Discrimination against students

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 12, 2007

To the Editor:

I am responding to the news articles written in The Selma Times-Journal dated Feb. 2, titled, “Safe Schools Challenge” and the Feb. 4, 2007, titled “Editorial.” “Here we go again,” the best thing to do is to cover up the truth with a “grand stand” of news articles that are obvious the further from the truth, if you are on the “outside looking in.”

The high crime rate campaign was launched to justify building another juvenile detention center to abandon the VET, which at one point the Vaughan Education Training Center housed only six juvenile offenders and the others were sent out of town to detention centers.

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Dallas County’s alarming rate of younger children with diagnosed behavioral disorders who were unjustly sent to detention centers for disabilities that impede on ability to implement appropriate behavior at school.

However, since public awareness of the alarming rate of disabled juveniles in the juvenile courts system, schools has deceased referrals of students to the juvenile court system, and implemented support system, which manifest decrease juvenile offenses.

The Selma Times-Journal newspaper, WHBB and other radio stations are endorsing, supporting and reporting misleading information that juvenile offenses being down is the result of one person or one program. They exclude all over providers and programs that are and have been involved with juvenile offenses for years prior to implementation of Judge Armstrong’s “Safe Schools Challenge” Program.

According to my reminiscence of the Dallas County juvenile court, which I was in attendance with Judge Nathaniel Walker and Judge Robert Armstrong, it was obvious to all people in the community that problems among young African Americans were noticeable with an alarming rate of youth in the court system. Judge Walker, the court and community initiated and did many things about it collectively.

First, let’s define violence, which covers aggression, hostility, fighting, bloodshed, brutality and cruelty to name a few. To set the record straight in terms of juveniles ages 12 through 19 involved in violence enrolled in public schools: The school district’s reports of violent crime among enrolled students consist of aggression and fighting, which has always been a problem.

Public schools resort to law enforcement agencies to settle disputes. Private school officials do not call police on their students for fights; instead the parents are allowed to resolve the matter.

I agree with some public school students that the “Safe Schools Challenge” is stigmatizing the public school system, which is majority African Americans, as inferior and the source of all violence among young people. At the same time, private schools that are majority Caucasian are considered superior.

A program such as “Safe Schools Challenge” should be implemented exclusively for juvenile at risk and violent offenders and not be allowed to interfere with my child and other innocent and respectful students during school hours.

However, the appropriate thing was to welcome and partnership with the established agencies already designed to reward students’ good behavior.

Carolyn C. Bates

Child disabilities advocate