Archives for category: Discipline

State Senator Ryan Mishler is having serious misgivings about Indiana’s voucher program after trying to resolve parents’ complaints about bullying. He met with the school leadership and found them to be unresponsive to his concerns and indifferent to the parents. He had met previously with many public school leaders and had found them to be respectful and responsive. He was shaken, and he published this statement:

He began:

An Open Letter to District 9 on Voucher SchoolsI feel obligated to share my experience with a voucher school so parents are aware of the weight that has been on the families in a particular community. This buyer’s remorse is the consequence of repeated deficiencies and the effects that they are having on some of the school’s students and families. I hope that families heed my candor, but if nothing else, let this serve as a transparent record of my time with the school.

My first encounter was when the school reached out to me, wanting to “tweak” the current voucher program, which I did. Soon after, a parent contacted me stating their child had been suspended for five athletic games for consensually kissing a girl in school. At the parent’s request, I followed up about the reprimand with the principal, and voiced my opinion that the penalty did not fit the crime, and there seemed to be little due process for the student. I asked how they would have treated him if the student didn’t play a sport and was told that the school had been waiting on a response from the girl’s mother before deciding on any punishment. However, the principal made it clear that the student was held to a higher standard than his peers because he was an athlete. The suspension ended after two and a half games. When the single, minority mother and her child went in front of the school’s “disciplinary” board, they were told that he had not suffered enough.

About a year later, I ran into a parent who expressed their worry about how a student was being treated by a staff member. Over several months, many more contacted me with the same concern, regarding the same staff member and student. I discovered the staff member was previously fired for similar behavior at a public school. I felt I could go directly to this staff member in question to resolve the issue. During this meeting, I shared the information the parents brought to me, and the first comment made was, “I don’t care what parents think,” a worrisome start to the conversation. I mentioned we all make mistakes, but we need to learn from them, and correct our behavior. I was basically given the “there is nothing you can do about it” attitude.

After the unproductive confrontation, I looked to the parents who came to me to see how they wanted to proceed. Their suggestion was that I reach out to the superintendent. I made the call, and his advice was that I speak to the staff member and principal directly, which I had already done to no avail. The superintendent said in a phone conversation that he would be happy to meet with the concerned families. In a later email, he stated full confidence in the leadership at the school. They would investigate fully, give me a copy of the bullying policy, and he will be praying for me. The parents had put me in touch with a family who had previously gone to the administration for the same situation with the same staff member. Their story was that of neglect and humiliation. At that point, the Superintendent lost all credibility.

As a last resort, the parents agreed to a meeting with the principal, so I went ahead and scheduled. When we arrived, the principal met us at the door, but told us that he would not meet with us as a group, only one at a time. Each parent had to schedule their own meeting, and since I had scheduled the present one, he met with me. The others were asked to leave. I requested they stay to talk to me afterward, and the principal said they could, so long as they waited outside of the building. I petitioned for the parents, stating that they pay tuition so there was no way they were going to wait outside. After which, they were permitted to stand in the hall.

The meeting consisted of myself, the principal, and one other administrator. There, I shared the parent’s concerns again, as I had voiced them previously to the principal over the phone. They claimed it was the first they had heard of anything and that they didn’t understand why no one had come forward. When I mentioned the family that had brought forward the concerns, they admitted to meeting with them, and had some less-than-kind words to say about the family. I guess they didn’t count. I asked if they knew about the incident with the staff member in question at the previous school. The answer was yes.

I asked what procedures they had put in place so that the previous incident might not happen again. Their answer was they didn’t have to because it was public knowledge. At this point in the conversation, the other administrator in the room unloaded. I haven’t been spoken to like that in my twenty years of representing my community. Now, I did throw a few choice words back. The overall attitude seemed to be, who are you to interfere with our business. I must admit that I was very disturbed! I can see why the parents were so uncomfortable to come forward and speak with administration. This school received $2.87 million dollars in state tuition subsidy last year. That alone gave me every right to ask the questions. Plus, I had an obligation to those families I represent who turned to me when their children were being bullied and mistreated.

The parents scheduled their respective meetings, where they were told that the administration would look into the matter and meet with the students and other staff members. Several weeks passed and not a single student had a meeting. When asked why, the principal replied that they did not have the time. It was mentioned that if no action is taken, these parents will lose any trust they may have had in the school, and the response from the principal was that the school would have to take that chance. Many more weeks passed without any conversations held, which left the parents with no real answers to this urgent concern. I did receive a copy of an email sent from the principal to a parent acknowledging that the student did have an unfavorable experience at the school. During this silence, some parents reached out the Department of Education, only to be told the state agency had limited authority over voucher schools.

As this was going on, there was an altercation between another student and the staff member in question, resulting in the student leaving the school and even the student’s home. The only reason the family knew of the incident was because another staff member was so appalled, he personally reached out to the family and informed them what had taken place. Fortunately, an intervention brought the student home and back to school after a few weeks. No one from the school even bothered to reach out. Yet another minority family disregarded!

During this time frame, allegations of similar behavior emerged regarding yet another staff member. The parents discovered this employee also had a recent DUI. The school’s response for the DUI was that it occurred outside of work “on their own time.” Apparently, higher standards only applied to student athletes and not staff members. Eventually, this individual cut ties with the school, a decision that had been long overdue.

What really surprised me most is that it had been made public that some of these organizations had been abusing kids for over 50 years. One would think this kind of history would lead to these allegations being taken seriously and followed up on, but no such reform occurred. Now, I understand how they got away with that kind of behavior for so many years! Upon discovering there is no accountability for these schools, I began working with the chairman of the Senate Education Committee to help me put some procedures in place. I made a pledge to those parents that I would not support one additional dollar spent on the voucher program until there are policies put in place that protect these kids from abusive behavior and mistreatment. This is the most disgusting situation I have encountered in my 20 years in the Senate. I am appalled that this behavior continues to happen repeatedly.

I have worked with public schools from all over the state. When issues have come up, the administrators have always been proactive, looking into the matters brought into question, and responding promptly. That is the leadership that I am accustomed to and expect to see in the institutions responsible for instructing our children. When I see such blatant avoidance, I cannot help but believe that these administrators are knowingly hiding something more. I would not call that leadership!

Since this all unfolded, several of the families relocated so they could send their children to the public school of choice. I would advise families looking at voucher schools to be aware that they are on their own at this point and time. They should strongly consider an alternative to the blemished and blatantly flawed procedures of accountability when choosing a school for their child. We need to hold the schools to the same high level of accountability they expect from the students and their parents.

Gary Rubinstein is a high school math teacher and blogger. He has been following Success Academy charter chain, which has been nationally acclaimed for its high test scores. In his latest post, Rubinstein examines the case of a student who thrived at Success Academy until the pandemic, but struggled when the school switched to remote learning. Read the story and answer the question, was she treated fairly by her school?

He begins:

A few months ago I published the first part of this series where parents of current or former Success Academy students can share their stories. As I hoped would happen, another frustrated parent found that post and contacted me with his own disturbing story to tell.

Success Academy is known for its high 3-8 standardized test scores and its extreme rigidity. In a way, the rigidity is part of what causes them to have such high test scores. They demand compliance from their students and from the families of those students. When a student or the family of a student is not conforming to the expectations of the school, that student or family are going to be harassed, humiliated, and punished until they either fall into line or ‘voluntarily’ transfer to another school.

The heartbreaking saga of a girl I will call ‘Carla’ began pleasantly enough eight years ago when she was accepted into Success Academy Springfield Gardens as a kindergartener. From kindergarten through fourth grade, she thrived at the school. Her fourth grade report card grades were mostly the highest or second highest category, except for writing where she was struggling….

In fifth grade, she started having problems academically, though not catastrophically, and then as we all know, the pandemic hit and schools in New York went remote for the next year and a half. For the end part of fifth grade and all of sixth grade, Carla struggled to learn remotely. She had various connection issues and would wait in zoom waiting rooms endlessly. She was really traumatized by the pandemic year and was eager to return to in person classes for her seventh grade year.

But she was still suffering the effects of the 18 months of remote learning. She was having mental health issues and was seeing a therapist about them. At school she was failing several classes. Carla is a very hard working student and someone who really tries her best and her parents work very hard to support her needs and to keep on top of what assignments Carla was missing. Everyone knows that Success Academy has one trick in their playbook which is to make students repeat grades for failing courses. So Carla managed to improve most of her grades but she still failed two subjects, writing and science and was told that she would have to pass those two courses in summer school or she would have to repeat the entire seventh grade.

How Success Academy can make such a threat is incomprehensible to me. For elementary school grades it makes more sense, but in a secondary school setting, why not just retake the courses that you failed? But that wasn’t the threat, it was that she had to pass both courses with a 70 or higher or she would be repeating the entire seventh grade, including all the classes that she had passed.

Please read the rest of the post to learn what happened to Carla? Was it fair? Was it just? What do you think?

For the past few weeks, Iran has been rocked by protests over the death in police custody of a twenty-two-year-old Kurdish woman, Mahsi Amini, who was arrested by the infamous Morality Police for wearing her hijab incorrectly. Apparently a few strands of hair were showing, and she was beaten to death for defying the strict law about head covering.

Since then, women and men have joined to protest the harsh “morality” laws that govern women’s dress and hair covering. Led by women, the protests have featured women tearing off their hijabs and throwing them in bonfires. And women cutting their hair. In some demonstrations, young people have ripped down posters of the Ayatollah Homeini, the leader of the revolution that overthrew the secular Shah and created the strictly religious Islamic Republic of Iran.

The New York Times posted dramatic videos of the protests. They are amazing. You will see young women taking off their hijabs, twirling them in the air, then throwing them into the flames, as hundreds of other young people cheer.

The Times wrote:

Protests erupted in more than 80 cities across Iran following the death of Mahsa Amini, known by her first Kurdish surname Jina, after her detention by the morality police under the so-called hijab law. Footage of the demonstrations posted to social media has become one of the primary windows into what is happening on the ground and revealed what is different about this latest show of resistance inside Iran.

The New York Times analyzed dozens of videos and spoke with experts who have followed the country’s protest movements to understand what insights the often blurry, pixelated footage contains about what is propelling the demonstrations.

Attacking Symbols of the State

Now in their third week, protests have continued even as dozens of people have been killed. Many of the videos appeared on social media during the first week of the protests, before Iran’s government began limiting internet access in an effort to silence dissent.

The Washington Post wrote:

Iran’s bold and bracing protests, stretching across an unsettled nation for more than two weeks, have been marked by defiant acts and daring slogans that challenge the country’s clerical leadership and its stifling restrictions on all aspects of social life.
Government security forces have responded with deadly, uncompromising force. At least 52 people have been killed, according to Amnesty International, including women and children.
The ongoing protests began in response to the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old woman who fell into a coma after being detained by the country’s hated “morality police.”

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, claimed Monday that the unrest had been instigated by foreign powers and blamed protesters for the violence: “The ones who attack the police are leaving Iranian citizens defenseless against thugs, robbers and extortionists,” he said.
Khamenei gave his full backing to the security forces, signaling a further wave of repression could be coming.

To understand the extent of the government’s crackdown against protesters, The Washington Post analyzed hundreds of videos and photographs of protests, spoke to human rights activists, interviewed protesters and reviewed data collected by internet monitoring groups. The Post geolocated videos of protests in at least 22 cities — from the Kurdistan region, where the protests began, to Bandar Abbas, a port city on the Persian Gulf, to Rasht on the Caspian coast.

Steven Singer is a teacher in Pennsylvania and a blogger. In this post, he contends with the argument that some charter schools are really very good and not at all like those charters mired in scandal, unaccountable, inequitable, greedy, and a drain on public school resources.

Singer writes:

Not MY charter school!

That’s the usual reaction from charter school fansto any criticism of the industry.

I say many of these institutions lack accountabilityabout how tax dollars are spent…

Not MY charter school!

I say they waste millions of taxpayer dollars to duplicate services already in existence….

Not MY charter school!

I talk about frequent scandals where unscrupulous charter school operators use copious loopholes in state law to enrich themselves without providing services to parents, students and the community…

Not MY charter school!

I mention charter school lotteries, cherry-picking students, not providing adequate special education services, zero tolerance discipline policies, teaching to standardized tests, targeting black and brown kids for profit and feeding the school to prison pipeline….

Not MY charter school! Not MY charter school! Not MY…


If the industry is subject to this much malfeasance and corruption, doesn’t that reflect badly on the entire educational model – even the examples that avoid the worst of it?

One model has daily scandals. The other – authentic public schools – is far from perfect but relatively tame by comparison. You can’t blame people for generalizing.

Not My….

Okay. We get it!

But sadly this defensiveness against any criticism hides an enormous ignorance of exactly what charter schools are and how they operate at the most basic level.

Yes, there is a difference between how the best and worst charter schools act.

Yes, there are some charter schools that are run much better, more humanely and responsibly than others.

But that doesn’t mean the very concept of a charter school isn’t rotten to the core.

It’s like colonialism.

Yes, there were colonies where the invaders treated the conquered with more respect and dignity than others.

But not a single colony was a good thing. Not a single colonial enterprise avoided subjugating people who should have been free to determine their own destinies.

The same goes with charter schools.

When I discuss the industry, it’s surprising how many people – especially supporters of the enterprise – don’t understand what charter schools really are.

Let’s start with a simple definition.

A charter school is a school with a charter.

Get it?

And a charter is a contract – a special agreement with the state or some other governmental entity that this school can exist.

Why is that necessary?

Because there are rules laid out by each state in their school codes detailing what schools must do in order to qualify for taxpayer funding.

For example, under normal circumstances they must have an elected school board made up of members from the community where the school is located.

All authentic public schools must follow these rules. But not Charter schools.

Instead, they get to follow whatever rules are set down in their charter.

So without even examining exactly which special rules are stipulated in that charter, these schools are founded on the very concept of privilege.

They get to abide by their own rules tailor-made just for them.

Why does that matter? Because they get public funding.

And, yes, ALL charter schools are publicly funded – they get at least part of their money from taxpayers, usually all or the majority of their funding.

That opens a huge divide in accountability between types of schools….


Steve Nelson is a retired educator. He was headmaster of The Calhoun School in New York City. He writes here about the reactions to the decline of NAEP scores since the onset of the pandemic.

He writes:

“The beatings will continue until morale improves” is a rather familiar quip of unknown origin.  Two recent news stories remind of just how apt the saying remains.

The first was an astonishing New York Times report on the reinstitution of paddling as a disciplinary tool in a Missouri school district. Surprisingly, paddling children in school remains legal in 19 states, although the practice is not widespread. Paddling children is barbaric, humiliating and utterly ineffective. Corporal punishment makes children more aggressive and disruptive. The Missouri abusers attempt to mitigate their own cruelty by saying they only whack kids whose parents give permission. It takes little imagination to understand why a child of such parents would have difficulty in school and draw more negative attention.

Few readers will disagree with my condemnation of beating childen. I suspect the rest of this post will be more controversial.

The educational world was aghast at the news this week of the “alarming” results from the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). NAEP is the supposed gold standard of measurement, also called the nation’s report card. The 2022 tests of reading and math were conducted to assess pandemic “learning loss” and produced the data that researchers anticipated. Reading scores were down 5 points and math scores down 7 points compared to 2020 levels.

“The beatings will continue until scores improve” is the nearly inevitable consequence as education pundits, economists, policy-makers and most parents, wax apoplectic over the “precipitous” drop.

“I was taken aback by the scope and the magnitude of the decline!”

“No more of the arguments, and the back and forth and the vitriol and the finger pointing. Everybody should be treating this like the crisis that it is.”

Pity the children, especially poor children of color for whom the results were somewhat more statistically “significant.” This is a tempest in a teapot and the solution will be far more damaging than the problem.

It is likely to be a reprise of the reaction to A Nation at Risk, a 1983 report that allegedly showed educational achievement in serious decline. It was not true – a statistical phenomenon led to misinterpretation of the data – but the report drove a frenetic response of testing and accountability that continues until today. And here we go again.

Read on to learn Nelson’s response to the doom-and-gloom prescriptions for the nation’s children: longer days, longer weeks, longer years.

Steve Nelson disagrees.

John Merrow sees a common thread in the educational philosophies of Hitler, Stalin, Castro and most red state governors: They want to control the beliefs of students. They want them to believe what they are told. They do not want them to think for themselves. They want to indoctrinate students. They “weaponize schools” by using them for thought control.

This is an important article. It shows how governors like Florida’s Ron DeSantis are not interested in freedom of thought but in censorship. He and his confreres are moving us ever closer to fascism.

Merrow begins:

“Whoever has the youth has the future.” Adolf Hitler

“Education is a weapon, whose effect depends on who holds it in his hands and at whom it is aimed.” Josef Stalin

“Revolution and education are the same thing.” Fidel Castro

Like Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, and Fidel Castro, Vladimir Putin is following a well-trod path, using Russia’s 40,000 schools to train all Russian children to believe what they are told and follow orders. Here in some American states, public schools are also being weaponized, but in different ways….

Here in the United States, public education and public school teachers are squarely in the sights of some Republican politicians. Instead of echoing Putin or Hitler, they are waving the flag of “Parents’ Rights.”

Among the Republicans waging what should properly be called a war against public education are Governors Ron DeSantis of Florida, Bill Lee of Tennessee, Kay Ivey of Alabama, Greg Abbott of Texas, Brian Kemp of Georgia, Kristi Noem of South Dakota, Glenn Youngkin of Virginia, Doug Ducey of Arizona, Tate Reeves of Mississippi, Brad Little in Idaho, Eric Holcomb in Indiana, and Kim Reynolds of Iowa.

They are eagerly copying Glenn Youngkin, the conservative who was elected Virginia’s governor in 2021 largely because he presented himself as a staunch defender of parents and their children–and by extension the entire community–against ‘indoctrination’ by leftist teachers who, Youngkin said, were making white children feel guilty about being white.

So-called “Critical Race Theory” is not taught in public schools, but that’s not stopping the politicians from using it as a whipping boy. Florida’s DeSantis put it this way: “Florida’s education system exists to create opportunity for our children. Critical Race Theory teaches kids to hate our country and to hate each other. It is state-sanctioned racism and has no place in Florida schools.” And Florida has now banned a number of math textbooks, accusing the publishers of trying to indoctrinate children with Critical Race Theory.

A blogger who’s particularly upset, Michael McCaffrey, put it this way:

“Indoctrinating children with CRT is akin to systemic child abuse, as it steals innocence, twists minds, and crushes spirits. Parents must move heaven and earth to protect their children, and they can start by coming together and rooting out CRT from their schools by any and all legal means necessary.”

In the name of “defeating” CRT, Tennessee’s Governor Bill Lee has invited Hillsdale College, a conservative Christian institution based in Michigan, to create 50 charter schools in Tennessee with public funds, including $32 million for facilities. As the New York Times reported, Governor Lee believes these schools will develop “informed patriotism” in Tennessee’s children.

It’s not just CRT. Republican politicians are also campaigning against transgender athletes, transgender bathrooms, mental health counseling, any discussion of sexuality, and the “right” of parents to examine and veto school curriculums. While I have written about these issues here, it’s important to remember that less than 2% of students identify as transgender or gender-fluid…

It’s not difficult to connect the dots: Republicans are attacking public schools, accusing them of ‘grooming’ their children to be gay, of making white children ashamed of their race, of undermining American patriotism and pride, and more. One goal is to persuade more parents to home-school their children, or enroll them in non-union Charter Schools, or use vouchers to pay non-public school tuition. Public school enrollment will drop, teachers will be laid off, teacher union revenue will decline, and less money will flow to Democrats.

But it seems to me that their real target is not parents but potential voters who do not have any connection with public education. Remember that in most communities about 75% of households do not have school-age children; many of these folks are older, and older people vote! If Republicans can convince these potential voters that schools cannot be trusted, they will win.

And Republicans seem to be winning. Teacher morale is low, and teachers are leaving the field in droves. Florida and California will have significant teacher shortages this fall, and one state, New Mexico, had to call in the National Guard to serve as substitutes. Enrollment is declining at institutions that train their replacements, and student enrollment in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles public schools dropped for the second consecutive year.

I began by contrasting the approach of dictators like Putin, Hitler and Stalin with the strategies being employed by Republican politicians. However, there are also disturbing similarities. Florida’s DeSantis, now polling strongly for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, recently signed legislation requiring public high schools to devote 45 minutes to teaching students about “the victims of Communism.”

Florida has also passed two bills limiting classroom conversations about race and racism and restricting younger students’ access to lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity, but Florida is not alone. The newspaper Education Week reports that fifteen states have passed similar legislation over the past year, and 26 others have introduced bills attempting to restrict these lessons.

Forbidding discussion of Topic X and mandating discussion of Topic Y:  That’s exactly what Mao, Hitler, Stalin, and Castro did, and it’s precisely what Putin is now doing.  

Please post your thoughts here:

Gary Rubinstein finds that his criticism of Success Academy has caused some parents to reach out to him.

If they attended a public school, they could see the principal, the superintendent, or any number of officials who might be able to intervene.

So Success Academy parents have reached out to Gary to see if he can help them.

But at a charter school, if you have a complaint, they may tell you to choose another school. Leave.

This post is about a mother who was not allowed to attend her school’s graduation. It seems there were a couple of incidents. On one occasion, she failed to buy exactly the right pants for him to wear at school. On another, she went to his classroom without permission.

She had to be punished. She was barred from her son’s graduation.

It would seem obvious that students, like adults, have a physical need to use a bathroom during the school day. But in Massachusetts, many schools are closing bathrooms to avoid student misbehavior and vaping.

The condition of bathrooms in Boston Public Schools, and in other urban districts, has fueled public outrage for years, with broken taps and empty towel dispensers seen as sorry symbols of a failure to meet even basic needs.

But across the state and country, an even more fundamental problem is gaining attention: increasing restrictions on students’ access to bathrooms, as administrators keep more restrooms locked and off limits for more of the school day.

Driven by efforts to curtail teen vaping, and to prevent outbreaks of vandalism sparked by the TikTok trend known as “Devious Licks”, the widespread crackdowns on bathroom access have left students in some schools searching urgently for unlocked stalls — and pining for any open restroom, no matter how broken or dirty. As teenagers learn to hold their urine for hours – or stop eating and drinking at school to avoid discomfort — the outcry against the closures from students and parents has grown louder.

“I understand that there are safety concerns, but the whole school shouldn’t have basic human rights taken away,” said Nevaeh Lopez, 16, a student at Holyoke High School who started an online petition to push back against bathroom closures at her school this spring.

The issue has provoked fiery debate at school committee meetings and in online forums around the region in recent months, as well as calls and e-mails to principals and school nurses. A post about bathroom restrictions at New Bedford High School, on the New Bedford Live Facebook page in October, garnered nearly 200 comments, from students who described missing class time while waiting in long bathroom lines, and from adults who placed blame squarely on the teenagers. (“If they would act like civilized human beings they would be able to be trusted,” wrote one.)

There is no doubt uncivilized — and sometimes violent — acts have taken place in school bathrooms. Several students were suspended at Wilmington High School in March after they picked up another student and tried to force his head into a toilet in a boys’ bathroom. “What is equally disturbing is the fact that other students were present and did nothing to stop the incident, and in fact recorded the altercation,” Superintendent Glenn Brand said later.

School leaders nationwide have reported a general uptick in discipline and behavior issues, including fighting and bullying, since students returned to full-time, in-person school following two years of disruption. The troubling trend has been linked to the mental health toll of the pandemic, and to social development delays possibly caused by students’ recent isolation.

Student use of electronic cigarettes has alsorisen at “epidemic” rates in recent years, health officials have warned. As countless school bathrooms have become de facto vaping lounges, desperate school leaders have grasped at any possible solution, including removing doors from restroom stalls and installing vape-detection sensors.

Yet even Donna Mazyck — head of the National School Nurses Association and a leader in the fight to curb teen vaping — said rampant restroom shutdowns are not the answer…

Staffing shortages, exacerbated by pandemic burnout, have reduced the number of hall and restroom monitors available in many districts, forcing more closures of unsupervised bathrooms. But staffing is a problem that can be solved, said Worcester School Committee member Tracy O’Connell Novick, who spoke forcefully against the locking of bathrooms at the committee meeting in January.

“I taught high school, I know why we lock bathrooms, and I don’t think it should be against a policy — I think it should be against the law,” O’Connell Novick told the School Committee. “There are things that are right and things that are wrong, and denying students access to bathrooms is wrong.”

A federal court in North Carolina ruled against a charter school that required girls to wear dresses.

The charter school claimed it was not subject to federal laws against discrimination because it is not a “state actor.” Charter schools frequently claim they are not “state actors” when they violate civil rights laws or labor laws, but simultaneously say they are public schools.

An en banc federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that a public charter school in North Carolina violated the equal protection clause when it required girls to wear skirts.

The full 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Richmond, Virginia, ruled against Charter Day School Inc. in a June 14 decision. Judge Barbara Milano Keenan wrote the majority opinion.

The Charter Day School required girls to wear skirts, jumpers or skorts based on the view that girls are “fragile vessels” deserving of gentle treatment by boys, the appeals court said.

The school had argued that the school is not a state actor subject to the Constitution, and that the federal law banning discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs did not apply to dress codes.

The appeals court ruled against the school on both arguments.

The 4th Circuit decision is the first by a federal appeals court to recognize that charter schools receiving public funds must abide by the same constitutional safeguards as traditional public schools, according to a press release by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The en banc court and a prior 4th Circuit panel agreed that sex-specific dress codes may violate Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. But the en banc court went further than the panel when it ruled that the charter school violated the equal protection clause

The school founder had said skirts embody “traditional values” and preserve “chivalry” and respect. Chivalry, the school founder said, is a code of conduct in which women are “regarded as a fragile vessel that men are supposed to take care of and honor.” School board members agreed with those objectives, including the goal of fostering “traditional roles” for children.

“It is difficult to imagine a clearer example of a rationale based on impermissible gender stereotypes,” the appeals court said.

Nine judges agreed with the opinion. Six dissented, in whole or in part, on the grounds that charter schools are not state actors.

The vice principal of an IDEA charter school in San Antonio was arrested for punching a 5-year-old child.

Betsy DeVos, when U.S .Secretary of Education, gave the IDEA chain more than $200 million from the federal Charter Schools Program to expand.

SAN ANTONIO – An area elementary school vice principal is in custody and charged with assault after she “lost control” and attacked a 5-year-old student in her office, according to Sheriff Javier Salazar.

The incident happened April 22 at an IDEA elementary school in the 10100 block of Kriewald Road, but the sheriff’s office wasn’t made aware of the situation until Wednesday, April 27.

According to Salazar, a mother told deputies that her five-year-old son, who attends the school, was assaulted by the school’s vice principal, 53-year-old Tara Coleman Hunter in her office..

The child admitted that he became “unruly” while in Hunter’s office and struck her. However, the situation escalated further when Hunter “lost control” and attacked the child, Salazar said.

“This was handled way inappropriately,” the sheriff said during a news conference Thursday.

Hunter punched the child in the face or head and pushed him into a file cabinet, according to the sheriff. This caused the child to develop a bump on his head and bruising.

The child was out of control, but the adult should know how to deal with an unruly child without resorting to physical assault.