Sunday, March 1, 2015
Principal admits Duval's new discipline techniques are failing.
From the Times Union: She (the principal at Oak Hill) added that teachers want more parental support and to be able to remove disruptive students from class more often than the district discipline guidelines allow. Duval is transitioning to more restorative discipline techniques, she said.
We may have very well been suspending to many students in the past but this restorative justice model that vacillates between ignoring and coddling poor behavior is not working, it's a disaster and sends the wrong message.
We don't have to be cruel but ignoring bad behavior creates more bad behavior. First it encourages the student that committed the first infractions to escalate and then it tells the other kids that they can misbehave too and if teachers are begging for help which the principal above seems to indicate then the district should listen and give that help.
Discipline is hard but ignoring it only makes the problem worse not better and remember for a consequence to be effective it must be meaningful. Talking to some kids about their feelings may not be enough. Sure get to the root cause of the bad behavior, often home life but just as often a lack of consequences for previous bad behavior, though it doesn't sound like that is happening either but don't ignore the bad behavior at the same time.
Sadly our superintendent likes to say look the numbers are down rather than do anything to meaningfully address the problem.