More Educators Adopting Restorative Discipline Practices

school hallway 5When the bell rings at the start of class, not every student takes heed. Often, many continue their own conversations. But sixth-grade science teacher Christopher Martin has found a way to transition students quickly from sports, music and celebrities to the solar system, electricity and tectonic plates – whatever his “do now” objective focuses on.

Without saying a word, Martin uses positive classroom management techniques. Every day, when students walk into his classroom, they hear four songs, ranging from jazz to modern rock, that help them focus on their daily objectives. The final notes of the last song, rather than a bell or a raised voice, put his class in motion. Other teachers in his building also focus on positive techniques to keep students inside the classroom, instead of using punitive approaches that force them out of school.

“I really don’t think punitive punishment is effective,” Martin said. “Restorative coordinators have done a lot to put the staff on board and train us. … I can do a lot within my classroom, but it’s strengthened by other teachers in the system.”

Martin works at Skinner Middle School in Denver, Colo., where all teachers began using restorative approaches more than five years ago. By focusing on the root of the behavioral issues and avoiding “zero tolerance” practices that remove students from classrooms, often for minor infractions, Skinner’s teachers are helping to the end the so-called “school-to-prison pipeline.” The school has seen a decrease in student suspensions and expulsions after adding restorative approaches. Too often, research shows, suspensions and expulsions lead to students falling behind, dropping out, and eventually funneling into the juvenile justice system.

Research also shows that a disproportionate number of students who end up in the pipeline are students of color, students with disabilities, or students who identify as LGBT. And, according to a recent U.S. Education Department study, almost half of the preschoolers suspended more than once are Black students between the ages of 4 and 5.  Meanwhile, this fall, for the first time, non-White students are expected to outnumber White students in U.S. public schools.

“With that being said, we need to ramp up our cultural competency so that teachers can understand the students that they serve,” said NEA Executive Committee Member Kevin Gilbert. “We’re working tirelessly with educators to get ahead of this issue to implement restorative practices because it’s the right thing to do.”

This past spring, NEA partnered with the Advancement Project and others to release a toolkit for educators who want to adopt restorative practices and policies. Since then, several of the nation’s school districts have announced their embrace of restorative practices. Among the areas that have recently changed their policies are all schools in Montgomery County, the Broward County School District in Florida, and Los Angeles Unified.

A Tale of Two Schools (Click to Enlarge)

See the Difference

Step inside Georgene Fountain’s music classroom in Montgomery County, Maryland, and notice the signs hanging across her walls – all sport positive statements, used by Fountain to avoid negative thinking.

“I need to hang it up around the classroom, whatever that positive statement is, because I’ve got to change the way that students are spoken to,” said Fountain who teaches at Captain James Daly Elementary School. It’s about building healthy relationships between educators and students, a touch point in restorative practices.

Like Fountain, author and educator Larry Ferlazzo sometimes views a statement that helps him remain positive. A piece of paper, attached to his computer screen, contains a couple sentences, saying:

“My student is not giving me a hard time. My student is having a hard time.”

Hear the Difference

Here’s a common scenario: A student blurts out an objectionable noise while the teacher writes on the chalkboard. The teacher asks who made the noise, but no one says anything. Is there an alternative to punishing the entire class?

When this happens to Ferlazzo – who teaches English, social studies and international Baccalaureate classes at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, Calif. – he calmly tells his class that he doesn’t enjoy being disrespected. He then asks them for a commitment, saying: Don’t do that again. Sometimes, however, students may make the same disruption on a different day.

“[I] ask students to consider the impact their actions have on others, and ask them to try to work out problems among themselves,” Ferlazzo said. “In my teaching career, this has almost always resulted in stopping the inappropriate behavior and, I hope, students gaining some added maturity.”

Maryland’s Fountain approaches a student in the same fashion. Rather than sending them to the principal’s office, she asks: what harm did this cause, and how can you fix it to make it right? These questions are at the heart of restorative justice: They require educators to listen to students, and students to be empathetic to the people around them.

“They just have to stop and think,” she said. “It’s a whole way of changing how they think of themselves and how they act at school and how their behavior affects others.”

Build Relationships

Back at Skinner Middle School in Denver, when the music ends, the work begins – and it may not always look the way you would expect. A student might be leading the discussion, not teacher Christopher Martin, who often turns over his classroom and his curricular content to students. It holds them accountable for their own learning and positively impacts their behavior, since they build healthier relationships with one another while also viewing the teacher as an individual.

Larry Ferlazzo

Ferlazzo includes three kinds of choices in his classrooms – organizational, procedural and cognitive choice. Organizational choice allows students the opportunity to pick their own seats, for instance, and gives them a say in choosing the leader of a small group project. Procedural choices include choosing among homework assignments or projects, say a book versus a poster. Meanwhile, cognitive choice enables students to develop their own ideas for homework assignments, so long as they relate to the topic.

Ferlazzo mentions that, according to educator William Glasser, ninety-five percent of classroom management issues arise as a result of students attempting to acquire power. Naturally, sharing power by giving students more choices will then lead to a more stable and positive classroom environment.

“I was a community organizer for 19 years before I became a teacher,” said Ferlazzo, who notes that building relationships, also a restorative approach, is the most important thing an educator can do when it comes to positive classroom management. “A key lesson I learned was that power isn’t a finite pie. If I share the power I have, that doesn’t mean I’ll have less.”

Teachers are human, too. And like all humans, they make mistakes. “There is no reason why we shouldn’t apologize when we do,” Ferlazzo said.

Martin feels the same: If he makes a mistake, he tells the class what he did. Additionally, he shares things about his personal life and interests, so that he comes off as a real person. In turn, it models the way his students behave, he said.

Like everyone else, teachers go through days that are more challenging than others. Just stay focused, says Ferlazzo.

“No matter how bad your day has gone, if you just go back and do good teaching, it will get better.”

  • Anonymous

    Oh, this’ll work really well with all those juvenile MS-13 members in class this year…

  • A. G. Lynch

    First I have a question! When did we stop teaching children, in a kind and positive fashion, how to behave in class? Kindergarten was added so that this did not have to consume time in first grade! I do like the teacher’s use of positive instruction in this article. However, such behavior problems should have been solved well before the end of grade school. My fellow students and I would have felt like such BABIES if we did not know how to behave in class!

    Secondly, what happened to small penalties? Youngsters don’t like to have their precious free time taken away. Fifteen-minutes per offense spent in after school detention is actually a very effective penalty for talking in class or wandering the halls during class. It just has to be imposed after every single incident without hesitation. Being strict about the little things usually means a teacher will not have to ever be severe!

  • @A.G. Lynch, kindergarten stopped being “learning readiness” generations ago. The 5-year olds are now taught reading and writing, which is simply ridiculous. Starting early doesn’t mean you’ll reach the finish line early.

    As far as detention after school, that won’t work if the child misses the bus taking them home or to the day care. The parents won’t be able to pick them up for hours.

    Trust me, the children KNOW how to behave in class. They just don’t want to. It is so much more cool to be disruptive than to obedient.

  • Kelly P

    What a load of bunk! Students should be taught appropriate behavior in a classroom and this coddling is the root of the problem. When the legislators and this silliness took away the right of teachers to punish it created a generation of lazy, disrespectful, and unorganized students. Legislators, state departments, coddlers, and enablers have destroyed the school system and our schools. I deal with high school students every day and they would laugh at this touchy feely approach.

  • These new so-called “enlightened” techniques didn’t come about because they were better than the old ways, they are being implemented out of desperation by teachers who can’t control the students. Teachers are struggling to obtain the respect of students because the failure of parents at home to train the child to respect authority, period! Too many American households today are headed by emotionally immature parents who lack the courage and strength to set limits for their children. They are too tired to fight the necessary battles needed to grow healthy young people. Too many moms who no longer have the help of their spouses to back them up in the very tiring job of parents. So rather than complete their parenting responsibilities, they loose their children on schools and the rest of society to deal with them. The end result is an education system where the school administrators won’t back the teachers and the teachers are left to figure out a way to survive. The end product is a young person who is unprepared to work, start their own family, or live a happy and productive life. Rather, these young people will just continue to perpetuate the problem as American Society degrades to complete collapse.

  • Ysbeth

    And when these children grow up and enter the workforce I’m sure their employers will be all too happy to coddle them with “Restorative Discipline Practices” instead of deciding they are too much trouble and giving them a pink slip. No thank you. I will just teach my child how to behave.

  • dorboln

    Those who laugh at this because it is not how the workplace works need to step back for a moment and realize the classroom is NOT the workplace. The dynamic is completely different. In the workplace you can generally assume that the employee wants to be there, or at least does not want to get fired. In the school setting, many students do not care for one reason or another. For many of them, getting suspended is actually a reward.

  • rick

    teachers have no authority to discipline. once we learn that discipline has no place no school then and only then will teachers start teaching and students learning. Let join thr rest of the world by removing any form of discipline in schools. 5 year ols aren’t part of the school system, neither are pre schoolers it’s just about power and control and brainwashing these kids in to the next genaration of good little liberails.

    This story and what that teacher is doing is crazy. no doubt his not a good teacher

  • Arex

    I teach middle school in a system very much like this except it is called PBIS, Positive Behavior Intervention and Support.
    It is a wonderful program and has taken my school from over 2000 office/discipline referrals to less than 300 a year over the last 6 years. the program has completely changed for the better my school. We are high poverty, low socio-economic status and has made a world of difference.
    To you above harping and complaining about molly-coddling this is nothing of the sort.
    The program teaches children how to behave and how to adapt their behaviors to meet the expectations of the setting they are in. The problem with many of the gumblers and complainers above is that you havent been in a school, dont know or understand todays child, and think that the way things were done 20-30-40 years ago is the best way to handle anything. You have not changed and therefore you have not adapted. The world has changed and you need to change and understand it.

  • Biggie E 17

    Good that it works for them. Not my style and will not be used in my classroom. When I start talking, the students usually stop talking. If not, they sit out and I call home. Works for me and my style and my students.
    That is the point here…there is no one style fits all approach to teaching. Therefore, stop trying to tell teachers how to teach….and for goodness sakes, stop all the testing…testing is not teaching and it is not learning…period!

  • Mary Ward

    I think students should know appropriate behaviour. I have been teaching for 15 years and have seen a marked decline in student behaviour. I have also seen a horrible decline in handwriting skills. I teach high school juniors and seniors and they are much more immature and illiterate than when I started.

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  • Gerald C.

    Many of the previous comments are being too simplistic. I am a retired teacher who spent 38 years in the classroom teaching fifth and sixth graders. Discipline is the key to successful teaching, without a disciplined classroom there will be no effective teaching and colleges do very little to teach this to future teachers. First, common sense shows that there will be times punitive discipline will be required…for instance, my class would not tolerate someone fighting, putting another student down, or being rude…that was handled by placing the child in in school suspension…however, the more common problems, like talking, disrupting class, not doing the assignment…was handled in more creative ways…some times loss of recess, some times a call to the parents, some times a conference with the child, some times a reward for doing what was right instead of the negative. The key for a teacher is to establish the limits and be consistent. Although, punitive measures are sometimes necessary, the more positive you can approach a child the more successful you will usually be.

  • Shelley

    I taught for several years, all ages. When substituting, I would introduce myself, and state that I had three rules:
    1. Be respectful – don’t sass me, I don’t like it.
    2. Do your job – whatever I’m expecting you to do at that moment, that’s what you need to be doing… and
    3. My rule about whining…is don’t.

    I rarely had discipline problems. I spoke to students at their level, meaning I spoke to high schoolers like high schoolers and not first graders. And vice versa. It’s not hard. If a student was sent out of class by a specials teacher, I would sit beside them, silently for a moment, then look at them calmly, and ask what happened. Inevitably,they admitted that what they did was inappropriate and I said ok what should we do about it. They would say apologize and work hard to not let it happen again. I did not tell them to do it, my talking through it with them led them to the conclusion themselves, which often sticks better. The tighter you squeeze with methods and guidelines and outlines and limits, the harder it becomes and the more kids slip through your fingers. You can be firm and kind at the same time. It’s just good teaching.

  • John

    I’m just wondering … Skinner Middle School … as in B.F. Skinner?

  • Ted Adams

    Adults who are in school are shown respect and the instructors use various techniques to interest the students. So because they are children they deserve less respect than adults? Anything that teachers have tried to keep children interested and in school is a welcome breath of fresh air. The old ways of discipline that I saw in school were sometimes detrimental to some children and resulted in further discipline problems. But I noticed that when I was an adult student the way we were handled for difficult students was very different, more in line with respect and treating each adult better. This article shows what can be done and should be encouraged. Too often the naysayers don’t like the changes that need to be done, but want to continue the disrespect and stupidity of what went on before. I give a very much appreciated thanks to those like these teachers who see the wonder of giving themselves so the children can succeed.

  • adsh

    Someone made the comment that we were wrong to associate our “classrooms” with the workforce…YOUR wrong…part of our job as teachers is to prepare these lazy, selfish little tyrants FOR the future workforce. And they should be taught skills that prepare them for the future workforce…I am damn sick and tired of all this coddling and “respecting” their home cultures…while we don’t want mindless office drones there are still certain things everyone must learn/do to be productive/contributing members of a larger society in which they live. It is not society’s job to adapt to you…it is your job to adapt to a larger society.

    How bout this novel approach (for adults as well as students/children)—Do what’s expected of you and we won’t have these issues…and if you can’t/won’t then damn well expect negative consequences…

    Think of it this way…as an adult driver I am expected to obey traffic rules/laws for the smooth operation of our transportation system…and if/when I do this there is not a cop sitting in my drive way with a sticker and lollipop for obeying the rules…instead my REWARD for obeying societies transportation rules is…”lack of punishment” (ticket). THIS is what’s missing from today’s educational system…following rules for the sake of following rules for the smooth operation of society and not for an extrinsic reward….

  • Kelly P

    Absolute foolishness, Ted Adams! Students need to be prepared for life outside of school and coddling and catering do not adequately prepare them. Students need to learn there are consequences for their actions and that others deserve respect. I treat my students with respect and I expect the same. This pandering and catering education system is what is failing our students. I have no problem with changing teaching techniques or activities for the better of students but everything you learn will not be fun. Fact of life they’ll have to accept. Many parents, legislators, state boe’s and administrators have little respect for our profession and that is why students don’t.

  • This sounds like an approach to teaching how we want students to learn. Raise the Flag: Lean Thy Arms is a book with six stories about a uphill path for education and a hard road for experience leading to writing those stories and publishing this book. When a principal, who is a WW2 vet, keeps me in school with an after school lesson, pay attention, because this makes a difference, so forty years later I present him with a hardcover copy of Raise the Flag: Lean Thy Arms.

  • There is only so much that the “restorative practices ” will cover. When you are dealing with students who have behavioral issues that include extreme physical and sexual aggression , they are going to be suspended/expelled. Please stop telling me that these students need a new system, they don’t. They have needed and will need a jail cell- period. And yes, I’m talking about a preschooler who bit another child and took away a piece of flesh in the process. As an African American teacher, I was relieved when the authorities came and took the African American student away and placed him in the criminal system.

  • Nancy Slator

    It’s interesting that the author is writing about ways he gets good behavior from students and some people are passing right over that because they want to see the teacher enforcing strict rules. He’s already getting the good behavior. What would be the purpose of strict rules?

  • Sherri Roccaforte

    I favor the Time To Teach classroom management strategies that focus on helping students problem solve for their own behavior while eliminating multiple requests and repeated warnings. I use their strategies and they do work!

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  • Mike W

    They have already ruined the curriculum with Common Core… Now they willl destroy the behavior techniques. I would like to track how many of these kids end up in jail because they can’t follow rules!!!!

  • June K-R

    I’m finding that many of these comments sadden me; most are focused on ‘discipline’ (punitive in nature) as opposed to education. When students don’t meet our expectations, we need to make sure that they understand what is expected. Of course there are exceptions (as there are in every aspect of life), but it seems to me that a lot of folks are missing out on ‘teachable moments’. Particularly sad is that many of the writers don’t seem to like or respect their students – they are either burning out, or in need of another line of work. Students are people – with all of their faults and wonderful qualities. Too many of the respondents are missing their acknowledgement of the wonderful things that students bring to schools – and of the responsibility to help students become their best selves. As an art educator, the idea of a bunch of well-disciplined, non-questioning automatons is a bit reprehensible. Students should be taught to think, question, and seek alternative perspectives. Rules for the sake of rules is contrary to education – the ‘rules of the road’ are necessary for public safety, but not all rules are so clearly necessary. When my students complain about rules, I ask them to come up with better ones to present to administrators, but to respect and follow them until they are changed. I would like to find out that many of the writers have re-evaluated their comments and recommitted to helping their students learn not only ‘the rules’ of society, but how they can make the world a better place for themselves and others, and to discover and enhance the skills with which to do so. Though it is sometimes difficult, some positive expectations can go a long way – negativity breeds negativity, and who needs more of that?

  • Pineapple

    Well said guys… To each its own. What works on any given day works or it doesn’t. Please don’t be judgemental on no one, they are doing the best they can with what they have to work with. Everything starts from the top! If you have a strong base, Principal or a AP, who has your back and demand respect from children, then you’re setting pretty.(this shouldn’t give you a right to be all high and mighty on no one, just b/c you have not been exposed to unruly children). The problems exist through the Principals or AP’S who doesn’t set any boundaries and have too low expectations, thinking you have to baby these kids of today…NOT! They are smarter than you think…(All children want structure and boundaries in life,)and you’re on your way to be run over by the smart child that run their household or play games and know they can do and will say any and everything because they know their parents are going to “react” in a heartbeat when they go home and say the “Teacher did this or that”. What does the parent do at that point? Usually tell the child what she’s going to do to the teacher… No different from the child, rush up and ready to attack without hearing from an adult, then she comes up and get even more upset, then threaten to go up higher to the Superintendant, who usually entertain the nonsense, contact the principal, principal contact the teacher, finally and ask you what happen, you speak to the parent to difuse the situation, then it’s over.(A waste of everybody’s time), but we have to satisfy the unruly parents for not parenting their child. Parents get rewarded, creating a monster for the next set of teachers. Teachers went to college to get a Degree to hurt children…this is a Joke right…They get the Hurt mixed up with the HELP, that we went to school for, got loans, paid them back, and we still don’t get paid a salary. Our reward is from the Lord. Amen. We don’t get paid enough in the 1st place, job never ends in the teaching profession in the 2nd place, Your heart have to be in what you do thirdly, and last, it’s a fight to the end…you have to fight parents who think we went through all of this to hurt their children…and then if you are not a puppet on a string, or if you speak up, you are not that favored or liked by administrators who abuse their power,tell their secretaries, who tell their teacher friends, who tell-tell, By George! you are in another fight!… Who ever thought by being in education you would have to be under the microscope, fighting against Aliens, b/c you never know who you’re fighting or where they came from. What a Hit and a Miss! The things we have to go through to teach… The Principals should be our Backbone, but they fall short, and we end up seeing them as our wishbone… We wish they would have done this, that and the other…right?..OK! So whatever you have to do with the children you have in your possession, ONLY YOU KNOW! Hear suggestions, seek all, and use whatever method of classroom management that work’s best for you and your class…Try all of them! Then, Be at Peace, Pray and TEACH… Good Teachers vs Bad Teachers = Good Teachers Win & Become Strong and Bad Teachers need to go Home. Everyone need to stop judging All Teachers b/c of the Bad Ones. Doctors are not judged like that right? One bad doctor doesn’t speak for all doctors…Same for the teachers…There is good and bad in everything…The Bad needs to go!… Teachers Win! and if all else fail…go home,call someone to vent and get answers,get you something to eat, get you some sleep, and Ms. Beasley start all over again and learn to laugh! LOL!!! This is my Take on Whatever You Get Out of This…I’m Out!

  • Kimberley Gilles

    The article on restorative practices reinforces what I have known for 29 years of joyful teaching in all kinds of classrooms: urban, suburban, private, charter, alternative and adult school.

    The comments section unsettles me. I understand the frustrations of teachers, but so many of the comments sound hostile. Many of the teachers seem to dislike so many of our most fragile learners. This worries me.

    And, yes, I DO believe that my most snarly, disengaged students are, ironically, my most scarred and my most fragile.

    Where do I find wisdom and patience? Where are my islands of calm in the storm of the moment?

    1. I remember a saying by the great UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden. “The purpose of discipline is NOT to punish, but to change behavior.” When we exclude, suspend, and label our students, we model and reinforce the angry behaviors we seek to extinguish. We fulfill the lowest expectations of our students. I won’t do that. I must be more creative.
    2. The root of the word “discipline” is “disciple.” The relationship between master and disciple is a relationship of love. That is POWER.

    3. I remember that many of my students have to be TAUGHT that being kind is NOT the same as being weak. They mistake kindness for weakness. Many will flare and say, “You don’t respect me.” I answer, evenly and kindly, “That’s not true. I respect you. However, I do not FEAR you.” I teach kindness and respect as strengths. It takes self-discipline on my part and the willingness to teach the same lesson many times.

    4. When my students snap, I get my ego out of the way. 99% of the time, the rage I see has nothing to do with me. My mantra in the midst of the storm? “This is not about ME.” Then, I can step back psychologically (Even though I may be standing nose to nose with an angry teen 14 inches taller than me!) and watch the student show me his or her pain. When I can keep that student in a seat, in a class, I not only increase the likelihood of her or his education beginning again, but I earn the respect of the entire class. My management issues DECLINE as a result of the time I spend in restorative practices.

    Restorative practices are not scripted and formulaic. They are deeply embedded in what is most idealistic about ourselves and our profession. And, for me, they are deeply embedded in a firm belief that I am dealing with young minds and young souls. They are sometimes foolish and they are always precious.

    Kimberley Gilles
    NEA 2014 National Teacher of Excellence

  • Val E. Forge

    When an administrator sends a glowing email extolling our low suspension rate, I think, “Vee haf had no eschcapes from Stalag 13!” Yeah, right Herr, Commandant.

    Plenty of bad behavior, just no suspensions to prove it.

    Sometimes I think teaching is an exercise in co-dependency. “How can I change so that you will no longer act self-destructively? What am I doing wrong to cause you to act this way?”

  • John

    Restorative Approaches (RA) and Positive Behavior (PBIS systems) work best if used as systemic software to old school disciplinary practices wherein expectations and consequences are so clearly communicated that students accurately predict the cause/effect of their choices. Many new teachers quickly lose their way by using RA and PBIS systems as the default (v. software). Walk into most master level teachers’ classrooms (at any grade level), and you will come away knowing who runs the show. Master teachers set the disciplinary hook immediately each school year (and with each class) via a variety of time-tested methods. Master teachers them employ a variety of peak performance principles to motivate students to reach full potential. There is a reason the inside joke of “don’t let them see you smiling until December” holds more than several grains of truth.

  • Rob Simon

    I have discovered that most people who object to restorative practices don’t know what it is or what it means. First of all, it is a paradigm… a framework that changes the tone and the priorities of how those in authority do what they do with those they are charged to help. It is not about “crime and punishment” but it is about “choice and consequence” and there is a difference. For example, you don’t spank or yell at a child for touching a hot stove. rnrnRestorative Practices are always about high expectations and high support. It’s always about building relationships, and it’s always about communicating clearly (especially with questions to establish understanding) repairing harm and working to make things right when things go wrong. It is about holding others accountable and never about coddling if it is practiced with fidelity. rnrnThere are far too many of us that still believe in a “one size fits all” approach to everything and everyone. That is not how the world works. In education in particular, when students come into a school setting often with tremendous deficits, those shortcomings have to be accounted for, understood, and prescribed for. At the same time, though, these students have to believe that schools can really help them rather than just another version of how they have always been oppressed, discounted, abused, mistreated, undervalued, ignored, coddled and more… before they even show up at school. rnrnAs the late Stephen Covey famously reemphasized from classic wisdom in his teachings, “Seek first to understand and then to be understood.” There is much to understand about the challenges of educating our next generation. Assume nothing. Question everything. Approach all that is unfamiliar with an open mind and heart. You will find that what has always worked BES for educating and empowering people is an educational process that TRAINS them to understand themselves and the world they are a part of. In other words, it has always been about the same principles we will find in a STUDIED approach to Restorative Practices and all the similar frameworks that perfectly dovetail with them.

  • PG

    The biggest problem today is that the UN , NGOs and other unrepresentative groups , have managed to get legislation passed which stops parents and teachers etc from disciplining children . This is new in Singapore , but not in the West , where the lack of discipline and social education is a major problem , and in many cases making countries unsafe places .
    There is also a lack of good social education in many education systems , the priority being exam results , added to which the base of knowledge is actually getting narrower , making people less flexible and unable to understand things outside their domain , and also less employable in the future due to lack of basic knowledge .
    This problem of discipline goes a long way down the line , even as far as respecting legislation , as can be seen from the number of illegal migrants , who are often educated , and who are incapable of respecting immigration laws , which will be perpetuated , as they will not respect laws in the future .
    Politicians , NGO , the UN etc can be blamed for much of the problems today , and in the future should be made legally accountable for their actions and decisions , as there is too much unaccountability today

  • Duke

    I don’t know about the discipline of white kids. I have only seen a handful of them in the last 20 years. Kids are people; some have a better moral compass than others. This is how children get left be hind.

  • Librarian

    Children get left behind because their parents are too busy trying to put food on the table then to discipline or keep track of their kids. Teaching kids appropriate behavior and respect starts at home, and some of these kids are just not important to their parents. Students bring their home life to school, and with the class sizes, there is no time to spend one on one with disruptive kids. I overheard a student tell the teacher, “respect for my teachers has to be earned.” and “I have rights.” This is the mentality of students these days. It’s disheartening.

  • SHL

    I think the discussion of discipline seems to focus on the teacher level. But I’m more curious about discipline standards at the school/county/state level. Why don’t teachers have more options available to them other than having to come up with elaborate classroom techniques with the hope that an entire handful of violently rebellious students aren’t thrust into the classroom. What can be done when children refuse to do the right thing? What can be done when a child’s home life overwhelms their behavior in such a way that they erode the morality of their peers with complete arrogance and defiance? What happens when children walk oit of classrooms and assaylt teachers and realize that teachers have no true power over them and that they truly run the school? What happens when the facade of teacher control over the classroom falls from students’ eyes ? Who then can teachers turn to?

    I applaud this teacher for his techniques but young and inexperienced teachers need to know the answers to the questions I’m asking because they are true concern. There ABSOLUTELY has to be a system of true discipline in place to protect both students and teachers. I fear excellent teachers will choose other professions because they don’t want to deal with the entitlement of parents and students with the idea that education is something due them instead of a privilege.

    Any thoughts/help with this issue??

  • susan

    Sad to hear a teacher say “disrespected.” It isn’t a word.