REPORT: Parkland schools’ culture of tolerance lets students like Nikolas Cruz slide
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Broward Schools have grown so tolerant of misbehavior that students like Nikolas Cruz are able to slide by for years without strict punishment for conduct that could be criminal.
The culture of leniency allows children to engage in an endless loop of violations and second chances, creating a system where kids who commit the same offense for the 10th time may be treated like it’s the first, according to records and interviews with people familiar with the process.
The article goes on to state the following:
Cruz was suspended at least 67 days over less than a year and a half at Westglades Middle School, and his problems continued at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, until he finally was forced to leave.
The South Florida Sun Sentinel obtained Cruz’s discipline records, reviewed discipline policies and found:
— Students can be considered first-time offenders even if they commit the same offenses year after year.
— The district’s claim of reforming bad behavior is exaggerated.
— Lenient discipline has an added PR benefit for the district: lower suspensions, expulsions and arrests along with rising graduation rates.
The forgiving attitude goes beyond the schools’ controversial Promise program, the target of considerable public scrutiny for enabling students to avoid criminal charges for misdemeanor offenses.
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