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Complaint Cites Broad, Harsh Discrimination Against Black Students in Flagler Schools

| August 7, 2012

From the outside looking in: a 22-page complaint filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center with the federal Office of Civil Rights calls for an investigation into discriminatory practices against black students in Flagler County schools.

From the outside looking in: a 22-page complaint filed by the Southern Poverty Law Center with the federal Office of Civil Rights calls for an investigation into discriminatory practices against black students in Flagler County schools.

Last Updated: Wednesday, 12:58 p.m., with NAACP response.

The allegations, and stated facts, are devastating: While black students make up just 16 percent of the population in Flagler County’s school district, they accounted for 45 percent of school-based referrals to the justice system in the 2010-11 school year. In the last school year, when the district laid off 48 teachers in cost-saving measures, almost half of those losing their jobs were black, reducing the proportion of black teachers in the district to just 3 percent of the faculty—half where it stood 10 years ago. Florida law lists eight examples of petty or misdemeanor offenses that should not be subject to school districts’ zero-tolerance policies, including disorderly conduct, fighting, disrupting a school function, simple assault, simple battery and vandalism of less than $1,000. Yet despite the law, no less than 83 students arrested in school in 2010-11 (or 78 percent of those arrested overall) were arrested for misdemeanor offenses. It’s not clear what the proportion of blacks were among those arrested by police, but while blacks formed just 16 percent of the school population, they accounted for 31 percent of students receiving out-of-school suspensions, and 31 percent of students receiving in-school suspensions. And blacks constituted 69 percent of the students expelled in 2010-11.

Academically in Flagler schools, not a single black student was enrolled in an Advanced Placement science class in 2009-10, and just 35 black students took AP classes at all. In the entire district, just 12 black students were enrolled in the gifted education program. Overall, with white, black and other minority students combined, Flagler County—an A rated school district for four straight years until its fall to B last year—ranked 66 out of 67 counties in the percentage of high school graduates who planned to continue their education.

The facts are listed in a devastating, 22-page civil rights complaint filed by the Montgomery, Ala.-based Southern Poverty Law Center on July 24 with the Civil Rights Office of the federal Department of Education on July 24, one of four such letters filed by the law center regarding alleged or perceived infractions against black students in five of Florida’s 67 counties—Flagler, Bay, Escambia, Okaloosa and Suwanee. Flagler has the second highest household income among the five ($48,000 to Escambia’s $54,000), and the second highest black population, after Escambia’s 23 percent.

“We’re in the middle of pulling all that stuff bec we want to make sure that were all looking at the same reports and the same numbers,” Flagler County School Superintendent Janet Valentine said early Wednesday morning. “Any time that anybody in this community has concerns we’ve got to take it seriously.” But the superintendent said she did not believe there are discrepancies between the district’s policies and procedures and the way they’re enacted.

Still, Valentine said the school board will likely want to hold a workshop on the issue, and the district itself might, if the numbers warrant it, conduct an internal investigation. “If the data suggests there’s a particular area we need to look at more deeply, we’ll do that,” Valentine said.

For now, Kristy Gavin, the school district’s attorney, said, the district doesn’t have anything legal to respond to, regarding the law center’s complaint. In other words it’s not a lawsuit, but merely a letter to the Office of Civil Rights requesting an investigation. “We are waiting for a notification from the Office of Civil Rights as to whether or not they’ll be conducting an investigation,” Gavin said. “The problem we have is we’re not sure whether they secured their numbers from and whether or not it’s from a year ago, two years ago, five years ago. We really have not looked into the numbers.”

Gavin added: “The numbers give us concern as to what they’re indicating but we have to take a look at where those numbers were derived and we can’t look at it in a vacuum. We have to look at it on a case by case basis as to what created those numbers. But certainly it does give us concerns.”

The school board became aware of the complaint only on Tuesday. In march, the Southern Poverty Law Center made a presentation to the local NAACP on similar issues. The district invited the law center and the NAACP to a meeting to go over the issues. “We did not receive a response back from the Southern Poverty Law Center and the NAACP indicated to us that well, we’re working in conjunction with them. So that’s where we stood,” Gavin said.

That’s not quite the case, Flagler NAACP President Linda Haywood said Monday morning. Members of the NAACP have been meeting with Valentine and her staff going back two years, conveying numbers and concerns. “This is not a surprise, and they’ve had plenty of notice,” Haywood said. “We’ve had meetings where this has been discussed,” including a meeting in March, attended by district administrative staff. About two months ago, the NAACP sent a letter to Sue Dickinson, chairman of the school board, signaling more action on the matter. The letter got no response, Haywood said.

The NAACP president said it was important to remember that Flagler County was the last county in the state to desegregate its schools. “Not a lot has changed,” Haywood said. “If you look at the amount of employees hired by the county, they’re basically white.”

Complaints of racial discrimination, particularly on school buses, with regards to out-of-school suspensions and the hiring of black faculty, have been anecdotally heard around the district and the county for years, and typically voiced at NAACP forums, when candidates for school board or sheriff or judge have run for election (as in the present cycle). But hard evidence has been scant.

In September 2011, the district responded to a request by FlaglerLive for a breakdown of black administrators and faculty in the Flagler district, The numbers showed that just 4 percent of teachers were black (92 percent were white), with almost a third of those concentrated at Flagler Palm Coast High School. The proportion of black administrators was 13 percent—eight out of a total of 64, most of them principals or assistant principals. There were no administrators in the custodial, food service, maintenance, technology or transportation departments. That was before the district enacted further staff cuts.

The complaint’s filing coincides with the Flagler district’s attempt to pass a referendum that would renew a half-penny sales tax that would pay for construction, repairs and technology in the schools. The referendum is on the Aug. 14 ballot. The district facing some resistance by right-wing voters pushing an anti-tax agenda, is relying on the black community (along with teachers and parents with students in schools) to give the referendum a boost. The complaint, striking a note discordant with 21st century ideals–and district mission statements–may dim enthusiasm among some voters.

The poverty law center complaint, illustrated by the cases of three students (identified only by their initials) alleges “discriminatory disciplinary removal and disproportionate arrests” of black students in Flagler schools. It underscores the allegation that while the student code of conduct sets out disciplinary rules, those rules can be vague, while the ultimate decision—short of school board action—to gravely discipline a student rests too subjectively with each individual school’s principal, with discriminatory results. The district, the complaint alleges, “through its use of vague and ambiguous disciplinary procedures, punishes African American students more harshly and more frequently than white students. The district’s disciplinary policies are so vague they have been enforced in inconsistent ways, creating a disparate impact.”

K.K., for example, is a 14-year-old black student who was in the 8th grade at Indian Trails Middle School last year. He was written up 19 times, only 13 of which were documented in the district’s computer print-outs, according to the complaint. The student was suspended for 15 days, had three days of in-school suspension, was suspended from riding the bus three times, had a Saturday detention, and was disciplined in additional, lesser ways. One of those write-ups was the result of K.K. being disruptive after being referred to the office for being merely tardy. He was written up for “defiance of authority,” and as a result spent the rest of the day in suspension, got an additional day’s suspension, and five days of out-of-school suspension. The complaint alleges that various infractions are the result of petty misbehavior, but with severe consequences out of proportion with the offense—and leveled disproportionately at black students.

In the case of student L.H., for example, another black eighth grader at Indian Trails Middle School, “minor misconduct” led to 19 write-ups, three in-school suspensions, four student conferences and various warnings. The complaint’s list of consequences, however, outlines what also appears to be numerous attempts by the school administration to handle the situation fairly, with a series of warnings and conferences designed to correct the situation before it escalates further. Some of the student’s referrals could not be documented when the Southern poverty Law Center asked for such documentation, however, lending credence to the center’s claim that consequences could be arbitrary, and poorly documented.


“While some general definitions are provided,” the complaint states, referring to the code of conduct, “there are no guidelines on what punishment is to be applied to a certain behavior.” More alarmingly, the complaint continues, “corresponding punishments vary without explanation, from school to school, principal to principal and teacher to teacher.” For example, “a classroom disruption might result in a warning in one school and five day suspension in another school. There is no standard for which behavior qualifies for disciplinary measures or which measure is appropriate for such behavior. How misconduct is defined and punished depends on what school the student attends. There is little consistency throughout the district.”

The school district is not taking the numbers at face value, however. “I’m not saying it’s skewed ort incorrect,” Gavin, the district’s attorney, said, “but what I am saying is I don’t know what they utilized to drive their numbers, so as you know when somebody is reflecting data, you can take data and put it in the chart and make it say something positive, and you can take that same data and make it say something negative. It depends on the way you’re looking at it.”

The complaint stresses that while any student, including elementary age students, may be removed from class and subjected to detention, suspension or placed in alternative school or settings, “African American students are subject to such removal at a disproportionately higher rate than their white peers,” while scanty evidence shows any benefit to removing students from a learning environment.

The complaint asks that the federal office for civil rights initiate an investigation into the allegations, with input from the community, while requesting of the Flagler school district to “create a corrective action plan” that would comply with the federal Civil Rights Act.

Cases listed in other counties could be harsher: a 10-year-old student was suspended repeatedly in Suwanee County schools for non-violent behavior, but was not provided him with homework, nor the ability to make up the missed work. The complaints illustrate how the school districts have imposed long-term suspensions on children as young as 8 for minor rule infractions such as tardiness, inappropriate cell phone usage, talking in class and dress code violations.

“Unforgiving disciplinary policies are cutting short the futures of countless African-American students across Florida and the entire nation,” said Stephanie Langer, a staff attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Florida office. “If school districts truly want to provide a quality education to all of their students, they will reform these discriminatory policies.”

While each district has changed its written policies, practices have not changed, the center says. Many school districts continue to suspend students for lengthy periods, send them to alternative schools, expel them or unnecessarily refer them to the juvenile justice system.

“Local school districts and state officials must make reforms that improve the effectiveness of school disciplinary policies without forcing children out of the classroom,” said Tania Galloni, managing attorney of the law center’s Florida office. “School discipline should never deprive a child of an education, but that is happening in these school districts. What was once considered minor misconduct has become an opportunity to punish or even criminalize a student’s behavior.”

Flagler County Schools discrimination complaint by the Southern Poverty Law Center

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79 Responses for “Complaint Cites Broad, Harsh Discrimination Against Black Students in Flagler Schools”

  1. Sick of everyone pulling the "race card" says:

    Yeah, I’m sure these referrals have EVERYTHING to do with the skin color and NOTHING to do with their actions. Give me a break, people!

  2. Seriously POD says:

    WOW! So let me get this right ,It becomes a discriminatory issue AS USUAL because the kids who can’t behave and are diciplined are Black,lets address the real issue the parents are looking for some$ from a law suit when they should be diciplining and punishing their misguided misbehaved disobiedient kids,and I live in PC and I can tell you the parents of the kids are more than likely the reason these kids are out of control,and I am sorry income has nothing to do with bad behaviour,we home school our children and live on 1 income .I am sorry so tired of the color card being played if more black kids are being diciplined it just shows the lack of parenting in the home,lower income doesnt mean you stop being a parent,and the school should have every right to dicipline as it sees fit ,espeacially since its left only up to the school where it should begin at home,if you have a ghetto mentallity so will your children..SO TIRED OF HEARING IT..So lets try and punish the schools for ACTUALLY DOING THEIR JOB! Maybe we can get that uneducated idiot Al Sharpton N the adulter Jesse Jackson to come do a march and turn this around to yet another race issue instead of actually making the parents and children accountable for their behaviour!!

    • sandy says:

      I am a black student in flagler county and I have been going to these schools here since the third grade and now I am in tenth. I would have to say I have not seen any discrimination, but some of the rules like on chewing gum or using phones are ridiculous but you can comply to them by not chewing it or turning off the phone to not receive discipline. While being in this district I have not received a referral or anything to hurt my record. I am an honors student that is also taking a.p. and college classes and I’ve also had the worst of teachers. Some of these kids here don’t actually care and I agree it is part of the way a parent disciplines. The student would know how to recpect there teachers if they were disciplined correctly and had a positive influence, which I am thankful I have in my life. Not the fact that they come from broken homes or the ghetto which I had to endure also in my life.

  3. Jim. R says:

    I am not disputing the facts in this article but there are some things about the SPLC that put a cloud over their work.

    http://www.americanpatrol.com/SPLC/ChurchofMorrisDees001100.html

  4. question says:

    Who can be surprised by this report.

    Glad as credible an organization as The Southern Poverty Law Center has taken on these allegations.

    • ol' sarge says:

      w.ryan, the FACT is most of the parents complaining about the uniforms ARE the parents who have hardly had an active role in their children’s education up until now. Do you know any teachers?? I am very close to many, and I can tell you personally many parents (and I use that term very loosely) could have cared less until they had to spend money. They constantly dodge phone calls, skip conferences, FORGET TO PICK UP THEIR KIDS AFTER SCHOOL, show up dropping off their kids smelling like booze or weed, etc, etc, etc…these are the issues we should be addressing!!! The SPLC has constantly been the subject of frivolous investigations and far reaching allegations over the years, yet you want to encourage their desire to place blame?? How about placing blame square on the shoulders of the parents who just don’t care? How about instead teaching children life may not be fair, but they still need to follow the rules!! Accountability, accountability, accountability…

      PCer, socioeconomic status aside…no excuses, just follow the rules!! It doesn’t matter where you come from and what you do or don’t have, follow the rules! This climate and mentality of making social excuses and not holding people accountable, regardless of home life, is one of the main reasons we have a generation of excuse makers!

      You should do your research on the SPLC…they are hardly credible based on some of their past actions.

      • w.ryan says:

        When you replace compassion with arrogance your statement is the proof of the end result. You speak no fact but conjuncture!!! Stop griping and teach. I have first hand experienced what this complaint is all about. I had to pull my child out of this godforsaken self righteous, go directly to jail game of monopoly. For many of us this game is played with only the poorest space on the board and cards of mostly unfortunate consequences. Dress codes, zero tolerance and teachers that are quick to make a verdict that have devastated children of color for years. The last words I heard before my wife and I pulled our son during one of the many meetings we’ve had with FPC admin; this was after we brought up these same stats, questioning why my child is always singled out, came from the Principle at FPC . “These children don’t behave”. I severed my son from this school to prison pipeline called public school.

        • Local Viewer says:

          In defense of your statement “stop griping and teach”…Try “stop griping and be a parent”. I’m sure if your child were to walk into the classroom, on time, with their ID on, proper dress code (notice I didn’t say uniform), sat down at their desk, receive the lesson, and stood up at the end bell to go to the next class then there would be no problems. But it’s no one’s fault but the teacher and the school; right? When you point a finger, you have 3 pointing back at you. Just like in prison, everyone is innocent, too.

  5. Deep South says:

    Good article, however how much involved were the parents or legal guardians in the the disciplinary actions brought against their children. The article didn’t mention.

  6. Safety guy says:

    Here you go, a possible solution? Tell the black kids to stop breaking the rules. Discrimination in this County is the one most dumb remark I have heard lately. It has been a long time since segregation here. I know a lot of responsible upstanding people of all types that live here. They can tell you the problem. We all need to stop sweeping all these types of compliance with rules and regulation under the discrimination rug. What should we, what can we do to help the lowest percent of the student population stop violating the rules? That is the question we need to be looking at. Let’s stop blaming the people who have to put up with children who are very aware they have us right where they want us, unable to control them. We are creating a new generation of people that will blame everyone else for their inabilities to provide for themselves. All they need say is, “I am a product of your discrimination and you need to support me forever.” Hey. I don’t work anymore, so it’s your world workers, get busy and fix this out of control new generation with the tats, piercings, pants below the butt showing their underwear, and language that a sailor would turn red hearing. Whoever is in charge of being the one that carries these fetuses to become born would you mind doing your job and start learning what a society is and how to live in one? Maybe if you all would realize that children are not things we have to plat house with. This is the real life deal here, wake up. And to the officials, when yu read crap like this that says you are at fault for the wrongs of these “Children” tell them to go soak their heads and apply discipline to those who break the rules and law no matter who or what they may be. Can we do this or not? If not then wait until the new government takes over that will not provide for you either. Ask an old Russian about that.

    • Witchy Mamma says:

      While I may agree with some of your statement… would you please explain how being pierced and/or tattooed has anything to do with elementary or junior high school kids being disciplined? As a pierced/tattooed mother of two well behaved little girls with above average grades/scores, I fail to see how they are a factor.

  7. local teacher says:

    Are you kidding me??? The black students are receiving the most referrals because they are the ones breaking the rules the most. Let’s go back to the root of the problem…broken homes with no fathers. My heart breaks for the kids I have had in my classes throughout the years that come from these broken homes. I have visited these homes and the children are allowed to roam the streets and do whatever they want. Things won’t change until we get back to the root of the problem, not just make excuses and blame others. What about the proportion of blacks to whites in our jails? Are we going to blame the police, the prosecutors and the judges for discrimination? No, because more blacks are in jails than whites because they have committed more crimes. Why? Same problem. I guess parents can slack off of their parental responsibilities and the school system will fix what they have messed up. I’m so sick of the entitlement in this country!

    • w.ryan says:

      local teacher: How do you figure that blacks are the ones breaking the rules the most? Your statement clearly demonstrate the problem. While I agree about the broken homes and quiver at your statement that you feel for these kids, your overall demeanor to this issue is the issue. Even if this was true the level of punishments and the frequency of infraction betray your allegations. SPLC retrieved the stats from Florida Dept. of Ed.

  8. Nancy N. says:

    Ok…I know I seem stuck on this issue but I feel there is an interesting question to be raised here about the connection between this complaint and the school uniform policy that I’d really like an answer to from the district. It might even affect the way that I view the policy…but not entirely.

    From the contents of the complaint, the district has known for some time that their record of racial discrimination in disciplinary matters was being investigated and they were likely aware that they faced potential action on this matter. A lot was said by the board during the school board campaign for uniforms about how they erase student differences, make everyone equal. Given how the school board behaved as if they were on a mission in passing this, and at times even making illogical statements in doing so, it makes me wonder…is the uniform code really an attempt by the board to make not the students but the STAFF more color blind?

    Some research shows that disciplinary referrals go down when uniforms are in place, but that same research also shows that the changes are almost certainly due to staff perception of students improving, not actually behavior changes. It’s possible this is the effect that the district is going for, to improve staff perception of minority students to solve the racial disparity in their disciplinary sanctions.

    If that is the case…it’s pretty understandable from a political standpoint why they didn’t air that dirty laundry as the reason for them cramming that policy through. Reading the report, I’m saddened by the challenges facing the minority students of our district from the people tasked with lifting them up, and embarrassed to be a Flagler County schools stakeholder.

  9. Lamar Miller says:

    If, indeed, there is a lack of guidelines in regards to what punishment is prescribed for a particular inappropriate behavior, then the Flagler County school system dropped the ball and should make an effort to correct the situation. However, I think that somewhere along the line, many students & parents have forgotten that the purpose of attending school is to learn. If the students were more focused on this purpose, then a need for discipline (and its guidelines) would be unnecessary. If either of my children were to receive a referral or detention, the school system would not have to worry, because they would be subject to MY guidelines for punishment.

  10. Binkey says:

    KK had 13 write ups? So did they count KK once or 13 times. It sounds to me like he feels he can do whatever he wants without any consequence. How many of the 31% are chronic repeat offenders?

  11. question says:

    Whoa! …”Methinks the Lady Doth Protest TOO Much” …and even an attempt to shoot the messenger !

  12. Shark says:

    I’m sure all of the kids know the rules that they should abide by. If you break the rulles you suffer the consequences!!!!!

  13. Johnny Taxpayer says:

    Reading through the compliant I see very little in the way of actual facts, but yet a lot of conclusions drawn. The article and the complaint seem to suggest that “KK” for example was unfairly suspended from school because of “merely being tardy”, but it’s pretty clear in the complaint that he was referred to the office for being tardy (habitually), and then decided to argue, back talk, and be disruptive with the office staff, which is what actually earned him his suspension. Instead of blaming the school system with no actual facts, the question should be why is an 8th grader habitually late for school? and why is that 8th grader continuously disruptive in class? And why does that 8th grader think it’s appropriate to be disruptive and argumentative with school staff and administrators? Or why when he finally does make it to school tardy, is he frequently out of dress code?

    The first poster makes an extremely accurate point, which is always overlooked, but IS the root of this problem. A black student is many times more likely to return home after school to a broken home without a father present. I’d like to see the SPLC do a study on why it has become culturally acceptable for black men to father kids with different women and not provide financially or emotionally for any of them? But they won’t because there is no money in finding the actual cause of the problem, the money is only in alleging it’s somebody else’s fault. And nobody else will either out of fear that groups like SPLC and Jesse Jackson will target them.

    How about Flaglerlive investigate this a little further. Pull the disciplinary record of the most disciplined students in Flagler county schools. Find the top 100-200 trouble makers and lets see if you don’t find a common denominator even more prevalent than the race of the child, that being the child coming from a broken home.

    Simply identifying that more black students get in trouble and jumping to the conclusion that it must be because the school system treats black and white students differently is unfair, and does a great disservice to all involved, especially the students themselves, that think they are being treated differently.

    • Nancy N. says:

      Individual student records are confidential to protect the privacy of the students. Would you want your child’s school records splashed all over the media? SPLC was able to get the records in its report because it had the cooperation of the families involved.

      As for why so many black families are single parent households with a missing father…maybe we should look first to the mass incarceration of black men in this country (and especially in the state of Florida) as a cause. According to recent statistics from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, nearly 30% of black men will serve time in prison at some point in their life. As of yesterday, the Florida Dept. of Corrections had almost 47,000 black men in its custody – almost 50% of its inmate population being black.

      • Witchy Mamma says:

        So now you are excusing black children from misbehaving because their black fathers wound up in prison. Really? Please explain how THAT makes sense? Not everything can be explained away by saying it is a racial inequality.

      • Johnny Taxpayer says:

        Again you are looking at a symptom of a larger problem, instead of tackling the problem itself. There is no doubt that in the past black men were sentenced to longer prison sentences than white men, the differing criminal penalties for crack cocaine (predominately used by black men) versus powder cocaine (predominantly used by white men) certainly illustrate this fact. However instead of focusing solely on changing the penalties (which does need to be done), shouldn’t the greater emphasis be on why illegal narcotic use is so prevalent among young black men? I would argue that this points back to the same issue as the school system, lack of fathers and that it has become culturally acceptable for black men to father many kids with many different women.

  14. Magnolia says:

    How do these teachers have any time to teach with so many disciplinary problems? If you cannot behave, school is no place for you. It is not up to me to raise your children for you.

    Looks to me like we have some families in trouble here, but that is not the responsibility of the schools. It is the responsibility of the parents. And until we place that responsibility where it belongs, this will continue to happen.

  15. PCer says:

    Flagler County Schools needs to invest in Ruby Payne training for all teachers and administrators. On top of that, they need to take a ride through some of the neighborhoods where these kids live. See the poverty, see that some kids go to school just to eat, understand where they are coming from before passing judgement, and understand how to deal with these children properly the first time so that repeat offenses do not happen. A little bit of extra help for and understanding of both the children and parents situations will go a long way in fixing the problem rather than pointing fingers and placing blame.

  16. Lonewolf says:

    I’m a liberal. Just moved here from a liberal state and a very liberal county. This is EXACTLY the same issues they have there. Why is that?

  17. "My Daily Rant" says:

    Everything seems to be about Race,Black Kids are more violent than others, its a known fact.Does the SPLC believe we should just give them a free pass because their Black.This country caters to Minorites mostly Blacks with Affirmative Action,Quotas,special treatment its time it stops.You know its getting out of control when the Fed. Gov. lets the Black Panthers stand in front of a polling station dressed in commando style uniforms swinging clubs trying to scare off White People.IF YOU DO THE CRIME DO THE TIME.

  18. JL says:

    I agree with most of the previous postings. I’m sick of people getting off scott free because of their skin color. We now have an African American President. Doesn’t that show everyone that the country as a whole has no problem with race? I think it’s about time blacks expect more from their own kids. Parents, step up. So what if there’s no father. Whoop de do. There’s many white kids being raised by one parent. And they’re not in trouble at school, going to jail, etc. Stop it with excuses. Put them in church, make them stay at home, do some chores around the house. And make them watch their mouth! It’s time we expect more from blacks so they will achieve. Stop making excuses is all I can say.

  19. w.ryan says:

    Why is it that when it comes down to Blacks and their complaints of unfairness and racism we hear a chorus of “Race Card”!!! LOCAL TEACHER had the nerves to even bring up America’s prison population not knowing the correlation between the politicians wanting to get elected and the votes. While the President of the U.S. had amnesia Col.Oliver North ran a drug ring smuggling cocaine to the inner city black communities fueling the crack era. Oliver North got pardoned while Noriega and countless Black Americans got jailed. Let me not even talk about marijuana compared to cigarettes and who is locked up over what. LOCAL TEACHER…I hope you are not teaching for long and if you are then read more, get your heart in the right place, and get your facts right. I was astonished that one of Flaglers school Principles would respond to the uniform situation like this – http://flaglerlive.com/42450/flagler-school-uniform-policy/
    Winny says:
    August 7, 2012 at 5:03 pm
    excerpt:
    On top of that, how many of the parents that oppose of this uniform policy acually show up to parent/teacher conferences, return teacher phone calls about student behavior (good or bad), and are actively involved in their students education? I will say not many. I KNOW! Because I am one of the instructors trying to put away years of bad parenting in the two years that I have them.
    This goes to show the indifference and arrogance that is institutional in this school system.
    I can’t help but mention the “Rule of Law” which at one time kept blacks and women from voting. And the “Rule of Law” that kept blacks from reading. Let’s not forget of course Jim Crow. When America have problems or perceive of one the easiest way to handle it is with force. Example: American ( Native)Indians. Not all rules are good and not all laws are lawful. It’s easier to punish and show force especially to those you are not endearing to. Here we go again. I have seen instances of what is stated in this filing my eight years here. I’ve fought them. It is unfair and racist. These facts have been stated for years on the Florida Dep.of Education until recently.http://www.fldoe.org/eias/eiaspubs/fsir.asp. This last year it was buried somewhere or removed. I looked recently and couldn’t find it. Now the one organization that is bringing it to light is not credible to some of you who want to debunk the facts. Stop short cutting people with punishment and denial and examine progressive ways to fix the problems.

  20. Witchy Mamma says:

    I for one am tired of seeing the race card pulled out whenever something like this comes up. Yes, its obvious by these reports, that black children are in more trouble than non-black children. (Though I’d like to see the same statistics reported on non-black children as a comparison) But how is the school to blame for this? The teachers are not responsible for raising children. They are responsible for educating them. If one child, skin color aside, is disrupting class then that child needs to be disciplined in a manner that benefits the rest of the classroom. If suspending them from school is what is warranted, then yes… by all means suspend the child. However, with that said… they should be given equal opportunity to complete their work. Any school/teacher that does not allow the suspended child opportunity to complete their work is absolutely doing that child an disservice.

    But I’m also tired of hearing excuses… It boils down to the fact that we’ve given them the excuses to play. While I don’t believe that we live in a country that is completely color blind, we often allow for these excuses in order to keep things low key. The leader of our country is black. They can no longer say that every black man, woman or child is being oppressed. If you choose to be oppressed then we can’t help you. If you want to move beyond that and make something of yourself the resources are out there. We also aren’t stopping you. You just have to put the excuses away and expect more than a hand out.

  21. JL says:

    w. Ryan, you’re bringing up North and Jim Crow? Why stop there? You want to go back to the Civl War? How about further? well, if you want to do that, we can bring up how the Irish were discriminated against when they came over. You want more? This is rediculous. You can’t compare today to 1970 or 1960. Fortunately, we have come a long way. Just ask President Obama and retired General Powell. The only thing stopping any kid from succeeding is themself and their parents. We must stop blaming only one parent, stop blaming teachers, who only have them maybe one hour a day, or a few hours a day, depending on the grade. It is up to the parents to instill some manners. It’s up to the parents to expect more from their child. My sons knew from day one what I expected and I settled for nothing less. My kids were never in trouble, never suspended, and have great jobs to this day.

    • w.ryan says:

      JL: I brought those past issues up to counter what was said about Blacks in prison. I brought the other parts of my statement from earlier to explain that rules and law aren’t always lawful or right. My intent was not just to bring up past wrongs but to enlighten a dark truth. Unfortunately another dark truth was that the Civil War was about Economics, not about slavery. My question to you is why were there so many blacks that fought against their freedom and wore gray instead of blue? Read your history and don’t be so quick to embrace word of mouth. We have come a long way but I keep hearing that America should take our country back. I question the meaning of that statement. But I don’t have to question what came out of the mouths of those people that want to make President Obama a one term President and the way they have stated their rhetoric. It does amaze me however that when a question of racism comes up African Americans always hear the names those you mentioned as if all wrongs were made right. It’s a shame that from no on The Pres. and Gen. Powell will always be the poster child for a “Racism Free America”! By the way…I am happy for you that your sons had an easy time with school and didn’t get in trouble and have nice jobs. The obstacles most probably weren’t in their way. Obviously you can’t compare apples to oranges.

  22. MSFB says:

    I saw a picture the other day which had a 1968 depiction of a student with his parents in from of his teacher. They were asking the student why his grades were bad. The other side of the depiction forwarded to 2012, same depiction but it was the parents and the kid asking the teacher why she gave their kid bad grades… says it all. It is not the duty of the teacher to be the parents, parents need to be parents and take personal responsibility for the actions of their kids. They need to be the disciplinarians! You can thank the countless LIBERALS out there for relieving you of your personal responsibilities for raising YOUR CHILDREN and expecting the school system to raise YOUR KIDS for you. Great line from Forrest Gump ” Stupid is what stupid does”

    • Witchy Mamma says:

      Really? You are now blaming Liberals? I identify as Liberal… please see my previous post… you know the one… where I say it is the responsibility of the parent to raise the children and the teacher to educate them. How in the world do you make this a Liberal vs. Conservative issue?

    • Ogreagain says:

      You almost got a like, till you started in with your political garbage.

      You can thank the countless LIBERALS out there for relieving you of your personal responsibilities for raising YOUR CHILDREN and expecting the school system to raise YOUR KIDS for you. Great line from Forrest Gump ” Stupid is what stupid does”

      I’ll go out on a limb and say your voting for Rommeny?

    • Nancy N. says:

      Card carrying liberal reporting for duty…I assume my ACLU donation receipts will suffice to verify my allegiance?

      I absolutely DO NOT expect the school district to raise my kids. In fact, it absolutely enrages me when they try to infringe on my rights as a parent to raise my child the way that I see fit. Their job is to teach my kid. Period. Not tell me what she should wear, or force me to pay to take her to the doctor when she doesn’t need to go just because she missed 3 days of school. Etc Etc

      I really resent the attitude of the nanny state school that it knows better than parents. I’m really sick of being patted on the head when I have a question or issue and basically told “there now, we’ll take care of it, we know what’s best” or even worse – being treated like I’m being unreasonable when I have the nerve to tell them that what they are doing is not the best thing for my kid. The prevailing attitude is that parent=irresponsible idiot. I’m tired of it.

  23. Liana G says:

    These statistics read similar to the national norm. Blacks make up 13% of the nation’s population and 65% of the prison population.

    Last year a behavior specialist at a FL high school invited me to observe a behavior lab class. During these classes, students share why they are there and discuss what they need to do to change. One incident that really stood out for me was that of a young AA male who was there again for “rudely” talking back to the teacher. The behavior specialist asked him why he keeps doing it. This is the student’s response. “I’m trying Mr. J… I’m doing what you say to do but this teacher [white male]… he knows exactly how to push my buttons to get to me…and I know what he is doing… and so I try, but some days it’s just too hard.” Should any child be subjected to this kind of treatment from a teacher?

    But to this day, I do remember the name of the student who beat my daughter in elementary school. He went after my other daughter, her twin, in middle school. He made it a point of letting her know he was going to beat her up just like he did her sister. He didn’t get the chance. He got in trouble for “beating up” another girl because she refused to go out with him. We need school choice.

  24. question says:

    Whole lot of ‘Exhibit A’ here for the SPLC to substantiate hostile environment. Many so used to it that you no longer recognize it. Sad for Flagler County reputation.

  25. parentof1 says:

    Really wow, Is all I have to say to this. We’re all the same people color dont matter I dont get why it has to be a white and black thing. Can’t we all get along regardless of color, sex, age, job, ANYTHING we are all the same you take the skin off any human regardless of color it will be the same. So why dont people stop blaming crap on color and move on, It could be white childrean getting in trouble and nothing would be said but because its black kids people are gonna make a big deal. GET OVER IT.

  26. Ogreagain says:

    if were talking percentages here lets talk about male teachers. what percentage of men teach in elmentary school? yet half of the students are males. you can twist the numbers and way you want. i never saw what percentages of black people were more qaultifived then there peers they were competing againt?

  27. Prescient33 says:

    There are lies, damn lies, and statistics. The latter is the most vicious of all, as they omit the individual causes of the disciplinary actions. Some would have us believe that, while the black population hovers about 13% of the population, the inordinate numbers and percentages of blacks incarcerated in our prisons is due to racism, completely ignoring the fact that they were convicted for crimes in the finest, fairest judicial system in the world.
    Withhold condemnation of a complaint predicated upon raw statistics, and let’s see the proof.

    • Inmate's Wife says:

      “finest, fairest judicial system in the world”

      Spoken like someone who’s never actually been on the receiving end of that “justice” system. Because if you had been, you’d find the reality of the flaws in that system HORRIFYING.

      Americans’ blind faith in the purity of that system is terrifying.

  28. Clint says:

    There is NO fix. There will NEVER be a fix. That is until our schools bring back GOD, COUNTRY, MORALS, and RESPECT FOR OTHERS. When the child can recite the Pledge of Alligence before classes start and salute the American flag. When the child is PROUD of his /her country and all it stands for. When the child respects his/her teacher and is disciplined for failing not to follow the rules. Then and ONLY then will the American school system be a system of help and encouragement to your child !

    • FPCstudent says:

      The pledge of allegiance is played every morning for students to recite (some schools even play the star spangled banner every morning), and there is an American flag in every single classroom.

  29. rd says:

    My take on it is the LIBERALS, BLACKS and the ACLU are all in denial. Play the race card and the blame card at the same time. It’s what is expected. Then it becomes someone elses problem.. Step up and accept your responsibilty..

  30. Biker says:

    Let me get this straight. A Federal complaint was filed. No findings? No investigation yet? Just alot of press on a complaint filed by the SPLC. I read the original complaint. It seems to be short on cause and effect. Basically it says African americans make up 16% of the population of the schools yet they account for 31% of those persons disciplined. Ok, so are there comparisons involving specific incidents in which African Americans have committed the same offense as others, but were treated more severely? Or is it merely stating that since the population of the schools are 16% then they should represent only 16% of those that are disciplined? That kind of thinking does not make a whole lot of sense. I predict that this complaint will go nowhere, the school district will tweak their policy and procedures, require sensitivity training of their staff and the SPLC will take credit for the making a difference. Then we all can get back to teaching our children.

  31. w.ryan says:

    My God! The “Race Card ” is in play again! It’s not the African Americans Playing it. It’s almost pointless with the mindset being displayed here.

  32. Jenny Wren says:

    I am glad I do not live in Florida. Many of the respondents seem to deny the possibility of racism and having visited your state, I know it exists there as it does elsewhere. Studies have found uneven enforcement of rules, and blacks being targeted more often than others.
    I hope a positive solution can be found and those who feel it’s only because blacks “break the rules more often” will learn it’s much more complex than that. I hope people will open their minds and that the findings in this report will be investigated and some good can come out of it. Educational opportunities are the key to any society’s success. Good luck.

    • ol' sarge says:

      The argument here is not “blacks cause more problems,” the argument is no accountability. I agree that the key to opportunity is education, obviously an uneducated society is a troubled one. However, just as important, if not more so, is taking responsibility for ones actions. Lets talk about the south versus the north, while we are at it…FDNY just lost a class action suit forcing them to retroactively lower a passing promotional test score from 70% to 20% FOR MINORITIES!! I, personally, am a minority, and I can tell you that is shameful.

      So, I guess the real issue here is not the denial of the possibility of racism still being a prevalent social issue…obviously anyone who believes otherwise is a clown. But, as someone who DOES NOT live here, maybe you are not aware of how often this kind of thing is an issue here. What is the lesson we are teaching our children here? A child can be a discipline problem, tardy multiple times, with parents who do not show up for scheduled conferences to address these issues…but don’t worry, sweetie pie, that mean old teacher just doesn’t like you because you’re black…at what point do we hold parents, kids, and teachers accountable for their social responsibility to each other??

  33. initialjoe says:

    (insert nature vs. nurture discussion here)

  34. question says:

    Jenny Wren,
    A rare voice of reason. Thank you.
    You’re right, Florida in its own little, throwback to the ’50’s world…and not just on this issue.
    The tea party pretty much made sure we’re going to stay this way for some time via
    Gov. Rick Scott and the all tea all the time gang in Tallahassee,

  35. Advocate says:

    What many do not realize, is that the culture of the environment impacts the way the rules may be interpreted and how punishment is meted out. Flagler county was the last county in the state of Florida to desegregate its schools. There remains a racial divide to this day, as evidenced by the published statistics, the noticeable lack of minority professionals employed by the Flagler school system, and the county’s failure to aggressively address the issues when they were brought to the attention of officials several years ago. The GAP Commission(dissolved two years ago) was instrumental in bringing the disparities to light. I am referring to seven years notice to Flagler, providing more than ample time to address and resolve many of the problems identified. The zero tolerance policy , and the allowance of tasers in schools id detrimental to ALL of our children, not only minorities. The solution that this suit may force, will benefit all students, allowing them to learn in a safe environment. The county should enhance training for teachers, counselors, law enforcement in schools, and pay teachers a fair wage, so that it can recruit qualified professionals of all races to stand before our children. An article in the N.Y Times refers to the issue of disciplinary action taken against children who suffer from disabilities. Many of these children have ADHD,( undiagnosed) and may not be the “troublemaker ” that they are labeled. The child should not suffer the consequences of our disability to identify and treat what ails them. It is the responsibility of those we hire, elect, and entrust our children to to assist parents in obtaining a remedy for the problems many Flagler county children face due to overwhelming poverty and societal neglect. Racism still rears its ugly head here; let there be no doubt.

  36. ??? says:

    Here’s one possible explanation. We have a school system with a mostly white staff. These staff members witness young white students acting out, nothing over the top, but being disorderly. They think to themselves, “well i remember doing those things when i was young.” They relate to the types of things the white students are doing. In comes a black student who committed an equal, but different disorderly school violation. They don’t relate to this type of misbehavior because this is something young white kids don’t do, but young black kids do. Since they can’t relate to the black kids they are not as quick to dismiss their actions. In comes the learned stereotypes and they punish more severely. It happens. Remember, you fear what you don’t understand.

  37. ??? says:

    To Local Teacher.

    To bring up the prison population as your argument is to show that you need to look a little deeper into this issue. A majority of minorities in prison are there on drug related charges. This is because our federal government decided with their war on drugs to go after small time pushers, who are easily replaceable, instead of the main distributors. I’m not condoning drug dealing but the only thing we succeed in doing is arresting small time dealers. Meanwhile, the drug trade flourishes because while our authorities are arresting minorities, the upper level drug dealers are left alone. Now you tell me, who is the greater threat, the local street dealer or the big time cartel distributor who imports the drugs into the country and serves many. Most distributors are not African-American.

  38. question says:

    An eloquent and informed analysis Advocat.

  39. susan says:

    I for one working in the flagler school system see how parents are involved in the childrens lives. I must say it is shameful. They expect the school to do the job for them. I have seen situations of fighting amongst girls and caught on video,yet. But when the parent or guardian comes in they say” She would never do that”. I have seen this so many times it makes me sick. Parents need to disciple your kids and stay involve in their lives. We need to go back to the old way. Getting SPANKING when you did something wrong!

    • flip it says:

      right, hit them…That’s the answer. I grew up being “spanked” and I for one turned out just fine.. I will tell you that I have three kids and have never spanked nor yelled at them. Talking to them WORKS…being involved WORKS…treating them like adults WORKS. I have one son that entered the dual enrollment program and is now attends UNF has his BA and is studying to become an Engineer. My youngest have never gotten anything less then a B and he’s in 5th…I take my job as a parent VERY serious…OH and here is the kicker…I’m PUERTO RICAN!

  40. Songbird says:

    Clint, students in Flagler County schools recite the Pledge of Allegiance everyday.

  41. LivesinPalmCoast says:

    Really….this again? I am so sick of the discrimination card being used ALL the time. Its ok for “African Americans” to use it but when “Irish Americans” or “Greek Americans” do it, its unacceptable. Really? Why is that? It was a looooong time ago since before the civil war….EVERYONE needs to get over it.

    I think that everyone has an opportunity to learn and they each are told the rules at the beginning of the school year. It is THEIR choice if they will follow those rules or NOT. If NOT then they need to be punished. Its that simple.

    As for as the advance courses….if someone is smart then they get in. All children can learn and its their choice to either study and get good grades or slake off, not reaching their potential. Many white children don’t get into advanced courses. Everyone has the opportunity if they CHOOSE to.

  42. w.ryan says:

    Seems to me that we’re throwing money at the wrongs things. Drive thru south Bunnell. Drive to the projects and see for yourself the living conditions. Most of them are trying hard to make a living and keep a roof over their heads. Lets look at Espanola. Life is business as usual as well. Trying but always on the edge. They make due despite the little conveniences they have. There is a long family history dating back to slavery. Most of the grandparents and great great grandparents fought in all of the major wars for America. Some were hero’s. Some were lost. We could say the same about a white community, but having makes a difference. Having a father present and having means to afford a relatively peaceful life to rear the children instilling what we all want which is Family values. But what is different is a mindset caused from being under the thumb of affluent white Americans who ran everything in their midst. When a family member died blacks couldn’t even be buried in a common cemetery. It’s about at last 30 to 40 years since blacks had to enter thru the back entrance. They couldn’t cross the “Tracks”. The couldn’t watch sports events with whites. Lets not talk about the revolving prison door. Now you expect this kind of situation to be resolved in the the matter of 40 years? The first desegregated H.S was FPC in 1978.
    Here we are today dismissing claims of racism which are clearly documented here. And the majority of of the responses have this mindset that this is a basic problem. Spank the child, parent involvement, lets get on with this and scratch this from the byline. This is a racial war zone most like anywhere else in America where these conditions exist. Just like any war zone after the fight America spend money to heal and make right what was harmed. It’s happened in Korea, Vietnam, in Bosnia and most recently in Afghanistan and Iraq. Spend the money on medical,employment and education. Pay the teachers much more! Work out community problems. Find work for those students that need a sense of self and give hope to the frustrated who see no resolve. To the Tea Part and so-called Conservatives, If this is Socialism tell it to Bush and the other Republican Ideologues. I’ve raised my children to be respectful but when you are scrutinizes countless times in a day you get edgy and annoyed. The color coded codes of Conduct is ever so present and the “Pipeline to Prison” is at work. As for the parents, most have responded to being harassed by what is probably perceived as another slanderous moment telling me my child is bad. There were countless days at home while my child was in school that when the phone rang, our heart fluttered. Is he in trouble again for something silly was the question we asked ourselves? Is he being helped up for something he hasn’t done and did they force him to admit to their invented crap to exercise their power again. Stay a while in the skin they and I’m and see what it’s like. Better yet listen up and open your hearts and help find a solution. Keep in mind that the Civil Rights movement was about people on many colors and creeds and religion so it has been done.

  43. Outsider says:

    My oldest has been going to school in this county for 9 years and had maybe one or two “write-ups” during that time. My other is in third grade and has never been written up. The above-mentioned kids are written up weekly; how can anyone deny they have some issues? On the other hand, a kid we know has been involved in numerous issues and was finally thrown out of Pathways. He is white. Disruptive and unruly kids should not be allowed to interfere with the education of those who are doing it right, no matter what color they are.

  44. question says:

    Anonymous says:

    Songbird, I’m so happy to hear that. Does that include the part about “one nation under GOD” ?
    —————————-

    One nation (not always) under God

    The Pledge of Allegiance was composed in 1892 by a Baptist minister and SOCIALIST named Francis Bellamy. The original pledge written by him read: “I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

    The words “my flag” were changed to “the flag of the United States of America” in the 1920s. Congress added the words “under God” in 1954, when the greatest threat to the United States was the “godless” Soviet Union.

  45. Deep South says:

    I’ve been thinking about this situation for a couple of days, and have come to the conclusion that this is not a black vs, white situation, or playing the race card. This is a school issue that has no means on how to handle a situation like this. Lets face it, if I had received at lease 3 reprimand when I was working I would have terminated from my job. After 2 reprimand I would have been ordered told to seek counseling. I’m not saying that these kids should be kick out , but I suggest that more needs to be done than to keep writing these kids up. Obviously there is a discipline problem with these kids, and they certainly are not getting it at home, or it being properly handled at school. These kids need professional counseling, anger management, and behavioral workshops. Also their families need family counseling, on how to better structure their lives, as well as their kids. Make it mandatory with progress reports. Now here’s the kicker, who pays ? I would have to put that on the parents, but if the parents can’t afford it, perhaps some agency could help out. It’s better to take care of this now, than to to pay later to support these kids when they older and in prison.

  46. Sea dog says:

    I worked as a substitute teacher for Flagler County schools for a number of years. I did not see any treatment of blacks that seem to be racially motivated. What I did see was a school system that contained chlldren from up to 78 countries. I did see enought to come to the conclusions that local blacks as a group were less motivated to learn then any other group.

  47. w.ryan says:

    Why is it so hard to believe that these kids in the complaint were wronged. Deep south…You’re starting to think broader but why is it that race has nothing to do with it?

    • some guy says:

      Its not that any find it hard to believe the kids BUT that there is NO evidence of racial wrongdoing on the part of the school system. Just because a small % of kids get in the most trouble does not mean anything but that. It has 0 to do with the color of their skin BUT may have to do with the culture they are brought up in.

    • Deep South says:

      Because of the number of times these kids were written up. As a parent I would have never, I mean never have allow a school to write up my child that many times without me taking action. I mean come on 19 times. where were the parents. Obviously these kids had no parental support and had to fend for themselves.

  48. ??? says:

    There’s one way to resolve this issue and eliminate the racial component. Create a standardized point system for referals. Create level one (ID’s, dress code, tardys etc.), level two (disruptive behavior, swearing in class, skipping etc) and level three (fighting, drugs etc) assign point levels for each offence. Once you reach a predetermined point total then you get a standard penalty. In school suspension, dentention, out of school suspension, just something that is appropriate. This takes personal feeling or attitude out of the equation. Then everyone will be treated equally.

    • Nancy N. says:

      Something like a standardized point system only solves part of the issue (just ask anyone who has had to deal with our state’s point system for felony sentencing). It doesn’t take personal feeling or attitude out entirely because it doesn’t solve the perception issue in determining someone has committed an offense in the first place – what constitutes disruptive behavior? What is disrespecting a staff member? etc) Some of these things are judgement calls. Some of these things are things that sometimes a staff member will choose to let slide occasionally (like a tardy) if the kid is a “good” kid.

  49. Dave says:

    So many people on here keep saying it is not a racial issue but indeed it is or the so called NAACP and the SPLC would not be involved, come on people do we really need these groups to defend kids in the school system when it has already been proven the kids are troubled ? We do have a group of people that are whites that stick their noses where it dos not belong known as the KKK which is another useless group of people that need to be abolished just like NAACP and the SPLC , Everyone is equal no matter what race or color with that said like I always say if parents would do their job at home with their kids and stop asking the school board to raise their kids then their kids would be a lot better off, the main issue here is why are the parents of these troubled kids not helping their kids out ?

  50. Songbird says:

    Anonymous, actually yes, it does. :)

  51. Anonymous says:

    dave the why and what of the “punishment” to the kids was not racial BUT the involment of NAACP/SPLC is all about race and not why/what the kids did to be in trouble

  52. w.ryan says:

    ??? – As long as there is people involvement there will be bias! Fact is this is a more complex problem than the comprehensions of many of those on this thread can understand. Many of the comments already show the depth of the problem. Thank you all for shedding further light on the issue at hand.

  53. I don’t know if I should be more shocked at the complaint in question or the majority of comments (and likes for those comments) in this thread. For all of you who actually have kids enrolled in public schools here, why don’t you ask them if they think there is racism in our schools, on our school buses, and on our playgrounds. Hopefully, if your kids haven’t yet been brainwashed into believing that as someone here put “blacks are just more violent” or already believe that our inherent behaviour is somehow predicated on our race, nationality or other bits of dna, they’ll actually tell you how it is.

    No wonder this is the same damn districts and school board that was more afraid of the word “nigger” spoken in context from the stage than it is of actual racist practices…

    W. Ryan – I have a feeling you are speaking to a bunch of people who simply can’t see unfairness if they can’t relate to the ones thus treated.

  54. palmcoaster says:

    This time I have to agree with inna hardison as yes, there is an underlined prejudice in this county at least as perceived. In my 21 years here and with no kids in school ever, is obvious in many other dependencies..
    And better no woman have to go to court for domestic violence protection, because I can guarantee that the judge no matter what will rule against her. Also my perception of all these years. Worst even if a minority person has to be in court given a problem…forget it!

  55. I'm glad I left PC says:

    Every child from kindergarten through grad 12 is afforded an equal education. It falls on the parents though to take responsibility and nurture their children, teach them what is right and wrong. That is what it use to be. Today, if a child misbehaves at home, you can’t spank anymore its child abuse these kids are protected by groups like the American Civil Liberties Union!!! this organization has eroded the back bone of American values and principles, teachers have to put up with disruptive children who weigh down the other kids who want to learn. That is crap!!!! white, black, or Hispanic if they do not want to learn do not make them intrude on the ones who do!!! Get them out!!! too much money being spent to protect these little roaches. Alternative schools may work but there will some who will still wreck it for others.
    It starts at home, if a child wants to learn they will, if the home is broken look for the signs, in order to save these kids they need to be helped in the elementry schools where a positve role model can help.
    The younger they are the better chance for help, the older they are the more diffacult the problem becomes. My youngest son is enrolled in honors classes because he EARNED IT!!!!! it wasn’t given to him. He can now concentrate in class since the ones who do not want to learn are not allowed in. You need the grades in this school to attain honors. Public schools are just becoming dumping grounds, its a shame. The Federal Government has once again failed us!!!! Give the states control of education they did a better job and abolish the department of Education and save us taxpayers billions of $$$.

  56. Becky says:

    It really isn’t a black/white issue. It is an issue of culture. Or lack of a successful family and parenting model being reproduced from generation to generation. Here is a great article on where the lawsuits against racial disparity in classroom punishment began…
    http://www.city-journal.org/2012/22_3_school-discipline.html And one more on crime statistics, and how they aren’t always what they seem…very interesting, though taken from the UK..http://www.city-journal.org/2009/19_2_british-crime.html

  57. Reality Check says:

    The FCSD has had numerous complaints filed over the pasr decade, the problem being that they are most kept from the public eye, The FCSD reports to the state of FL DOE and they do not want to look bad, after all the FCSD looks bad so does the state. Look up all the stste complaints filled against Flager over the years, the problem is the state will cover up as much as possible to avoid any bad PR.

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