School Suspensions Model the Wrong Behavior for Students

Published by — By our actions, we teach intolerance. Last week we looked at reasons why kids misbehave — how sometimes they can’t or they won’t act in community-appropriate ways.  Whether it’s a choice for them or not, it’s always a big pain for the people around them. So this week we’ll look at theContinue reading “School Suspensions Model the Wrong Behavior for Students”

Instead of School Suspensions, Let’s Listen to Kids

Published by — Kicking out the disruptive kids is convenient.  But what do we, or they, learn from it? Allow me to say right off the top that I believe each out-of-school suspension is a symptom of a mental or social issue.  I’d call them symptoms of disease, but some are more like sniffles. InContinue reading “Instead of School Suspensions, Let’s Listen to Kids”

Punishment is Not Discipline

Published by — The end result of bad discipline strategy is prisons stuffed with high school drop-outs. Recently Eva Moskowitz took to the Wall Street Journal to blast New York Mayor Bill de Blasio for promoting what she calls “lax discipline” in City schools.  Her op-ed outright sneers at his efforts to expand disciplinary strategiesContinue reading “Punishment is Not Discipline”

Student Advocates for Better Discipline, Restorative Practices

Published by — When adults and students don’t take time to listen to each other, they can’t possibly develop empathy. Xilian Sansoucy was hungry for leadership opportunities when she began her freshman year at Classical High School, an exam school in Providence.  “I think it’s exhilarating to present” in public, she said.  A friend pulled herContinue reading “Student Advocates for Better Discipline, Restorative Practices”

Give Students a Voice So They Can Improve Their Own School

Published by — Working on a system to help troubled students stay in school, but be accountable to the community. Regina Winkfield, Principal of E-Cubed Academy in Providence, went into a minor tailspin when district budget cuts eliminated her Student Resource Officer (SRO).  Of course, SROs are a double-edged sword.  As police officers, carrying guns, they’reContinue reading “Give Students a Voice So They Can Improve Their Own School”

Create More Disciplinary Options Than just Suspensions and Cops

Published by — “You’re outta here” gets the problem off the school’s plate — and postpones any real solution. If you look into school-suspension data — state or local — you’ll find a bunch of numbers that tell you nothing about the severity of the offenses.  You’ll find high rates clustered in vague categories likeContinue reading “Create More Disciplinary Options Than just Suspensions and Cops”

Our Punitive Mindset Blinds us to Effective Discipline

Published by — President Obama’s Executive Order — White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans — deserves a good, hard look. Dear President Obama,Millions of us are encouraged by your demand that schools reduce suspensions for black males. No research shows that suspensions teach kids the social skills they need to keep themContinue reading “Our Punitive Mindset Blinds us to Effective Discipline”