State Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut may want to devote some time to the issues of violence and disruption in our public schools. They aren’t going away.
Nashua is the latest hot spot, with parents rightly concerned about specific bullying incidents and a lack of answers coming from the school board and administration.
The widely viewed video of a middle-school student being pummeled is being investigated, the school district says. But it hides behind “privacy laws” to signal that if there is any disciplinary action taken, the parents and public will never know.
It apparently won’t mean expelling the offender, in any case. Indeed, the school board is thinking of adopting a change in behavior standards regarding any student who engages in “indisputable physical violence” corroborated by evidence (send us your video recordings, the policy pleads).
Only if said change is approved would a violent student be “immediately removed from school.”
New Hampshire teachers need to be equipped with body cams as well, judging from a legislative hearing last week over unruly children.
And these are in kindergarten.
The head of the Disabilities Right Center insists that state law gives teachers the right to take by the arm and remove a troublesome tyke from the classroom.
“The notion that schools must be emptied when a single child acts out — that may be the rule being imposed by school districts but that’s not the law,” says Michael Skibble.
But Bow School Superintendent Dean Cascadden testified that schools are, in fact, “afraid to” do as much as take a biting, kicking child from the classroom.
Commissioner Edelblut may be sensitive to local control issues but this sounds more like a local lack of control that seriously threatens learning.