At the risk of being called “old school” or a “disciplinarian” I would like to offer some thoughts about the state of children in public schools today. Yes these are broad generalizations. Yes there are exceptions.
What are my qualifications for making comments? Well…65 years of living. 4 children. 11 grandchildren. Lots of education (including teaching). Involvement in the local education scene. Observation. Stories of teachers and people involved on the periphery who clean up after the kids and help transport them. And finally, application of reasoning and logic.
Over decades we’ve moved from discipline in the classroom and schools to the inability to physically touch a child or even verbally correct them. The schools have become so afraid of doing anything that might psychologically injure or that could lead to a claim they physically harmed the child they do nothing. Children are faster learners and understood immediately. This has led to students verbally abusing teachers and related support adults with little or no consequences.
I am NOT advocating beating children or harming them. I am saying we need to set standards and apply them uniformly and consistently.
- Students who are told to do certain things in class to graduate to the next grade and tell the teacher or helpers that they don’t need to because they will be promoted to the next grade no matter what (and they are right)
- Students run amok on school buses. They tell other kids to F… Off. They tell bus drivers what to do with various objects.
No consequences? What price is paid by children who don’t follow the rules?
School District Solutions? They roll out new programs to deal with the lack of control, lack of disciple and lack of consequences. What are those programs?
- PBIS – This a video presentation on the program: https://prezi.com/szjqowwl3uem/positive-behavior/
- Social/Emotional Health Programs – Those who support these program provide 25 Thing You Should Know
What are the costs of lack of discipline and punishment?
- Districts hire school counselors to talk to children. If you have counselors for each school and if the Fully Loaded Cost per employee (salary, benefits, etc.) are $100,000/year and if you have 20 schools in your district the math works out to ~$2 million/year. That money doesn’t go into educating children.
- Children grow up believing that their actions, conduct and behavior have little or no consequences. This is a path to crime and abuse.
- Should school districts be responsible for teaching discipline or should parents?
- Do PBIS programs focus only on positive and overlook or minimize negative behaviors and no deliver discipline?
- Set rules and dispense discipline
- Make it clear there are consequences for actions
- Stop coddling, protecting and making excuses