RMS Parents Want an Investigation

Here’s an interesting article from the Sun Post. It;s interesting how there is no author listed;

Parents who came to a Robbinsdale District 281 School Board Listening Hour April 16 provided disturbing input about serious discipline problems at Robbinsdale Middle School.

Some students are afraid to use the bathrooms during school hours. Others report being late to class because of disruptive and intimidating activities in the hallways. We’ve been told that teachers and students are subjected to verbal abuse and physical threats.

We strongly believe those reports need to be investigated immediately. Anytime there are 1,300 teenagers in a building, there will be discipline problems. But parents must have a reasonable expectation that when those teens are in a school building, there are teachers and administrators who know how to deal with those problems.

The reports given to three School Board members and three District 281 administrators at last week’s Listening Hour weren’t opening-day problems. Eight months into the school year, the problems persist.

These aren’t one or two isolated reports of discipline problems. There are too many similar reports, and they are too consistent to be ignored.

Parents have a right to expect that when their children are in school, they are safe. And teachers, too, should have an expectation that they are able to do their jobs without fear of bodily harm or gross disrespect from students at the school. That expectation was not borne out by the testimony parents gave last week.

Yes, it’s near the end of a school year, but that is no reason not to take immediate action. The problem is too serious to delay until another school year begins. Input should be solicited from people in the trenches – including students, teachers, aides, hall monitors, food service staff and custodians – and what they say should be taken seriously.

District 281 has dedicated itself to erasing the achievement gap and offering a variety of program choices to attract new students and bring back those who may have left the district. But all the glitzy new programs mean nothing if students are afraid to use the lavatory in school or are fearful of what will happen to them in the hallways. And the dedicated staff people who teach in those programs aren’t going to stick around in a district that does not value them enough to ensure their safety and well-being.

Students who cannot follow the rules and maintain respect for their school, its staff members and their peers need to experience the consequences of their actions, no matter who they are, how old they are or what school they attend.

District 281 needs to take immediate action to ensure that students follow school rules, and that there are immediate consequences for those who don’t.

Anything less is an affront to the community members who are supporting their schools with tax dollars and who have entrusted their young people to the care of educators and staff people they assume are trained professionals.

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