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OPINION

Bullies Rule Under Woke Discipline Policies

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais

The term wokeness, now in common usage, is elusive, as language is evolving.  For the left it’s an indication of one’s cultural sensitivity, a positive ethical stance.  For the right, the term has moved from the realm of race-based discrimination to encompass a range of topics.  In this latter vein, the term wokeness implies a consistent spirit of inverting truth and trying to get a population to swallow it.  The assertion that race is biologically determinative while biological genders mean nothing are two of the most scrutinized manifestations of the inversion technique.  The left often declares that those who broach these topics are fueling a culture war, in a derogatory sense.  The response to this should always be, “what is a culture war, and how do you know when somebody is engaging in one?”.  It’s time for some honest introspection.  

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Another ongoing casualty of the spirit of inversion involves woke discipline polices, often presented under the guise of “restorative justice”.  When the inversion is pure, injustice is justice, and bullies reign supreme, with the backing of the regime.  While we have seen echoes of this play out in policing practices, I believe we are on the cusp of seeing a new parental movement emerge because of injustice playing out in schools.  Indeed, numerous videos of terrible acts of violence at schools have been on the upswing in social media posts.  While youth behavior emerges from an ecosystem involving many variables, discipline policies represent a category of ideas which come about from adult leaders in charge. Sadly, many leaders still in charge of our K-12 school systems put their narrow ideological frameworks before evidence, sound reasoning, and the pleas of parents.   

In the wake of the 2020 George Floyd murder, radicals in “edu-power” decided to move forward with the policies of their pseudo-sociological dreams, which may have otherwise been temporarily kept at bay.  Following the “rules for radicals” playbook they didn’t waste a good crisis to further their goal of effectively playing God, whereby they name something into creation, say it is so, regardless of the realities bombarding their senses that suggest otherwise.  Under the pretense of equity, it has been declared that disparities in discipline outcomes among black and brown students are the result of an all-pervasive societal racism.  Furthermore, their imagined pre-societal state of nature for every person is sheer goodness.  Absent from this conception is the notion that individuals can choose bad things of their own volition.  For these radicals, the disparities in suspensions and expulsions by any group can only be explained by the evils of society imposing a vision on a member of a group i.e., to suggest otherwise is merely a result of a mind corrupted by mainstream American culture.  These pseudo-sociologists are effectively gnostic in this sense, declaring themselves to be the possessors of a hidden, and elite knowledge, which the hoi polloi need to be coached into. 

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The incidents of violence related to these policies are too many to name, but some stand out as particularly grave.  Recently, a parent of a 6th grader in San Diego says her son was beaten and put in a chokehold unprovoked, and that this incident was completely preventable as the assailant had previously brought a bb gun on campus and was also found researching how to shoot students with a gun on a school issued computer.  Her testimony in front of the San Diego Unified School Board goes, “This [restorative justice] policy has enabled and encouraged students’ behavior to become violent and aggressive…  If you have not yet had someone, be a victim of this policy yet it will be happening soon and when it does you all of you can proudly look them in the eye and tell them you chose equity over their safety”. The testimonies surfacing appear to come from new groups of parents, many a-political, who never planned or imagined they would be speaking out at a school board meeting.    

In February, a 14-year old new Jersey girl named Adriana Kuch took her life 2 days after a video of her being beaten surfaced and was widely distributed.  The bullies had conspired to beat her well ahead of the incident, and simply targeted her while she was walking down the hall, several of them laughing as they approached her, watching her body crouch into a fetal position after being struck and dragged.  

The human mind is so powerful that we can conceive of things as totally other than they are, and run away with these ideas, creating other worldly schemas.  Perhaps something like this happens with the woke mind opiate.  To respond in kind with reason has proven suspect, and rattling someone who is confused out of a trance through high level discourse often fails.  Rather than confront these issues strictly in the realm of theory and philosophy, perhaps the most fertile ground to bring others to confront these ideas takes place in the practical realm i.e. we need to get the confused to see the consequences of their ideas in action.  For many, the denial will be ongoing, regardless of the evidence presented.  Yet, there is always hope as the intellect is eternally ordered to truth, despite all attempts to kick and scream at it.  What is called for is a shock back into reality.  Here I’m reminded of the genius of the author Flannery O’Connor,

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“When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs as you do, you can relax a little and use more normal means of talking to it: when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock, to the hard of hearing YOU SHOUT, and for the almost-blind, you DRAW LARGE AND STARTLING FIGURES.”

Large and startling figures are emerging in schools where the bullies have realized that nobody is coming for them.  Now it’s time for parents to shout and draw them.  

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