Photo by Kenny Eliason on Unsplash
It is time to bring back sensible discipline to public schools. This is way overdue, and it would be a better focus of the never-ending special sessions in Texas where Gov. Greg Abbott called for a record-breaking fourth legislative session on education in November. Even with vouchers for private schools, the vast majority of students would remain in declining, undisciplined public schools.
Sensible discipline could even include corporal punishment. Corporal punishment, such as swatting a misbehaving student, was allowed nationwide by the U.S. Supreme Court for public schools in Ingraham v. Wright in 1977. This kind of discipline is more effective than other kinds without being excessively harmful.
A third of teachers encounter threats by students annually, yet effective punishment is not allowed. Instead, liberals are permissive about misconduct until violence occurs, and even then, teachers sometimes fail to impose appropriate penalties.
While forbidding any meaningful discipline, public schools ultimately expel students but only after an egregious rampage. The single biggest reason for the increase in homeschooling is a fear by parents for the safety of their children in public schools.
Yet rather than restore order in schools, the failed approach of Vice President Kamala Harris while she was the district attorney for San Francisco was to prosecute parents for truancy, the outdated criminalizing of non-attendance at school. When she campaigned for California attorney general, she promoted enacting a state law to punish parents when their children missed more than 10% of public school.
Vice President Harris threatened “We are putting parents on notice. If you fail to take responsibility for your kids, we are going to make sure that you face the full force and consequences of the law.”
Harris, Biden, and the entire Democrat Party pander to teachers’ unions who should be blamed for turning schools into dens of crime, drugs, and liberal ideology. A study by the libertarian Cato Institute during Covid showed that delaying the reopening of schools was not based on valid concerns about the virus and safety, but on how powerful the regional teachers’ unions were.