Teacher Safety Vs. Kids' Futures

What jumped out at me from today's WBEZ story about CPS arrests wasn't the disproportionate rates for Black kids or the difficulties getting records expunged.

It was the comment made by the  reporter Linda Paul during the 9 am Morning Shift about just how important teachers feel the police presence is despite the fact that it sometimes results in arrests that might not be necessary and can't easily be expunged.  

The show isn't online yet but you can read Paul's comment here about how teachers don't understand just how permanent an arrest record is.

It's an age-old dynamic, and a difficult balancing act.  If you take the police out of schools, or tell administrators not to call the police, then you leave teachers and innocent kids at risk.

If you over-police you run the risk of disadvantaging kids later in life who may otherwise be poised to have productive lives and careers.


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  • here it is (the morning shift segment)


  • Where are all of the churches and community organizations who could assist in helping people have their juvenile arrest record expunged? My friend's son just had his expunged and she said all of the forms are online and it was easy.

  • Bwahahahaha. What a false dichotomy. According to Alex the Blogster your choices are unsafe conditions for teachers or ruined lives for students. DUMB.

    Ask CPS students- the 99% who NEVER get arrested. Are students who get arrested more often victims or perps? Virtually every arrest has justification. The vast majority of our students are non-violent, lawful good kids. Most (not all) arrests are of kids who intimidate or bully others or are somehow gang-related. If CPS softens its policies on violence and police action it is punishing the good kids and creating an unsafe environment for all. Then again, Emanuel and company don't have our children's best interests at heart...

  • The WBEZ report was about an anomaly. Most students who are arrested at my school are repeat offenders who are involved in gangs and/or chronically bully others. Many have designations which make it difficult for the school to deal with them. Charters won't take these children and CPS has few alternative placements for violent individuals. They will never sit in a seat next to the vaunted Emanuel children.

    The usual policy is a "safety transfer"- move the violent child to another school. In return, the school sending the violent child has to... you guessed it, accept another violent child. Not to worry, peace circles will make it all better.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Whats a designation that makes it difficult to deal with a student?

  • In reply to Cmonnow:

    That could be ED or BD.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    What is a peace circle? I keep hearing about these but no one can tell me what happens during the peace circle.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Here's what a peace circle is: http://peacecircles.com/peace-circles/middle-high-school/

  • Students formally identified with emotional disturbance are more frequently arrested than any other subtype of students in CPS and nationally. On average between 25-30% of CPS students in Cook County detention have IEPs. The fundamental problem with arrests of students is the legal definition of what constitutes assault or simple battery which based on 2011 data constitute 1,573 of 3,510 of the student arrests during school hours according to the WBEZ report.

    Very few of the CPS students arrested and charged based on school incidents actually confront their accusers be they teachers or administrators with a lawyer. Normally these students are given some form of supervision and there is no actual fact finding done, more often than not unless there is an actual physical assault on a teacher or other staff, no CPS staff attends the hearing if one is even held. Normally only the arresting officer is present and her/his report to the report is based on statements given by CPS staff not observation of a crime.

    Linda Paul's WBEZ story states this: "Who decides if there’s probable cause? That would be the police officer. But the existence of probable cause doesn’t necessarily mean there’ll be an arrest. Because the officer may use discretion to decide if the arrest is warranted. And, of course, that’s where controversy can kick up, because a lot of people think that police discretion is not fairly applied. ... Once probable cause is established, if a person in a position of authority ( like a principal or a teacher) requests that a student be arrested, as far as I can tell, in most cases, CPD will comply with that request." Ms. Paul based on my experience is correct as to what has happened to students with mental health issues who have been arrested.

    Many of the students arrested are deeply disturbed and as we all know live in situations with minimal supervision. Because of Chicago's and Illinois' total collapse of out patient mental health services for poor children we will continue see excessive arrests of emotionally disturbed students, schools do not know what to do with these students.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rodestvan:

    I'm not sure I would call it a "total collapse." Rather, it's more of a total, systematic destruction by the powers that be. Sad. Beyond sad, really.

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  • The students at my school who have been arrested deserved to be so. I am glad our new principal follows through and gets these kids taken out. We have gone from regular gang brawls to a much more peaceful LEARNING environment. Our students are even arrested for issues outside of the school, and this has set a completely different tone at our school. While I agree, students shouldn't be arrested for everything, students who put others at risk need to have a clear message sent that this is unacceptable.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    What school are you at?

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