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Race gap in school discipline persists in Seattle
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER ^ | Wednesday, January 11, 2006 | JESSICA BLANCHARD

Posted on 01/12/2006 12:00:30 PM PST by Sopater

Nearly two decades after it began tracking student discipline, Seattle Public Schools continues to struggle with a chronic problem: African American students are still far more likely than their white peers to be suspended or expelled.

The "discipline gap" persists even as the district drastically lowered the overall number of students who were expelled last year, new statistics show.

Compared with white students, African Americans were nearly twice as likely last year to receive short-term suspensions, lasting 10 or fewer days. Long-term suspensions were imposed on black students more than twice the time.

"We're still seeing a lot of disproportionality," said School Board member Darlene Flynn, chairwoman of Student Learning Committee. "That hasn't improved at all."

The disparity was investigated by the Seattle P-I in 2002 in a special report, "An Uneven Hand," which found that black students were being disciplined at much higher rates than students of other races -- and had been for at least two decades.

The district has made an effort in recent years to provide better training to teachers and administrators and focus on alternatives to suspending or expelling students. But short- and long-term suspension rates are virtually unchanged since 2000, and in some cases are higher.

Flynn said the district needs to do a better job of lowering discipline rates, especially for black and Hispanic students.

READ THE REPORT

The Seattle Public Schools discipline report is available online at www.seattleschools.org/area/siso/disprof/2005/disprof_2005.xml, then click "Student Outcome Measures." The section on discipline rates begins on Page 41.

(Excerpt) Read more at seattlepi.nwsource.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events; Philosophy; US: Washington
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The Seattle school district thinks that the disproportion in racial discipline is related to poor training of teachers rather than behavioral issues of the students. They believe that it is related more to cultrual issues with the disciplinarian rather than cultrual issues within the home.

Stefan Sharkanski of Sound Politics has an excellent article here where he took just a few moments to compare the cultural issue of family structure to the instences of disciplinary action and found some interesting results...

1 posted on 01/12/2006 12:00:31 PM PST by Sopater
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To: Sopater

Could it be that African American students behave offensively more often?

Nah. Couldn't be.


2 posted on 01/12/2006 12:04:23 PM PST by Uncle Miltie (Surrender! - Vote Democrat.)
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To: Sopater
"Seattle Public Schools continues to struggle with a chronic problem: African American students are still far more likely than their white peers to be suspended or expelled. The "discipline gap" persists"

"Discipline gap", or behavior gap? Typical liberal crapola, blame the white guys.

3 posted on 01/12/2006 12:05:53 PM PST by TheCrusader ("The frenzy of the mohammedans has devastated the Churches of God" Pope Urban II ~ 1097A.D.)
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To: Sopater

I don't believe for one minute that the Seattle school district thinks that poor training of teachers is responsible for the higher rate of black students' suspensions and expulsions. Everyone knows why black students are disciplined at far higher rates--because they cause problems at far higher rates than other students! The school district knows this as well, of course. It's called p.r. Trying to fend off lawsuits, or whatever.


4 posted on 01/12/2006 12:06:41 PM PST by Calico Cat
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To: Sopater

Sounds like there might actually be a "misbehavior gap".


5 posted on 01/12/2006 12:07:36 PM PST by Texas_Jarhead
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To: Sopater

I'd be curious to know how many suspended students regardless of race come from a home with a mother and father present


6 posted on 01/12/2006 12:08:00 PM PST by Horatio Gates (Optimist sees the donut, pessimist sees only the hole.)
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To: Sopater

Sure. Let the inmates run the prison because they have white whiners looking out for them.


7 posted on 01/12/2006 12:08:12 PM PST by llevrok (Chutzpah, with salsa on the side.)
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To: Sopater
Another example of liberal results oriented policy. Liberals think the problem is that there is a disparity rather than looking at the problem. The problem here is the number of disciplinary problems in schools, regardless of race. That more Black children are disciplinary problems may relate to higher percentage of fatherless homes, or other problems.
Teachers tell me that they are not allowed to discipline students. The definitely cannot touch a student. I ask, what do you do when a student acts out in class. The answer, ask the student to stop, if they don't tell them to go to the Principal's office. What if they don't go to the Principal's office. Well, we call the principal or just let it go. Most of the time they just let it go, since it happens so frequently.
When I was a student, teachers could administer discipline quickly and resolutely. The few times that I was sent to the Principal's office, I caught more hell at home from my parents than I every wanted again.
8 posted on 01/12/2006 12:08:16 PM PST by GeorgefromGeorgia
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To: Sopater

I know how to fix this! Throw more money at it! After all, that's generally why govie programs don't work, isn't it? Yes, more money will do the trick nicely....especially in Seattle.


9 posted on 01/12/2006 12:08:21 PM PST by RexBeach ("There is no susbstitute for victory." -Douglas MacArthur)
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To: sionnsar

WA ping


10 posted on 01/12/2006 12:09:04 PM PST by Horatio Gates (Optimist sees the donut, pessimist sees only the hole.)
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To: Sopater

Could the black students be engaging in activity that warrants the punishments in a far higher percentage than the white students?


11 posted on 01/12/2006 12:09:57 PM PST by Phantom Lord (Fall on to your knees for the Phantom Lord)
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To: Sopater

Figures lie and liars figure!

R3


12 posted on 01/12/2006 12:13:07 PM PST by RedRightReturn (Even a broken clock is right twice a day...)
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To: Brad Cloven
"Could it be that African American students behave offensively more often? "

The media trick is to state the proportional distribution of punishment, and not the proportional distribution of offenses.

They make it sound unjust, which is what they intend to do.

13 posted on 01/12/2006 12:13:14 PM PST by lormand (Close the border...the US/Kalifornia border.)
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To: Phantom Lord
"Could the black students be engaging in activity that warrants the punishments in a far higher percentage than the white students?"

Hey, no fair changing the subject... ;-)

Notice that behavioral and family issues never come up in the article or the report...
14 posted on 01/12/2006 12:13:52 PM PST by Sopater (Creatio Ex Nihilo)
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To: Sopater

Gee, they've given extra training to teachers and the administration and tried all kinds of new ideas and it hasn't seemed to work. HELLOOOO, it isn't the teachers or the administration that has the problem, it is some of the black students. When about 70% of any racial group come from one parent homes, they're going to have a problem.


15 posted on 01/12/2006 12:17:22 PM PST by jazusamo (A Progressive is only a Socialist in a transparent disguise.)
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To: Sopater

Given the way this story is written it would appear that drastic action is needed to end this "discipline gap". As a drastic measure I would suggest that any principal who suspends an African American student be fired for failing to adequately deal with the problem. I am quite sure that the "discipline gap" described will end very quickly (if that is the real problem).


16 posted on 01/12/2006 12:18:25 PM PST by RedEyeJack
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To: lormand
The media trick is to state the proportional distribution of punishment, and not the proportional distribution of offenses.

I was trying to find anywhere in the article where it listed the proportion of offenses committed by black students vs white students. Or something like: "When a white student started a fight, he was suspended 50% of the time, when a black student started a fight, he was suspended 100% of the time." This just says black students are punished more, but doesn't explain the reasons behind punishment.

17 posted on 01/12/2006 12:19:22 PM PST by arizonarachel
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To: Sopater
Flynn said the district needs to do a better job of lowering discipline rates, especially for black and Hispanic students.

Discipline has been taken out of the schools what would Flyn expect?

The statistics would be much higher if all the student problems were addressed, probably twice as high.

Bury your head in the sand, Ostrich style, but addressing the problem would not be politically correct.

18 posted on 01/12/2006 12:20:14 PM PST by BIGZ
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To: Sopater

Just suspend more white students. Problem fixed.


19 posted on 01/12/2006 12:21:26 PM PST by blam
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To: Sopater
Nearly two decades after it began tracking student discipline, Seattle Public Schools continues to struggle with a chronic problem: African American students are still far more likely than their white peers to be suspended or expelled.

Could that have something to do with the fact that they act up and need disciplined more often? That they are more likely to be fatherless? To be raised in a culture that tells them that actually trying to better yourself is a betrayal of your race????

DUMB LIBERALS! I wouldn't trust em to walk my dog... by the time they brought him back, he'd feel guilty for chaising cats, and self destructive because he actually enjoys being loyal.

20 posted on 01/12/2006 12:23:01 PM PST by HamiltonJay
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To: Sopater

I have been a public high school teacher for eighteen years. I teach in a large high school in an urban environment. We are about 25% African-American. Most are great, great kids. Yet we too suspend black kids at an alarmingly high rate. What's the deal?

IT'S CULTURE! Until the black community realizes that kids from one parent families aren't making it and does something about it this is going to go on. Many of these kids hit school totally unprepared for classroom work. Large numbers can't seem to be on time. Too many are interested in obtaining $200.00 sneakers and not top grades. Their language is too often loud and vulgar. Too many seem to have no respect for adults or authority.

Off course they're going to get suspended. This isn't going to change until behaviors change. Is anybody really surprised?


21 posted on 01/12/2006 12:24:08 PM PST by kjo
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To: BIGZ

This is also something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. If black students are led to believe that they are being disciplined due to institutional racism, what motivation does that leave them to behave better? If you believe that racism is the reason behind your punishment, you are only given more reason to misbehave. The mindset behind this article is pathetic on its face; but it is typical of Seattle educators and journalists.


22 posted on 01/12/2006 12:26:49 PM PST by Junior_G
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To: BIGZ

I am very mad at my daughters school right now, mainly because of a lack of discipline. My daughters old school was closed, and they are at a new school that is clueless about discipline.

My daughters' teacher is great. We had her last year at our old school, and she is great at controlling her classroom. However, when the kids are at lunch and out of control of the teacher, it is another story.

The new school does not have a cafeteria, and the kids eat outside most of the time. Well, yesterday it started raining. The staff told the kids to go into the gym. The kids went in and started screaming at the top of their lungs, and no one did anything about it. One of my daughters said she had to cover her ears, and she hated being in there.

I told my daughters that they were not to go into the gym anymore and to either go to the office or the nurse and call me if it happens again.

I've talked to their teacher and the principal.

If I didn't like their teacher, I wouldn't stay at the school. We will not be there next year, no matter what.


23 posted on 01/12/2006 12:27:47 PM PST by luckystarmom
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To: Brad Cloven; Sopater
Could it be that African American students behave offensively more often?

The lefties REALLY don't want to dig into that matter. Deep down, they know what they'd dig up: that black students generally receive LESS punishment for the same misbehavior. Go to the average inner city, predominantly black high school, and you'll see the BETTER behaved kids doing and saying stuff that would get them suspended from a lot of predominantly white schools. For starters, just imagine a kid (of any color) calling another student "nigger" at a predominantly white school.

24 posted on 01/12/2006 12:28:32 PM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: GovernmentShrinker

No...the reason is this:

Percentage of Black kids born out of wedlock: 70%
Percentage of white kids: 25%

Family values really do mean something.


25 posted on 01/12/2006 12:32:40 PM PST by Tulane
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To: Sopater


The Unspoken Here: School Officials are all white and don't like blacks. Not that that is a steriotype...


26 posted on 01/12/2006 12:34:30 PM PST by Tzimisce
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To: luckystarmom

Our response to these very real concerns was to enroll our daughter in Catholic school, even though we are not Catholic. There is a culture of learning and achievement, and zero discipline problems. Also, Catholic schools expect (actually, demand) parental involvement in the educational process, and in my view this is an essential aspect of their success.


27 posted on 01/12/2006 12:35:58 PM PST by riverdawg
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To: Sopater
Discipline follows misbehavior. I suspect the discipline rates match the misbehavior rates. If you do the crime, you will do the time.

Our black population in Pocatello is very small, but they too exhibit problems far out of proportion to their percentage of the population. A small number of black football players were recruited to the local college and managed to record the first drive by shooting we've ever had in the area.

Diverting the subject away from misbehavior, how are these students doing academically? Are they top of the line scholars?

28 posted on 01/12/2006 12:38:00 PM PST by Myrddin
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To: Sopater
"Race gap in school discipline persists in Seattle"

Why?? Because the ...

* Race gap in ordinary manners for young children persists.

* Race gap in fatherless homes persists.

* Race gap in drug-addicted mothers persists.

* Race gap in stupid teens who spread their legs too willingly persists.

* Race gap in minority culture, that stresses sports over academics, persists.

* Race gap in minority culture, that says a young black scholar is a sellout, persists.

* Race gap in teens and pre-teens who join gangs persists.

I could go on and on. But this issue is a no-brainer. It only takes an idiot liberal in the media, combined with one at the school district level, to claim racism.

29 posted on 01/12/2006 12:38:56 PM PST by tom h
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To: riverdawg

My son was in private school for a few years. The problem we have is my daughter is special needs. Most private schools cannot handle her situation, and we also lose all of her services if we transfer to a private school or homeschool.

We are currently trying to get my daughters into a charter school for next year, but the charter school is full for this year.


30 posted on 01/12/2006 12:39:04 PM PST by luckystarmom
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To: BIGZ

The prison system also has the same problem with high black disciplinary problems. A study suggested higher testosterone levels were possibly the reason, because black prisoners had higher levels of the hormone.

However, race-based biological explanations of behavior are not politically correct, sociological explanations can't be discussed, and even adult criminal statistics that mirror this phenom are tossed out the window. Those doing the reporting must stop reporting black transgressions as well as try to over-report white transgressions to rectify the imbalance.


31 posted on 01/12/2006 12:39:29 PM PST by bukkdems (If this global warming gets out of hand, we can use some of that nuclear winter.)
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To: Sopater

We all know that a disproportionate of prisoners in our jails are black. Why ? Because they are the ones breaking the law. Here we have students in school being disproportionately punished. Why?? Thhaaaaats right folks , they are the ones breaking the rules. Can there be some sort of reason the same kids breaking the rules in school are ending up in jail?? Yeah Thats right again. Certainly there is.


32 posted on 01/12/2006 12:41:29 PM PST by sgtbono2002
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To: Libertina; paulat; Jack Black; Salmonslayer; elder5; Checkers; Brian Allen; lkco; phantomworker; ...
Thanks to Horatio Gates for the ping.


Evergreen State ping

FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this ping list.

Ping sionnsar if you see a Washington state related thread.

33 posted on 01/12/2006 12:42:45 PM PST by sionnsar (†trad-anglican.faithweb.com† | Libs: Celebrate MY diversity! | Iran Azadi 2006 | Is it February yet?)
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To: Sopater

This type of crap leads to people becoming apologists for behavior issues that sometimes plaque black students- such as cursing at teachers; constantly disrupting instruction; fighting; bringing guns, knives, and other weapons to school (even here at the Primary school where I teach, grades 2-3). For example, a black principal refusing to punish black students who called a white teacher a "stupid bitch-ho" because that type of behavior was "cultural". The principal told my friend she would have to get over it, it was a cultural thing. No amount of training for teachers or administrators is going to change student behavior. Not punishing students for their misbehavior does not help either. Us teachers cannot undo what is done at home.


34 posted on 01/12/2006 12:43:43 PM PST by MissEdie
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To: bukkdems

The weird thing is that poorer children of all races tend to have more behavior problems that wealthier kids. We don't have black kids here for the most part and we still have issues. And it is generally the poor kids that get in trouble.

If a higher pecentage of black kids live at the poverty level.....

But you can't get money using those stats. Make it a racial problem and someone will want to throw free government money at it. And the people who found the problem will be there to catch it.


35 posted on 01/12/2006 12:44:35 PM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: Tzimisce
The Unspoken Here: School Officials are all white and don't like blacks. Not that that is a (sic) steriotype...

The "officials" would never see a student unless a behavior problem warranted taking the student out of the classroom. Before asserting a bias in handling cases of misbehavior, I want to see exactly how many students were referred to "officials" for misbehavior...broken down by race please. I want to know the exact nature of the offense and the action taken.

36 posted on 01/12/2006 12:46:24 PM PST by Myrddin
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To: Sopater
[ "We're still seeing a lot of disproportionality," said School Board member Darlene Flynn, chairwoman of Student Learning Committee. "That hasn't improved at all." ]

Obviously bad discipline problems among White students MUST BE INCREASED...

37 posted on 01/12/2006 12:48:31 PM PST by hosepipe (CAUTION: This propaganda is laced with hyperbole..)
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To: Sopater

Yes, and reckless drivers get pulled over way more often (though not often enough) than law-abiding drivers.


38 posted on 01/12/2006 12:48:47 PM PST by trebb ("I am the way... no one comes to the Father, but by me..." - Jesus in John 14:6 (RSV))
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To: bukkdems
The prison system also has the same problem with high black disciplinary problems. A study suggested higher testosterone levels were possibly the reason, because black prisoners had higher levels of the hormone.

There is a high percentage of XYY "super males" in the prison population as well. They tend to be bigger, stronger and more aggressive than the average male. I have no idea what the distribution of that anomaly is with respect to race.

39 posted on 01/12/2006 12:51:47 PM PST by Myrddin
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To: GeorgefromGeorgia
Most of the time they just let it go, since it happens so frequently.

Yep! And the whole time that this particular student is acting up in class the rest of the students aren't learning anything.

I believe it was called "mainstreaming" where kids with behavior problems were placed in regular classrooms so their fragile "self-esteem" wouldn't be damaged. The result is that one or two of these kids can hijack the entire class and waste untold hours throughout the year while the motivated kids sit in silence watching the clock tick away learning nothing.

Reason number 4,597 why I would never be a public school teacher.

40 posted on 01/12/2006 12:53:02 PM PST by Drew68
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To: MissEdie
For example, a black principal refusing to punish black students who called a white teacher a "stupid bitch-ho" because that type of behavior was "cultural". The principal told my friend she would have to get over it, it was a cultural thing.

She should get the principal's response in writing and take his negligent behavior to the school board. I suppose negligence is "cultural" too.

41 posted on 01/12/2006 12:56:16 PM PST by Myrddin
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To: RexBeach
I know how to fix this! Throw more money at it! After all, that's generally why govie programs don't work, isn't it? Yes, more money will do the trick nicely....especially in Seattle.

Sadly, the way Seattle will likely remedy this problem is to suspend white kids and give black kids a pass for the same infraction. That way white suspension numbers rise while black suspension numbers fall until they are at parity. Problem solved! Administration happy!

42 posted on 01/12/2006 12:57:18 PM PST by Drew68
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To: AppyPappy
The weird thing is that poorer children of all races tend to have more behavior problems that wealthier kids.

The "chicken and egg" problem. Why are the children poor? Could it be that mom and dad were underperforming slackers in school and can't make a decent living now? Poverty doesn't cause behavior problems. Behavior problems cause poverty. Once it starts, the bad behavior and poor living conditions persist. Mom and dad are too stupid and ill behaved themselves to break the cycle. Children of "wealthy" parents often misbehave as a consequence of neglect while parents are pursuing the almighty dollar and indulging themselves. Inherited wealth rarely persists beyond a generation as wealth is a consequence of behavior that isn't understood by the inheritor.

43 posted on 01/12/2006 1:05:09 PM PST by Myrddin
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To: Drew68

Dead On.


44 posted on 01/12/2006 1:13:11 PM PST by GeorgefromGeorgia
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To: Myrddin

Anecdotely, I remember the kids who were suspended in school and they tended to be the poorest kids. Very seldom was a middle-class or rich kid suspended. In our case, however, we were given the option of performing "work" after school to avoid suspension i.e. cutting the grass. This was to avoid getting zeroes for the tests that were missed. The poor kids never seemed interested in that. They just took the days off. I was friends with one of the kids (druggie) and he told me the days off were preferred because they had to pass him anyway. Since they couldn't flunk him and he didn't care about his grades, he stayed at home and smoked dope when he got suspended while his mom worked. Win-win in his eyes.

Oddly, he told me that the teachers gave him F's but the principal always changed the grades so he would pass. A high number of kids flunking looked bad for the principal.


45 posted on 01/12/2006 1:13:15 PM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: Myrddin

He knows better than to write it. Using a tape recorder is preferred but watch out. If you pull one out at a school board meeting to play the words of an administrator, they'll react as if you pulled out a hand grenade.

Nothing upsets people more than hearing something they are trying not to hear.


46 posted on 01/12/2006 1:16:49 PM PST by AppyPappy (If you aren't part of the solution, there is good money to be made prolonging the problem.)
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To: Sopater

Great post. Thanks!


47 posted on 01/12/2006 1:28:23 PM PST by Zack Nguyen
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To: Tulane

There is no evidence that having married parents is a significant factor. Correlatiod does not equal causation. Parental education and income levels, and age, also have very strong correlations to children's behavior and eventual educational achievement and criminality. And I don't think it would be hard to prove that parental rap sheet length is one of the strongest predictors for out of control children who grow up to engage in criminal behavior. On the other hand, you'll find very good outcomes among children of financially self-sufficient single parents. Outcomes for children raised only by their widowed mothers, when the father died before or shortly after the chidren's birth, are indistinguishable from those of children raised in 2-parent homes, exposing the falsehood of the notion that lack of a father is a major causative factor of poor outcomes for children.


48 posted on 01/12/2006 1:32:16 PM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: AppyPappy
I watched many of my elementary school friends change over the years. The kid up the street was from a middle class family. He was the darling of the elementary school. Straight A report cards, class president. Apparently the junior high didn't get the word. He was just one of the kids. I rarely saw him in high school. In my second year at UCSD, he magically appeared on campus. Unfortunately, he decided to major in "pool hall" instead of attending his classes. He was gone in 2 quarters. The next time I saw him, I was teaching an embedded computer class at Southwestern College. He was taking basket weaving classes. He drives a school bus in northern San Diego County now.

Another elementary school friend was active in scouts when I returned to San Diego in 1969. He was doing fine until he tagged up with the druggies and smokers. He had an illigitimate kid and never managed to graduate from high school. His dad was a Lt in the Navy and lived and a slightly nicer house than my own a couple blocks away.

I could writes volumes of anecdotes describing perfectly nice middle class white kids that grew up to be below average performers. Not criminals, but just barely productive enough to stay off welfare.

As with any distribution, you have success and failure. The class president and valedictorian was Valerie Zavala. She lived two doors down from my house. She earned a PhD at Harvard. We only had ONE valedictorian when I graduated. No need to assuage the egos of 10+ people. There was a number one and she was the genuine article. She is apparently the nightly news magazine anchor at PBS station KCET in Los Angeles now.

49 posted on 01/12/2006 1:59:10 PM PST by Myrddin
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To: tom h
Be careful ---- you're being too analytical, rational and observant.....

That can get you in a lot of trouble......you racist! </sarcasm>

Semper Fi
50 posted on 01/12/2006 3:17:13 PM PST by river rat (You may turn the other cheek, but I prefer to look into my enemy's vacant dead eyes.)
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