Students Need The Stick
Of course, the poster is recalling images of former Paterson, New Jersey Eastside High School school principal, Joe Clark, who, back in the 1980s, was brought into save the failing high school with his hard nosed, no nonsense tactics. Within two years, the school was turned around and considered a model performer for the nation.
"If there is no discipline, there is anarchy. Good citizenship demands attention to responsibilities as well as rights."Clark was known for patrolling the campus with a baseball bat and bullhorn, for padlocking the entrances (to keep the criminals out and the students in) and for in one day expelling 300 students for various trangressions. Joe Clark was later portrayed by Morgan Freeman in the 1989 film Lean On Me.
Just this afternoon, Mayor-Elect Antonio Villaraigosa promised to wipe out racial violence. He plans to have expanded after-school programs and to send in crisis counselors. With all due respect to our new mayor, that just ain't going to do it.
For too long, we have worried too much about students feelings, emotions and self esteem. As we do that more, violence, crime, drugs, pregnant teens and lack of learning increases.
Students have a need to be held accountable, to be demanded to perform and to face consquences for their action. A bold move could have been for Villaraigosa and his protege Huizar to come out to the schools and demand those involved in these incidents be suspended or expelled. Then issue a stern warning to all the other students that this nonsense will not be tolerated. Students will respect this. They will respond to this. They laugh at "Days of dialogue" and other types of liberal namby-pamby measures they see as signs that they "got off the hook."
As Clark did, Villaraigosa, Huizar, our AWOL Mayor Hahn and all other leaders need to challenge these students to be the best they can be, to stay out of trouble and to instill discpline. As well, they need to make it very clear to parents that we expect them to raise their children right, hold them accountable and be sure that they face consequences if they run afoul of what is right.
If we don't, we will never solve the problems we are currently facing - and they will only get worse regardless of how much money we spend, how many teachers we hire, how many schools we build or how much "self esteem" the government tries to inject into them.