Re: "Racial disparities reflected in state school districts' discipline rates" (TNT, 6-8).
Rationalizing the aberrant behavior of ethnic minority youth as reflections of their subcultures is a poor strategy for effective teaching. It is also an insult to ethnic families who are law-abiding citizens.
Appropriate behavioral standards for all are necessary for student learning and well-being. Anything that disrupts this environment should not be tolerated, no matter what the excuse.
The 1940s and '50s, although focused on individual rights and responsibilities, were thought to have been too rigid, judgmental and biased against minorities. This exclusion from full citizenship was finally addressed by the 1965 Civil Rights Act.
Our most recent social perspective of diversity began in the late 1960s, accelerated in the 1970s and finally came to roost in the present in its most extreme form of political correctness. This is a cautionary tale of the incipient fissures in post-WWII America that, rather than being resolved, have grown into the gaping chasms of unrest today.
It represents the loss of an imperfect, slowly evolving, meaningful world and the troubled birth of our present era of group victimhood and personal irresponsibility.
Regarding political correctness: A mind that is open at both ends is empty.