Needless regs just an obstacle to real learning

If you’re looking for a first-hand, real-life example of why Americans spend more on education than any other nation on earth and yet our children’s test scores rival those found in a third-world country, look no further than the so-called “violence and bullying policies” adopted during September by the South Kitsap School District.

Mind you, it isn’t the conditions of the policies that are galling. Nor is the SK District to be faulted for adopting the standards. Indeed, the district was required to take the action it did — and that’s precisely the point.

Under the terms of Senate Bill 6351, all school districts were compelled by Sept. 1 to adopt policies for notifying students or school employees who may be the targets of potential threats of violence or harm.

Accordingly, South Kitsap administrators drafted — and approved — Policy No. 3413, which prohibits harassment, intimidation and bullying.

The policy defines “harassment, intimidation or bullying (as) any intentional written, verbal or physical act that physically harms a student or damages their property, creates a hostile environment or substanstially interferes with a student’s education or the school’s operations.”

Nothing wrong with that. But it’s hard to imagine the district had a policy of tolerating real, recurring instances of bullying, harassment and intimidation before. Nor will the newly minted regulations change much of anything.

As a practical matter, all the new standards represent is more paperwork, more administrative heavy-handedness and an attempt to cater to political interests whose intent is to use the classroom to promote their agenda — all those things on which the money is spent that we think we’re spending to educate our children.

Cloaked as always in good intentions, such measures as bully bills vividly illustrate how procedure and political correctness can be nurtured in our school systems, while actual learning once again runs a poor second.

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