuss ways of curbing youth violence.

The disturbance at Anacostia High School began shortly after 12:30 p.m. when two students began fighting in a second-floor hallway, said Assistant Police Chief Diane Groomes. While officers assigned to the school were breaking up the fight, someone set a small fire in another hallway on the floor, Groomes said. During the evacuation of the school's 1,100 students, more fights broke out among rival groups.

Groomes said five students were taken to hospitals -- three with stab wounds, one who was hurt in a fight and one who had an asthma attack. The teenager who was hurt while fighting is suspected of stabbing at least one of the other students with a "penlike knife," Groomes said. He was charged as a juvenile with assault with a dangerous weapon. Another youth was charged with disorderly conduct after he got into a fight outside the school during the evacuation.

Youth violence, and the difficulty of deterring it, was a topic of discussion elsewhere in the city yesterday. Last night, parents from Ballou High School and Hart Middle School, both in Southeast, gathered to discuss their concerns about violence and school security. . . .

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