Race and gender identity will factor in when students misbehave in Portland public schools

Thanks to a local union, schools in Portland, Oregon must now factor in a misbehaving student’s race, gender identity, and sexual orientation before disciplining them.

This controversial requirement was slipped into a collective bargaining agreement that Portland Public Schools just reached with its far-left, unionized teachers, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

The requirement says that anytime a student exhibits “continuous disruptive behavior,” the school must piece together a so-called “support plan” that “must take into consideration the impact of issues related to the student’s trauma, race, gender identity/presentation, sexual orientation, and restorative justice.”

Moreover, the new requirement reportedly eliminates mandatory suspensions for violent students who either threaten or harm others.  These students may henceforth only be removed from their respective classrooms, not from the entire school.

The Free Beacon notes that this requirement “reflects a broader effort at both the federal and local levels to develop race-conscious disciplinary rules for public school students.”

“Earlier this year, for example, the Biden administration released a memo urging schools to refrain from suspending students for truancy, arguing that ‘significant disparities by race … have persisted in the application of student discipline,'” according to the Free Beacon.

Responding to this requirement on Monday, the co-hosts of Fox News’ “Outnumbered” were quick to cry foul.

Take Rebeccah Heinrichs, a mom of five. She argued that the policy is “completely backwards” and that there is “implied racism in it.”

“I mean, you do not tell a child that because of his or her skin color, that they’re going to get a lesser punishment because there’s something about that that’s driving them to skip school or something. It really kind of takes away the dignity of the child and the choice in autonomy,” she said.

Entrepreneur Kevin O’Leary meanwhile aimed his fire at the left-wing union that decided to demand this requirement.

“We’re talking about punishing students, when really parents – who pay the taxes to support this and pay teachers – have never been answered this question: Why does a union not reward good teachers that advance in terms of metrics that they have to advance in to get into college, which is reading math scores? And punish the ones that are no good at it,” he said.

“It’s a cancer in our educational system,” he added.

Co-host Harris Faulkner concurred with the idea of rewarding good teachers.

“It’s actually practical. It makes sense. But unfortunately, these teachers unions and these kinds of policies are just rooted in a virtue signaling,” she said.

Listen:

The requirement has also sparked backlash from Parents Defending Education.

“These policies are wrong, counterproductive, and will only feed into the divisive climate we are seeing across academic institutions,” Parents Defending Action senior adviser Michele Exner told the Free Beacon.

The agreement between Portland Public Schools and the Portland Association of Teachers comes following a strike that kept local kids out of school for almost a month.

“As a result, students will see their winter break cut in half to make up for lost class time, a move that parents have complained will impact their holiday plans,” the Beacon notes.

In addition to requiring that race/gender/etc. be factored in when disciplining students, the collective bargaining agreement also reportedly waters down disciplinary language.

“Instead of ‘handling’ a disruptive student, for example, the agreement calls on school officials to ‘support’ that student. The agreement also no longer refers to ‘unacceptable’ student behavior, instead citing ‘continuous disruptive’ behavior. The district used to create a ‘behavior correction plan’ for a misbehaving student—now, school officials craft a ‘support plan’ for such a student,” the Beacon notes.

All this comes just weeks after HBO’s “Real Time” host Bill Maher argued that modern “woke” schools should try to be more like Catholic schools.

The surprise take from the liberal comedian was rooted in his belief that public schools are churning out violent, know-nothing youths. As proof, Maher played a dozen or so recent to relatively recent videos of public school kids attacking and even beating their teachers.

“I’m sure there are parents seeing this and saying, that’s not us and this isn’t our experience. True, not all schools are violent and scary. But they are all diploma mills that allow students to graduate without demanding the kids know basic s–t,” he then said.

“George W. Bush [once] asked, ‘Is our children learning?’ Well, it’s only gotten worse. Only 33 percent of U.S. children can read at a level of proficiency. If you’re attending an American high school now, that’s about one-third,” he added.

Vivek Saxena

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