If you’re a student in a Los Angeles school, you no longer have much to fear if you fight or bring alcohol and marijuana to class.
That’s because the nation’s second largest school district announced today it is going to try counseling instead of referring students to law enforcement. A guidance counselor or school administrator will not call the cops if there’s trouble. Instead, they will talk to the student and point out the error of his/her ways. The idea is that the lecture will prevent students from becoming mired in the criminal justice system.
The goal of the new program is to eliminate “zero tolerance” policies created in the wake of the Columbine shootings and meet suggested reforms the Obama administration issued in January to institute “conflict resolution.”
This latest program comes on the heels of an effort in the California Assembly to ban what’s known as “willful defiance,” what used to be called back-talk, which is one of the tactics teachers use to get disruptive or disobiedient students out of the classroom.
Some of the usual suspects are backing these loosening of the rules – “educators,” civil rights advocates, including the ACLU, and soft-headed legislators.
When considering these changes, we are reminded of the Scorpio Killer’s quote from the Clint Eastwood film, “Dirty Harry,” in which the killer laments that he’s been mistreated by authorities who administered some street justice: “Look at me, just look at me. I’m supposed to be innocent until proven guilty and just look at what they did to me. Everywhere I go, cops follow me — and just look at me.”