Thursday, December 5, 2013


I have wanted to write my next post on the Local Control Funding Formula, but I've decided to delay that post to discuss a new Board resolution to do away with suspensions for willful defiance that Matt Haney will propose as a first reading this coming Tuesday, Dec 10th.

Right off the bat let me say that I don't support this resolution because, first of all, it is central office meddling in school site affairs. It was the Board that mandated Restorative Practices in all schools and if it is constructive in resolving conflict why the need for a limit on suspensions? In addition, it is also creating an inequity to the extent that   it's more difficult for schools with fewer intervention resources to effectively moderate student behaviors compared to  schools in the Superintendent Zones which have more counseling and other intervention resources. The District should respect the school staff to do what's right, a point that Richard Carranza made just this last summer at the Administrator's Institute, though I suspect he probably supports this resolution anyway. 

I acknowledge that the high number of suspensions of African American students is a problem, but it is also as an embarrassment to a politically far-left District that views everything through the prism of statistical equity.   No doubt, suspending students who, often times, end up on the streets is a lousy outcome. I think we can all agree that suspensions ought to be a last resort to protect teachers, students and  classrooms as a whole from frequent or extreme disruptions to instructional time and quality and the District is rightfully obligated to assure suspension protocols aren't abused, though this resolution is something quite different. It is building a high bar for suspensions, but does nothing to increase services required to implement that bar.

I believe there are genuine cultural issues which make some unwanted behaviors understandable in context of the difficult circumstances some students face. In response, some critics of the suspension limit would say that  the necessary self-discipline and structure necessary to  to succeed in high school and successfully enter the working force or attend college requires a clear code of behavior. Others point out that suspensions as a behavioral tool aren't generally successful for inculcating discipline anyway. They say a school system cannot mandate behavior since education is a right in California and, therefore, the "system" must learn how to engage students such that they enjoy to be in school - a commendable if tall order for sure.   In fact, as tall orders go , this one is often ridiculous since some of the students who are habitually suspended are incorrigible.  

Proponents of the resolution cite statistics that show African American suspension rates at approximately five times the district norm.  They maintain that this number reflects a racial bias and that removing willful suspensions will rectify what is essentially a racist policy.  I believe, though I'm not sure, that those proponents, at least the less ideological ones who dig deeper than a politically-favorable statistical correlation to use as a truncheon, believe that the cultural component of behavior is critical in understanding what they consider to be a soft racism in high African American suspension rates. I cannot discount this idea as invalid, though it is a rationale not a solution for destructive behavior in class and as such it fails to advance students towards the  skills and attitudes necessary to compete in a society that has fundamentally different cultural requirements for mainstream employment and upward mobility. For example, sagging in the black community is an acceptable dress code, but few employers will hire anyone who doesn't comport with their standards of appropriate dress and sagging isn't one of them.  The schools ought to promote standards that help not hinder student transition to adult life, whether that has to do with school dress code or, more importantly, the way students act and react to others when under stress. We can respect each other's differences and at the same time require a universal code of conduct. No school administrator anywhere in the world will tell you that a school can be run without a code of conduct or that conduct can be controlled without enforcement.

School isn't only about learning the core curriculum. It's about learning to get along and go along. Disruptive and defiant students should not be allowed to remain in the classroom regardless of the reason why they can't or won't change their behavior. Administrators need to be given the discretion and have the confidence of their superiors to do what is appropriate for the benefit of their schools, even if it means suspending students for willful defiance.  If District officials want site administrators to refrain from suspending students that's OK in certain less egregious circumstances as long as they don't insist that defiant students be placed in the regular classroom. Provide an in-school alternative to suspension and provide the services these students need. This resolution  speaks to the arrogance of the Board in lording over the more experienced site administrators. Mandating a suspension protocol without providing the tools necessary is irresponsible and pointless.

If Restorative Practices are beneficial for moderating conduct, why does SFUSD need to make it more difficult to suspend students when site administrators deem it appropriate? We have to ask ourselves whether our leaders are interested in preserving the integrity of the school as an institution of learning or whether the leaders just want to do what is politically correct and equalize suspension statistics? Or is it all just about getting the maximum ADA. One way or another, if suspensions are to be used only after a long list of other interventions have been exhausted, SFUSD will have to provide the financing necessary to implement those supports or their resolution will surely fail when administrators find themselves at their wit's .end to comply with another central office mandate.



Anonymous said...

I must admit I do agree with Matt Haney. In my classroom, I feel to ashamed and guilty about the legacy of slavery and stolen lands to suspend or reprimand black and Latino children. Who am I, a white woman of privelege struggling but at least I have 2 good jobs, to tell them their speech, clothing, or actions are wrong? I stole their land, I enslaved their forebears, I murdered them in some cases. And I feel ashamed. If one of my few white students or an Asian student does something insulting, violent, agressive, I generally will react harshly and send them to the principal or reprimand them, make them sit in the corner. But I never do this with black or Latino students. I feel too guilty. I ask them to please be nice, tell them politely it's better to be nice than mean, and if they hit someone I do respond, I don't allow that, but if they argue or push someone or tease someone or something, I mean, I can't make a black kid miss a day of school considering he may get beaten or shot because he steals a pencil from a Chinese kid whose parents are racist against black people and part of the problem and conspiring to oppress his people, both here and in Africa. How could I do that?

I think if all teachers had my approach the suspension statistics wouldn't be so racist. You have to empathize and think of a person's history, culture, oppression, biases, what they have endured. You have to walk a mile in their shoes.

My students trust and listen to me because I make an effort to empathize and understand them. I don't just tell them they're wrong. I tell them it is good to fight back against racism. To willfully defy a racist society is noble. Langston Hughes, Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Oscar Grant, Emmitt Till, Harriet Tubman, Trayvon Martin, Cesar Chavez, Geronimo, Sitting Bull, Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu-Jamal, OJ Simpson, Willie Horton, Medgar Evers, Bill Cosby, Rasheed Wallace, Kanye West, Eldridge Cleaver, Tupac Shakur, Fred Hampton, Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, John Allen Muhammad, Lovell Mixon. Many were framed by police for fighting back and unjustly imprisoned. All these people were "willfully defiant" in opposing racism and oppresion and fighting for social justice.

I don't wish to discourage children from emulating these heroes. Willful defiance is a good thing!


Anonymous said...

Phooey, it does extend to violence. When I went to Hoover, class of 1985, a black kid attacked me in a beanery line for no reason, he said I bumped into him. I went into a crouch and blocked/took 20 punches, then came up when he was tired and got a bunch. I knew he wasn't big on stamina from playing basketball with him before. But I took a ton of hits before I fought back. As soon as I landed a few, all the blacks who were watching broke it up, par for the course. However, when the guard took me to the office, the counsellor said he had to send us both home. I said what? I have a right to self defense. If a person hits me, I can hit back. No, I didn't. Any black white fight, they have to send both home. That was the rule. If a white kid had attacked me, I would have been able to go to class, if I had fought back in the same manner.

Willful defiance in school is not the same as civil disobedience or the civil rights movement. We all admire the anti-Vietnam movement and the civil rights, gay rights, women's rights and other progressive movements of the past. However, this isn't protesting anything. This is interfering with the ability of others to learn. These people aren't fighting for justice. They are holding back other children of color from getting the education they need to be successful. Comparing them to civil rights heroes is not apropos.

Anonymous said...

Understand that in Phooey's world only white and yellow can be racist. Violence, thuggery, etc. are cultural norms to be emulated by black and brown and embraced as a courageous symbol of cultural strength and identification by the evolved few who suffer from white guilt.

Clearly Phooey has not evolved past the most simplistic generalizations and stereotypes of skin color.

Anonymous said...

If teachers and schools no longer have the ability to suspend for willful acts of defiance can a child who is later victimized by said defier sue the district for damages?

Instead of suspensions I would like to suggest that habitually defiant students be transferred to special classes where they can be hugged and held by Phooey and, on days when Phooey calls in sick to work her other job, taught in a different manner that is more appealing to their cultural norms. I realize that this is self selecting segregation based on behavior, but that is how life works. It is rare that you find high achievers willingly associating with low-life thugs or vice versa.

Don Krause said...

Why do you assume that all students who get suspended are thugs, whatever it is you consider to be a thug? Even so, the public schools exist to educate all comers, thugs or not. It is too facile a solution to label certain individuals as incorrigible in order to get rid of them. Many of the students you refer to have backgrounds you don't want to know about.

And so I sympathize with them for the hardships they endure. But I also sympathize with the majority of students who need school to be a place of learning, not just a place to act out frustrations.

This is a difficult issue and it forces people to look for easy answers - like Matt Haney's solution of a ban on willful defiance suspensions.

Push comes to shove, I have to give administrators leeway in determining the appropriate disciplinary action. You can't run a school, be it public or private, without clear enunciated codes of conduct. There is no way around that without losing the essence of what school is all about, particularly in an era such as ours.

Don Krause said...

Phooey, I left your comment on the board in the spirit of tolerance, though the content was such that I was inclined not to. Believe it or not, many students have read history and use it to empower their futures rather than relive the past turmoil of their ancestors. The only real enslavement is the one you impose upon innocent children. Asking kids to behave themselves is not enslavement. Teaching them nothing is.

What you don't understand, as you like to say, is that most of them are much smarter than you. Kids by nature are thinkers and visionaries, not living skeletons of the past you want them to be.

You are the way you are because you are weak, without vision or imagination, holding onto some fantasy of revolution for lack of anything else to inspire you. You encourage the suffering of others in the name of history to give meaning to your unenviable existence.

You have nothing to teach your students so you have no problem allowing any behavior in your classroom.

Anonymous said...

This is your list of heroes who should be emulated: Langston Hughes, Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Oscar Grant, Emmitt Till, Harriet Tubman, Trayvon Martin, Cesar Chavez, Geronimo, Sitting Bull, Leonard Peltier, Mumia Abu-Jamal, OJ Simpson, Willie Horton, Medgar Evers, Bill Cosby, Rasheed Wallace, Kanye West, Eldridge Cleaver, Tupac Shakur, Fred Hampton, Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, John Allen Muhammad, Lovell Mixon.

Oscar Grant was no hero, he was a victim but he was starting a fight on BART and yelling at cops and was basically a semi-employed, college dropout, part time drug dealing loser who wasn't married to the mother of his child and wasn't trying very hard.

Trayvon Martin had been caught stealing jewelry, had been suspended from school multiple times, was getting terrible grades, had facebook postings glamorizing being a thug, and attacked George Zimmerman, resulting in his death. I agree Zimmerman should have stayed in his car and walked away and shouldn't be walking around with a gun, but Trayvon didn't ever accomplish anything. Just being killed when you shouldn't be doesn't make you a hero to be emulated.

OJ Simpson is an idiot most people believe killed his wife and the guy she was cheating on him with and then pulled a gun out and tried an armed robbery in Las Vegas. He was also a jerk as a player and never did anything for other blacks or for his community of Hunter's Point.

Leonard Peltier probably killed a police officer.

Lovell Mixon killed 4 police officers and raped a 13-year old girl.

Willie Horton is an admitted murderer and rapist who caused Michael Dukakis, a liberal, to lose the 1988 election because he couldn't be greatful for a weekend off on a life sentence for murder and beat and raped a woman. He never accomplished anything.

Mumia Abu Jamal probably murdered a police officer, though as with Peltier there are some questions.

Bill Cosby is actually rather conservative on these issues and wouldn't want to be on a list with any of the above.

Rasheed Wallace is a professional basketball player who led the league in technical fouls and never spoke out about any issues of racism or social justice. His only vociferous argument was that he was fouled or didn't commit a foul.

Your list is ridiculous. You have a few good people on the list. Why not include Nelson Mandela? Why include a bunch of violent thug losers? I don't get it!

Anonymous said...

1:46, these so-called facts of yours mean nothing to the African American community. I attended a rally in Oakland honoring the life of Lovell Mixon. There were a few white people there, the Uhuru group, and mostly black people, who have gone though victimization you can't imagine by police. The policy on rapes is they put up posters in the area immediately. In this case, after they murdered him over 100 police against 1 after he resisted occupation by the police and robbery and harassment by them, they just put it in the press afterwards that he raped a 13-year old girl. There were hundreds of people at the rally and none of them believed those white lies.

I don't believe anything any white person says about a black person.

Hey, you're 3/5ths of a person, hey, go here and we promise you this land "as long as grass grows", oh, now you have to walk and a fifth of you die in the trail of tears and we'll still be so insensitive hundreds of years later to put the person who lied and murdered you on the $20 bill and call our capital's football team the Redskins implying we're animals. Oh, we had a war over Texas when we allowed immigration and the immigrants, the white American "wetbacks", agreed to pay tax after 9 years, then when that came started a war to become a separate country, then because we win that, we'll also take California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, places which had nothing to do with the war, because we feel like we have "manifest destiny" and then we'll have thinly veiled threats to pressure a cheap "Gadsden" purchase of the rest of the land north of the Rio Grande.

I don't believe a word any white person says about any issue pertaining to minorities and villainizing them.

You make me sick! I'll say prayers for you!


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Don Krause said...

Thank you for your prayers, but save it for someone else. Please stop putting up multiple off-topic comments one after another about slavery and oppression which I have had to delete so we can get on with the conversation of this thread. You pretty much said it all when you said you didn't believe a word a white person says about a black person. That would leave our half white, half black President rather tongue-tied.

All you see is skin color and oppression. Not to belittle the most horrid aspect of American history, but do you know that pan-African slavery makes historical slavery by imperial powers pale in comparison by numbers and that this slavery still goes on to this very day? But you don't say a word about contemporary black on black slavery because it does not serve your socialist agenda.

I suppose you are home today having another day off on the taxpayers or else you have nothing better to do at your school than to post one comment after another.

Phooey, you're not welcome any longer on this blog as long as you continue to post way off topic. I can tolerate your nonsense in the spirit providing all points of view, but not if it is nonsense and off-topic as well. Please edit yourself or stop posting.

Anonymous said...

Hey lady, if you did the horrible things that you said you did "I stole their land, I enslaved their forebears, I murdered them in some cases" then it is only right that suffer the same fate.

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Anonymous said...

Phooey (white) is so progressive minded that she would like Matt Haney (also white) to become superintendent so they (both white) would create a truly progressive (in their white definition) school district. Oxymoronic much? :)

Anonymous said...

Geoffrey Canada and Kevin Johnson are black, anti-union, and sellouts. The white man is able to convince some blacks to hate themselves so much they are not progressive, and some whites are progressive. You don't want to think about kids who will be raped, killed or beaten if they are out on the rough streets during the daytime because they are suspended. Why not just have a place they can go, not have them not go to school, but have a study room they go to, or have detention during lunch, no talking, something like that. There is a real threat of abuse. Phooey.

Anonymous said...

Don, my point wasn't about oppression, it was about kids in such bad circumstances a day off can lead to a 13-year old girl being raped by two nortenos at the orders of her own mother in return for crack or debt forgiveness, how black boys can be recruited into gangs and then killed by other gangs when seen free in the neighborhood during the day, how kids with a free day and no parents around may try drugs for the first time, or have an adult start a conversation with them when they're bored at 11 AM at a park and end up molesting them. This is the real world. The jails are packed but there are still bad people out there because many of those in prisons aren't actual criminals but are blacks who were framed for speaking out or being a threat to the system, remember a little crack is 5 years, that's a warning, everyone always believes a cop.

This is a real world thing about suspensions. If they had a room at the school, that works better, or detention, they can spend more time doing the studying hours you obsess over, you and your friend. It would be more helpful if an adult were there to help them with homework or just talk to them and try to figure out what's so wrong in their life that they did something to be suspended. Usually they've faced horrific things which cause them to have behavioral problems and act out.

I like restorative justice. You have to apologize. You have to atone. You have to meet with the person you harmed. You have to talk it out, make amends. Sometimes these kids have no one really talking to them. This can be therapeutic, a positive rather than a negative.

I often cry when I hear these stories. I've seen girls suspended and seen them advertized by traffickers on craigslist. I've seen boys suspended and then gone to their funerals. There has to be a better way, a more compassionate way. There just has to be! Can't we hug, sing, rejoice, love one another. People make mistakes. Once a boy threw a pen at me and I spoke with him for an hour and learned no one had talked to him at home for a month, and we ended up hugging and becoming friends, and I truly listened, and I heard his feelings, his parent was too busy doing drugs and hanging out with her girlfriends, and many of these kids just have one parent, maybe a sibling or two who abuses them and no one else, no grandparents. We became friends. He just needed someone to talk to. He had problems too severe to fix and he still has no friends. I am the only person who occasionally visits him in prison. No one cares enough to visit, for years. His mom died. This is just par for the course in the black community. It's so sad. Suspending people will do nothing to uplift these people. These sad, tormented, abused and horrified people who never asked to be brought here in chains.

We shall overcome! There has to be a better way!


Don Krause said...

Most schools are functioning on paper thin budgets and they don't have the funds to put unruly (for lack of a better word) students into a separate room unless they get support from the Central Office. By law, there has to be a certificated teacher in that room. And it isn't a good idea to put all of the otherwise suspended students in one room. They aren't there just to keep them caged up. They are supposed to be studying, though, realistically, it is very unlikely to get much of learning done when students are agitated. Many recidivist problem students are not good students, by definition, under the best circumstances.

If schools are told they can't suspend students for willful defiance most likely those students will remain in the classroom. This is a terrible idea. It will have repercussions on learning.

We have public schools for the purpose of learning the prescribed curriculum. While we expect schools to be safe places above all, they do not function as safe houses per se. They are institutions of learning. If the Board insists that defiant students not be removed, it will lead to even worse behavior once students realize that there are no consequences for poor behavior and that will, in turn, lead to schools being the unsafe places that we want to protect kids from.

Anonymous said...

This could cause children whose parents would donate money and whose kids would test well to go to private school, which will be a disaster for our schools. Private schools already hurt SFUSD a lot, but with this law, they could devastate it. Segregation will explode. I don't want me kids to lose the benefits of potential PTA donations to make 100% sure kids who did something wrong never get raped or killed. Willful defiance means intentional. It means you could have chosen to not do that. Sometimes people in prison get raped and killed. It's your fault if a principal or teacher clearly told you not to do that and you did it anyways. If you don't want to get raped by your mom's johns or killed by the neighborhood gangs, don't disobey the principal, try to learn so you can get a college degree and have a better life than your parents. Most of these people you think are victims, 90%, end up doing exactly the same thing to their kids. They aren't opposed to it the way you make it sound, they're for it, they're proud of it. Kids brag about the level of danger of their neighborhood. They don't complain about it. People like Phooey complain about it.

RemyMarathe said...

In case it wasn't a joke (seriously?), this comment:

"Believe it or not, many students have read history and use it to empower their futures rather than relive the past turmoil of their ancestors. The only real enslavement is the one you impose upon innocent children. Asking kids to behave themselves is not enslavement. Teaching them nothing is..."

was awesome.

Anonymous said...

The thing about Phooey's post is that personally, I doubt the suspension was the cause of this rather than bad parenting and usually, complete abandonment by the father. Kids with one terrible parent who isn't there, they often skip school, and they are home alone 2 weeks in the winter, 12 weeks in the Summer, Spring Break, holidays, weekends. I hate to say it but the girl whose mom is willing to sell her for crack or meth probably will do so anyways. The boy who is recruited into a gang and killed or kills, or molested or murdered, that probably happens anyways. As a child with bad parents, you have to make choices yourself from a young age. You have to obey teachers and principals. You have to realize your parents are a bad example and you don't want to be like them. You have to seek out free tutoring and stay late and ask for help, not hang out with friends who are a bad influence. You have to ask the kids getting good grades, how do you do that? You have to reject gangs and spend long hours studying. You have to make an effort.

Anonymous said...

I hate to say it but I think Phooey has a point. I used to think, if a kid at 5 or 7, or even 11 for middle school, has to endure a long bus ride because they have parents who are working, or maybe one parent, to get to a school they got in the lottery, and gets kidnapped, molested and killed, or hit by a car, SFUSD could get a $20 million lawsuit due to their lottery policy. Most cities provide something close to home, and SF, being transit first, caused some children to endure long bus rides.

Same with suspensions. If a child is suspended and gets raped or killed on that day, I think SFUSD, considering the racial percentages, could end up with a huge lawsuit against it.

I was suspended in late 1988. I had to go to another school in the Sunset with about 8 other kids. A classroom, way out somewhere, maybe it was a school that had been closed.

I think it may be expensive but we should provide them a place to go.

I don't like keeping stats on race or limiting ability to suspend, but there has to be an alternative. With all these horrible people Phooey describes out there molesting, raping, shooting, fighting, it's only a matter of time, just like eventually a child will probably lose their life due to losing the lottery and not being allowed to attend a school close to home.

Maybe detention would be a better punishment. There are always rooms near the principal's office or dean.

Phooey you are a teacher and shouldn't plagiarize from 'A Few Good Men', even if you do have a good point.

And any child can do well on English and Math tests. Geoffrey Canada and Jaime Escalante have proven that. Test scores don't only matter for the rich and middle class. European and Asian nations do a better job of educating the poorer and lowest performers and as a result have less poverty and less income inequality.

Don Krause said...

I delete comments that are repetitive and off-topic depending on the degree.

"SFUSD could get a $20 million lawsuit due to their lottery policy."

The lottery is a requirement of state law when a school has more applications than slots. If someone wanted to sue and they could find an attorney to argue such a ridiculous claim, they would have to sue the State of California. How being a victim of crime is related to the lottery is a serious stretch.

Kids are suspended when detention is ineffective or inadvisable for various reasons. Schools can become dangerous places when agitated students are left with other agitated students in classrooms without proper resources.

Anonymous said...

6:59, I think the issue is that many of us are skeptical that there will still be standards of behavior and discipline. Haney is arguing now that there will be, that you have to apologize, make amends, and do penance, just not be suspended. I am skeptical. If run by those who are unified in far left pedagogy, and if kids who are punished just pretend and go through the motions, it could lead to a breakdown in behavioral standards. I don't trust the current establishment to implement this, with no recourse to going back to the old standard if behavior deteriorates. In theory, it's a good approach, but in practice, it remains to be seen. I think it should be agreed that it is experimental, not set in stone that it is a permanent policy which can never be changed. Considering how misbehavior is exaggerated and causes many to not want to go to schools, you could see very bad results if they are not serious about the other side. Also, restorative justice takes time away from helping the kids who don't get into trouble.

I also don't understand a lot of your points. I'm just a person here, talk to me. Some of these points I read over and over again and I don't understand your point. You almost sound like Fred Armisen in that bit.

Don Krause said...

There's another dimension to this issue which hasn't been discussed. Specialized Academic Instruction as part of special ed has increased the spectrum of abilities within the classroom where quite a variety already existed. The burden put on teachers to meet the disparate needs of students who may vary in grade level abilities by several years is exacerbated by persistently disruptive students. While a suspension ban does not preclude removal from the classroom, in practice more students who shouldn't be in the class on any given day will be. Teachers will go bald tearing their hair out if the District removes the tools they need to create a modicum of order and when necessary, removal from the classroom is one of those last resort tools.

Again, and in response to "the scholar", though a logical case can be made to question acceptable modes of behavior when viewed through the prism of culture, the last paragraph of your comment at 6:59 is way off base. The notion that schools are spreading rumors and humiliating kids by the very act of suspension is a fiction. Not to imply that has never happened, but professional administrators are not in the habit of painting the letter 'A' on students or engaging in the kind of destructive gossip that you are implying.

More opportunities should exist for students to study in schools that are designed to appeal to unique cultural standards.

Lastly, I think that 'the scholar' is Phooney, cutting and pasting under an another persona.

Don Krause said...

The BOE agenda was posted yesterday. I read it and basically I have no problem in theory with SFUSD instituting a protocol to exhaust before in-home suspensions can be used as long as it is funded properly and equally throughout the District.

The problem is that there aren't sufficient resources for administrators to implement the protocols as required. It is a matter, as is so often the case, of the Board telling the sites what to do without providing the resources to do it.

Based upon my reading, the District is not banning suspensions. Such a ban would likely leave them with a large legal liability and may even be at odds with State law.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to see the protocol. Is it in the resolution?

Don Krause said...

Tiers of Intervention and Alternatives to School Suspension:
• Tiered Behavioral Discipline Matrix at All Schools:
o In partnership with educators, union representatives, parents, students and other key
stakeholders establish a tiered behavioral discipline matrix, aligned with Response to
Intervention, Restorative Practices, and Trauma Informed Practices, that:
1. Includes which positive and supportive interventions at a minimum shall be utilized for
all students in a consistent and age appropriate manner, which may include the "other
means of correction" listed under Section 48900.5 ofthe California Education Code;
2. Establishes in policy that "out of school suspensions" should only be utilized as the
appropriate intervention in the most extreme circumstances when all other
interventions have been exhausted and documented in the District data system, or the
principal determines that the physical safety of members of the school community are
at risk, as required by Section 48900.5 of the California Education Code;
3. Any student who makes a request for the use of restorative practices as an alternative
to suspension for a first time discretionary offense shall receive this alternative.
• Update District policy to reflect that:
o Alternatives to suspension shall be exhausted pursuant to 48900.5 and documented in the
District data system;
o Every student who is suspended from school shall receive a reentry conference and an
intervention plan to be developed with the student and guardian/parent(s) that will include
clear documented behavioral and academic expectations for the student, and any additional
services or support that school staff will provide to assist the student in meeting those
• Specify positive interventions for suspended students:
o Ensure that if a teacher suspends pursuant to 48910, consistent in-school options are
available with appropriately credentialed intensive supervision, behavioral counseling, and
academic instruction for the duration of the teacher suspension from class.
o For "out of school suspension," to the extent feasible, offer the SFUSD "Counseling Center"
for the student to serve the "out of school suspension" in lieu of serving the suspension at

Don Krause said...

Reducing Suspensions and Racial Disproportionality in Balanced Scorecard:
• Balanced Scorecard: Beginning in the fail of 2014, revise the Balanced Scorecard to include
indicators that measure reductions in suspensions, referrals, and racial disproportionality in
discipline, as well as adoption of restorative practices and alternatives to suspension.
Alternatives to Suspensions for Disruption/Willful Defiance:
• Alternative to Suspension for "Willful Defiance:" Ensure that proactive and evidence-based
alternative interventions are in place for incidents involving "defiance" or "disruption."
• Alternatives to suspension should reflect evidence-based interventions for differing levels of defiant
or disruptive behavior, and should include behavior de-escalation support and trauma sensitive
• Beginning in the fail of 2014, update District policy to provide that no student shall receive a
suspension or recommendation for expulsion/be expelled solely on the basis of "disruption/willful
defiance" (48900(k)).

Don Krause said...

Anyone who works at a school knows that the principal and other administrators don't have the time or resources to put this wall of new mandates in place.
If you have ever taught in a public high school classroom as I have you will know that a whole set of barriers that prevent enforcement of commonly accepted norms of classroom behavior will result in much worse behavior.
The net effect of these policies is to make it much harder to remove disruptive students and for students to learn. The waning days of a once majestic empire....

Anonymous said...

I agree with this point Don. You have to think about the real world. The union will argue, it isn't hard to fire bad teachers, you just have to go through due process, you have to do things right. Well about one teacher a year is fired in San Francisco, usually for a crime, and about 10 in New York City. It is extremely hard and many bad teachers just get shuffled around because it isn't worth the trouble. If you make it so everyone has to worry about getting in trouble, you're going to have a world in which discipline suffers.

That's why I will go to the hearing on this and suggest it be adopted on a one year, probationary process, with no promises to be extended.

At Presidio, counsellors meet the parents of struggling students if they show up, and that's about all they have time for. Most such parents don't. If your kid is getting 2 As and 2 Bs, and you ask to meet with them about how your child can get up to the straight A level so they can get into Lowell, they meet with you resentfully, under protest, and treat you like you have a screw loose or something. Most people are subtly discouraged. You have to be agressive to get the meeting.

With the gentrification and publicyt about Lowell, middle class participation in public schools has increased. The white percentage was down to 9% and is now 13%, and the official percentage is probably understated by 4-5% as some put decline to state or other/non-white, and biracial kids rarely put white, but nonetheless it has increased.

This could potentially reverse that trend, harming PTAs, donations, and test scores.

Right now, Lowell provides a better high school than that in suburbs.

If we follow far left proposals to eliminate suspensions and Lowell, we could see a new round of white flight.

Some whites are fleeing from Asian schools wanting their kids to work less in high school. This has happened in Cupertino, Fremont and other parts of the South Bay.

You need discipline. You can't just say, who cares. San Francisco likes to look at itself as a leader. We need to make sure discipline is maintained or we will be only a place for childless rich, poor and rich families in private school. You can't maintain world class schools and let kids be willfully defiant. I've seen these schools and they are pretty tolerant. I've also seen people visit schools and not go because they see kids cursing, sagging, arguing. Kids don't realize that maybe the person they intimidate from going to the school's parents might have donated enough so they could go on a great field trip or buy a new basket or bench or school supplies or musical instruments. Some kids are too focused on themselves to realize it.

I don't agree with the other poster Don, I just recognize that they have an amazing intelligence I envy, some people I agree with are dumber than me and some people I disagree with are smarter than me. In fact, I couldn't even really conclude their official viewpoint anyways. I just enjoyed reading it and thinking about it.

Anonymous said...

Oh just stop it with the Asians and the behavior and the tests. There is one reason children don't do well in school. Poverty. If you are in poverty you don't have nutrition, you don't have a comfortable place to study, you're worried about being beaten, cursed at, molested, ridiculed by family. You can't win. If you did study, everyone would harass you till you stopped because they want you to conform. You have horrible parents, a mom who is overburdened, a man who disappeared. Of course you act out in protest of this oppression, out of the sexist abandonment of you by your father figure, and looking at the new generation of kids a lot of these men are white as I see a lot of very light kids of black women who have been abused and abandoned.

So don't blame blacks for this.

It's poverty, stress, embarassment, shame.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

If you had a mom who barely fed your paid attention to you and a dad you'd never met and teachers yelling at you because you dress or talk like all your neighborhood does, wouldn't you act out a bit? Hello! Then you want to suspend them? It's poverty! If we could keep families together, not imprison people, and give everyone a job with a living wage children would not act out and would do well on test scores! Phooey!

Anonymous said...

Phooey on Phooey! Bad behavior isn't excusable by poverty. Poor Asians don't fight and kill people.

Don Krause said...

Phooey, are you suggesting that students be allowed to stay in the classroom regardless of their behavior? No one disputes the difficulties some children endure. But a school is a school and an understandably angry and disruptive child in the classroom can make it impossible to teach and learn. I have worked in these environments. When students are in the state you describe you either have to remove the child or accept that you'll get little done. Is that fair for everyone else? What do you expect the other students to do? Should they fail too? Schools should have alternatives outside the regular classroom and the Board resolution provides no resources for that, just mandates. Do this . Do that. If you could get students to comply with those measures, they probably would comply in the classroom as well. A lot of suspension are a result of fighting. Maybe we should just allow brawls in class so we don't have to suspend anyone.

Education is the way out of poverty. It is pretty much the only way out discounting crime and the occasional outlier like a musician or athlete. For you it's just another reason to excuse failure. I mean, Phooey, this stuff isn't rocker science. School is about getting with a program. There are poor underprivileged kids all over the world who attend public schools and they are expected to conform. Conforming to be educated is a good thing, not a cop out to the rich.

When you aren't using home life as an excuse, it's poverty, then culture, then white classism and finally the race card. You've even implied that schools are responsible for rape and murder. It's all BS and part of your ideological program of misinformation.

You're all about excusing failure instead of promoting success and you have no compunction using every possible excuse just to see if you can get gullible people like the other frequent poster to believe that we must allow chaos to prevent rape. What is comes down to is this: you are a failed teacher and you take comfort on the failure of others.

Anonymous said...

When a child acts out there is a reason. Often that reason is not their fault. They are only children. What is happening to them is often far worse than what they are doing. We need psychiatrists and social workers to spend time with these children, therapists, at the school, really listen to them and understand them and get to know them. They are responding to external stimuli. There was a time when this was understood. A new sort of people, these people of leisure and independent means, were asking questions, exchanging knowledge and views, and developing ideas. This stopped with the Reagan "revolution". Now society cares more about buying the right brand of toothpaste, breaking records for CEO pay, cutting taxes for those who are incredibly wealthy, cutting programs which can help these people, cutting minimum wage in real dollars significantly, enabling sexist men to impregnate women with impunity without marrying them or divorce after having children and disappear and not even pay child support, and imprisoning fathers for petty offenses in record numbers. We should keep taxes high and raise them so the rich are no better off after taxes than they were in the '70s and spend this money on therapists for these children. They are crying out, but we care more that Twitter millionaires keep their taxes low so they can worship at the altar of consumerism. These children need us more than rich people need more stuff. Let's return to our humanity. If we capped income at a million a year, pretty easy to live on, we could afford a good therapist for every one of these children and have 2% unemployment. Let's be human, not greedy.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about capping it but maybe really high taxes over a million like we used to have, maybe 70% plus state. Agreed over a million should be treated as luxury money and taxed differently from money people really need. But if you tax all of it people might move or evade or just not work. It'd be nice if they still worked and were proud to help society but not all people are like that, definitely not Twitter and Google people, they have the morals of a sewar rat. I agree we should all pay higher taxes to provide therapists and tutors for these kids. It is important. They want someone to listen to them but no one has enough time or money so these kids get ignored. Then we're shocked when one snaps and kills a bunch of people. We need to address this before it's too late. Maybe instead of suspension, they get a day of one-on-one therapy with maybe a lunch in the middle and an inspirational movie towards the end, watched with the therapist.

Anonymous said...

Maybe asking kids who are lucky enough to be smart and able to be in loving homes where they can concentrate to help children as reading buddies and tutor them, to try to focus more on making sure all kids can read rather than focusing on me me me me me me, would lead to a more equitable society in which those who are lucky enough to make more money would be happy to share with those not so lucky. Now it seems weird but if our schools set the example, if the President sets the example, we can educate a new type of person who is more loving, less greedy. Our President and the Pope are talking about it. Everyone is talking about inequality, redistribution, limits. Of course some avoid schools with the poor and that is unfortunate, but maybe those kids should have to go to poor public schools for a few hours and tutor the kids who are disadvantaged. Every kid getting top test scores should help those struggling, showing an example of love, not competition. We can work towards a more loving, caring and equal world. It starts here now. We stop suspending, we provide a therapist, we talk to a child, we ask them what is wrong, we show them love, no lecturing, no punishment, just love. Imagine the possibilities. It could be so beautiful. Studies show you are more happy being nice than making money. Phooey.

Anonymous said...

If you really knew me Don you'd know I've never faled at anything. I just don't accept your standards. Phooey.

Don Krause said...

Dec. 13, 2013 Issue 11

Dear Friends:

Welcome to our latest issue of EdHealth!

In this issue, our feature story looks at how brain science is informing the way teachers manage traumatized students, who are living through what San Francisco pediatrician Dr. Nadine Burke Harris calls "adverse childhood experiences," including abuse and neglect. Sustained trauma and stress can leave these students in a state of anxiety that makes it difficult for them to concentrate, and difficult for teachers to know how to work effectively.

Among other topics, we also look at how interest in full-service community schools, which provide a host of health and academic supports, is increasing under California's new school funding and accountability law.

As always, please let our health and wellness reporter, Jane Adams, know about any student wellness issues and upcoming events you think deserve greater coverage. And if you have not yet subscribed to EdHealth, please click here.

Best regards,

Louis Freedberg

Executive Director


Don Krause said...

EdHealth continued:

Backed by brain research, California schools are beginning to address the effect of severe trauma on the health and achievement of their students.

Joyce Dorado, director of UCSF's Healthy Environments and Response to Trauma in Schools Credit: Jane Meredith Adams, EdSource Today

In districts including Humboldt, Richmond, Santa Cruz, Aptos and San Francisco, groups of teachers are being trained to recognize that students' explosive anger, classroom outbursts, habitual withdrawal and self-injurious behaviors could be symptoms of traumatic stress, the result of repeated exposure to violence, abuse and neglect.

But while other initiatives focus on providing counseling services to youth, these trainings aim to provide teachers with the science and skills to better manage traumatized students in the classroom, an approach known as "trauma-informed" or "trauma-sensitive" teaching,

Don Krause said...

Community schools gaining traction under state's new funding formula

Efforts to create full-service community schools that focus on serving the "whole child" with a wide array of services are gaining traction under the state's new funding formula for schools.

The convergence of more money for low-income students and a new mandate to work with families under the Local Control Funding Formula has created "a unique point of time" for community schools to thrive, said Renee Newton, director of the Center for Community School Partnerships at UC Davis, EdSource reports.

Anonymous said...

We find in this discussion the most interesting and valuable lights upon the development of civilization, and the clearest indications of a new spirit that is coming into human affairs. We must preserve that spirit of independence, regulated only by comradeship and discipline for vital purposes. The members of this new society will be required to kindle the fires of patriotism and unite our nation so that our whole community will not be horrified. In a nutshell, we've got to work together to solve this problem. It is no longer us and them, it is us. Here, when there is a horrific murder, we ask, what's wrong with that person, and then there is another, and another, and another, ad nauseum. In Europe, when there is a horrific murder, they ask, what's wrong with us? How did this happen, how did we fail these people, what could move them to commit such a heinous act, why is this happening? We might do well to ask the same question, as we have far more of this than the rest of the advanced world, and far less crime, gun violence, murder. It's because we never look in the mirror. We always point our finger. No more I say. We must banish the tendency to only look outward. Bill Gates is us; Jeff Bezos is us; Ted Kaczinski is us; Ted Bundy is us; Aileen Wuornos is us; Condoleeza Rice is us; Patti Murray is us; Tom Wolfe is us; Al Franken is us; Dennis Miller is us!

We can solve this, but only as a team, not as one individual punishing another.

This is a piece of wonderful progress for humanity!

Don Krause said...

What are you referring to? Are you speaking to the previous comments I copied in regard to community schooling, the Board resolution or both? Do you have something specific to say or are you just waxing philosophic about a new golden age?

Do you believe the Board resolution is some kind of far-thinking revolutionary idea that will be a panacea for change in public education? Is the SFUSD BOE unaware that it is in the process of passing one of the greatest political achievements in the history of mankind since the Constitutional Convention?

A community approach is pretty hard to buy coming from this crew of commissioners since they are the ones who created a lottery and sent students far from their homes and communities. These commissioners don't see how hypocritical it is to promote community schools when they have an assignment system which is the opposite of that.

In theory I appreciate the idea of community schooling, but right now funding doesn't exist for it.
And despite LCFF, schools have hardly reached their 2007 funding levels. Do you think all these services and interventions are going to be delivered by the diminutive staffs of counselors who are largely untrained for psychological interventions of type needed or by teachers who go to work with teaching credentials, not with masters of social work.

At the very least, schools would have to institute longer schools days otherwise how would all the envisioned services be provided without cutting the instructional time? The union will never in a million year go along with that. So Phooey can espouse the wonders of community schooling, but her beloved union will never sanction the reforms necessary to achieve them. Schools simply don't have the hours needed to provide instruction in all the core subjects along with the co-curriculars.

If school leaders want to turn schools into community service agencies after school hours that is another thing entirely. This would be an entirely new public education paradigm and would increase the costs exponentially. Would students be required to attend? Who would staff them? Where would the funding for the vast increase in expense come from? How would this affect participation in after school sports, clubs and other programs?

What I know now is that the BOE wants to make it a much longer process to suspend students. Getting rid of any abuse of suspensions is understandable. But until they actually fund a program to provide in-school alternatives for students who can't be in the regular classroom, this is all just talk.
It may be high flung talk about heralding in of a new age of communal collaboration or just talk about the particulars of a suspension matrix (see resolution), but the fact remains that there is no funding for these changes. LCFF is a way of doling out money, not a method of appropriating more. It can slice and dice the financial formula, but it doesn't rid of waste fraud and abuse and it does not provide any more than what is mandated by Prop 98.

When it comes to government programs without funding there are none.

Anonymous said...

Don, you were right. Distinct writing-style flourishes are present in the comment written at 12:52. They are the unmistakable voice of Phooey. She's a sly one.

Don Krause said...

Be that as it may, here's an interesting article from EdSource about community schools.

Anonymous said...

That wasn't me. I wish I could write that well. I never claimed to be Ernest Hemingway or Albert Einstein or Aristotle I just have my opinions based on my experience with my nose right in it.

I think what the board is saying is we are all one community Don. From the millionaires in Pacific Heights to the projects in the Bayview, from the Avenues full of angry, rich, judgmental Irish Catholics and a few recent Chinese and Russian additions, from the Latinos in the Mission who have been in this town since long before any Anglos were here, from Chinatown to North Beach's Italian community, from the Google buses trying to conquer the Mission to the multicultural Excelsior, from the historic Haight (hippy) and Castro (rainbow) districts to the mansions in St. Francis Woods. We should unify. Some don't want to unify, they only want to help their children. I feel sorry for you. You have no heart, no humanity.

But what the board was saying is we are all one district. SF is 47 square miles, we all live in what in many Cities in the U.S. would be considered a district, from sparse El Paso, Phoenix, Fresno, it's the norm to drive 10 miles, it's nothing, so let us joyously unify and think only of the average academic, psychological, humanistic, financial and life performance of each child. Let us embrace the whole child as one community, or as David Campos would say, one City.

Aim High. Unify. Care about your neighbor, not yourself. If you are well off, help someone else, if you're poor, ask a neighbor for help. If a child strikes you, find out why, who struck him, if a child lashes out, find out what is really bothering him. Don't blame the criminals but the society which produced them. Blame the root cause of their rebellion, their uprising against one of the most unfair, racist and abusive societies in history.

Create a new world where we ask first what is fair for all children and second, where does mine fit into this model of pure fairness.


Don Krause said...

"...the Avenues full of angry, rich, judgmental Irish Catholics and a few recent Chinese and Russian additions..."

Phooey, comments like this show me that in addition to the self-proclaimed murderer and enslaver you claim to be (see your first comment) you are also a racist. You're a little behind the times as well. The Sunset is no longer a bastion of Irish Catholics like in the 20th Century. It's mostly Chinese.

Where do you get off saying this crap? It really belies the holier-than-thou image you like to portray.

Anonymous said...

The Irish Catholics are still there, about half the Sunset, they just mostly go to private school to avoid spending time with anyone not like them. I know there are exceptions. But not many. Trust me, all I ever heard as a teenager at Lincoln was that I was a Jew, a Slut, a Whore. My people killed Jesus, blah blah blah blah blah. I made out with one boy in 10th grade and then I got harassed for 3 years. I didn't even date again until college. They ruined my entire high school experience. There were others there. The Irish dominated Lincoln, then abandoned it once the ruling came in that blacks could go there too. They were OK going to school with Jews and propagating their sexist double standard, and even with a token few blacks and Latinos, but once they had busing, they abandoned the school in droves for lily white SI which only admitted blacks starting around 1980, over 20 years after I was harassed mercilessly and racistly. I see them when I go with my husband to the Irish Cultural Center and at the Chinese Markets and in the park. They're still around. And they are still hateful and racist. And mean. Some things never change. Didn't you ever hear of white flight? And the young ones are still around too, Sunset District Incorporated, the Bros, they've been caught in the last 10 years painting racist graffitti, committing rapes, beating up gays at the beach, shooting a Chinese girl in the foot with a bee bee gun, and beating up kids from the Yale Band in the Richmond. Also, the officers responsible for the Fajita Gate scandal were former SDI members. They also killed a cat and beat the hell out of a Mexican boy for having an Irish girlfriend. I may or may not be holier than thou but I am holier than those people. Dan White was one of them. I'm not even religious, but really neither are they. What they have done is awful!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Dan White grew up in Visitation Valley. He was not one of the SDIs. You're right about the white flight, it's historic and it was awful they did that. But a lot of what you write is just choosing the most extreme acts of a whole race. If I chose the worst 10 things a black, Mexican, Chinese, WASP, or Jewish person did in SF over the past 10 years, I could come up with a similar list. And the Mexican girlfriend thing wasn't racial and wasn't prosecuted as a hate crime as I recall, it was just a break up, doesn't make it right but it wasn't prosecuted as a hate crime. I never heard about the bee bee gun incident. Yes, the graffitti and Yale and Fajita Gate things happened. But that doesn't condemn an entire people. A lot of Irish Catholics have kids at Lowell and in all the public schools, including diverse ones like Aptos, Balboa, James Lick, McKinley, Denman, Everett, Francisco, Hoover, Gianninni, Presidio, Lafayette, Feinstein, Sunset, etc. Maybe these boys who harassed you should have been suspended. Maybe then they would have learned to behave and not continued to harass you and ruin your high school experience, for which you are still bitter 50 years later. Are boys who will now not be suspended going to do things that girls now will be nearing retirement in 2065 and writing angry blog posts about? Maybe 2070 after they extend the retirement age. This is something to really think about.

Don Krause said...

Phooey, your comments amount down to the simple fact that you see people not as individuals first, but as members of races first. You're a racialist, if not a racist. You can't get over your own past and that has branded you to the point of being enslaved by it. Many of my relatives died in concentration camps. I can honor them without being a victim.

Anonymous said...

You would be right Don, and I didn't know you were also Jewish, in saying this. The problem is that Irish Catholic kids are never held to the same level of behavior as black kids are. I did complain about it, but most of the teachers at that time were Irish and the few Jewish teachers of that era were afraid to help me for the potential backlash. The Jewish and Chinese and few black and Latino kids just stayed in the background and let the Irish Catholics rule the roost. Little wonder they ran when blacks came to the school in more than token numbers, they ran away, they didn't want to go to a school where they couldn't pick on people, where someone would fight back, where someone would say no, you can't treat me this way, I do not accept this. I heard it was great for a couple years where the black kids stood up to them, but then they ran away. Irish Catholics are only happy when picking on, harassing and brutalizing other children, as they currently do in their Bros manifestation of the SDI gang at St. Ignatius. As soon as they can't torture other people, they run to a school where they can. They had no interest in working together and learning to create racial harmony and get along. They only enjoy racial supremacy. They even used to harass the Greek and Italian and other white kids. Don, you don't realize it, but if blacks now did the kind of things the Irish Catholics used to do in the 1950s, in front of police while laughing no less, they'd be in jail in an instant. Things happened every day back then that would horrify most of you today. Irish even justify not going to diverse schools saying their kids will get beat up by blacks, and these same parents used to attack me and other Jews and laugh at us, in front of police who were also Irish. They literally thought it was funny! My brother got it worse. He would cry while they would laugh. I listened to people complain of the black violence who I had personally seen beat and laugh at other children who were not Irish Catholic. If they really wanted to atone they would have been a part of integrating schools. Instead they formed the Bros/SDI, essentially a white terrorist organization.

I am not a victim. I fight back in my own way. I will not let them pretend they are saintly like they like to do.

Anonymous said...

Phooey, you're no Diane Feinstein!

Don Krause said...


Anonymous said...

Don, you're no Jack Kennedy!

Don Krause said...

I didn't make that non-sensical crack, but it is funny you should say I'm no Jack Kennedy since he was one of those Irish Catholics you so hate.

Anonymous said...

Jack Kennedy knew racism was wrong but he should have never started Vietnam. He chose LBJ who fought racism and started the great society. Plus his dalliances with Marilyn Monroe were beneficial in that it had a snowball effect which led to gay rights, acceptance of divorce, opposition of the sexual double standard and an open-ness to sexual freedom and fulfillment. In a sense, it caught us up to Europe. Without that, we wouldn't have gay marriage, shows like Friends, interesting movies, reality shows about swingers, etc. We'd still be living in the puritan 1950s. Plus he was good for Jewish Americans and finally ended public discrimination against us in many private clubs. He also led to the snowball effect of the tearing down the Berlin Wall. He was on the right side of history. And he was murdered for it.

Anonymous said...


Don Krause said...

So, if I got that right, you think President Kennedy's affair with Marilyn Monroe led to tearing down the Berlin Wall.

Anonymous said...

Kennedy and Clinton loosened this country up from the bullshit double standard uptight hatred I had to face in the '50s, not to mention my gay cousin and lesbian niece. They both led the country to being more open-minded and gave people more freedom. Kennedy's affair with Marilyn Monroe was the first in the U.S. pretty much everyone knew about. It's common in Europe. Not to mention Japan. Clinton got run over the coals then everyone blamed the Republicans for wasting a year and it made young people more open-minded when Clinton had record popularity at the end of his term. He should have done more to get Gore in, but he did help the U.S. be more open-minded. When you can say a President did something, it becomes hard to criticize. Phooey.

Anonymous said...

I had a Chinese girl cry in the corner because she got 19/20 on a math quiz. I keep telling her the world won't end because you missed a question. I feel like telling her, HELLO! WAKE UP! Some kids couldn't even get 10 right. Relax. These Tiger Parents are driving me insane!

Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous. There's nothing wrong with sacrificing and striving to be the best you can be. America has lost it's work ethic. You ought to be holding this girl up as a hero, not denigrating her. She has ten times the strength of character that the kids who can't get 10 right and watch TV all the time do. Giver her some credit. She has to work while others are just playing! She makes the moral choice every night and weekend while other children make the immoral choice.