Pelto Vs. Sowell: Should Schools Exclude Disruptive Students?

Diane Ravitch's blog

Here is a debate that is germane to our times.

Recently a video was widely distributed showing a police officer in South Carolina dragging a student out of her chair when she refused to obey orders. This incident, so vividly portrayed, generated much discussion about whether the police officer acted appropriately and whether schools should be patrolled by police.

Then came the heated discussion about suspending kindergarten children for breaking rules. This occurred after John Merrow interviewed charter founder Eva Moskowitz on PBS, and she defended the practice.

Now comes conservative economist Thomas Sowell, who argues in his syndicated column that schools are correct to use whatever discipline is needed to enable other children to learn.

Sowell writes:

“If the critics are right, and getting rid of the influence of uncooperative or disruptive students contributes to better educational results, then the answer is not to prevent charter schools from expelling…

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