The announcement by Minister of Education Marcela Cubillos about sending a bill to facilitate and accelerate the expulsion process of school students who are caught for violence against schools and teachers seems to be moving in the right direction and in accordance with the common sense of the majority. Although they are underage children, the truth is that a school is not trained to take the lead over boys who wear an overall, who have fuel management, Molotov cocktails and a range of elements of violence.
People dealing with educational issues have already accumulated dozens of testimonies from teachers, teachers from teaching assistants and school principals who are scared and threatened, who they know with certainty who the students are in charge of the acts of violence, but who are trapped in confusing bureaucracy and in disciplinary processes that are set up to solve academic problems and not to commit criminal or political violence.
No school can provide education if its teachers have to share a room with students who have threatened them and their families and who do not want to attend or attend classes. Even in many chances, the leaders of student centers or advocacy organizations can not freely exercise their role because the violent have taken over the spaces and threatened with attacks those who wanted to play a role in good faith dirigencial.
The question is how will the authority to reinstate these young people, remove the overalls, remove the petrol and give them a pencil and a notebook that are really used to improve their future.
A colleague told me how a few years ago he saw through tears a chairman of the student center who knew a municipal authority that he did not want to go any furtherthat he was tired and exhausted, that he wanted to sleep in his house, but that he was threatened and that he could not leave the school. I begged the mayor to ask the Carabineros to be deported, but to understand that he should go as a leader in the media to condemn the mayor. If he did not, the students who really shot the shot assured him a good beating (if not more serious) to "betray" the movement. The president of the students lived the forced take and out of fear.
In this context, the removal of the violence of the schools is a priority and Minister Cubillos gives a good signal. We will have to see the details of the bill, because if this has made little progress, it is precisely because it is a complex issue. The authority knows that regardless of how unacceptable behavior is, it also involves children who can not be left without education. The authority must ensure that these boys can be placed in the system in one way or another and finish their high school education. Not only has their right, but it is also legally required to gain access to primary and secondary education.
It is not only a matter of removing from the system those who use violence, but rather of using resources and intelligence so that they adjust their behavior and finish at least their secondary studies. A first step can effectively remove these violent elements that degrade the entire operating system in secondary schools. End quickly with the fear of endangered teachers and broken communities. But inevitably a second step has to be taken: how can the authority to reinstate these young people, remove them from the overalls, remove the petrol and give a pencil and a notebook that they actually use to improve their future. The first step is logical, we will have to see if the authority has thought of the second.
PHOTO: CRISTOBAL ESCOBAR / AGENCIAUNO