Trump Finds Unlikely Culprit in School Shootings: Obama Discipline Policies

The president, goaded by conservatives, is targeting an effort to address racial disparities in school discipline, arguing that any relaxation of policies could let a killer slip through the cracks.

Comments: 196

  1. All the school shooters have shared these characteristics:

    ethnic Christian
    access to guns

    So yeah, clearly it's Obama's fault for encouraging schools not to treat black students like potential criminals.

  2. In addition, the totality of those murderers came from families with republican sympathies.

  3. In answer to a question above, an "ethnic Christian" is one for whom Christianity is a tribal identity, as distinguished from a "believing Christian" who cherishes the teachings of Jesus as a guide to how to conduct one's life and who believes in or has faith in Christian doctrine as truth.

    Ethnic Christians may regard Christianity as the "normal" form of religion, often without realizing it, and may follow a calendar shaped by Christian rhythms (holidays, and Sunday as a special day), but may not be active worshipers.

    For comparison, consider how some people identify as "secular Jews"; their Jewish heritage is part of who they are, but while they may not consider themselves religious at all, they don't stop thinking of themselves as Jews.

    I know someone who grew up in Belfast during The Troubles who emphatically recognizes his tribal identity as "Irish Catholic" even though he himself is an avowed atheist and hasn't been a practicing Catholic for decades.

    Many Americans, including me, celebrate Christmas, a Christian holiday, as secular or ethnic Christians with a tree and decorations and gifts and little thought of Jesus. I have a special meal and decorations at Easter too. But I don't go to church, I don't pray, I don't study scripture. I'm an ethnic Christian because of my upbringing who observes family traditions, but I am not a believing Christian.

  4. Christopher Harper-Mercer, John Samir Zawahari, One Goh, Jaylen Fryberg, Jeff Weise, and Seung-Hui Cho are among some of the most notorious school shooters. They were all boys/men of color.

    Trump, DeVoes, and Rubio are wrong. We don’t have to lie about the facts to make a case against them. Honestly, it just makes us look really bad.

  5. The imposters who are posing as our national leaders -- including Trump, DeVos, and Rubio -- continue to demonstrate that they know nothing about school safety and even less about how to ensure it. In this instance, they are -- apparently for political purposes -- conflating two issues that are largely unrelated. Kids of color are, in fact, on the receiving end of disproportionate numbers of detentions, suspensions, and arrests at school, and that's clearly a problem worth solving. School discipline is already extremely punitive, and misguided zero tolerance policies were, at least partially, a reaction to Columbine. The research tells us that zero tolerance policies made things worse. If our incurious, impulsive President had less faith in his own errant, uninformed instincts and actually read the research and consulted with people in the trenches, maybe he'd be in a position to lead the charge on this issue. In the meantime, our kids are still at risk and things aren't great at all for everyone in America's schools. That's not leadership...and that's not just sad, it's tragic.

  6. At some point, Trump supporters will realize American can’t be great if the right wing media noise machine informs their votes. Hope there is something left to save but that time.

  7. The main question remains: Do black children commit offenses which merit expulsion more than white students? Until that base rate question is answered, and it has never been answered, we cannot determine if the policy is fair. Everyone must be treated fairly. But the notion that all children are equally likely is simply wrong.

  8. All children are different and that has nothing to do with race. That wasn't the basis for the Obama regs. They were pretty balanced considering white males are much more likely to shoot up a school.

  9. I think the most relevant part of this discussion is in the second paragraph of this article:
    "Black students have never been the culprits in the mass shootings that have shocked the nation’s conscience"

  10. Once more Donald Trump reveals his anti-science bias by proposing explanations that are counter to the data.

  11. When the Broward County Superintendent is making a lot more sense than state-wide and national-wide elected leaders in the Federal Government, you have to wonder what is happening in D.C.

    Obama's suggestions on school discipline was a well-researched and strongly-argued plea to keep students in school and provide the mental health care that is needed for our youth—to disrupt the pipeline from drop out to convict.

    The quotidian Republican misdirection to their own base, in order to hold onto their own base, is an insult to logic and leaves us with no other alternative than to question the morals and motivations of those in power.

  12. Exactly why they are known as deplorables

  13. We have got to get rid of this fake President. His jealousy and hatred for anything Obama is sick and harmful to us all.

  14. Shocker: Trump admin finds way to blame program that aids minorities.

  15. These people are really something.

    Blame black students for murders committed by white students.

    Blame Obama for everything.

    Put MORE guns in schools.

    It's hard to even know how to react anymore. Our country has gone badly off the rails.

  16. Trump is so gross I can't believe it. Black students have never caused the mass shootings but he wants to crack down on them because someday one might? So disgusting and racist. When will this oppressive nightmare end? Vote them all out ASAP.

  17. So yeah, the school shooters have all been black...oh, wait, none of them have? Still, the gun massacres have to be Obama's fault, or Hillary's, or both. We have a madman in the white house.

  18. Is there anything in this wide world that, according to Trump, is not Obama's fault? I think not. Including the inescapable fact that Obama has more personal grace in his little finger than Trump has in his entire corpus. This drives our current Potus mad. Sad.

  19. Is there nothing that is Obama's fault? Next up, Ms. Daniels is Barack's cousin and Trump was just a patsy to be set up.

  20. Trump is so predictable. He always falls back on the unwritten rule of his people, "When all else fails, blame the black guy."

  21. Trump is a despicable thug in trying to blame Obama for school shootings. Seeking a collaboration within an educational establishment, without resorting prematurely to outside police forces, is the right thing to do. This 'ugly American' is a racist and a coward, always seeking scapegoats for his own incompetence and dedicated support of an agency drenched in blood, the N.R.A., by making access to weapons of mass destruction widely and readily available, and contributing mightily to the mowing down of so many innocent victims. Where are we, the people, intent in finding societal peace, by not calling Trump's inaction as hypocritical? Unless we are happy to be complicit in the mayhem. Can't we see we are currently living in an institutionalized violence, while manipulative demagogue Trump is laughing at us, a liar whenever he opens his big mouth?

  22. As has been said before: if Obama cured cancer, Trump would try to reverse that. What an awful, vengeful man. PB

  23. Name one mass school shooting committed by a non-white male student.

  24. Virginia Tech

  25. I’m surprised that Trump didn’t try to blame Hilary Clinton as well. Instead of shedding real tears like POTUS 44 Trump is gloating over the GOP dropping the ball.

    I support the Parkland students and others who want to take a common sense approach towards guns.

  26. He doesn’t shed tears, he makes light about these tragedies and uses them for his own personal gain. He’s a monster himself.

  27. What are the tea leaves reciting this morning: 33 to 40 percent of Americans think he is more than just OK? And we're going to conduct a democracy in this place?

  28. Hang on. You write that Rubio wrote DeVos that "...failure to report troubled students, like Cruz, to law enforcement can have dangerous repercussions.” Then you write that this was an "an odd point," for the shooter did not "evade disciplinary procedure" and had been expelled. But there's a big difference between school discipline and the police! it appears that Rubio was worried that the Obama rules made it harder for schools to report students to law enforcement. Did the Obama rules make it harder or not? Instead of making fun of Rubio, maybe answer that question?

  29. Wrong question the police and FBI were informed. Because this was a white guy, nothing happened. Same with Dylan Roof.

  30. He couldnt think this up on his own; the NRA told him to say this. What facts isn this allegation based on? How many of our mass shooters gave outward signs of aggression or required school discipline? AND if they were disciplined and expelled, as Cruz was, that does not prevent their purchase of an assault rifle.

  31. Chicken man (the President who folded like a cheap suit when the NRA came to W.H.) has done only one thing about guns. He signed a law removing restrictions on a limited number of people with mental problems from owning guns. Chicken man does have two thing in common with the gun guys. None of them will admit to the fact that guns were invented for one purpose - to kill. And they will not stop in their efforts to make sure that everybody owns at least one lethal weapon.

  32. An so the hatred continues, unabated, by those who are not worthy to utter the name Abraham Lincoln, by those having zero moral fiber, by those who came into enormous wealth and power not through any accomplishments of their own but by circumstance. That they equate money with a mandate to act without a conscience is unforgivable. The book "How the Right Almost Destroyed America" will be certain to include a special chapter for DeVos.

  33. The president has to blame somebody for the spate of school shootings, so why not the former president or black students, many of whom are victims of mass shootings. The NRA certainly isn't to blame for mass killings, so it must be that black students who pose the greatest danger to society.

    One deranged student slipped through the cracks and committed these murders but now the fault of school violence seems to be unruly minority children. The president's message is that being soft on black students is the same as being soft on crime, always a major Republican talking point.

  34. How is this unlikely? Trump chose the most racist way to respond. Seems quite predictable to me.

  35. Trump seems to have a racial animus in taking on anything that Obama accomplished. Maybe he is afraid of a legacy that people from all backgrounds can get things done, not just whites.

  36. Trump is foolish to back away from his original gun control aims, and to mix in the Obama policy. That said, however, the effort to artificially adjust punishment based on race that the former administration pushed, while not connected to mass shootings, is deserving of removal on its own lack of merits and race based social engineering.

  37. George you do understand that Obama was trying to ensure equal punishment not disproportionate as is the norm based on race?

  38. Mb, there should absolutely be equal punishment without regard to the demographics involved. But when districts are afraid they will be labeled racist or discriminatory if the numbers don't show parity in discipline without regard to the underlying conduct or repetitive behavior of a few, then you get a race driven quota system for punishment.

  39. But the whole point was that there was a disparity of treatment with regard to the same underlying conduct!

  40. Reading this made me want to cry. How can these people possibly justify this to themselves. I really hate rhetoric that paints one party as the "good" guys and the other as the "bad", but I don't understand how someone could take an act by a white male and use it as justification to target minorities.

  41. The Trayvon Martin murder was a fine example of this very principle.

  42. It's called "Machiavellian". Making you want to cry means it's working.

  43. I felt the same way. it made me so sad. We have to vote these people out. They are so cruel.

  44. Mass shooters are almost always young white males. How is trying to end discriminatory treatment of minority students going to help that? There is a word for what Trump is trying to do here. Racism.

  45. That's a racist canard.
    "In this bigger data set, the proportion of white mass shooters drops down to 56 percent, by my count. Judging by those newer numbers, and the most current census estimate that 76.9 percent of Americans are white, the whites-are-overrepresented-among-mass-shooters meme appears even less accurate. Perpetrators that Mother Jones classifies as Asian make up 7.4 percent of the data set, versus an estimated 5.7 percent of the population, while those MoJo identifies as black represent 17.0 percent of the mass shooters in the database versus an estimated 13.3 percent of the population. According to this data set, then, Asians and black Americans are overrepresented among mass shooters by about the same proportion (a bit more than one-fourth) that whites are underrepresented. This means the population rate of mass shootings by whites (at least according to the tiny sample measured in the MoJo database) is 0.021 per 100,000 people, while the corresponding rate of mass shootings by blacks is 1.7 times higher, at 0.037."

  46. The only thing repealing the Obama era legislation will do is further ingrain institutionalized racism. The Trump trumpeters like Devos, Coulter, Hannity, Limbaugh - and Fox in general - will use obfuscation and dupe their audience with their straw-man argument. I wish Mueller would hurry up!

  47. Hard to imagine the prime directive for this admin is not “We will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to repeal every word of the past administration’s work, and to promote the truth that straight white American men are the most oppressed group on the planet.”

  48. Well, I am one straight white American male who has never felt oppressed. I guess I just haven't been paying attention.

  49. Oh, give The Steves a call - Bannon and Miller - I’m confident they can help us re-imagine our lot in life. Unknown if ill-fitting wardrobe is a prerequisite.

  50. Let me put this bluntly: the kids affected by the Obama discipline guidelines aren’t shooting up schools. They ARE statically more likely to be shooting each other after school, but not during.

    So while there certainly is a conversation here about the shocking and unaddressed violence among young blacks, they’re not taking their disputes to the cafeteria, slung over their shoulder and loaded for bear.

  51. Wait, there MUST be " evidence " of Clinton being involved. Perhaps she and Obama collaborated??? This is just surreal. But no longer surprising.

  52. This country has a serious Christian white male problem. It’s becoming a public safety crisis that needs a legislative solution immediately.

  53. Anything for Trump to distract the public from the fact that he lied about raising the age for gun purchases to 21. Our President is and always will be a pathological liar.

  54. Although it took longer than I thought it would...the Obama card has been played. What a surprise.....

  55. Trump blames every one of his numerous failures on someone else. He also always sides with racists and fascists because those are the only supporters he has left.

  56. This “human being” is just.....each time I feel like I have words that describe what a loathsome, odious, despicable “person” he is...he plumbs new depths of immorality.

    Even the word “Deplorable” does not adequately express his depravity. Where are Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell on this? Education Secretary DeVos??????

    How about “daddy’s little girl?”

    History will not be kind to this administration, to his supporters (yes, those who stay silent ARE indeed his supporters).

    The last throes of a soon to be white minority. We as a Nation ARE far better than this and we deserve far better than this. May all our children be safe as they go about their lives - and may none of them be singled out based on the color of their skin.

  57. Being called a racist is not slanderous if it is true. It seems that at this point basic tenant of conservatism is a need to shirk any and all responsibly and blame it on the black guy.

  58. Wow, Trump really is afraid of the NRA. This is clearly a desperate argument fashioned in haste. A black-white issue, really? It was Florida! He could at least have tried to tie it to illegal immigration. He must be getting tired. His demagoguery is slipping. SAD

  59. A good move. Obama sought to institutionalize a racist, two-level discipline system for the same offense. That wont work and shouldn't in a juvenile oriented atmosphere.

  60. Only someone from Alabama would see Obama as a racist. Do you still beleive he was born in Kenya?

  61. That's an interesting argument, considering that it's completely at odds with reality.

  62. It was only a matter of time before he blamed President Obama. What took you so long?

  63. Let me give you a more accurate headline and lead:

    Trump's racism inflects his "solutions" for school shootings.

    Trump continues showing us how much of a racist he is, by trying to change the subject from mass shootings to young black and brown students.The vast majority of mass shootings are perpetrated by white men. In this entirely predictable display of racism, Trump shows us again his almost reflexive desire to inflict violence on young black and brown bodies. This tendency was first revealed to the greater public when Trump demanded death sentences be imposed on five young men and boys, several of them minors, who came to be known as the Central Park Five. The five young men were eventually exonerated by DNA evidence. Trump has continued to insist they were guilty and defend the actions of NYPD detectives who bungled the case and forced confessions from minors. Trump's father was arrested at a KKK rally in the 1930s.

    The NYT is not doing anyone favors by using euphemisms for Trump's naked racism and deep-seated desire to inflict punishment on black and brown bodies.

  64. I remember comments in my 90% black classes on the day of the Sandy Hook shootings: "Only white kids gone crazy do that." 'Why do white kids do that?" "Where do they get guns like that?"

  65. I remember the day that a sniper started assassinating members of the Dallas Police Department. "Hmm...I bet it's a black man mad about that fake "hands-up don't shoot" meme". "Oh, the shooter said he hated white people, what a surprise!"

  66. No surprise--Trump is a racist. We all now that. So is DeVos. They both have no clue about what life is like for the average high school student.

  67. ---Perfect response from trump. Walk back previous response to the Parkland shooting calling for more stringent firearms policy, instead putting the blame, essentially, on...drum roll...President Obama.
    How trump-ian. How pathetic, unimaginative. How...small.

  68. Thank you Superintendent Runcie.

  69. Obama has been Trumps go to guy for blame from day one. I find myself not surprised in the least. Mr Trump is a total racist that does not realize how racist he is. Imagine a sitting president who openly states that there are neo Nazis and white supremacists who are very fine people. Seems like Trump and Sessions goal is to send their buddies in the private prison business a few more clients to line their pockets. This is not about school safety, but is about overt racism and jealousy of a former president he will never measure up to.

  70. Making American Racism Great Again. Keep in mind that the goal is not to reduce school violence but demonize the right Left people to get idiots to vote for GOP P.T. Barnums once more. And Republicans never underestimate American idiocy, from Reagan-era "tax reductions" that masked eliminating middle-class tax DE-ductions to Bush I's insistence that that aggression will not stand to Bush II's "Mission Accomplished"—to the current Schrodinger's Rat approach to policy—it's gonna be a law/it's not gonna be a law. Why do you think they don't want better public schools? That means smarter people.

    p.s. American high schoolers: Stop marching to the halls of government and instead march into them. Run for office. The revolution will be legislated, not televised, Tweeted, Instagram'd, Twitch'd, etc.

  71. I think the goal is to offer some protection to the smaller and physically weaker kids. And to teachers, as well. Why are you against that?

  72. It's all Obama's fault ! ... or black people ! or ... *massive eye roll

    The school ''policies'' for many years were that if you were white, or ''connected'' in general, then you would get a pass ( or light judgement ) from authorities for any indiscretion. ( ''boys would be boys'' )

    If you happen to be a minority ( or darker color skin ) for the same infraction. then you were deemed a ''gang member'', a terrorist, or a cancer to the school. Authorities were called and you were handcuffed and dragged off. ( in some cases as young as 8 years old )

    President Obama tried to reverse all that. This President is trying to roll back every thing that the previous one did.

    Even if it wrong or bad for the country at large.

  73. Of course it's Obama's fault. Everything is Obama's fault. Or Crooked Hillary's. But who will he blame if his meeting with Kim Jong-un ends in nuyclear disaster? Or if a trade war with China tanks our economy? Or if Russia attacks a NATO member country while our troops are busy parading before Dear Leader Trump? Or if Betsy DeVos destroys our schools? Or if Pruitt destroys our environment? Or if Zinke destroys our national parks? Or if Mexico won't pay for his Wall? Or if there's another school shooting and an armed teacher is mistakenly killed by SWAT?

  74. I doubt that any of the catastrophes you mentioned could not be blamed on Obama by Trump and the right wing news media apparatchiks. Neither empirical evidence or shame has ever stopped them before.

  75. I think we know the answer: President Obama.

  76. Of course Obama. He probably got his wishy washy ideas growing up in Kenya. The "president" may be on a roll. Why stop with Obama whose views have held down gun-lovers since the 1940s? Perhaps, after getting some fantastic, really amazing advice from the best people at the next table at Mar-A-Lago. the "president" can show what he's made of: move the black students to their own schools where they will feel safe and so will the white students. A win-win, right? Maybe build a few walls around the black schools, you know, for ball practice.

  77. Gold!

  78. It was only matter of time before Obama got the blame.

    Make America Lawless Again!

  79. new slogan may as well be MAWA, which has been his policy goals all along, and would still get votes from the colorless crowd.

    I have seen and heard racism cloaked in the most sweet, gentle, willfully ignorant tone that sounds oh so reasonable- just yesterday. it's even more insidious than overt racism from the KKK and neo-nazi groups.

  80. The lack of ability to think, to research, is so unbelievable. Always revert to bigotry without any critical investigation or thought. What a role model. Bankruptcy follows him everywhere he goes, whether literal or figurative.

  81. School discipline remains a thorny issue. Many school districts, including a few in Florida, are moving to a "Restorative Justice" model of discipline. This focus includes discipline, discipline that is better designed to get at the root of the issues causing the problems, rather than designed solely to punish. Data shows that programs designed to keep students in school, remaining as part of the community, are more likely to ultimately succeed as students and as citizens. I hope that school districts take the position of Mr. Runcie, and refuse to dismantle, or fail to move towards, successful discipline programs. How easy it is to blame everything on Obama; how much more difficult to truly understand a problem and devise solutions that work.

  82. So you think violent, insane kids like Nikolas Cruz should have been molly coddled -- allowed to bring knives to school -- fight with other kids -- torture animals -- and that "restorative justice" would have fixed that????

  83. “Unlikely culprit” is an understatement. Positing a causal relationship between school shootings and disciplinary policies set at the federal level is bizarre. Yet the fact that in finds favor with Marco Rubio too shows that it is well within conventional/traditional Republican standards of “logic”.

  84. Let's be clear. Kids and adults - but especially kids - need to feel a sense of belonging not only to feel safe, but to be able to learn, and to be productive members of society. Harsh disciplinary actions are not only the direct cause of our school-to-prison pipeline, but they do nothing but send kids fleeing to where they do feel a sense of belonging and purpose, as we see so often when kids turn to gangs, and in this case in Florida, to weapons. Restorative practices, not exclusionary practices, are the key to mending our school's and society's wounds. Community, not isolation, is what matters most right now.

    Think of how different our country would be right now if Trump actually felt accepted by his own father.

  85. It's one idiotic racist move after another with the GOP.

  86. Truly, from the other side of the Atlantic , it really seems like the US is a sick, sick country. How elite and wealthy interests exploit the poor and minorities is disgusting.

  87. We have our troubles, absolutely, but do not for a minute assume that these very things exist generally everywhere, including in your own back yard. These are not external issues, but rather endemic human issues. The United States is a complex society, and some parts of our culture are twisted, but the same could be said of the UK.

  88. Looks that way to us on this side of the Atlantic too. I hope we can change that.

  89. My deepest apologies, as always, to the UK and the rest of the world for our temporary absence of not just leadership but sanity.

  90. LOL.
    With anything trump says, that's all I can do.

  91. Wait - does the alt-right think that ANY of the school shootings were perpetrated by minorities?

    This leap of thinking is staggering in it's ignorance.

  92. School discipline? Hmm, Mr Trump, why not propose instead the following canard, on the face of it more plausibly linking A and S than your absurd conjecture?

    If every school shooter had been aborted, then he couldn't have become a school shooter. Ergo, school shootings in the USA are caused by Right to Life.

  93. Actually, legalized abortion is responsible for about half the drop in the crime rate we’ve experienced the past couple generatione. Fewer unwanted children correlates with less crime.

  94. The sign in the Trump Zoo says.....Feed the Lions Red Meat. Let's try to come up with some lame excuse for mass shootings to make our base feel good about us going after those bad black kids, while we continue along our incestuous path with the NRA. Let's come up with fantastical plans, like re-opening long since closed state mental hospitals, while we refuse to address the unfettered ability for deranged people to purchase military assault weapons. Deplorable indeed.

  95. This article purposely fails to articulate the point conservatives are making. The point is the Obama policies made it far less likely that Cruz's criminal behavior would result in a criminal record which would have made him fail the gun purchase background check. From liberal perspective, it seems silly to prosecute student behavior which may leave a long term criminal record in order to prevent the one-in-million nut from buying a gun which liberals think should be much harder to get anyway. So I'm with the liberals but the NYT should at least clearly state the conservative case. Obama policies dissuaded school officials and police from criminally prosecuting Cruz for many prior criminal offenses. Had they done so, he would have been prevented from legally buying a gun.

  96. The background check only covers completed interactions with law enforcement that result in an adjudication or conviction. Florida would not prevent a gun purchase merely because of repeated calls to the sheriff, or expulsion from school without a criminal conviction on the record as well. Nothing else could have prevented him from purchasing a gun in the state of Florida, not even an order of protection if it were more than 365 days old.

  97. Aurther is not ignoring anything, the race of Mr. Cruz has nothing to do with this.

  98. Domestic Assault, bringing a gun to a school (no gun zone) are just two ways that he could have been stopped from a gun purchase.

  99. There's only direct solution here, folks :




    Be it special election, mid-term or term . . .


  100. How many more children will die because of the misguided and failed policies of Barack Obama? Obama made it difficult if not impossible to kick trouble makers out of school to meet artificial racial quotas, and 15 children so far are dead because of it

  101. Did you read the article Larry? If not, look again, "Black students have never been the culprits in the mass shootings that have shocked the nation’s conscience nor have minority schools been the targets." The shooter at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas had been suspended and disciplined.

  102. As a follower of Christ, i continue to be appalled by those(like Larry) who will make absurd connections to justify the continuing legacy of America's first sin, racism. I taught in urban schools for thirty years and I applaud those educators who have confronted old policies that perpetuated patterns of discrimination. To somehow link Obama 's concern over the School to Prison phenomena with "racial Quotas" is so indicative of those who are incapable of critical thought. The whole abdication of responsibility by both Republican and Democratic law makers after yet another school massacre speaks volumes about this country's lack of moral purpose. We are a mediocre country!

  103. Show any evidence of this. The feds have little effect on public schools, except in special ed, testing, etc.

  104. Little Marco Rubio...on TV at the townhall, he sounded so thoughtful even though the students and most of us knew this was just his confusion between his thinking brain and his political dreams. He went home, got a call from his NRA handlers and changed the problem to school discipline. Needless to say, this school practiced discipline and it was law enforcement that failed over and over again.

  105. This administration seems especially good at ignoring empirical research. We have several reports suggesting that African American boys and girls are perceived as being older than their actual ages, more knowledgeable about adult topics, and (this is the kicker) generally "less innocent" than their white counterparts. These biases are implicit and shape not only the individual actions of educators and administrators, but schools' formal policies and informal cultures.

  106. Lots of comments from people who have probably never set foot in a contemporary public middle or high school, and who don't know any families whose kids attend public schools. In fact, kids are not all instinctive pacifists and schools do not resemble Quaker meetings or poetry clubs. Larger kids DO bully, harass, intimidate, and frighten smaller kids. And sometimes they threaten teachers, as well. School systems do have some responsibility to protect smaller, weaker kids from predators, and expelling the predators would be one way to do that.

  107. And in the case of Cruz, they did. So, what's the next straw man argument?

  108. "Black students have never been the culprits in the mass shootings that have shocked the nation’s conscience"

    I can't find data specifically about "students", but overall whites are underrepresented among mass shooters, Asians and blacks overrepresented. "Asians and black Americans are overrepresented among mass shooters by about the same proportion (a bit more than one-fourth) that whites are underrepresented. This means the population rate of mass shootings by whites (at least according to the tiny sample measured in the MoJo database) is 0.021 per 100,000 people, while the corresponding rate of mass shootings by blacks is 1.7 times higher, at 0.037."

    "whether the guidance allowed the shooting suspect, Nikolas Cruz, to evade law enforcement and carry out the massacre at Stoneman Douglas High.

    It was, on its face, an odd point: Mr. Cruz is white, and far from evading school disciplinary procedures, he had been expelled from Stoneman Douglas."

    But the claim is not that Cruz evaded school discipline because he is black. The claim is that LAW ENFORCEMENT did not act on Cruz because of school policies against arresting students...policies that were put in place to protect black and hispanic students (even if in this case the policy protected a white student with a hispanic name.)

  109. Trump and the Republicans will do anything to deflect attention from the real culprit-the easy availability of military-style weapons. And if they can easily contort themselves to blame Obama, all the better. Never mind that they overturned an Obama regulation on background checks to prevent the mentally ill from purchasing guns.
    What a despicable lot.

  110. Well.. let's see. The Obama administration set up a promise program that segregated and treated students differently based on their skin color and not their actions. That sounds about right. So when a child acts up in school the faculty are discouraged from contacting the authorities for fear of being racist. Again sounds about right. So when a mentally ill student regardless of skin color shows signs of threatening behavior it's encouraged to sweep it under carpet. And this is Ok with people? Yes, they are children, but if the teachers can't handle these kids acting up then yes. maybe the law enforcement needs to be involved. Ideally the parents would be raising their kids to have respect for one another and themselves at a young age and this would solve a lot of the issues.

  111. There is no agreed-upon definition of "mass shooting". However, all you have to do is watch the shootings that involve Parkland's number of people killed to see that White males are behind them, and this type of shooting of large numbers of people not specifically targeted by the shooter is the kind of shooting Rubio and others were talking about. This article is obviously referring to a specific kind of 'mass shooting' that isn't a home invasion or gang shooting which is done for profit or 'business'-related revenge/punishment.

  112. Most human beings are capable of violence when pushed in that direction either by internal or external pressures. That is why weapons of mass destruction should not be allowed in human hands outside of a military context (or even in that ideally). The AR-15 is a classic example of a weapon of mass destruction. You do the math.

  113. The Obama administration set up a promise program that segregated and treated students differently based on their skin color and not their actions

    Oink. Oink

    The students were already being treated differently on the basis of the skin color. That's why the program was set up.

  114. Mr. Rubio's assertion that "...failure to report troubled students, like Cruz, to law enforcement can have dangerous repercussions" overlooks the fact that the shooter in Florida WAS known to local law enforcement officials and even with that knowledge they could do nothing to confiscate his weapons. If Mr. Rubio wants to help avoid shootings in schools he needs to advocate for so-called "red-flag" laws that would allow law enforcement officials to take guns away from individuals who intend to use those weapons to harm themselves, their families, or scores of others. Mr, Rubio needs to understand that GUN violence is caused by allowing those who are like to perpetrate violence to possess GUNS...

  115. Would say anyone who plays violent on-line games and has weapons of any kind might be likely to 'perpetuate violence' against others?

    Define 'troubled student' so it is legally acceptable. We're not playing with language but trying to address a real problem and Liberal lawyers have created a swamp of rights, rules, and regulations.

  116. Can this administration get anything right? No...

  117. Disgusting. I can't--there are no words.

  118. As usual, with Trump, "The Buck Stops Somewhere Else".

  119. Mr. Rubio,

    The WHITE NATIONALIST gunman was expelled and reported to law enforcement many times but he was still able to buy murder weapons, for a horrifyingly corrupt reason:

    The gun lobby bought Florida's government - including YOU - and students and teachers died.

    Their blood is on your hands.

    You should not be able to sleep at night until you get out of the NRA's pocket and work for gun control.

  120. Should have had his mom buy the weapons like they do it in Conn.?

  121. To CC from Coastal Maine - that's a fair question.

    The answer: AR 15s and other semi-automatic weapons should not be available for anyone to buy, adult or child. They should be outlawed.

    Florida allows more of these weapons into civilian hands than Connecticut because the NRA successfully bribes and threatens more Florida politicians than Connecticut politicians.

  122. This sinks to a new low. I don't think I have ever been this disgusted by Trump.

  123. don't worry, there's a new low coming in the next few hours.

  124. Wait until tomorrow.

  125. Yeah, and that's saying something. The other low point, I think, was when he made fun of that disabled guy at one of his rallies. What pig Trump is.

  126. The longing for a simple solution to complex problems is one of the great moral and intellectual failings of the Right. When complex solutions are offered, panic ensues on the right. The search for scapegoats and a pledge to bring down the hammer temporarily soothes the frightened. In the end, the fascist alliance of evangelical faux christianity and the Right as its currently constituted will wither and die - but in the meantime, we must be vigilant in protecting the scapegoated and indeed our entire country from the terrible simplicity of Trump, the GOP and all the fine lemmings following close behind.

  127. Looks like the NRA has given the right-wing it’s marching orders and they’re all goosestepping in unison. Anything at all to take the focus off of the true culprit: guns (specifically military-grade weaponry) and their easy availability.

  128. Stop lying! The AR15 is not a military weapon! No military force anywhere in the world carries or has ever carried the AR15

  129. I guess the only recourse is for us to keep repeating that over and over again so that the issue never dies.

  130. Make America White Again!

    Could Trump's credo possibly be more blatant?

  131. Oh, Goody, we'll have more videos of elementary and middle school minority students being handcuffed and dragged from the classroom for major behavioral crimes like passing notes or chewing gum in class.

  132. The US is a sick country. It bombs around the world for oil, sales of weapons and overall economic interests. At home, it discriminates against minorities. The perpetrators of mass massacres are almost always whites. All the racist hate and defense of narrow economic interests of the privileged supremacy is coming back to hunt US. This country is destroying itself from racist hate and greed.

  133. "It's Obama's Fault !" TRUMP 2018

  134. It is more than Obama’s fault, in Trumpworld... it is everyone, including me, who voted for our first multi-racial President... WE are at fault. If I’m not believable, just ask Sean Hannity, David Duke, Laura Ingraham, Tucker Carlson or Alex Jones. They’ll explain it to you.

    And now we have in power our first authoritarian President, and a man for who racism is a useful tool. You don’t have to ask him; he tweets it everyday.

  135. 2020 you mean..

  136. If you disrupt a classroom you need to be removed from the classroom
    until you learn not to be disruptive.

    If you cannot control your disruptive behaviour then you need counseling.
    What you do not need to do and what you do not have a right to do -
    is to be placed back in the classroom to continue to disrupt it.

    Why does the education of the rest of the class have to suffer because
    you can not or will not behave ?

  137. Because of the inane notion that everyone is entitled to an education.

  138. I was going to write that the right has no interest in making sure that minorities are well educated, but upon reflection, I believe that the right has no particular interest in educating anyone. Bringing back 1940’s style industries is only the tip of the iceberg.

  139. I am not happy with Trump but this article seems dismissive of the points being raised.
    I live in a fairly prosperous town in Western MA.
    Recently the teachers at a middle level school went on strike because they felt they were being threatened by students. If I recall correctly one teacher suffered a concussion.

    Their complaint was that they were being forced to try and integrate students with special needs into the regular classroom without being provided with additional teacher-student aides.

    They were demanding that more aides be hired.

    It should be noted that the school in question brings in a lot of students from a nearby subsidized housing unit.

    As a taxpayer I feel kind of tapped out. We've had an awful lot of tax increases. Those taxes keep me working well into retirement. It's tough when reality runs up against ideals.

  140. You write "Those taxes keep me working well into retirement." Couldn't you say the same about a variety of other expenses?

  141. But how does that tie into mass shootings - all of which are carried out by whites?

  142. If a kid can’t behave in school in such a way that the teachers can teach and the other kids learn then they should be gotten out of school. To prison, to a sheep ranch, to the fields, to a hospital—whatever is warranted. No one is entitled to anything free except air.

  143. I am not sure what a "promise" program is, but the DOJ did attempt to enforce the civil rights of students affected by often discriminatory school-to-prison pipelines that improperly single out and wrongfully punish and/or expel minority and poor students across the country.

    And there was no failure to report a disturbed person in the Parkland shooting.

  144. The Con Don is hate in motion. He hates President Obama. He hates his blackness. He hates his brilliant mind. He hates the humanity of President and Mrs. Obama.

    White slave owners were always afraid of their "chattel". They realized how smart, courageous and strong they were/are. That is what is behind the white supremacists movement - fear.

    The Con Don needs to be afraid of the vast majority of Americans - not just the black population. Women will not go back to his dreams of 5th/15th century "kings". Blacks will not go back. Other minority populations will not go back.

    Not now. Not ever again.

    There are just a few fraidy-cat, bullying white guys trying to destroy OUR governments - and a couple of women who the boys pretended to give power to. They are not match for WE THE PEOPLE.

  145. The White House press release says the Federal Commission on School Safety will “study and make recommendation on the following areas of focus:
    •Age restrictions for certain firearm purchases.
    •Existing entertainment rating systems and youth consumption of violent entertainment.
    •Strategies to advance the science and practice of character development in youth and a culture of connectedness.
    •Effects of press coverage of mass shootings.
    •Repeal of the Obama Administration’s “Rethink School Discipline” policies.
    •Best practices for school buildings and campus security from Federal Government components, including the Department of State’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security, and also from other State, local, and private sector sources.
    •A plan for integration and coordination of Federal resources focused on prevention and mitigation of active shooter incidents at schools.
    •Opportunities to improve access to mental health treatment, including through efforts that raise awareness about mental illness and the effectiveness of treatment, reduce barriers to the recruitment of mental health professionals, and provide training related to violence prevention.
    •Best practices for school-based threat assessment and violence prevention strategies.
    •The effectiveness and appropriateness of psychotropic medication for treatment of troubled youth.
    •Ensuring that findings are sufficiently supported by existing and additional Federal, State, and local funding sources.”

  146. Trump's agenda and the Republican Party's agenda and public policy are now driven by big donors and right-wing media like Fox News and Breitbart. There's a constant stream of totalitarian disinformation from Trump and the Republicans on how the "liberal media" is supposedly manufacturing everything that Trump and the Republicans are actually doing wrong, whether colluding with Russia or answering to their paymasters, the Koch's and the NRA, as opposed to their constituents. The real problem is that the press is really reporting what Trump and the Republicans are doing. Then we have this: "The issue of the discipline guidance was raised formally by Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida… after seeing a flurry of conservative news media reports." Rubio realized he could exploit the racism already rife in right-wing propaganda as a diversionary tactic and dress it up as public policy. All the mass shooters have been White males, including the one in Rubio's home state of Florida. However, facts don't matter to Rubio just as the students massacred in his home state don't matter as long as he, taking a page out of Trump's playbook, can divert the pressure he's rightfully receiving for being in the pocket of the NRA by pretending the whole thing can be blamed on some Black student who had nothing whatsoever to do with any of these horrific crimes. Yes, Rubio is so easy to buy, and for Republicans, whether Trump or Rubio, exploiting racism is the gift that never stops giving.

  147. This is a complicated issue but I believe the Obama disciplinary incentive has been misunderstood and missed the mark. The punitive 1940's-50's style of punitive discipline being administered to ALL students is destructive and causes the type of alienation and disenfranchisement that fosters violent retaliation by the demeaned and emotionally distraught students. The student disrupting obviously has issues and shutting them out without trying to get to the bottom of the cause is not the answer. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer but creating a place for these students to be heard so that they can actually rebuild skills and resume learning is the difficult path that must be taken. The intent of the Obama program was leaning in the right direction, interrupting the school to prison pipeline but needs more directives and to be inclusive of all.

  148. If our country is ever going to move forward, we have to stop categorizing all discussions into "minority" or "white privilege" categories. Students who misbehave at school should be disciplined. Period. A civilized society depends on a certain level of acceptable behavior and when behavior falls outside those accepted norms, attention must be paid and action/consequences initiated.

  149. So, when a particular misbehavior is punished 10 times harder for a black kid than a white kid, we should ignore it? Would you be ok with that if you were the targeted group?

    You, as a purple teen forget to bring back a library book and you are suspended for 5 days, someone who is a blue teen forgets and they are just warned, even though this was the first infraction ever for BOTH of you? And this continues always for everyone purple being suspended, while those who are blue are not?

  150. A trained and armed officer failed to deter a student expelled from school.

    The obvious solution is to add trained and armed officers to deter students and to make it easier to expel students.

    In fact, if the GOP and NRA are to be believed, gun-free zones increase danger, and it’s every American’s right and responsibility to protect themselves. Relying on the government to do it obviously fails. So, we should obviously seek to arm all the students. Anything less is gun control, something the NRA and GOP are against.

    Let’s see then back that.

  151. Statistics don't lie. Sadly it took our first black president to do something about racial bias in how we address disciplinary issues in our public schools. Likely because it's not something that white people experience during their time in school so they lack the awareness of how damaging racial bias can be.

    We as a nation have a lot of work to do to conquer centuries of racism. The civil rights movement didn't fix racism, it just laid the groundwork for how to fight back. We're going to have to be willing to examine our biases and be willing to make changes or we're going to continue to pass this issue onto future generations.

    Yes we need to do something about school shootings. Working with law enforcement and educators to create a better process would be a much more responsible way to handle this issue. Unfairly targeting minority students for a problem they have nothing to do with isn't the answer.

  152. Once again they are trying to deflect us from the real issue, which is that we need a ban on military-type assault weapons!

  153. Do the Democrats lies ever end? The AR15 is not a military weapon. No armed force has ever carried the AR15

  154. The AR15 is just the semi-automatic version of the M16. It is an assault rifle built by the same company to the same specs as an M16, minus full automatic mode - and it can be easily retrofitted to be fully automatic. I've done some quick searches and see that the AR15 was in fact sold to several nation's militaries. I've seen you post this same argument above several times so I am going to say that you are the one who is lying.

  155. Get the military recruiters out of the schools. They go after junior high school students now.
    Oh. You think I am being irrational and unbalanced because I DARE to criticize the military (Thank you for your service) It's no more irrational than blaming the NRA.
    How many mass shooters were NRA members? None
    How many mass shooters were in the military or had significant influence by the military? At least one third of them. Look it up.
    Cruz wanted to join the military, he was in JROTC, where he learned to shoot, He spoke to an Army recruiter just weeks before the shooting. He lived with a military family. He compulsively played military themed combat video games for up to 15 hours at a time. The military uses video games like these to train new recruits to kill. Since 2002 all high schools are required to provide to the Pentagon personal information on all of their students for recruiting purposes.

  156. So black kids are now responsible for the violence and mental illness of their white classmates? And the solution is to have more untrained school security guards around to bodyslam saucy 11-year-olds. This time they’ll have legal guns. We can now have some unnecessary pistolwhippings and deaths of black kids at the hands of teachers. Maybe having black classmates turned into a targeted group will raise white kids’ self-esteem and they won’t need to act out anymore. Thanks for clarifying where else this “give teachers a gun” policy might be going. I am sure everybody remembers at least one creepy or bullying teacher from their school experience. That’ll be the person who volunteers to be school protection services. I am not looking forward to the headlines about kids being shot for bad behavior.

  157. Research has shown that the frontal cortex of young people, especially boys, is not fully developed. In males it my take a full twenty-five years. The frontal cortex is the Jiiminy Cricket of our brains. It is nature and not a fault. Adults should shepherd young people until they are beyond this "dangerous" phase. Keeping them occupied and in school is crucial to their future and our well being. Why waste money on prisons when a little TLC can work. The dividends in income tax paid by successful citizens over their lifetimes are tremendous.

  158. You are forgetting the sacred profit margins of for profit prisons. (sarcasm alert)

  159. A job will keep them occupied.

  160. pretty much all I can muster after reading this story. How does this apply to a kid who was expelled, or the Las Vegas shooting, or Sandy Hook, or Columbine, or Orlando, or the bombs killing people in Austin? Republicans have now lost any claim they ever had on claims that Democrats politicize violence. Just when I think I can’t get more disgusted, I do. America (and especially the Right) romanticizes guns and fetishizes violence - and the NRA nurtures and reinforces those emotions in order to enrich themselves and the gun companies they serve

  161. Was Senator Rubio assuming that Nikolas Cruz is Hispanic? He really should keep up with the reporting - and he has an entire staff to assist him in that task. Mr. Cruz was adopted. Perhaps Faux News didn’t mention that fact - probably not.

  162. So "Hispanic" is a biological race, not a culture?

  163. In Dallas ISD one year, there was a lawsuit about too many white kids in one class (this was within the last 15 years) even though the entire district pop of white kids is like 5%.
    They counted a kid from Europe with dark hair as Hispanic.
    You can't make this stuff up.

    So yeah, with a last name of Cruz, I would be shocked if the child wasn't coded as Hispanic in order to get more federal money for the district.

    Rubio isn't wrong; perhaps you misunderstand the reality of what goes on in the schools.

  164. I fail to see even the most tenuous connection here.

    Once again, right wing politicians demonstrate their gleeful willingness to exacerbate racial tension to keep their "base" in line.

    Anything to stay in power.


  165. You have to hand it to them. The ability to blame this on Obama - just brilliant in its audacity, even in the face of facts so clearly contradictory to their argument.

  166. Does the moral and intellectual vacuum in the White House very do anything but blame others? This is not leadership. It is the worst possible way to conduct high office. I am beyond disgusted.

  167. Look like it’s up to me to correct one of the biggest lies continually put forth here: the AR15 is NOT a military weapon. No armed force of any nation anywhere in the world carries or has ever carried the AR15. This is a fact

  168. So what? It's more similar to military weapons than hunting weapons. In particular because it's designed to kill people not animals. What's your point?

  169. Larry, just a quick question. You obviously love your guns and support the second amendment. Why is it that almost every other democratic country in the world has just as many people with mental issues, but your country is the only one with this many mass shootings. Just give me your answer. Take away guns, you take away mass shootings.

  170. Larry, I was in the Army for 25+ years so feel I can accurately answer this for you. The AR-15 is the semi-automatic version of the M-16. It can easily be converted to full automatic mode by a person who knows what they are doing. It is built to military specs. It is an assault weapon. Quibbling about whether it is "military" or not is pointless.

  171. Since public schools are the primary preserve of local aka city and county along with state financing and control any focus on federal control is a foolish distraction. But federal money is strategically used to perpetuate the re-segregation of American public schools by color aka race, ethnicity aka race and national origin aka race by malign bigoted intent and benign bigoted impact due to the inextricable socioeconomic political educational historical relationship with color, ethnicity, national origin and race.

  172. What it really and obviously boils down to is that Donald Trump is too craven to stand up to the National Rifle Association. Further, by making it seem as though an Obama policy aimed, however inaccurately, at fairness for black students is to blame for the sort of mass shootings that to date have never been perpetrated by a black student, Trump is once again pandering to that element of his base that is racist and white.

    But Trump's base, much of which is serially misinformed by Fox News, will eat this up. And, God help me, I'm willing to bet that the next mass school shooting, which will once again be perpetrated by a white person, will take place within the next six months.

  173. If I understand this article Trump is upset because the Obama administration tried to stem the suspensions and expulsions of minority students.
    Trump seems to believe that if you're lax on discipline it promotes students to use gun violence as a response.
    No amount of discipline was going to stop the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High shooter. He was already without supervision which is how he slipped through the cracks.
    This is just another way of this administration passing the buck when they should be passing gun laws.

  174. The student responsible for the Parkland shooting was in fact expelled. The problem was that a seriously disturbed 18 year old was able to buy an assault rifle, a weapon designed to inflict mass carnage on a field of battle, with no oversight. Are Republicans, who talk tough on crime, illegal immigration, and terrorism aware that convicted criminals, illegal immigrants, and suspected terrorists can all lawfully purchase assault rifles at gun shows in 32 states without background checks? Who are they kidding? It is shameful, disgusting. Throw them out in 2018. That is if they haven’t Gerrymandered their way into office permanently.

  175. Students that are THIS troubled should not be pushed away and out of institutional systems designed to leap kids transition to adults; but should receive much more intensive guidance. Our secondary school culture tends to pour the most support into many of the students that need it the least.p Why? Administration and teacher humble brag, job security...and a MUCH easier job...these tough students need so much, so much; and in our system, teachers that truly take on these challenges go unrewarded, unrecognized, and work only for the reward that comes in knowing...

  176. As Trump-Pence-GOP continue their unrelenting destruction of the foundation of the USA, Putin must be marveling at how successful his plan is. Putin's Russia funded the internet trolls the equivalent of $1million USD / month and achieved the same success at bringing down our Country that we did in bringing down the USSR, but at the cost of hundreds of millions over decades of proxy wars and covert activities.

  177. Speaking from experience, the rules issued by federal/state/local governments of not allowing public schools to discipline/suspend out of control students have greatly contributed to many schools across America being unsafe/unhealthy places to teach and to learn. "Creative" discipline can only get a teacher/administrator/school district just so far, particularly when the mandate is to do more with your unruly students, but with fewer resources and support. The few have been granted permission to sabotage the learning environment of the many. So typical of all those bleeding hearts.

  178. I suppose this latest move makes it official, there is no limit to how low the GOP/Trump will go to smear Obama.

  179. This makes me so mad, I want to spit tacks! I'm really glad I read the entirety of the review on which pillow to scream into -- I just wish I had my pillow at work.

  180. There are two ways to interpret this. One is simply racial animus and willful racial blindsight to robust evidence of racial and ethnic bias in school discipline. Another is that it is yet another deflection to shield this administration from the pileup of scandals, from Russia to Stormy Daniels. This is red meat for his base and the GOP enablers.

  181. Rubio's argument makes no sense. Authorities WERE alerted about Cruz - and did nothing.

  182. The twisted mind of tRUMP and his base of support ... to continually find blame with Obama. This level of hatred ensures that tRUMP and his base of support will fall. The world does not self-hate. The world recognizes that we are all souls first.

  183. Luckily, Betty DeVos is totally incompetent. She hasn't done anything in her time in office, so I hope she continues on her previous path.

  184. She rolled back the horribly misguided 2014 "dear colleague" letter curtailing due process/instituting kangaroo courts for allegations of sexual misconduct at colleges. That alone should be a shining accomplishment.

  185. @Neal- Yes that was a good thing but her motives are suspect. She did it because it was an Obama era rule. Personally, I think rape should be handled ONLY by the police. The kangaroo courts cut both ways. Football players are rarely prosecuted so they can play on their precious teams while the accusers are hounded out of the college.

  186. This reversal of Obama’s sensible policy will only make worse the school-to-prison pipeline that has made it possible to incarcerate millions of children of color. A close friend of mine has made it her life’s work to change the dreadful and disproportionate disciplinary enforcement penalties inflicted on so many children. She must be aghast.

    Again, the Trump administration is going in reverse.

  187. The first step in effectively solving any problem is problem definition. The Trump administration has shown repeatedly that it is incapable of engaging in proble definition without first referring to it's political playbook. That's why it keeps coming up with nonsensical solutions to the issues that plague our society.

    This also seems to account for Trump's tendency to then take a equally bizarre first step to solving any problem. Find someone to scapegoat.

  188. Rubio looking for favor from the Trump base. A leader - in fawning submission to the NRA, big donors, and strutting before cameras.

  189. The color of a person's skin does not determine their behavior, any more than the color of their eyes or hair.

    But how a person is treated because of their color of their skin--that can shape a person's behavior at a very young age.

    So if a student of color acts out, are they acting out because of the color of their skin? No.

    Perhaps they have undiagnosed ADHD. Or an undiagnosed learning disability. You know, just like white kids. Or maybe someone hurled a racial slur at them in the hall just before class and they don't know how to handle that. (And why should they? Racial slurs should not happen, period.)

    My heart breaks for these kids. They are just kids. They shouldn't become victims of political grandstanding.

  190. When you are so afraid of data that you don't allow the Government to study gun violence, wild theories are easy to propose and difficult to refute among the true believers. Unfortunately, the modern version of the Republican Party frequently uses racist ideas as a basis for those wild theories. Once again, our decent President Obama is cited as the cause of school violence and the ugly underbelly of the argument is that he is black.

  191. The social shark tank which is now a public high school is nothing like most of your readers remember from their school days. Sex in the bathrooms, adjudicated violent felons with the "legal right" to be on a high school campus till they are 21. Vaping tobacco and marijuana. Intimidation directed to teachers who refer students for disruptive, insubordinate and violent behavior often directed at the teacher themselves. Parents who blame the system when their children do not pass, regardless of work turned in. Truth is the system is broken.

  192. And that's just in Florida. You don't want to know about elsewhere.

  193. That's utter nonsense. None of those things occur in high schools on a routine basis. Have they occurred somewhere and sometimes--probably, but you clearly watch too much "Shark Tank" reality television. Kids in the USA go to public high schools every day confident that they are safe and will receive quality education and a bright future. The thing that would be better is to get rid of Betsy DeVos as the head of the education department. She knows nothing and is clearly in over her head. The next thing we could do is adequately fund public education and stop using public money to support for-profit charter and religious schools. A horrible scam for which the tax payers foot the bill.

  194. I attended what used to be Charles Evans Hughes HS on 18th St in Manhattan. Your description is apropos of my old alma mater . . . Class of '70.

  195. Trump leads the leads backward. His only policies seem to involve undoing something that someone before him put into action. Rather than proactively making change, he falls into the blame-game and refuses to to put any new solutions on the table. Any sane person should be able to see that semi-automatic and automatic weapons are tools of war. Guns are tools of violence. Getting the gun-problem under control is the only way we are going to get started on solving this problem. It won’t be the only thing we have to do, but at least it's a start.

    This country should try to be as sane and intelligent a nation as Australia has proven to be by putting human well-being above that of industry, and money, and folks who need to have a gun in order to feel safe.

  196. with your comment it opens up to gun lovers with if a gun is a tool of violence than what about knives, what about cars, what about razors?
    These were all used as weapons.

    so how do we sanely reply?

    sometimes I reply with, there's no Lobby group behind manufacturers of knives and cars saying it is my second Amendment right to use it as a weapon to protect my family

    Knives and cars don't have the NRA thinking for me...