I write this as I see two of my black female students waltz by my door without a care in the world. Are they supposed to be in class? Yep. Then why aren't they? I have them later in the day and plan to ask, but I already know why. "I'm in my feelings mister." Oh yeah? Just like yesterday, the day before, those 3 days you were suspended for fighting, and the 2 days a week ago you were in ISS? Of course you are. Should that be something we as teachers have to be sympathetic to? At what point do we stop allowing the excuses and just say "this kid doesn't want to learn, they fail, we'll do better next time?" As teachers we are supposed to care about every kid and their feelings. All 140 of mine have 6-7 teachers who are supposed to care. How many of the students care about my feelings? 0. ZERO out of 140. Now am I being dramatic? A little, but I'm also being honest. You can't reduce referrals without completely changing the culture and that takes investment, time, and consistency.
All this talk about reducing referrals doesn't get at the heart of the issue. What is it going to look like when these "new" plans get rolled out? The principals are going to get all the teachers together in the auditorium and tell everyone to stop writing referrals. It could also look like what it does at my school and others where you write referrals, nothing happens because there are so many backlogged/the school keeps getting yelled at by the district, and teachers just stop wasting the paper, thus reducing referrals because they have given up on them.
Response to: DMN