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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Ukrainian refugee girl flees unsafe San Francisco school

Yana and her mother fled Ukraine and found a new home with an aunt in San Francisco -- until the 13-year-old girl started Marina Middle School in January. Bullied and robbed, she's quit school, reports Jill Tucker in the San Francisco Chronicle.

"Students interrupted classes, jumped on desks, cursed at teachers," Yana told her mother and aunt. "Nothing happened."


The newcomer tried to avoid disruptive students, but she became their target. Her cell phone was stolen in the cafeteria, and the students she believed responsible threatened her. “They started yelling and cursing and moving toward her,” her aunt said. A counselor stepped in.


"The next day, Yana stopped going to school," writes Tucker. School officials offered her "a security action plan," which apparently included an escort in the hallways, but denied the family's request for a transfer to a new school.


Teachers nationwide say student violence has more than doubled since schools reopened, according to a recent survey. "Eighty-four percent of teachers believe current students lack the ability to self-regulate and build relationships compared to peers prior to the pandemic."


Concerned parents at Marina Middle School "have demanded more discipline," writes Tucker. "But punishment, like suspending students, doesn’t address the source of the behavior, officials said."


District officials are hiring social workers, nurses, community health outreach workers and other support staffers to middle schools, but Marina, which is understaffed, "won’t see those resources until next year."


Marina Middle has fallen into chaos, writes Tamara Straus in the San Francisco Examiner.

Teachers, counselors and security staff who have left or are still working at the Fillmore Street school report that recent incidents include students recording videos of themselves as they beat another student, three female students assaulting a special-education student, and a student bringing an air gun to school — all without documented suspensions at the time of those incidents.
Meanwhile, teachers and counselors report there are five to 15 students in the hallway much of the time while classes are in session. The students scream at teachers, throw food at each other and intimidate other students, some of whom are afraid to go to the bathroom.

Other city schools face similar problems, writes Straus. "Some disciplinary problems could be an unintended consequence of California’s anti-suspension mandate, designed to protect the state’s most at-risk youth and stem the school-to-prison pipeline."


San Francisco public schools were "among the first to practice restorative justice techniques," which focuses on reconciling offenders with victims rather than punishment, she writes. But implementation has been erratic. "It’s not always clear who is responsible for the behavior supports and interventions that make up restorative justice methods. Does it fall to principals, teachers, social workers, counselors, security guards?"


Harry Tupuola quit his job as a security guard at Marina in September. He and other current and former staffers say students are allowed to roam the halls without attending class.

“They pretty much control the school and can do whatever they want,” he said. “They don’t want to expel the kids because it looks bad for the admins. They try to transfer them or get them in special ed — you know, brush them under the rug and just try to deal with them til the rest of the year when they graduate, so they (the administrators) don’t have blemishes on their school record.”

“Many students in my class work hard and want to get an education,” said a teacher, who insisted on anonymity. “They want me to stop the kids who are constantly disrupting class, but I can’t. . . . We aren’t preventing those kids from going to prison; we’re just repeating the cycle of poverty and violence in a different way.”

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8 commentaires


Invité
27 févr. 2023

Contrary to what your image implies, the population of Marina Middle is 90% minority. One might reasonably anticipate that at least SOME of the problems with the Ukranian student stem from that.

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Invité
24 févr. 2023

"current students lack the ability to self-regulate and build relationships compared to peers prior to the pandemic."

"Up the Down Staircase" was written 59 years ago, so your problem probably isn't "the pandemic."


"Some disciplinary problems could be an unintended consequence of California’s anti-suspension mandate, designed to protect the state’s most at-risk youth and stem the school-to-prison pipeline."


Hey, you know who else successfully broke the school-to-prison pipeline? Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. I can name you 17 students from there who will absolutely, positively never go to prison.

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Invité
23 févr. 2023

Trying to stop the "school to prison pipeline" is part of the process that led to the Parkland, Fl school shooting. The "most vulnerable" students, the ones acting out and being violent, are not saved through forcing them to remain "mainstreamed" with other students. Their needs are not addressed. Recall that the shooter at Parkland had been removed to another school and WAS DOING BETTER so in order to get the numbers looking good he was taken from the program that was working better for him, and put back into the school where he had done horribly. Giving kids vacation (suspension) when they are disruptive and even violent might not be the answer, and "restorative justice" sounds simply horrifying, but sendi…

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Invité
23 févr. 2023

Thank you for this article. I saw it linked at Instapundit. It might be helpful, though, to indicative that the image accompanying the article is an Adobe Stock image so that readers don't get the idea that the person being bullied is the Ukranian girl and the bullies are the others. In fact, there is a whole series of such shots at Adobe by the photographer who probably was contracted, or took it upon themself, to do an anti-bullying campaign. I.e. the children in the series are actors.

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Invité
23 févr. 2023

"...California’s anti-suspension mandate, designed to protect the state’s most at-risk youth and stem the school-to-prison pipeline."

"...California’s anti-suspension mandate, designed to coddle the local hoodlums and get the spineless administrators one more day closer to retirement, does nothing to facilitate the school-to-prison pipeline for persons who should be on the express train to said prison."


FIFY


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