Important headlines for June 20th – Broken Promises in schools and on the border
Bottom Line: These are stories you shouldn't miss and my takes on them...
Broward School Board to discuss Promise program, discipline - Sun Sentinel
Excerpt: The Broward County School Board plans to discuss the controversial PROMISE program Tuesday, a program that has been thrust in the spotlight since the slayings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
It's the first of a jam-packed series of workshops Tuesday that also includes discussions on school choice, a ballot referendum on a property tax increase for safety and teacher pay, a discussion on renovations at Northeast High in Oakland Park and a change in its policy to allow people on campus other than police to carry weapons.
Critics of the PROMISE program, which provides alternatives to arrests for certain misdemeanor offenses, say it allows unruly kids to stay off the radar of law enforcement. The South Florida Sun Sentinel highlighted the program in an investigation into a discipline culture that allows students to receive endless second chances.
Hot Take: The premise of the Promise Program, at least in theory, has merit. How many kids screw up? Provided that the child hasn't committed damage that's irreparable to others, wouldn't it generally be better for that child to have an opportunity to become a productive member of society rather than an inmate with a rap sheet? The problem, of course, is the downside for those who take advantage of the second chance(s).
As the Sentinel cited there's plenty of evidence to suggest that there was a serious lack of accountability within the use of the Promise Program within the district but even before the revelations of "endless second chances", loose record keeping, etc. The programs validity could be called into question. According to Broward's own records, prior to the controversy, the program was successful 90% of the time. That was used to reap the benefit of a $50 million+ grant along the way (huge incentive to keep the program propped up despite the risks). But even if it were 90% successful, and we now know that those numbers are likely nowhere near accurate, one's inclined to question the validity of the risk to other students and society. Especially in the wake of what happened at Stoneman Douglas.
What we're witnessing at the southern border and what we're talking about with the Promise Program are different versions of a similar thing. We have laws and there are consequences for breaking them. But occasionally people will argue that the laws shouldn't be followed for whatever reason. In the context that "the ends justifies the means", laws are ignored, and special consideration is granted. That is until a major wakeup call occurs. Nikolas Cruz was one. It's the risk of those with who might have nefarious intent at our southern border. After all, if the first act of someone entering the United States is to break the law, where's the confidence that they'd necessarily respect our laws from that point forward?
In our schools, if someone commits an offense that'd result in arrest if not protected by the school, do you really want your kids in the classroom with them? It comes back to the premise. If the premise of anything is false, there's a good chance that anything built on it will be too.