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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. 


  1. To what "district discipline guidelines" for sending students from class is she referring?

  2. I believe it is the "restorative justice" program the district is implementing,

  3. Well, until it is implemented, disruptive students need to be removed. The dean at my school is only holding one referral for restorative justice. He said it will take a while. Immediate consequences are more meaningful, as any moron knows.

  4. How about some restorative pay for the step we missed?

  5. We have a single class at our school devoted to "restorative justice." Unfortunately, each week, there are about 100 or more referrals. There is no way that the one class can handle that many referrals. Instead, the AP's are just talking with students, which they think actually helps. In reality, "restorative justice" is meant to restore, really, a relationship between teacher & student or student(s) & student(s). If a student is constantly taking time away from class by interrupting the teacher, well, force the student to stay after school with that teacher to make up for that time missed; however, the AP's can't force students to comply with anything. Sometimes, teachers just need a place to send students who cannot control themselves or want to control the classroom, because usually, those students have no control over other aspects of their lives. That is all most teachers want. Imagine having employees that are disrespectful, disrupt other employees' work, and/or refuse to work; they would be fired. Instead, teachers have to keep them in the classroom. Have you seen the new referral? I have not had to write a referral all year long, but I started to about 2 weeks ago. Before even filling 1 out, you have to have 3 interventions, and most are incredibly complicated. To deal with 1 child, you have to spend about 10 minutes or more filling out paperwork when all you want is to teach in a class with students, at the very least, who are not completely antagonistic towards learning.

  6. this model could be used by JSO to reduce the murder rate by just calling it something else or not reporting it like DCPS.