This post about D.C. charter schools asks why these schools are free to choose which laws to obey and which to ignore.

One that they chose to ignore is suicide prevention training for their staff.

The leaders of the charter sector complained about the rules and regulations that the city wanted to impose on them.

The author, Jonetta Rose Barras, writes:

“When I read the email exchange between Michael Musante, a lobbyist for local charter schools, and Scott Pearson, executive director of the DC Public Charter School Board (PCSB), I became enraged. I think, perhaps, you would have had a similar reaction.

“In discussing the introduction of the Youth Suicide Prevention Act in the DC Council, Pearson wrote on Sept. 22, 2015, “Unbelievable. Does it ever stop?”

“I wouldn’t be able to take trips to Europe every summer if it stopped,” Musante replied in the email chain, a copy of which was provided to The DC Line.

“I guess we can just add it to the pile of requirements that don’t get enforced,” replied Pearson about the law created to protect District schoolchildren.”

A 12-year-old student at the SEED charter school hung herself in 2018. This was one of those “miracle” schools celebrated in the propaganda film “Waiting for ‘Superman,'” which is now streaming on Amazon and other services. Did the child’s parent see the film and win the lottery to get her into this boarding school, which costs the District nearly $40,000 per year?

The parent of the child is suing the school and the foundation that operates the school for negligence.

Charter school leaders seem to be against any regulations, suggesting that they interfere with their independence. They currently are fighting a legislative proposal introduced by Ward 6’s Charles Allen that would subject all charter schools to the city’s existing open meetings and Freedom of Information Act requirements. That proposal doesn’t go far enough, however. It’s time to reassess the exemptions provided to charter schools, imposing many of the same regulations that apply to DC Public Schools.

Should a charter school be free from all regulations, all accountability, all transparency, even regulations protecting the lives of children?

Apparently, charters believe that they are above the law and outside of any accountability for their finances or their students’ lives. The laws and regulations are for other people, not them.