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Questions about Scudder brawl

Posted: February 21, 2009 11:00 p.m.
Updated: February 22, 2009 4:55 a.m.
In response to "Brawl breaks out at Camp Scudder" (The Signal, Feb. 7): There are basic questions about Camp Scudder that need to be asked and answered.

If a brawl breaks out at 8:30 p.m., what does that have to do with the educational program that dismisses at 2:45 p.m.? Ironically, the significant control problems in the camps are to the detriment of the educators. Probation is tasked with safety, not the school. "The incident was handled well," lacks accountability.

You reported that eight staff were injured. This brawl and others like it are avoided through proper supervision.

The school and the wards need appropriate support, which has not been the case since this camp re-opened with female juveniles last year.

The educational system is not the issue here. The camp schools are doing outstanding work under difficult circumstances; they have outperformed many feeding districts on state testing.

Probation opening charter schools is an irresponsible guise. There is no rational explanation of how or why they will improve educational performance. There is no empirical data to support the premise that a charter can better educate our delinquent population; currently there are no charters serving incarcerated youth.

Yet the Board of Supervisors is planning to sink millions into these "schools of choice."

At successful camps there is a marriage in which both probation officers and teachers work closely together to form a bond that creates positive interventions and consistency to deter destructive behavior.

At Scudder, the cooperative model was discarded in the belief that one agency could trump the other.

All of the science agrees with the obvious logic: Coordinated services, especially upon a ward's return to the community, are vital to reducing recidivism. The antagonism is hurting kids.


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