I’m a confirmed school-discipline hawk. I believe that the first obligation of schools is to keep kids safe and their second obligation is to create and preserve a calm environment in which those who want to learn are able to do so with minimal interruption. While I may understand and even empathize with the travails and demons that cause other kids to disrupt that environment, it is nonetheless the school’s responsibility—if it cannot speedily and durably solve the problem within its classrooms—to put the disrupters somewhere else. Period.
So it was disheartening to learn that the terrific California-based nonprofit Innovate Public Schools, in its hot-off-the-presses list of “Top Bay Area Schools for Underserved Students,” decided this time around to exclude schools (many of them