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What wasn’t written in Kathy Kersten’s latest article on Minnesota education is that the principles of implicit bias and restorative justice are destroying what’s left of education in Minnesota.

First, the article talks about how “MDHR also announced the filing of ‘charges’ of ‘educational discrimination’ against the St. Louis Park School District and Walker-Hackensack-Akeley School District. Apparently, these two districts declined sufficiently to bend to the department’s will, though a St. Louis Park school official told MinnPost that the district is, in fact, ‘seeking to enter into an agreement’ with the department.”

What’s particularly frightening is the fact that school districts that don’t heed the MDHR’s threats are faced “with a choice: enter into an agreement with the department to come up with a plan to address [discipline] disparities, or face litigation.” In other words, do it our way or we’ll destroy you with expensive litigation. The DFL hasn’t explained how that isn’t oppressive. The DFL hasn’t explained why these threats of intimidation and financial ruin aren’t based on official complaints instead of statistical disparities.

For districts and charters that have chosen to enter into a collaborative agreement with the Department, all have submitted three-year plans that outline the specific strategies they’ll be implementing. These strategies include a broad range of things like professional development trainings to help educators address the “implicit bias that influences perceptions of student behavior” and ways to increase student and community engagement.

This is insane. How can you fight something that exists only in the minds of the most whacked-out liberals? Let’s see if you can spot the flawed thinking in the opening paragraph of this article:

Ten Minnesota school districts and charter schools have reached a pact with the state Department of Human Rights to fix racial disparities in student discipline.

I’m betting everyone reading that noticed the flawed thinking that deals with discipline disparities, not behavioral disparities. Next, notice Commissioner Lindsey’s statement:

“I’m encouraged. There was some good ideas that came out of the conversations with the school districts and charter schools. They are going to drive change and we will see positive results in Minnesota because of their efforts.”

Next, check out this sentence:

State leaders say the discipline disparities amount to human rights violations.

Commissioner Lindsey didn’t define what is acceptable or unacceptable behavior. Until that’s defined, his declarations are subjective. Next, check out this video on implicit bias:

How many people think that “for like 75% of white Americans, it’s hard to put black and good together”? I don’t buy that for a split-second. I know that’s a phony ‘statistic.’ This isn’t the way to achieve justice. FYI- the definition of justice is “the quality of being just; righteousness, equitableness, or moral rightness.” Righteousness isn’t situation-based. It’s defined by the Word of God, who is never-changing.

Just like other progressive social experiments, restorative justice and implicit bias will fail. The only question left is how much society will be harmed.

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ISD 742 was one of the 43 school districts that received a letter that “for suspension and expulsion disparities that the department claims violate the state Human Rights Act ‘because they deny students of color and students with disabilities educational access and negatively impact academic achievement.’ The human rights department offered the district two agreements to consider as a way to eliminate those disparities. A lawyer offered the district a modified agreement.”

Unfortunately, the District has already bought into this liberal ideology. According to the article, “the board voted Wednesday to offer the human rights department a fourth option, a version that highlights the work the district is already doing to eliminate suspension disparities and to change the focus of the agreement to keeping all students in school by using nonexclusionary practices.”

Discipline in the district was effectively nonexistent already. Commissioner Lindsey’s Department will make things worse.

The ‘remedy’ is worse than the disease:

The agreement the board approved submitting to the human rights department lists policies implemented by the district to reduce instances where student behaviors result in exclusionary discipline. Those include:

  1. Eliminating zero tolerance policies except where required by law,
  2. Having an in-school suspension policy designed to result in less adverse effects on minorities while still allowing disciplined students to be separated from the student body when necessary,
  3. Having a Positive Behavior Intervention and Support program,
  4. Practicing restorative justice,
  5. Implementing culturally responsive instructional practices,
  6. Implementing social and emotional learning initiatives,
  7. Providing additional staff training in classroom management, conflict resolution and ways to deescalate classroom disruption and misconduct,
  8. Providing programs to engage families,
  9. Educating students on conflict resolution skills, and
  10. Providing district resources to provide in-school alternatives to suspension.

Setting discipline based on racial quotas rather than behavior is counterproductive. This isn’t discipline. Potentially, it’s a protection racket. Don’t think that gangs won’t keep track of this. Thanks to ‘quota-based discipline’, gangs will know when disciplining them is off-limits.

Further, there’s no proof that restorative justice leads to better educational outcomes. After reading this article, I’m more than skeptical of restorative justice’s viability. That term is similar to strategic patience or leading from behind, which are different ways of saying doing nothing.

The MDHR is an activist position that pays a person a bloated salary. Further, the threats MDHR extends aren’t based on actual complaints but from statistics. Quota-based discipline is a collectivist’s system of discipline. That sounds more like a system based on implicit bias than on what’s actually happening.

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A chill ran through me when I read this article. What’s frightening is that this program is built on the theory that disparities in discipline are based in racism. This isn’t just wrong. It’s dangerous. It’s political correctness gone too far.

Paul Sperry’s investigation lies at the heart of this potential crisis. Sperry’s investigation into the PROMISE Program revealed that “Nikolas Cruz was able to escape the attention of law enforcement, pass a background check and purchase the weapon he used to slaughter three staff members and 14 fellow students because of Obama administration efforts to make school discipline more lenient. Documents reviewed by RealClearInvestigations and interviews show that his school district in Florida’s Broward County was in the vanguard of a strategy, adopted by more than 50 other major school districts nationwide, allowing thousands of troubled, often violent, students to commit crimes without legal consequence.”

Whether the Minnesota program is called the PROMISE Program or not, the guiding principles are virtually identical. The Minnesota Department of Human Rights “announced 43 districts have suspension and expulsion disparities that violate the state Human Rights Act ‘because they deny students of color and students with disabilities educational access and negatively impact academic achievement.'”

What’s required is a discipline system that outlines each district’s behavioral expectations. Penalizing schools for disciplining students of color based on quotas is dangerous. Disciplining schools based on legitimate racism is one thing. Disciplining schools based on liberal fantasies like implicit bias and white privilege is dangerous. Either a student isn’t behaving or he/she is. The color of their skin, their ethnic background or their country of origin is utterly irrelevant.

This statement is frightening:

“Studies have proven that higher rates of school suspensions and expulsions among students of color and students with disabilities can have lasting negative impacts in their lives and education. That is why the (department) takes seriously any allegation or evidence that indicate disciplinary measures are falling disproportionately upon children of color and students with disabilities in our schools. It is our responsibility to fully review such allegations, and work with local school officials to ensure equal treatment under the law for all kids.”

According to this article, the federal directive was “issued jointly in 2014 by the US departments of Education and Justice” and “warned public school districts receiving federal funding and that they could face investigation and funding cuts if they fail to reduce statistical ‘disparities’ in discipline by race.”

This isn’t proof of racism. Again, school districts have the right to expect proper behavior. Period. If students of color are getting disciplined more often, perhaps the remedy is to insist that students of color improve their behavior. In the system described by Commissioner Lindsey, what criteria is his department using in determining who gets investigated?

For more information on this subject, check out Heather MacDonald’s article.