Is There Punishment for Severe Misbehavior Anymore?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by smithereyenes, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. smithereyenes

    smithereyenes Rookie

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    I'm just curious. I have been in two different school districts between last year and this year and have been very disappointed in the way discipline is handled. In my first district, it seemed like many issues were brushed under the rug, which was frustrating, but if the offense was serious enough, they would go ahead and suspend kids either in school or out of school.

    This year, I am in a new district and I see the same thing happening, only worse. I have a student whose mother requested and received an administrative placement at another school. His behavior was so severe, he lost the placement and is back at our school and in my class. He routinely vindictively trips, hits, and kicks innocent people for no reason. Yesterday, he yelled F*** You! in the middle of Music. Later in the day, he forcefully shoved a girl onto the floor and then a moment later, shoved another student over a desk and began punching him. I called for an administrator who came and removed him from my class. I was shocked when he walked in to school today. Why wasn't he suspended?!?!

    I realize our school is trying to reduce the number of office referrals, but come on! He is using the other kids as punching bags and all we merely do is call his mom who won't do anything with him either?

    I am beyond frustrated.
     
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  3. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    I don't know if suspensions are the answer, but I definitely understand your feelings/frustrations.
     
  4. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    In my school, he'd be suspended. In many public schools, the same. Usually how severe discipline is handled usually has to do with who the P is. I have been amazed in both public and private schools how much discipline changes (for better or worse) with a new P.
     
  5. smithereyenes

    smithereyenes Rookie

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    The reason no punishment is being doled out is because Georgia obtained a waiver to NCLB. As a result, one of the ways our schools are now measured is based on the number of discipline referrals. The fewer referrals, the better the school's score.

    I get that we want fewer referrals but there is a time and place to accept a referral and then offer a consequence. It seems to me this would be it. How good is a school going to look with zero referrals but then all the kids in the class fail the state test because they are constantly fearing for their safety?

    On a bigger picture, schools are for the purpose of education kids. Most of the lessons involve academics, however, there is a significant portion that also includes social skills, cause and effect for behavior, etc. Since we now tolerate this behavior in school and he knows he can get away with it, he is going to think he can go out into the real world and get away with this behavior. The long term result of this is, best case scenario, jail, and worst case scenario, he tries this on the wrong person and ends up getting killed. I realize this is an extreme analogy but it is a very real one, and a likely one at that!
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I'm not in Georgia, but we had the same issue in my last district. The admins loved to brag about how referrals had decreased SO much since the previous administration but it was because they simply wouldn't let us write them. Any behavior was seen as a "teacher problem." The only consequence we could give was to call the parents, and since it was an inner city area that was often ineffective. I had a girl who repeatedly punched and kicked other kids, ran around screaming for hours on end, knocked other kid's desks over, and threw heavy objects around the room every single day. The office would not take her. Her mother was sympathetic but the behavior was just as serious at home and she didn't know what to do either. My P told me that she couldn't be out of the classroom because she would be missing instruction....yet ALL of my students were missing hours of quality instruction a day because of her insane behavior. I will never go back to another school like that! One of the questions I asked when interviewing this year was how they supported teachers with severe behavior.
     
  7. HorseLover

    HorseLover Comrade

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    Some teachers have encountered similar problems (no meaningful consequences) in my school
     
  8. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    In my school, a kid who attacked another student would be dealt with by the school police and the parents could press charges. And he would be suspended.
     
  9. ktdclark

    ktdclark Comrade

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    I am truly shocked at the level of (non) support provided to you teachers dealing with severe behaviour issues....I would be FURIOUS as a parent of a child who was in a class where the teacher had to spend so much time and energy in difusing the behaviors of an individual child.
     
  10. smithereyenes

    smithereyenes Rookie

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    Waterfall....that frustrates me so much when they see it as a "teacher problem". My response to that is that I did not birth that child nor did I raise him. When a child is that severe and multiple teachers have the same problem, it is NOT the teacher.

    Special-t...You are so fortunate to have this kind of support. Our county has campus police but I'm afraid if I called them it would be viewed as not following the process or going above the heads of administration. When I called the parents of the two who had been assaulted, all I could say was that it was at the administrative level and I didn't know what the consequence would be. I know they would be furious if they found out there was none. I would be completely in support of them pressing charges....perhaps someone in our building would wake up and do something.

    ktdclark....I agree with you. I would be furious also. In fact, the day after this happened, I had two kids tell me that their parents had suggested having them moved out of my class. I don't blame them at all and I'm trying not to take it personally but it is hard because as waterfall mentioned, we are trained to think it is a teacher problem.
     
  11. teacherman1

    teacherman1 Devotee

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    Great point, Waterfall!! All it takes is one child to ruin the learning environment in a classroom.

    Now how about those of us dealing with 2 or 3 or more????:help:
     
  12. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    I know my ideas are not popular but back in the day if you misbehaved there were immediate consequences. Teachers could give you a swat with the paddle and the principal did it, too. All the way through high school. Then most of the parents added to that punishment. Now go back and compare crime statistics from today (or even the last two decades) to them from the 60s and into the 70s I guess. Children, not held accountable and dealt consequences for their behavior will grow up feeling entitled and worse, have little remorse for hurting others. I think we see the results of this everyday in the news.
    Of course I believe home environments have a lot to do with it but that is a result of neglect and little love and probably some abuse. When a child, like the OP describes, can come right back to school after those behaviors it is a travesty and a crime against the teacher and those other students. The admin, allowing it should be fired and the parents should rise up and DEMAND that the school board protect those coming to school to learn.
    In no way do I advocate "beating" children. A swat on the behind is not a beating ( I had more than a few). It is reminder and notice that you (the offending child) will behave or suffer some consequences. The day, in our society, we start holding children AND PARENTS accountable is the day we will become a better people. (steps down off the soap box)
     
  13. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

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    Yep. Are you an administrator somewhere? Somewhere that's looking for teachers? ;)
     
  14. smithereyenes

    smithereyenes Rookie

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    Well said stephenpe! And I agree with Croissant! If you aren't an administrator, you should be! :)
     
  15. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    My principal still paddles. She also send kids home.
     
  16. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    What is a severe consequence for a 4th grade level student?

    Edit: no adult other than myself and my wife has permission to physically strike my child.
     
  17. janis

    janis Companion

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    I agree 100%! Not only does it solve problems with that child, but reminds all the children that there ARE consequences for your actions...

    I should add that spanking should be used after many other means/warnings have been exhausted.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
  18. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Then your child would be sent home in my school if they cursed a teacher, hit anyone, damaged property, or have constant issues with behavior. Our principal does ten or so paddlings a year.
     
  19. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    OH, I 100% agree with consequences. But you never lay a finger on my child with the intent to physically harm them...never, that is no ones place other than the parents.

    However, is sending the child home an effective consequence for those children?
     
  20. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Agreed--I was never the parent who questioned or argued with decisions made by my children's school or teachers. However, had anyone ever laid a hand on them, there would have been h*** to pay (even if they had been one of "those" kids).
     
  21. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    I would send home accident reports to the parents of every. single. child. the troublemaker trips, kicks, or hits. I'd also call the parents in. every. single. time he does anything you consider extreme. Don't let up. If it's your problem, then you can solve it your way, right?
     
  22. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Stephen, lots of people have done this comparison. Violent crime rates have been going down over the past few decades, so you might not want to cite this as evidence in your argument.

    Paddling has been tried, and is still being tried in places like Alabama, Mississippi, and Arkansas. Do you have any statistics that suggest that there's less misbehavior, or better school performance, in these states than in places where paddling is not allowed?

    Edited to Add: If you're not advocating beating children, then you won't advocate paddling in schools -- that's not because I think you actually want children beaten, but you must realize that the controls around discipline in schools aren't nearly enough to keep such abuse from occurring.
     
  23. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    3Sons, agreed. Stephen, I do advocate for sufficient punishment, but there's really no support that beatings (or severe punishments) are the cause of moral and behavioral depravity today. I know plenty of parents with kids with significant behavioral issues that constantly use "beatings" and other forms of severe punishment (granted, not always effectively, but the point is that they're present).

    I'm not arguing that reduced consequences aren't part of the issue of increased behavioral issues (if they exist), but our society and schools have changed in so many ways that it would be quite difficult to put the blame on one variable, particularly punishment. Look, for example, at the declining role of the church in the socialization of kids, the decline of two parent households, increase in inappropriate messages via media, etc. The list goes on. The fact that we don't beat our kids in school is probably not at the top of that last.
     
  24. teachinnola

    teachinnola Rookie

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    I didn't think Stephan was advocating "beating" children. Spanking is not beating. I think most people who were beaten understand the difference. I think children should be spanked sometimes, depending on the offense. I also think that other consequences should be used as appropriate. I don't think anyone should be beaten. I understand that there is a risk involved in that kind of punishment being used, but I guess I feel that risk exists with anything where someone is in power over someone else in a school (for example, sexual abuse by teachers).

    As far as sending kids home, to me that isn't so much a punishment for the child as it is trying to put the burden of punishment on the parent, as well as make the school environment safe for the children that are there and (temporarily) create an environment that the children can learn in. Every child should be given an opportunity to get an education, but not at the expense of 20+ other children in the class!

    Anyway, I think Queenie had a great solution to this. If other parents are tired of their children being assaulted, maybe something will change.
     
  25. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Physical punishment in schools is ridiculous. The way to combat violence in schools is not to introduce more violence. There are many things that can be improved upon, but I can't take anyone who advocates a stranger paddling their child seriously.
     
  26. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    The only stats or things I ever see are ones that say that kids who are spanked are just learning that violence is ok. Those are good questions and I wonder if anyone has done some analysis of those things. They say children are not achieving or testing as well as in those times. But from my eyes they have shifted the curriculum down a year so K is doing 1st grade stuff and I see 4/5th doing math we got in the 7th grade. My take is teachers are being asked to do WAY more parenting now than they did 40 years ago. Many children are not learning basic manners, patience or social skills they did years ago. I see the same good kids that want to learn with excitement in their eyes but many are desperate for attention or a daddy or just an ear to listen to them.
     
  27. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    I spanked my kids. Both are well behaved. My son is a criminal justice major. Yes, my school paddles. Very rarely, but still will. Other options are used but this is allowed. Our principal administers it. She calls parents to tell them when. If they say no, then they come get their kid. I would say that for the majority they threat alone takes care of the problem. Paddling and beating are not the same.
     
  28. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    At my previous job, the admin message was loud and clear:

    Handle student discipline yourself... as long as you don't actually discipline them.
     
  29. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

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    This.

    Hitting a child's backside with a wooden board sounds like abuse to me. It has no place anywhere in my opinion, let alone a school.

    I would never work at a school that used violence or condoned children being hit, spanked, whatever you will call it.
     
  30. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    Even within my own district (which has about 15 elementary sites), there is a huge discrepancy in how discipline is dealt with at each school!
     
  31. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    I think the worst thing (cowardly is how I view it) is the zero tolerance nonsense. Supposed to take out the human element but
    situations are different and one size does not fit all. But I guess with litigation and fear of it so pervasive school systems want to CTA. I remember so well my elem. principal. I nice man with the abilities of Solomon. He also taught the sixth grade so he was busy. He would give you a swat if you deserved it but would explain things so you could understand it.
     
  32. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    No. And many children are getting away with murder each day in the class because they know the can.
     

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