School system fails to learn from experience

You’re supposed to learn from experience.

Recently the Clark County school system announced it was instituting a new policy aimed at reducing the school-to-prison pipeline, according to the morning newspaper.

The new policy encourages schools to keep certain minor criminal acts from being referred to the courts. The “minor” crimes include trespassing, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of less than one ounce of THC, obstruction, disturbing the peace, resisting a public officer, petty larceny, damage to school property and truancy. The thinking is that once in the court system young people spiral into ever more serious criminal behavior.

Today the morning paper’s lede editorial politely points out how well such reasoning has been working.

Five years ago, the editorial notes, facing pressure from the Obama administration, the district set out to eliminate perceived racial disparities in school disciplinary procedures. Expulsions since have fallen 69 percent, the commentary relates, while violence against students is up about 50 percent.

Cause and effect?

Perhaps schools should teach students that criminal behavior has consequences instead of leaving students exposed to danger by coddling those who misbehave.