As a teacher in the Pittsburgh Public Schools, I am, again, concerned by the reaction of some parents. The article "Allderdice Parents Decry Suspensions" (April 17) only propagates the idea that sanctions for students should be applied to only certain students and only for reasons deemed fit by parents.
Schools must maintain order. When I began my career 30 years ago, I was taught that consistency is the only way to be fair to all students. One parent indicated that the staff members were "to look for offenders, even well-behaved, high-performing students running a few minutes late for class." Does that mean that tardiness to class applies to only low-performing students?
Parents also noted that many colleges require disclosure of disciplinary problems and that this could affect their Pittsburgh Promise scholarships. Two things come to mind. Colleges are concerned about serious disciplinary problems. Although the Common Application that many colleges use asks about suspensions, the application also asks for more detail from school officials about those suspensions. Second, this sounds like a good reason to be on time for class. High-performing, well-behaved students should strive to be on time. Rules apply to all students.
School officials cannot be found at fault for applying rules to all students of all levels of performance, as well as those well-behaved vs. ill-behaved. When a school begins to apply rules to only a certain group, equity and fairness are compromised.
We want our schools to be the best they can be for all students. Get to class before that bell rings and you won't find yourself in trouble. That is a pretty simple idea. I applaud the Allderdice administration for its efforts, and parents should do the same. They are keeping the well-behaved, high-performing students, as well as the rest of the students, safe.