After the tragic school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, like many of his Democrats, called for tighter gun controls but ignored lax safety practices at the state’s public schools.
In a press conference immediately following the Uvalde tragedy, Newsom announced He would sign various gun control laws.
However when asked by a reporter Characteristically, when he agreed to tighten or increase school security, the governor laughed and dodged the question.
Why is Newsom refusing to improve school safety? Answer: Because he supported the school district’s efforts to reduce school police forces and implement unproven soft security measures.
For example the 2020-21 state budgetthe Newsom signed encouraged school districts to redirect school police funding to soft practices such as so-called “restorative justice.”
Corresponding a descriptionRestorative justice is an “alternative form of campus discipline in which disputes are resolved by discussing issues and addressing underlying causes.”
Like many districts, the Los Angeles Unified School District is clearly cut his campus police, though, according to the Los Angeles Times“A survey commissioned by the district showed that students, parents and staff generally had a positive opinion of school police.”
Instead of funding police officers, the Los Angeles District will hire trainers who “will be responsible for applying de-escalation strategies to resolve conflict.”
Unfortunately, such gentle approaches have not improved safety in schools.
Corresponding Max Edenan education scientist at the American Enterprise Institute, research conducted in Pittsburgh found that students did not feel that restorative justice made them safer.
“They thought their teachers’ classroom management was deteriorating,” Eden said, “and that students were less respectful and less supportive of one another in the classroom.” They also “reported bullying and more class time lost to disruption.”
Additionally, “restorative justice, although touted as a tool to combat the ‘school-to-jail’ pipeline, has had no impact on student arrests.”
Eden noted that the most troubling things were the “significant and substantial negative impact on the math performance of middle school, black students and predominantly black students.”
How does restorative justice work in real life? A California mom I interviewed gave a chilling account of how a student who allegedly made a “kill list” of other students, including her son, was only given a round of restorative justice talks.
The student who allegedly compiled the list of classmates he intended to kill claimed that those on the list were somehow mean to him, but school officials never investigated the allegations.
Indeed, the mother said her son had claimed the author of the “kill list” had recently physically assaulted him by forcibly kneeling him in the stomach.
Additionally, she said: “What was particularly frustrating is that they wanted to [her son] to do a restorative consultation with this boy.”
At the Restoration Justice meeting, which was attended by her son, the alleged perpetrator, and a counselor, her son described being assaulted, but according to his mother, “He said he didn’t feel anything happened that something changed with that [alleged perpetrator].”
This mother reported that the school let the alleged abuser go: “They never punished the student. You didn’t suspend him. You didn’t drive him away. He really had no consequences for his actions.”
“That really frustrated me,” she said, “because her idea was, well, he’s having it tough enough already and we don’t need to punish him any more.” Not surprisingly, this mom is now homeschooling her son.
For example, a student allegedly compiles a “kill list” of certain students at his school and school officials simply conduct a chat session with him. With shocking anti-safety practices such as those employed in California’s public schools, future tragedies seem inevitable. It’s no wonder, then, that Gavin Newsom chooses to avoid speaking about his complicity in such policies and practices.