Phi Beta Cons

Unruly students

The New York Sun reported a couple of days ago on a public school teacher in New York City being taken out in handcuffs after a scuffle with a student. The teacher asked the student to remove his hat in class, in compliance with the school rules.  The student refused and the teacher removed the hat, and the student attacked the teacher and the teacher tried to restrain the student, causing him to fall and suffer minor injuries, and so on.  
The union is defending the teacher and will supply him with a lawyer.  This is why I can’t support those who find the unions to be the problem in the schools today.  True, the unions do stand in the way of many good things, but they also defend teachers when no one else will.  Sometimes conservative analysts make it seem that students and teachers are the victims of the teachers and their unions, when it is often the other way around.  
Teachers have a miserable job in many school districts with disrespectful and unruly students, and disrespectful and unruly parents as well, and the schools don’t back them up.   Without the unions the teachers would be lost.  Conservatives interested in education should focus more attention on the problem of discipline in the schools, and I think they would find more teachers rallying to other conservative ideas.  I don’t think vouchers and school choice and charter schools are enough of an answer to this crucial problem of discipline. 


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