SPOTLIGHT ON AMERICA: Investigating school safety
Exactly how safe are children in school?
Some say what the public is being told about what’s happening inside our schools every day is misleading because school districts may not tell the entire story.
Fights, bullying, chaos in the classroom can happen anywhere.
It’s a highly charged subject and several of the people we met declined to be seen on-camera, but wanted their voices to be heard, including a young family in Baltimore County, Maryland.
One mother kept her second grad daughter out of school for three days because of bullying.
In 2014, Barack Obama launched a revolution in our kids’ classrooms, putting a national spotlight on new data that said minorities were being disproportionately suspended.
School districts everywhere were warned if their policies appeared to target by race, they risked a federal investigation. In all, 27 states went on to revise school discipline policies in an effort to reduce suspensions.
Conservative critics like Max Eden say the government’s plan has backfired and made our kids’ classrooms less safe because school administrators feel the pressure to improve their data.
“You see weapons being confiscated and given back to students because if you process the weapons, you have to file a police report and that looks bad on you as a principal,” Eden said.
He said discipline has become a numbers game – don’t document it and you don’t have a problem.
Back in Maryland, the mom we spoke with, saw that firsthand. Police investigated and found her daughter was the victim of a crime - assault in the second degree - but the school found no evidence of bullying and would not document the attack. It was like it never happened.
The school declined an interview and the principal dodged questions.
The mom pulled her daughter out of school, but fears her new one will be no different.