Editorial | A situation made worse

Editorial | A situation made worse

Urbana school administrators have a long road ahead to restore trust in the area of handling discipline issues.

One has to give credit to the restorative justice advocates at the Urbana school system.

They managed to take a system that was, in their view, bad and make it even worse.

That's not the equivalent of getting the hat trick in hockey — three goals in a game — but it's still an accomplishment worthy of note.

One hardly knows where to start to cite the damage in the schools wrought by this misguided social policy.

Let's see now.

The district has no permanent superintendent, because the board fired the old one, at least partly as a consequence of the discipline fiasco. There are two other dismissals that stemmed from the mess, one of which involved a top administrator trying to electronically eavesdrop on a private school board meeting.

The early weeks of the school year were marked by discord that included teachers and students complaining that their school buildings were not safe.

Last week's brawl, which resulted in the school being placed on lockdown and then closed early, revealed some students there have no fear of consequences for bad behavior.

A group of high school students are being held at the juvenile detention center while their juvenile court cases play out.

The latest development is the announcement that a plainclothes police officer will be in the high school every day for the rest of the year. The move makes sense.

But the fact that administration made the change demonstrates the depth of the student behavior problem. It also serves to show students and parents that administrators are determined to get on top of the problem. But they have a long way to go.

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