By Anne Jenks
Millions of students around the world participated in the Hour of Code during the week of Dec. 8-14, 2014. This event, sponsored by non-profit Code.org, coincided with Computer Science Education Week and all participants were encouraged to code (program) for at least one hour during the week.
My dear fellow educators, parents, people who care about children, and supporters of a better world, let me first say clearly, each and every child you know needs your support, care, love and understanding. I further believe that each child you know is entitled to an educational environment where they are encouraged to grow in peace, able to stretch their thinking, advance their skills, build a healthy psyche, and become college, career and community ready!
On many high school campuses in the country (especially in urban areas), there is a significant presence of school and/or city police officers on high school campuses, which has caused this question to be posed: should police be present on campus assisting with discipline related issues or not?
The shift in pop culture in the area of communication has caused some students to become desensitized to violence and bullying which has been heightened now that social media (with its lack of control and accountability) has become the norm for students. While social media has its advantages such as exposing students to social or political related topics which may have been otherwise ignored by students had social media not existed, I must acknowledge one major phenomena that social media has significantly contributed to in schools which are: violence, bullying, threatening and taunting, which oftentimes transfers itself on to school campuses. Since social media is an avenue that we may never be truly able to control, should police be present on campus to assist with the conflicts that may arise as a result of the backlash of social media? Do police need to intervene in school disciplinary situations amongst students and be authorized to arrest and issue citations to students?
Many would argue that police presence on high school campuses is needed in order to maintain a safe and orderly campus in which all students can learn. Many would also say that police presence on campus is also needed to send a message that violence will not be tolerated and there could be serious consequences to those students who decide to commit such acts. What about the incidences of fights among students that include the use of weapons, an assault on a staff member by a student, and drugs and alcohol on campus?. Do we still need school police?
Others would argue that police presence on campus is not needed especially when there exists trained and competent school professionals capable of providing both preventative and Intervention services to students in such ways as: referrals to see the school counselor or outside referrals to counselling agencies, classroom lessons to students on violence and bullying prevention, and the use of the power of the peers through clubs on campus designed to help students and detour violence on campus. Another option could be the implementation of school wide programs such as the popular Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program which can be implemented on a school wide level. If Administrators tap into the resources already available on campus to reduce disciplinary issues, are police still needed on campus?
I encourage you to assess the level of disciplinary incidences on your school campus and realistically determine if your campus is a safe learning environment for all students and staff, then decide if you want police in or police out.
La Price Sanford is a doctoral student in the Education for Social Justice program at University of Redlands.
By David Miyashiro
Instead of flooding schools with technology and asking teachers to figure out how to make it work in the classroom, the Cajon Valley Union School District is providing job-embedded professional development to increase teacher confidence in creating blended learning environments. Assistant Superintendent, Kari Hull and Coordinator of Educational Technology, Dr. Carmen Restrepo designed this opportunity to simulate school and engage students in the conversation about how to best meet their needs.
By Adam Welcome
It’s been my subtle mission of sorts to really get away from saying, ’21st Century Classroom’ and ’21st Century Teaching.’ We’re almost to 2015 and the amount of change around education continues to be accelerated, shouldn’t we simply be striving for ‘relevant’ classrooms?
Bill Levinson, Mary Frances Callan
Success in seeking a superintendent position requires both personal commitment and professional preparation. Historically, most superintendents begin as teachers, earn an administrative credential and move on to a principal or district office position.
By Dr. Kathy Nash
So often in education there is a focus on the evaluation of others and calling attention to what isn’t working in order to bring about transformational change. I don’t know about you but I feel empowered when someone recognizes me for what I’m doing well as opposed to focusing on my shortcomings.