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Friday, May 27, 2005

Students Need The Stick

Joe ClarkFollowing the recent rash of incidents of racial violence at a number of Los Angeles schools , one of our posters suggested that School Board President and Council District 14 candidate Jose Huizar go out to the campuses with a bullhorn and baseball bat in hand to "get those kids in order."

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."
-Joe Clark
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.


Anonymous Anonymous said:

This is the most naive thing I have ever heard you talk about.

I attended a Occupational Center here in Los Angeles and most of the kids there were very intelligent and preferred it there rather than public school. These were very very smart kids and at the occupational center they were able to learn and perform to the best of their abilities without being hampered by bullying and trying to hide the fact they wanted to learn.

So saying that suspending kids would be the best way to go about this is probably what most of the kids would want , both the kids who do no wrong but do bad things to blend in and survive so as not be targeted by the kids who do things maliciously and the kids who do things maliciously

What we need are smaller class sizes an atmosphere in the schools which peer pressure, a form of peer pressure which ostrasizes students who do not excel, rather than promoting a form of peer pressure that pronmotes thugism.

If Antonio wants to help . Make the City also get in and take charge and share responsibility along with the school board. It is time for him to put up or shut up.

May 27, 2005 7:56 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The problem isn't with the kids or their behaviour at school. The problem lies with the leaders - political, business and community - that either didn't see this coming or ignored it in the hopes that it might go away. This didn't happen overnight and confirms the fact that talk is very cheap. Yeah Tony and Huizar, it's easy to say we should all get along, but how do you actually do it? How do you keep a Mexican kid from spewing racial slurs at a Black kid and how do you keep a Black kid from stomping on the Mexican flag (two incidents that started the flair ups at Jefferson). Until this is figured out, it doesn't matter what size of stick you've got. Just don't be surprised when these kids take that stick away from you and whack you over the head with it - and a much deserved whack it would be!

May 27, 2005 9:41 PM  

Anonymous Mayor Tom said:

Mayor Sam,

I have to disagree with you on this one. Beating kids with sticks and serving out harsh discipline will only mask over the problem, it will not solve it. It's like taking a French shower as far as I'm concerned. As a conservative, you should be wary of anything that's French.

I look at it this way, if you use harsh discipline to force black and hispanic kids to stop fighting each other in school, it may work.....in the school yard. When these angry young men become adults or when they leave the school yard, they will still want to fight. If the motivation for not fighting with one another solely becomes the fear of harsh authority and punishment, you're not actually teaching these kids anything or preventing larger racial conflict in society. Instead you end up with Tito's Yugoslavia. While he was alive he kept strict order and there were no ethnic conflicts...after he died, the whole country fell apart.

That said, there should be discipline and there should be order. We can't allow things to get out of control. But there is a large difference between disciplining trouble makers and enforcing strict authoritatarian schools. American schools should be centers of learning, not authoritarian boot camps.

Lastly, let's not forget that most of the kids who go to these high schools are not trouble makers, some are bright young individuals and some are just nice people trying to make it through life. We shouldn't lump all of them together. They should not be treated harshly or punished for the actions of a small group of dumb, racist students.

May 28, 2005 12:39 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Why don't they get the same coalition of community leaders that the Valley did with Blinky Rodriguez's group that called for a "peace alliance" with the gangs.

Antonio and Huizar don't have a clue. In fact, Jose Huizar is sitting on his butt while the Human Relations Commission wants to get a MOU (memo of understanding) from LAUSD to be able to go into the schools and help the problem. Jose is the problem cause HRelations can't get the MOU and they're being uncooperative.

Where the hell are the black leaders, Mack, Bakewell, Waters, Naji Ali, the Revs. and the rest who are the first to come out when there's cameras for police violence? These kids need role models, Where's Magic and the other athletes that kids will listen to? They need to feel that people care and understand.

May 28, 2005 7:04 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Say what you want about Hahn but I give him a lot of credit for wanting to help the situation. Sleazy Huizy is nowhere to be found and Antonio showed up with Nation of Islam for photo op.

Daily News….Mayor James Hahn said he planned to talk with Villaraigosa on a joint approach they can take to ease tensions at the racially mixed school as well as continuing his discussions with school officials. "Part of what we think needs to happen is to bring in more human relations experts, and the district has agreed to do that," Hahn said. "We also have to assure the safety of our students." Hahn has been working with schools Superintendent Roy Romer and the school district for the past few months to create crime-free zones around schools, with Jefferson High School on the list as being among the first to receive attention. "We have to make sure that students are safe on campus, but also going to and from school," Hahn said. Hahn said Los Angeles Police Department officers from the LAPD's Newton Division will increase their patrols in and around the school.

Villaraigosa said the tensions are based largely on changes in the community, an area where Latino population growth has increased dramatically and the presence of African-Americans has declined. He said the school is about 93 percent Latino. (ANTONIO, THIS DIDN’T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT….GET A CLUE

May 28, 2005 7:40 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


Today I heard Antonio being interviewed on the radio (KFWB) about his dismay at the Newsweek cover depicting him with the words "Latino Power:"

He says that he is disappointed because it's always been his desire and intention to represent "all of California." He catches himself a sentence later and says "all of Los Angeles."

We elect a new (I hope) governor in 2006. Will Villaraigosa even get the seat warm at the mayor's desk before he starts campaigning for governor? OK, sure he will. But I'd bet my house that it won't be too long before you can make a contribution to his 2010 gubernatorial campaign.

May 28, 2005 7:49 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

This article is hilarious. Gee, there's another ADV groupie at LA Times. Yes, voters wanted "pizazz" in city hall. HOW EMBARRSSING!!!STYLE & CULTURE
Political pizazz
Charismatic Mayor-elect Antonio Villaraigosa brings a little upscale style to City Hall.
By Tina Daunt
He goes to sleep after midnight and wakes up at 5 — and for the rest of the day he rarely stops talking.

He likes dressing dapper, he said, because he grew up with holes in his clothes. He's fastidious about his appearance; his hair is always moussed, his clothes always pressed. He'll wear a sports jacket, even in 90-degree heat.
...Antonio Villaraigosa seems to be everywhere these days, on the cover of national magazines, in the national spotlight as the poster boy for the "new Latino Power," at local schools and at Dodger games.....The polls were clear: L.A. voters liked Villaraigosa's pizazz...At age 52, Villaraigosa is pure razzle-dazzle — although he claims he's not. At one campaign event, Villaraigosa — a fit 5-feet-8 — promised to roll up his sleeves and get to work on the city's problems. To emphasize his point, he tossed off his black jacket, revealing the label: Armani.

He visits a celebrity throat doctor.....His tastes reflect those of the power elite he has hung around with in the state Legislature and at City Hall, more than his barrio upbringing...

He's had his teeth professionally whitened and he works out at 5 most mornings...Villaraigosa sends his two younger children to Catholic schools, where the tuitions together top $20,000 annually....He likes to live well — on a budget (his salary as mayor will be $186,989 a year)...Villaraigosa has a tailor who comes to his house to fit him in jackets. He shops for dress shirts (size 16 1/2 by 32) and ties at the Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale. Villaraigosa's personal style reflects where he's been — and where he's going.

In addition to polishing his appearance, he also learned the fine art of charm, mostly from his late mother, an outgoing woman whom he adored.

For months, Villaraigosa has been making appearances in locales around the city. Some days, he'll spend an hour or more posing for pictures and signing autographs.

His life has always been busy; these days, it's crazy. He moves so fast — and changes subjects so quickly in conversation — that one Internet blogger nicknamed him "ADV," Attention Deficit Villaraigosa.

"Obviously, you have a national stature when you are the mayor of New York or Chicago or Los Angeles," said Villaraigosa, who officially takes office July 1. "But my priorities have to be Los Angeles."

In his rare downtime, Villaraigosa said, he's something of a homebody. When asked to name his favorite place in Los Angeles, Villaraigosa thought for a moment and said, "It's my own backyard."

May 28, 2005 8:56 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hahn, missing in action?, BS, adv was missing in action. photo phony oppertunist! He'll be all talk, fashion boy

May 28, 2005 9:51 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Yes,where are the black leadership? and where is the latino leadership as well?

May 28, 2005 10:29 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Where is Jose Huizar? LAUSD is in the worst shape I can ever remember and the school board president - reelected just two months ago unopposed - is running for city council. No wonder people are fed up with musical chairs politicians. Jose, serve your term out and then run for something!

May 28, 2005 1:19 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Yes, but there are problems at the 100% African American and 100% Latino schools also, gangs. Miguel MENA

May 28, 2005 3:03 PM  

Blogger EuroYank said:

Seems like things have changed since my "growing up days" in Chicago. Is it only California or does it have something to do with the NEW WORLD ORDER.

Would be interested in your opinion.

Some would suggest drafting them into the military and making the trouble makers wards of the State.

Let the military be the teacher. Wonder why you did not think of that.

May 28, 2005 4:49 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

The military doesn't want these young people. They are difficult to control and sending them to war is not going to make men and women of them. Many who returned from vietnam were awarded other than honorable discharges and all that did was create a huge veteran homeless population. Drugged out military is not what the military wants again.

So what are they doing? sending our kids who are high school graduates and wish to go to college, with promises from recruiters of schooling, of course that is if they survive .

What a great incentive for our good kids who can't sfford college. Send them to the military to get slaughtered , while the crap bags keep terrorizing our communities, but that is what the governement is doing.

May 28, 2005 5:17 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hahn is mentioned, Villaraigosa is mentioned, Romer is mentioned, but nowhere when our kids are scared to go to school, absolutely nowhere is Huizar mentioned. And he wants to represent CD14 on the City Council? I hope not.

May 28, 2005 6:06 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

huizar, adv's pay to play should remain with lausd. stay the full term and solve this problem in the schools. he will not serve the 14th cd, he will be another adv, a do nothing empty suite

May 28, 2005 8:43 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Today at Leimert Park they had a peace rally with Lou Gossett Jr. and Tony Plano,Latino actor and less then 100 people showed up.

Amazing that when something in South LA happens with police officers the blacks come out in force in front of cameras. But when its their own kids they're no where to be found. What gives? Why do they hide during this time?

May 28, 2005 10:29 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Guess it couln't possibly be the fault of the parents who "raise" these "kids" right? I also sure that the vast numbers of illegals who attend the schools also have nothing to do with the problem right? It is also impossible to believe that the school boards and teachers unions who get billions of dollars to teach these kids could be at fault. So, it must be City Officials who don't have any oversight at the schools who are to blame.
Who can blame anyone who can from taking their children out of these locations. Doing so shows they care about their kids.

May 29, 2005 12:41 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Jose Huizar like Antonio deceived the voters. He ran unopposed for board President knowing full well he wasn't going to finish out his term and run for city council. WHY? There are major problems today with LAUSD and he hasn't addressed any of them. Overcrowding, racial fights, drop-out rate. This letter really concerned me about the lengths parents have to go for their kids.

Help for parents
Re "Parents taking fundraising into their own hands" (May 23):

Help is on the way for beleaguered parents and teachers at public schools that short the students on instructional materials.

Tens of thousands of dollars are unnecessarily raised from parents and teachers for materials that the school district is required by law to provide. The LAUS District and other districts devote less than 1 percent of the budget for materials that actually reach the classroom.

A new Williams case complaint process targets this exact problem. The complaint forms are available at the principal's office of every public school. Because the LAUSD has not yet adopted a policy to provide adequate supplies, every parent should flood each school with complaints.

We expect the LAUSD vigorously to implement the requirement for providing adequate instructional supplies. After all, it was a party to the five-year Williams lawsuit that resulted in this landmark legislation.
Carl Olson
Woodland Hills

May 29, 2005 8:57 AM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

We don't need peace treaties, we don't need human relations experts and we don't need to force the black and brown kids to sit down and sing "Kumbya."

What they need is discipline. And if they want to be suspended or expelled, fine. Better to get them out of school and let the kids who want to be there be there.

One thing we might consider is to build a military reform school in the desert and send kids who act up a certain number of times there. Once a year or so, take every kid there on a field trip to show them what happens if you act up.

The only things kid respect is fear and discipline. Know what they think of the ex-hippie, feelings based educators and other so called "experts" who show up to deal with this stuff? They laugh at them. They think they are morons.

They fear and respect hard ass people like Joe Clark , Jaime Escalante et al because even the students will hate those guys at first, they come to realize that the hardasses have the students best interest at heart and they come to respect them.

May 29, 2005 12:28 PM  

Blogger Mayor Sam said:

By the way some of the anti-ADV folks got some digs in here, but for the most part, even though I disagree with most of you, all good posts. Good going folks!

May 29, 2005 12:29 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

UNIFORMS, That's the answer. This was brought up last year that possibly schools in South LA should make their students start wearing uniforms at high school level. These kids need discipline cause they're not getting it at home. The uniforms is a way to show them they need to follow rules and regulations. It will undercut the "gangbanger" look. When you have all students dressed aliked it will tone down that macho, bad ass attitude that prevails in the schools.

May 29, 2005 12:58 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


You are right. Mandatory wear of school uniforms like religious schools are the answer. With uniforms implemented there is no difference in economic backgrounds, affiliation to gangs, and/or bullying. This is a materialistic society and a way to combat that is with uniforms. After they graduate, who cares if they want to wear a thong. They will be adults. While they are minors and in the school system, uniforms will eliminate alot of the differences children impose on each other due to the media sell out of what is "in" or "out."

May 29, 2005 1:09 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Religious schools are private so they can kick out any kid who who violates the slightest rule. It's not the uniform.

Public schools cannot turn away a kid. They HAVE to deal with the worst disciplined and least motivated. This fact, unfortunately hurts other students.

Imagine sitting in a class with one or two students who take away 20 minutes each day with disruptions. At the end of the week the rest of the class has lost over an hour and a half in instruction. Then multiply that by the 38 weeks of the academic year. And this doesn't include the stymied learning due to parents' failure to make sure their kids do their homework, get them to school on time, let alone get them to school at all.

There's plenty of blame to go around between parents, students, schools and school districts.

Discipline is definately a key problem. The kids without it will suffer for the rest of their lives.

May 31, 2005 9:26 AM  

Anonymous Bonita Applebaum said:

I agree 100% with Mayor Sam. Other high schools in LAUSD have the same demographics as Jefferson, but don't have the problems. Jefferson has an inept and incompetent administration who coddles thugs, while ignoring the good kids. Manual Arts has the same demographics as Jefferson. Both Dorsey & Crenshaw are about 70% black & 30% Latino. You don't see problems of this scale at these other schools. The problem at Jefferson is a gang problem, 1st and foremost. Although the school is 97% Latino, there is a stronghold of 28th Street Crips who are still trying to run things. Why are these thugs still allowed to be in the school. Outside Latino gang members jump the fence and cause more trouble. If anyone from the outside, particulary gang members, can gain access to a school, that should tell you about the security, or lack thereof. I don't care how hard-core of a gang member you are, if there are swift & severe consequences to ANY type of violence, not just racial, this behavior would not be occuring.

As for relations between Black & Latino youth, I am a homeowner in South LA. I routinely see Black & Latino youth playing together, hanging out together, etc. Are there problems? Sure. Are we on the verge of a race riot? Not likely.

May 31, 2005 11:46 AM  

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