Teachers blast BCSD student discipline policy

Teachers blast BCSD student discipline policy
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Teachers at Curran Middle School, Walter Stiern Middle School and McKinley Elementary claim student behavior is out of control, with some students endangering the safety of other students and teachers.

And worse, teachers claim school administration turns a blind eye toward such incidents.

"You have teachers being physically assaulted and mayhem in class," said Dan Brown, vice president of the Bakersfield Elementary Teachers Association and a teacher at College Heights School.

Part of the problem, according to Brown, is a district policy to reduce student suspensions by 40 percent this year. When a student is suspended, the school does not receive state funding for each day the student is absent.

District Superintendent Michael Lingo said 19,000 days of instruction were lost last year because of suspensions.

School board member Andrae Gonzalez asked Lingo to explain the district policy to reduce suspensions by 40 percent. Lingo said he did not implement such a policy.

At least one parent said she, too, has noticed that students at Franklin Elementary school are not being disciplined for inappropriate behavior.

"Nothing is happening to the kids to make them want to behave," said Brea Doucett.

The district agreed to form a task force to look into disciplinary policy. Board member Pam Baugher said, however, that teachers at the three schools need help now and can't afford to wait until a task force is formed. The district agreed to immediately start looking into those three schools right away.