Being the mother to a 16 y/o boy with a girl on the way any day now, I would go ballistic if school administration laid their hands on either one of them. Discipline and behavior problems are my issue to deal with as a parent. If my child has created that much of an issue at school, call me and I will pick them up and deal with it, my way.
Not that any child is perfect or behaves completely all of the time, but when I go to parent/teacher interviews, every single one of them tells me and my husband that my boy is quiet, well-mannered, well liked and very pleasant to have in class. He also does very well in school and is an athlete with lots of friends. He was taught, at home, how to be that way.
The teachers and administration are employed to teach children how to read/write/etc, not to lay hands or any other implements for that matter. I’m not anti-spanking at all but it is my decision.[/quote]
As I’ve said, I don’t support spanking in schools, but don’t you think teachers and administrators need some method of managing behavioural issues that arise throughout the day?
Especially with kids whose parent’s may not be as engaged as you are or who are unable to come down to the school to deal with every transgression?
We put our teachers in a position of authority, as we do any adult to whom we entrust the custody of our children. Authority is not authority if it doesn’t have “teeth”.[/quote]
I understand your point, really I do. Before parents have children, they need to grasp that it’s not just when it’s convenient for you and you are responsible for your child and their behavior. I’m not engaged simply because I have the time to be, I made it a priority.
Sometimes the school blows things out of proportion and calls home about ridiculous things. I even had that happen once when my son came to school with a pen that had an LED light in it. I simply asked them “Did you really call me at work because of this?” It did not happen again. There are other more serious issues that do need some kind of intervening though. As I mentioned earlier, detention, suspensions, etc for more serious offenses.
If the parents don’t have time to deal with it, what makes them think the school does? You need to look out for the majority of the students that do behave and are there to learn. If you’ve been given several chances and you keep being disruptive and causing various altercations, find another school to take you.
I see what you mean by having “teeth”. I have spanked my son once. Every other time that I needed to assert my authority, I found other ways to do it. My husband and I do have much authority over the house and we are able to do it through establishing rules, explaining expectations and having consequences for inappropriate actions. It works. [/quote]
I agree that people should grasp the scope of the commitment that parenting entails before having children (at least to the extent that they’re able to). I think parents should do a lot of things that they don’t always do. That said, schools like society at large need some method of maintaining order amongst those who for whatever reason, do not necessarily default to behaving in an orderly or appropriate fashion. Part of the mandate for school staff, IMO is to maintain and, if necessary enforce that order. I’m not saying that it’s an easy job, but it’s part of the deal for anybody who has care of kids on an extended and regular basis.
By “teeth”, I was actually referring to the the ability to directly impose some form of unpleasant consequence in the face of unacceptable conduct. I wasn’t really meaning corporal punishment as such. I’m not sure what the answer is, possibly along the lines of some kind of difficult, unpleasant and possibly mildly humiliating (in the mind of the average teenager) labour and/or the withholding of desirable privileges in the school setting. What I did not mean was saying “wait until mom/dad gets here.” Mom/Dad may not be inclined to impose any consequences at all, or at least not any that stick. Then what? Expel the kid? Put him/her in an “alternative” school? School staff need the ability to maintain some semblance of order regardless of divergent temperaments and the varying degrees of effective parenting that their charges may be receiving. Part of “education” in my opinion, is learning to preferably respect but at least to comply with the rules of a given institution. I believe that this is as a valuable life skill as algebra. IMO we need to give our teachers the necessary tools to teach this lesson while maintaining a functioning classroom environment for the children who do choose to operate within the rules.
FTR I think that the only place for force in a school (or home) setting is in the face of actual physical aggression or the threat thereof or possibly extreme defiance/non-compliance and then only in so much as it is necessary to resolve the situation. Our judicial system does not allow use of force as a punitive measure, neither should our school system. I may be wrong about this but it is my belief at this time.[/quote]
Okay, I see your point now and am inclined to think that we actually agree with each other more than not. Your last paragraph, I am very much in agreement with. You don’t just go around hitting people to prove a point. There are times when being physical is warranted, but not all that many.