August 28, 2008

Cardozo and Franklin--Two Good Links

Finally taking the time to clean out my Reader, I found two smart things that bear passing on. The first one comes through The DC Education Blog--a great article by Pat Wingert about Cardozo High that ran on Monday in Newsweek. It's short, but there's a lot of information packed in there. Here's part:

Two weeks after my arrival, a substitute teacher was beaten by three freshman girls during an all-school assembly. They were mad because she'd shushed them. Two weeks before I arrived, a varsity basketball player shot another member of his team, just outside the school. The classroom next to mine was thoroughly trashed—holes punched through the walls, furniture upended—after it was abandoned by a new teacher who felt intimidated by her pupils.

The second comes from Eric Sheptock, who met with the Mayor to talk about the closing of the Franklin Shelter, though it sounds like Mayor Fenty didn't do much talking:

We also mentioned the fact that, by them having nowhere to go, many of the homeless will end up sleeping in the park and then going to jail for it. We reminded him of how neither he nor DC government wanted the jail to serve as a makeshift homeless shelter. Mayor Fenty's response was,"The city has to do what the city has to do". Take that for what you will.

"The city has to do what the city has to do?" I thought we paid the city to do what their job descriptions state they should be doing. In the case of a police officer, I imagine the "duties and responsibilities" say something like:

"Investigate potential violations of DC and Federal law"
"In the case of overwhelming evidence against an individual, read Miranda and bring them in"
"Direct traffic on K Street"
"Protect the public-at-large"

They probably don't include things like:

"Collect homeless individuals and dump them in cells meant for criminals"
"Ignore cyclists being run off the road and ticket them on New Hampshire"
"Drive around with lights on; shift combination of lights used at least twice per shift"

How about not putting your officers in a position where they have to choose between either fighting crime or hauling the homeless into a prison cell?

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