The DOE’s student discipline code is to blame for Hillcrest HS problems


It’s all well and good that Chancellor David Banks visited Hillcrest HS on Monday, a week after dozens of rioting students forced a teacher into hiding over her pro-Israel Facebook posts; we hope he made it clear that such behaviors are wrong, intolerable and have consequences, or it was a wasted trip.

But it’s what he does back in his office that can make a real difference.

After all, two weeks back saw the arrest of four Hillcrest kids for assaulting school safety officers who’d broken up a fight — a kind of outrage that’s grown common all across the city’s public-school system.

Above all, the Department of Education’s school discipline code is a joke, and students know it.

How else to  explain students starting a group chat to “expose” the teacher and plan the riot in advance?

Since 2018, as the number of suspensions handed out by principals and superintendents dropped, teachers and parents say classroom disorder rose.

In June, a veteran teacher at a troubled Bronx high school told The Post of harrowing violence that goes unpunished — even where a student slashed his peers with a box cutter in the hall.

No one gets suspended, that teacher complained, as principals are pressured “from above” not to “take any punitive measures at all,” leaving no accountability for any bad behavior.”

“We have teachers getting kicked at, spit at, cursed at, things thrown at [them], and the kid is back the next day like nothing happened,” another educator told The Post.

The whole “restorative justice” approach, guaranteeing that bad acts don’t have consequences, must go — ditched just as Banks did the “literacy” programs that yielded mass illiteracy.

In restoring school discipline, Banks ought to have (for once) the whole-hearted support of the United Federation of Teachers: Unions are supposed to care about their members’ safety, after all.

Yet we can’t help but notice that UFT boss Mike Mulgrew has been remarkably quiet after the antisemitic assault on a teacher, merely saying: “The UFT has been working with the individual teacher, school safety, the DOE and the NYPD” since the riot, and will keep on working “to restore and maintain a safe environment for faculty, students and staff.”

Why not raise a public stink on Day 1 — unless you’re part of the problem?

Mulgrew is a major force in local politics, but maybe he’s too focused on protecting the interests of the union, and not of its working members.

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