Monday night, we heard from Memphis City school teachers who said they're afraid to be in their classrooms. Tuesday, we heard from state officials that Tennessee has 20 seriously troubled public schools in the state, and all but three of them are Memphis City Schools. Not great headlines for the start of a new school year.
Monday's meeting was a public hearing on the Blue Ribbon discipline plan. The plan eliminated corporal punishment in Memphis schools and some of the teachers and others who spoke out at the hearing want to bring it back.
The most troubling aspect of this debate is the often repeated statement that teachers don't feel comfortable speaking out against the Blue Ribbon plan. There are even allegations that reports of violence in the schools are suppressed so that the plan does not get a bad name.
If even a few people in the Memphis City School District feel this way - administrators, teachers or students - the leadership needs to move decisively to change to a culture that embraces candid reporting and discussion of all school safety issues.