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(Slate)   Why do schools keep using suspension as a punishment when all the little bastards want to do is go home in the first place?   (slate.com) divider line 68
    More: Stupid, do schools, youth courts, middle schools, truancy, Sandy Hook, punishments, throw in, toy gun  
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7221 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Mar 2013 at 7:08 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-18 07:14:25 PM  
6 votes:
Once there was a time that suspension meant a day home with a parent who would actually enact additional punishment....
2013-03-18 06:09:52 PM  
4 votes:

Nadie_AZ: Some have 'in school suspension' now. You go to school, you sit in a room and do nothing.


It counts for attendance to get Federal grant money, and the kid gets no credit for work and attendance.

We're at a point that homeschooling isn't just for ultrareligious and the large-toothed.

School administrators can't touch your homeschooled kid.
2013-03-18 08:34:10 PM  
3 votes:
I'm an actual real live pediatric behavior therapist and I'm getting a kick out of these replies.

Suspension works fine for that smallish subset of kids for whom it FUNCTIONS as a punishment. These would be the kids who care about their grades and seeing their friends and participating in band, choir, clubs, teams, etc.

Suspension is a terrible idea for that rather larger subset of kids for whom it FUNCTIONS as a reward. These would be the kids who don't like being in school or even in class and who don't necessarily have a lot of friends. Even "in-school suspension" functions as an escape from the classroom for these kids. It tends to make them worse because then they learn that they can tantrum their way out of class.

Bottom line: Nothing is a punishment, or a reward, unless it FUNCTIONS that way. It doesn't farking matter what the consequence LOOKS like. All that matters is what it means to the person it happens to.

I have had this exact conversation with teachers, deans, and principals many, many more times than I should have had it. These people are often hardworking, dedicated, and well-meaning, but all to often have no clue how to change behavior.
2013-03-18 07:46:03 PM  
3 votes:
Suspension benefits the students still in class, and as such should be used only for those who were actually doing something that disrupts class (not chewing gum).

We just lost a wonderful family at our school (two well-behaved, smart kids, and a mom who volunteered for anything all day long) because the little bastidge who's been tormenting the older child in the family mercilessly since kindergarten (now in grade 4) has yet to be suspended for any of the crazy-evil shiat he pulls. More has been done to appease the bastidge's overly hostile family members than has been done to protect any of his victims.

I don't care if they sit at home playing video games, as long as I can productively work with the other 30 kids while they're gone.
2013-03-18 07:26:04 PM  
3 votes:
I teach in one of the largest, yet most troubled school districts in the country (Prince George's County, Maryland). Here, suspension is given out freely, quite often because the students who deserve it are a continuous disruption to the learning environment. If a child has no purpose but to come to class and be a major disruption to the learning environment, they've got to go. Part of the problem lies in the lack of consequences that comes with suspension. The students are still allowed to make up the work they've missed when they're suspended. Essentially, they know they can do whatever they want to, get sent home, and just do the work at home. For them, there is no consequence, so the cycle continues. They continue to come, do whatever nonsense they want (everything under the sun--you name it, it happens at my school), and face no more consequence than being yelled at by an administrator who will then hound and harass their teachers to make sure the kid gets their work. Failure needs to be an option. They live under the unrealistic idea that their are no consequences to negative behavior in life. Most of my "bad" students who get suspended quite often and fail my freshmen English class come back and thank me for not letting them slide by like the system wants me to. The majority that fail my class freshmen year due to high rates of suspensions go on to learn their lesson. But I still have colleagues who will pass them even when they've done nothing to prove they've learned anything, and so again, the cycle continues, until someone kicks them in the rear and gets them to realize they can't do whatever they want and still get what they want. The system is as bad as an enabling parent. Which is sad, because most of them have enabling parents, which is why they're the way they are in the first place.
2013-03-18 07:18:55 PM  
3 votes:
I hope everyone here is feeling trolly today, because all I have read so far is a bunch of stupid farking comments.

You remove them from the classroom so that the others can benefit from the student in question being gone.  No, we don't want your F ups when all the other students are trying their best.

On that note, suspensions for minor stuff is grade A stupid administration, and that is a big problem facing schools today. The administration, that is.
2013-03-18 11:09:23 PM  
2 votes:

astouffer: Kimothy: I was at a conference for Dean's and Assistant Principals last week. In a conversation about school discipline, one dean stood up and said that he needed more help because he'd had to expel 83 of the school's 800 students. No lie. He was  bragging about it. I don't care if your school is in Attica prison, expelling ten percent of your student body is ridiculous.

My school has expelled  three students in the last seven years and suspended less than ten. We don't see the discipline problems that our surrounding schools do because we have a totally different approach to education than the see a problem and punish kids, zero tolerance, no excuses public schools. Works great, too.

//Charter school.

I see this as a GOOD thing. Throw out the kids who don't want to be there and only cause disruptions. What good is it to force someone to be there?


It was a middle school. His kids are all 13 and under. Granted, it was a tough neighborhood school, so I can see some problems. But ten percent? That's crazy. There's a disconnect between classroom management, discipline, and the kids. Plenty of studies exist showing a connection between suspension, expulsion, and drop out rates, and others that show if you reduce the number of suspensions - through alternative punishments, different approaches to discipline, etc., then you reduce problems in general.

Most kids want to be in school, even if it's just for socializing. I'd be embarrassed if I were expelling ten percent of my students.
2013-03-18 08:00:30 PM  
2 votes:

DON.MAC: The punishment that worked in Catholic school was the paddle.


What actually works is teaching people what behavior is expected of them and training them to meet those expectations. Punishment can certainly be part of the solution -- deterrents are not a bad plan -- but without training to correct the underlying problem it will do little to improve future behavior. As a general rule, punishments only work when someone already understands what they plan to do is wrong, and that they have alternative courses of action available to them -- threatening to cut off someone's hand for stealing will do little to deter a thief that does not understand that their actions constitute a crime, or a thief who sees their crime as the only way to survive.

It's also worth questioning why we don't hit adults who misbehave -- in the military, for example -- if hitting people is such an effective way to improve their behavior.
2013-03-18 07:28:49 PM  
2 votes:

Quaker: Same with mine 13 years ago. But we still had out of school suspension as well, which for some reason was considered the more severe punishment by the administration. I was a bit jealous of friends who were suspended out of school and whose parents worked during the day.


We had that as well, out of school being considered more severe.
Nobody in my circle of friends had it, that I recall. And I was the only one who ever managed to get an in school.
2013-03-18 07:23:27 PM  
2 votes:
Why do schools keep using suspension as a punishment when all the little bastards want to do is go home in the first place?

Because it makes the little bastards the parent's problem instead of the school's, thereby punishing the parents, the people who inflicted the little bastards on the world in the first place.
2013-03-18 07:23:05 PM  
2 votes:
Perhaps, a new punishment system should be devised.

Sex = 15 hours "volunteering" to take care of at least 10, 2 year olds.

Fighting = 10 hours in the blocks

Drugs = have to assist in the anti-drug thingys all year

Bullying = 15 hours of wearing a frilly pink dress for guys; 15 hours wearing painfully hideous clothes for girls.

Interrupting class = hog tied with duct tape and left for the duration of class.

/ to be continued
2013-03-18 07:16:23 PM  
2 votes:

SilentStrider: Nadie_AZ: Some have 'in school suspension' now. You go to school, you sit in a room and do nothing.

now?
My high school had that 20 years ago.
I resolved never go get sent back there after the first time, because I didn't think I could take that much boredom again.


Same with mine 13 years ago. But we still had out of school suspension as well, which for some reason was considered the more severe punishment by the administration. I was a bit jealous of friends who were suspended out of school and whose parents worked during the day.
2013-03-18 07:15:16 PM  
2 votes:

The Stealth Hippopotamus: Always wondered about that myself. I came to the conclusion that school isn't there for the children, it's to give a job to people who can't get a real job. When you make their job difficult you got to go.


You've never actually confronted school discipline as even a thought exercise, have you.

/Hint: They aren't there for school. They're there for their  friends--staying home from school  sounds fun, right up until the kids discover that video games are only so interesting when no one's online. Also, there's the humiliation aspect.
//It doesn't work, TFA demonstrated that, but it is an actual punishment, and the 'those who can't do teach herpa derp' idea is why Finland has the best education system in the world and America doesn't.
2013-03-18 07:02:26 PM  
2 votes:

Nadie_AZ: Some have 'in school suspension' now. You go to school, you sit in a room and do nothing.


now?
My high school had that 20 years ago.
I resolved never go get sent back there after the first time, because I didn't think I could take that much boredom again.
2013-03-18 07:00:48 PM  
2 votes:

Nadie_AZ: Some have 'in school suspension' now. You go to school, you sit in a room and do nothing.


But sometimes, you find out you have a lot more in common with each other than you thought!
2013-03-18 05:53:43 PM  
2 votes:
My sister was suspended for a week for wearing a t-shirt with a duck on it and my parents let her go with friends to the Caribbean for a week as "punishment".

The duck ban was started after the German club had some "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil " t-shirts printed with ducks rather than monkeys and people had been making quacking sounds behind the principal for a while.

The punishment that worked in Catholic  school was the paddle. If it was serious, they brought out the "Board of Education".  For some minor issues there was detention with the worst being forced to watch a clock for an hour.
2013-03-18 05:48:17 PM  
2 votes:
Always wondered about that myself. I came to the conclusion that school isn't there for the children, it's to give a job to people who can't get a real job. When you make their job difficult you got to go.
2013-03-18 05:35:18 PM  
2 votes:
"....when all the little bastards want to do..."

Subby must be a bitter, overworked, underpaid, public school teacher.

/There,there, summer will be here soon
2013-03-19 01:50:14 PM  
1 votes:

Kimothy: SubBass49: Kimothy: I was at a conference for Dean's and Assistant Principals last week. In a conversation about school discipline, one dean stood up and said that he needed more help because he'd had to expel 83 of the school's 800 students. No lie. He was  bragging about it. I don't care if your school is in Attica prison, expelling ten percent of your student body is ridiculous.

My school has expelled  three students in the last seven years and suspended less than ten. We don't see the discipline problems that our surrounding schools do because we have a totally different approach to education than the see a problem and punish kids, zero tolerance, no excuses public schools. Works great, too.

//Charter school.

I have you listed as a favorite for a reason, though I am often suspect of how charter schools achieve their behavior goals.  I want to ask, what is the admissions process at your school?  Are families required to attend meetings or sign behavior contracts?  Are their parent volunteer requirements?  What about entrance exams and behavior-record reviews?  Just asking because that often helps to weed out the "general population" that public schools cannot legally exclude.  No snark at all...just would love to know from someone I respect.

My school is a non-profit charter, so it's not affiliated with schools like KIPP or the Teach For America schools. Our admissions process is pretty simple. If you or a sibling already attend our school, you get automatic enrollment for the next year. If you have friends that want to attend and they register in our "early registration" drive in May, you get in for the next year, first come first served for every slot. After May, we put all the kids that register by August 1 into a pool for slots, unless we don't have enough enrollments to fill every available seat. We have had to go to the pool for the last three years at least, because we've had a waiting list. This year, our waiting list was 250 kids, some who didn't get ...


Not to bust your bubble, sounds like your school is doing awesome stuff for kids.

The simple fact that the PARENTS came to you and signed them up for a charter school makes the kids a better breed, because their parents give two shiats about education.

Usually the most disruptive students come from completely broken homes where the parents don't give a shiat. School is a free babysitter.
2013-03-19 02:24:34 AM  
1 votes:

StoPPeRmobile: SubBass49: StoPPeRmobile: SubBass49: StoPPeRmobile: SubBass49: I've been teaching for 11 years in an urban low-income school, and the amount of shiat it takes to actually EARN a suspension is ridiculous. The suspension isn't so much about teaching the asshat kid a lesson, as it is about allowing the rest of the class a few days without their negative influence in the classroom. Case in point, one of my loudest & most annoying students was suspended today, and a class period that is usually loud & off task was magically transformed into a hard-working and calm room. This info has been stored away, and I will not hesitate to request 2-day suspensions of said student in the future (max we can request & automatically be granted).

The other students are afraid, dear leader. Should make for good citizens.

Good job.

[i.qkme.me image 360x268]

Your only a teacher, no wonder.

You're a resident of the only state moronic enough to have it's own Fark tag, so you've got that going for you, which is nice.

Here's wagering I outscored you on the GRE analytical writing section.  Most likely right now you're thinking to yourself, "what's the GRE?"  If by some miracle you actually know what it is, and have miraculously taken the exam, then post your score.  Mine was a 6 out of 6.

Still can't figure out a way to get down here, eh professor?




Why is it always the people who complain about teachers, who are the ones completely unwilling to do the jobs themselves?

Put up, or shut up.
2013-03-19 02:12:30 AM  
1 votes:
Does anyone else feel like cluing stoppermobile in on how he must have misread that?  The kids weren't afraid of their teacher, they were relieved that the asshat kid had been suspended? And now he has entered into some kind of bizarre pissing contest where he sounds less rational each time he posts? Nevermind, it's late AND it's fark...
2013-03-19 01:47:04 AM  
1 votes:

Pinnacle Point: I got in a fist fight with my best friend my 8th grade year, but he was smart enough to bring a knife from art class and cut me.  We both got a one day suspension.  I had to spend the whole day playing in the back yard with my pet beagle, and it was one of my fondest memories.   Life is weird, time to chill out is important, you know.


Thats a really cute story. With the amount of pressure put on students these days with constant testing, farked up school system, yes, a day to chill out is probably healthy and needed for all.
2013-03-19 12:32:20 AM  
1 votes:

lohphat: Nadie_AZ: Some have 'in school suspension' now. You go to school, you sit in a room and do nothing.

Wasn't that called "detention"?


I always thought detention was a requirement to be in school when you didn't normally have to be there. Like after school or "breakfast Club" style. Isn't ISS just during "normal" class hours?
2013-03-18 11:12:19 PM  
1 votes:

PapaChester: I hope everyone here is feeling trolly today, because all I have read so far is a bunch of stupid farking comments.

You remove them from the classroom so that the others can benefit from the student in question being gone.  No, we don't want your F ups when all the other students are trying their best.

On that note, suspensions for minor stuff is grade A stupid administration, and that is a big problem facing schools today. The administration, that is.


How do you feel about doing away with truancy laws to reduce distracting behavior and violence in schools?  Myself, along with many coworkers (we don't work in education, so this may be extremely stupid), can't find a good reason that it wouldn't work.  You get the little f'ups out of the classroom and hallways so people that actually want to learn can be there.  If they get into trouble doing the same crap outside of school they have to deal with the cops, who have actual power to do something to stop such behavior.  Of course, this would be irresponsible before a certain age, perhaps 15 or 16, which it seems most kids start realizing that they have to think a little about their futures.

It would also have the added benefit of reducing administrative nonsense over a handful of f'up kids that probably won't make anything of their lives regardless of how much you try to help them.
2013-03-18 11:07:48 PM  
1 votes:

gadian: SubBass49: Before you Fark Education ExpertsTM all whine that I must be making the material too difficult, this is Art 1.

You must make art not fun.  I hated art in school because the teachers took it so damn seriously when I was trying to do the assignments but feel my way around technique as well.  I could never exactly reproduce what the teacher was instructing even when I tried.  Hate art.  Hate art teachers.  Picky.  Arrogant as all hell.  Derisive.  Patronizing.

It's a life long thing with me though.  Started in 1st or 2nd grade when I wanted to paint my dog blue and the teacher got on my case because dogs aren't really blue.  Well, screw you lady, I grew up and adopted a blue dog from the pound and I still hate you.

Well, that was cathartic.


Glad I could help.

All I ask is that kids try, and actually turn in the work.  I tell them at the start of the year, "You might not get an "A", but you'll at least pass the course."  I get kids who do nothing...all year.
2013-03-18 10:52:18 PM  
1 votes:

Kimothy: I was at a conference for Dean's and Assistant Principals last week. In a conversation about school discipline, one dean stood up and said that he needed more help because he'd had to expel 83 of the school's 800 students. No lie. He was  bragging about it. I don't care if your school is in Attica prison, expelling ten percent of your student body is ridiculous.

My school has expelled  three students in the last seven years and suspended less than ten. We don't see the discipline problems that our surrounding schools do because we have a totally different approach to education than the see a problem and punish kids, zero tolerance, no excuses public schools. Works great, too.

//Charter school.


I have you listed as a favorite for a reason, though I am often suspect of how charter schools achieve their behavior goals.  I want to ask, what is the admissions process at your school?  Are families required to attend meetings or sign behavior contracts?  Are their parent volunteer requirements?  What about entrance exams and behavior-record reviews?  Just asking because that often helps to weed out the "general population" that public schools cannot legally exclude.  No snark at all...just would love to know from someone I respect.
2013-03-18 10:47:49 PM  
1 votes:

Riche: If a kid is being a little shiat in my classroom and is not responding to the lower level sanctions I can give out, then I see it as my first responsibility is to get that little shiat the fark out of my classroom ASAP so he is no longer stopping me from teaching the rest of the class.

Of course, thanks to the procedures I am forced to follow (including the BS paperwork I am required to fill out right then and there in the middle of the already disrupted and increasingly rowdy class) by the point the student is gone he has already ruined AT LEAST half of the class instruction time for that day.

What happens to him once he is out of my classroom is a pretty distant secondary concern to me.  I think ISS is far better than sending him home, but to be honest I just don't care that much, so long as I get at least a few days before the little shiat comes back to (usually) cause more trouble.

In an idea situation, the administration would trust the teacher enough so I could be able to point to a disruptive student and truthfully say "You!  Get the Fark out of my classroom, NOW, or I will call the resource officer and have your sorry ass arrested for trespassing."

Then I would be allowed to fill out the relevant forms documenting the incident during my planning period or at the end of that day.  From there, the kid would banished from the class until there is a meeting (scheduled at MY convenience) among me, the kid, the kid's mom/dad/guardian, and a vice principal where it's up to the kid and parent to convince me the little shiat is willing to behave from then on.

A proper teacher, of course, would only use that power in circumstances of extreme disruption (fighting, cussing out the teacher, etc.) or  AFTER said kid has gotten several warnings and doesn't respond to things like the prospect of detention, extra work, or calling parents.

=============================

I have several kids in my classes who just won't shut the fark up and behave. They are effectively de ...


...said every high school teacher in a low-income urban school...ever.

I feel your pain.  My classes are all mixed grade-level.  The freshmen typically make up the bulk of failures & behavior problems.  I wish I could limit enrollment in my course to 10th grade & up, but then there'd be no handy storage space for the 9th grade fark-ups.  I have what I call "furniture kids" in some of my courses...kids that attend every day to socialize, but have under a 10% in the course.  Before you Fark Education ExpertsTM all whine that I must be making the material too difficult, this is Art 1.
2013-03-18 10:32:41 PM  
1 votes:

jmr61: digitalrain: My oldest is a real piece of work when it comes to school. The kid is a genius but has absolutely
zero ambition. He goes to school because I drag his ass out of bed @ 5:30 every morning. He
gets on the bus, goes to class and does nothing. Sometimes he sleeps, sometimes he goofs off.

They used to suspend him out of school for it until I put my foot down. I told the school admins
that he *wanted* to be sent home and that suspending him out of school did nothing but give him
what he wanted. So they started sending him to in-school suspension. He stopped falling asleep
in class after that.

Sorry sweetheart but little Johnny is FAR from a genius given your description of him. But you and hubby keep telling yourself that and allowing him to go all the way through school sleeping. He'll make quite an adult.


The kid gets 95th+ percentile on his standardized tests, aces finals and midterms, has a 143 IQ,
so yeah, I think I have some basis for the claim. Intelligence (or lack thereof) isn't this problem.
Laziness and lack of motivation is his problem. If an assignment is something he's interested in,
he blows his teachers away with what he's capable of. If he isn't interested, you can't pull two
sentences out of him.
2013-03-18 10:32:37 PM  
1 votes:
If a kid is being a little shiat in my classroom and is not responding to the lower level sanctions I can give out, then I see it as my first responsibility is to get that little shiat the fark out of my classroom ASAP so he is no longer stopping me from teaching the rest of the class.

Of course, thanks to the procedures I am forced to follow (including the BS paperwork I am required to fill out right then and there in the middle of the already disrupted and increasingly rowdy class) by the point the student is gone he has already ruined AT LEAST half of the class instruction time for that day.

What happens to him once he is out of my classroom is a pretty distant secondary concern to me.  I think ISS is far better than sending him home, but to be honest I just don't care that much, so long as I get at least a few days before the little shiat comes back to (usually) cause more trouble.

In an idea situation, the administration would trust the teacher enough so I could be able to point to a disruptive student and truthfully say "You!  Get the Fark out of my classroom, NOW, or I will call the resource officer and have your sorry ass arrested for trespassing."

Then I would be allowed to fill out the relevant forms documenting the incident during my planning period or at the end of that day.  From there, the kid would banished from the class until there is a meeting (scheduled at MY convenience) among me, the kid, the kid's mom/dad/guardian, and a vice principal where it's up to the kid and parent to convince me the little shiat is willing to behave from then on.

A proper teacher, of course, would only use that power in circumstances of extreme disruption (fighting, cussing out the teacher, etc.) or  AFTER said kid has gotten several warnings and doesn't respond to things like the prospect of detention, extra work, or calling parents.

=============================

I have several kids in my classes who just won't shut the fark up and behave. They are effectively denying the rest of class their right to a proper education, and It's often too hard and too time consuming to get them removed.

Luckily, they tend to get themselves removed by cutting too many classes and/or getting themselves arrested.  But it takes too damn long and they do MASSIVE damage to the class in the meantime.

I sure hope I can get back to teaching juniors/seniors next school year.  By the junior and senior years nearly all of the serious farkups and students who just won't do the work have weeded themselves out.  There's still shiatloads of apathy for me to try to overcome, but at least they're quiet about it, so it isn't nearly as damaging to the class or stressful to me.
2013-03-18 10:32:37 PM  
1 votes:
I was at a conference for Dean's and Assistant Principals last week. In a conversation about school discipline, one dean stood up and said that he needed more help because he'd had to expel 83 of the school's 800 students. No lie. He was  bragging about it. I don't care if your school is in Attica prison, expelling ten percent of your student body is ridiculous.

My school has expelled  three students in the last seven years and suspended less than ten. We don't see the discipline problems that our surrounding schools do because we have a totally different approach to education than the see a problem and punish kids, zero tolerance, no excuses public schools. Works great, too.

//Charter school.
2013-03-18 10:01:43 PM  
1 votes:
My folks are both teachers. Schools in this part of the world give out of school suspensions as a last resort. In school suspensions  are the new hawtness. Kids act up, they're sent to a room with isolated desks facing the walls. All the kids are allowed to do is homework and reading. They can't talk, and each desk has partitions on both sides so they cannot see one another. You even have to eat your lunch in isolation and in silence. You stay in ISS until your time is up, AND you've correctly completed ALL of your assigned work, and your parent/guardian has come in to have a conference with the principal and with the offending child present.

If you get kicked out of ISS you have to go to a different school that is run almost like a prison. Once there you stay there for the rest of the school year.

This system usually works fairly well. Keeps repeat offenders to a minimum.
2013-03-18 09:20:20 PM  
1 votes:

wildcardjack: teto85: Nadie_AZ: Some have 'in school suspension' now. You go to school, you sit in a room and do nothing.

A few districts have suspension schools.  You go to another school and do your homework and classwork and the penalty for any rule violation is more suspension.

Schools in some states lose money if a student is absent.

Been there, done that. Mid 1990's. It was amazing how much school work you could get through if you weren't distracted by things like slowing down for the other kids.


Yeah, I remember getting ISS on purpose a few times when late on projects because you could either read or do homework. You could get 2 ISS's per semesters (we had 2) or you get a real suspension so you had to be careful

/Had ISS in the early 90's when I was there, but judging by the wall art they had they had it as far back as the 1970's.
2013-03-18 09:15:53 PM  
1 votes:

Caffandtranqs: PsychoTherapist: I'm an actual real live pediatric behavior therapist and I'm getting a kick out of these replies.

Suspension works fine for that smallish subset of kids for whom it FUNCTIONS as a punishment. These would be the kids who care about their grades and seeing their friends and participating in band, choir, clubs, teams, etc.

Suspension is a terrible idea for that rather larger subset of kids for whom it FUNCTIONS as a reward. These would be the kids who don't like being in school or even in class and who don't necessarily have a lot of friends. Even "in-school suspension" functions as an escape from the classroom for these kids. It tends to make them worse because then they learn that they can tantrum their way out of class.

Bottom line: Nothing is a punishment, or a reward, unless it FUNCTIONS that way. It doesn't farking matter what the consequence LOOKS like. All that matters is what it means to the person it happens to.

I have had this exact conversation with teachers, deans, and principals many, many more times than I should have had it. These people are often hardworking, dedicated, and well-meaning, but all to often have no clue how to change behavior.

So what do you suggest?


Seriously, I'd like to know your suggestion.  My mother works in a school.  You offered up your expertise on how kids think, but no solution to them problem.
2013-03-18 09:15:52 PM  
1 votes:

profplump: DON.MAC: The punishment that worked in Catholic school was the paddle.

What actually works is teaching people what behavior is expected of them and training them to meet those expectations. Punishment can certainly be part of the solution -- deterrents are not a bad plan -- but without training to correct the underlying problem it will do little to improve future behavior. As a general rule, punishments only work when someone already understands what they plan to do is wrong, and that they have alternative courses of action available to them -- threatening to cut off someone's hand for stealing will do little to deter a thief that does not understand that their actions constitute a crime, or a thief who sees their crime as the only way to survive.

It's also worth questioning why we don't hit adults who misbehave -- in the military, for example -- if hitting people is such an effective way to improve their behavior.


There are places in the world that do hit adults and some of them have a much lower crime rate than many of the places that don't.
2013-03-18 08:57:36 PM  
1 votes:

gruntmints: I teach in one of the largest, yet most troubled school districts in the country (Prince George's County, Maryland). Here, suspension is given out freely, quite often because the students who deserve it are a continuous disruption to the learning environment. If a child has no purpose but to come to class and be a major disruption to the learning environment, they've got to go. Part of the problem lies in the lack of consequences that comes with suspension. The students are still allowed to make up the work they've missed when they're suspended. Essentially, they know they can do whatever they want to, get sent home, and just do the work at home. For them, there is no consequence, so the cycle continues. They continue to come, do whatever nonsense they want (everything under the sun--you name it, it happens at my school), and face no more consequence than being yelled at by an administrator who will then hound and harass their teachers to make sure the kid gets their work. Failure needs to be an option. They live under the unrealistic idea that their are no consequences to negative behavior in life. Most of my "bad" students who get suspended quite often and fail my freshmen English class come back and thank me for not letting them slide by like the system wants me to. The majority that fail my class freshmen year due to high rates of suspensions go on to learn their lesson. But I still have colleagues who will pass them even when they've done nothing to prove they've learned anything, and so again, the cycle continues, until someone kicks them in the rear and gets them to realize they can't do whatever they want and still get what they want. The system is as bad as an enabling parent. Which is sad, because most of them have enabling parents, which is why they're the way they are in the first place.


THIS...SO MUCH THIS.

I've been teaching for 11 years in an urban low-income school, and the amount of shiat it takes to actually EARN a suspension is ridiculous.  The suspension isn't so much about teaching the asshat kid a lesson, as it is about allowing the rest of the class a few days without their negative influence in the classroom.  Case in point, one of my loudest & most annoying students was suspended today, and a class period that is usually loud & off task was magically transformed into a hard-working and calm room.  This info has been stored away, and I will not hesitate to request 2-day suspensions of said student in the future (max we can request & automatically be granted).

It's not about correcting his behavior - he has behavior consultants for that.  It's about allowing the rest of the class to perform.

That said, we used to have a small cluster of portable classrooms, fenced off from the rest of the campus, where students with 0.0 GPA and/or behavior problems attended all their classes and ate their lunch.  This was paid for by grant funding, and the students sent into it had to earn their way back into general population.  The program lasted for 2 years, during which time the rest of the students on campus were allowed to learn & enjoy free of the asshole brigade.  What a difference that made.  Sadly the grant ran out.  We called it the 'gated community.'
2013-03-18 08:57:19 PM  
1 votes:

PsychoTherapist: I'm an actual real live pediatric behavior therapist and I'm getting a kick out of these replies.

Suspension works fine for that smallish subset of kids for whom it FUNCTIONS as a punishment. These would be the kids who care about their grades and seeing their friends and participating in band, choir, clubs, teams, etc.

Suspension is a terrible idea for that rather larger subset of kids for whom it FUNCTIONS as a reward. These would be the kids who don't like being in school or even in class and who don't necessarily have a lot of friends. Even "in-school suspension" functions as an escape from the classroom for these kids. It tends to make them worse because then they learn that they can tantrum their way out of class.

Bottom line: Nothing is a punishment, or a reward, unless it FUNCTIONS that way. It doesn't farking matter what the consequence LOOKS like. All that matters is what it means to the person it happens to.

I have had this exact conversation with teachers, deans, and principals many, many more times than I should have had it. These people are often hardworking, dedicated, and well-meaning, but all to often have no clue how to change behavior.


So what do you suggest?
2013-03-18 08:48:14 PM  
1 votes:

Bondith: digitalrain: My oldest is a real piece of work when it comes to school. The kid is a genius but has absolutely
zero ambition. He goes to school because I drag his ass out of bed @ 5:30 every morning. He
gets on the bus, goes to class and does nothing. Sometimes he sleeps, sometimes he goofs off.

How far away from school do you live that it requires getting up before dawn?


Not sure about him, but in my area the first class for high school starts at about 7:40ish, buses usually get there around 7:30ish.  Figure get him up at 5:30. Let him eat, we'll say 15 minutes to 5:45. Then he's gotta do the basic shiat, shower, shave. We'll go with 30 minutes for all that. 6:15. Depending on the kid, another 5-20 minutes primping, doing hair changing clothes because they can't make up their mind. We're at 6:20-6:35. So there's about an hour left. If the kid is one of the earlier ones picked up on a rural school bus route that could easily kill that hour.
2013-03-18 08:45:18 PM  
1 votes:

bhcompy: buckeyebrain: bhcompy: The real point of suspension isn't the day-of punishment, it's the mark on your record that goes with you forever

You actually believed that shiat?  Should I be concerned about losing the job that I've had for 15 years if my Supervisor wants to contact my high school on the other side of the country and find out all the things I did in high school, 25 years ago?

Someone took forever a little seriously

/forever in school terms in college admissions


What college actually checked on things like if you were suspended or not?

My high school transcript had no entry on it for times suspended or any other disciplinary record, simply a list of classes taken, grades and credits earned, GPA, days attended and days absent, and name, D.O.B. and SSN. . .with no distinction made between excused and unexcused absences in the attendance.

Unless they actually called and talked to somebody they'd have no way to know, and unless you were applying to some super-competitive school like M.I.T. or Harvard, I doubt they'd ever call/talk to anybody at the school in person.  Transcripts and test scores are all most places have to go on for undergraduate admissions.  Not a lot of schools want interviews, essays, and such in the modern day, much less trying to check for a disciplinary record.  It's not like getting suspended will keep you out of college, especially a community college or public university.
2013-03-18 08:44:26 PM  
1 votes:
I loved in school suspension. I got it for missing to much school. It was perfect. Miss a lot, spend a week in iss: all the school none of the work. Rinse, repeat.

Someone should have kicked my ass though.
2013-03-18 08:38:56 PM  
1 votes:

Bondith: digitalrain: My oldest is a real piece of work when it comes to school. The kid is a genius but has absolutely
zero ambition. He goes to school because I drag his ass out of bed @ 5:30 every morning. He
gets on the bus, goes to class and does nothing. Sometimes he sleeps, sometimes he goofs off.

How far away from school do you live that it requires getting up before dawn?


A couple of miles. He gets up @ 5:30, leaves the house @ 6am, bus picks him up @ 6:15. First bell is @ 7:20.
2013-03-18 08:38:47 PM  
1 votes:

SilentStrider: Nadie_AZ: Some have 'in school suspension' now. You go to school, you sit in a room and do nothing.

now?
My high school had that 20 years ago.
I resolved never go get sent back there after the first time, because I didn't think I could take that much boredom again.


We also had this in High School 20 years ago.

I never got suspended or in-school suspension.

I got afterschool detention, once.  That was for punching a bully who had been taunting me and teasing me for most of a semester.  Normally it would have been in-school suspension for fighting, but I was known as a honors student with an otherwise flawless record, and he was a goon who was constantly in trouble and fighting, so the Principal went easy on me when I got fed up with his crap and gave me the lightest slap-on-the-wrist punishment he could.
2013-03-18 08:38:39 PM  
1 votes:

PsychoTherapist: I'm an actual real live pediatric behavior therapist and I'm getting a kick out of these replies.

Suspension works fine for that smallish subset of kids for whom it FUNCTIONS as a punishment. These would be the kids who care about their grades and seeing their friends and participating in band, choir, clubs, teams, etc.

Suspension is a terrible idea for that rather larger subset of kids for whom it FUNCTIONS as a reward. These would be the kids who don't like being in school or even in class and who don't necessarily have a lot of friends. Even "in-school suspension" functions as an escape from the classroom for these kids. It tends to make them worse because then they learn that they can tantrum their way out of class.

Bottom line: Nothing is a punishment, or a reward, unless it FUNCTIONS that way. It doesn't farking matter what the consequence LOOKS like. All that matters is what it means to the person it happens to.

I have had this exact conversation with teachers, deans, and principals many, many more times than I should have had it. These people are often hardworking, dedicated, and well-meaning, but all to often have no clue how to change behavior.


These are good points as well. In-school suspension may work, but only if you don't end up with one room full of all the worst kids in school. Maybe put them all in cubbies facing the walls, without cell phones or other forms of preferred distraction, and have someone in the room who's more a guard than a teacher - someone they won't fark with.
2013-03-18 08:36:12 PM  
1 votes:

digitalrain: My oldest is a real piece of work when it comes to school. The kid is a genius but has absolutely
zero ambition. He goes to school because I drag his ass out of bed @ 5:30 every morning. He
gets on the bus, goes to class and does nothing. Sometimes he sleeps, sometimes he goofs off.


How far away from school do you live that it requires getting up before dawn?
2013-03-18 08:33:54 PM  
1 votes:

Nadie_AZ: Some have 'in school suspension' now. You go to school, you sit in a room and do nothing.


Now?  I had that in the eighties.   AND I had to do tons of work, lots and lots and lots of work.
2013-03-18 08:33:21 PM  
1 votes:

PsiChick: /Hint: They aren't there for school. They're there for their  friends--staying home from school  sounds fun, right up until the kids discover that video games are only so interesting when no one's online


That is why you log in the the South Korean server......
2013-03-18 08:32:42 PM  
1 votes:
My school had a simple solution to this. You were suspended within the building in a small classroom. You effectively got days of detention instead of going home.

Nobody like being suspended.
2013-03-18 08:26:18 PM  
1 votes:
My oldest is a real piece of work when it comes to school. The kid is a genius but has absolutely
zero ambition. He goes to school because I drag his ass out of bed @ 5:30 every morning. He
gets on the bus, goes to class and does nothing. Sometimes he sleeps, sometimes he goofs off.

They used to suspend him out of school for it until I put my foot down. I told the school admins
that he *wanted* to be sent home and that suspending him out of school did nothing but give him
what he wanted. So they started sending him to in-school suspension. He stopped falling asleep
in class after that.
2013-03-18 08:09:19 PM  
1 votes:

fredklein: ...so the parents have to stay home from work to watch them, and beat them senseless for being little bratsopen a dialog to communicate with the little angels?


Exactly, suspensions punish the parents, which will punish the children as they see fit in return. Win-win for the school.

(Except for latchkey kids who'd just play vidya games all day, like me.)

What's hilarious is when suspension is a punishment for truancy. The parent obviously doesn't care, you're just giving the kid school-sanctioned days off at that point.
2013-03-18 07:48:41 PM  
1 votes:

SilentStrider: Nadie_AZ: Some have 'in school suspension' now. You go to school, you sit in a room and do nothing.

now?
My high school had that 20 years ago.
I resolved never go get sent back there after the first time, because I didn't think I could take that much boredom again.


Yea, we had it ten years ago, but we were allowed schoolwork/homework to do (and it's easy enough to fake doing schoolwork. I LOVED going to ISS, because any bullying or inane chatter was taken care of straightaway.

/was sent to ISS only a couple times, suspended a lot more
//Zero tolerance only applies if the school doesn't like you/your parents
///Never to PTA parent's kids!
2013-03-18 07:48:23 PM  
1 votes:

nmrsnr: /sorry, didn't mean to pick on you, I would have pointed it out anyway, you just gave me something to respond to.


That's fine. I'm cooking right now, so I didn't check it very thoroughly, and you raise good points. I would say, though, that poor students are more likely to get punished  for the same crimes as the other students because of social factors--parents who live in a poor neighborhood or were poor tend to teach different social skills to children, which can translate to coming off as 'rude' or 'defiant'. So that's always a fun factor to throw in.
2013-03-18 07:42:23 PM  
1 votes:

doglover: Because it's illegal to cane children into submission like the Victorians would.


We should rectify that.
2013-03-18 07:38:18 PM  
1 votes:

PsiChick: //It doesn't work, TFA demonstrated that,


No it didn't. It might certainly be the case that suspension is ineffective, but the "evidence" put forward in the article is some of the worst data analysis I've seen in a while.

the evidence FTFA:
A 2011 study showed that Texas students who were suspended or expelled at least once during middle school and high school averaged four such disciplinary actions during their academic careers. Fourteen percent of them were suspended 11 times or more. Suspensions don't even seem to benefit the school as a whole.

There is no comparison to disciplinary action in schools with different forms of punishment with which to compare whether disciplinary actions occur more or less with no punishment or with different punishment, so the numbers themselves are worthless as evidence of anything.

In recent years, while Baltimore city schools have dramatically reduced suspensions, the dropout rate has been cut nearly in half.

This could have the implied correlation exactly wrong, and in fact both the increase in graduation rate and decrease in suspensions could be entirely linked to either a) improved economic/community conditions, or b) better teachers. Good students with stable home lives both graduate more often and get suspended less, which, again, has nothing to do with the efficacy of suspension as a punishment.

A number of studies showed that minority children, students with low grades, and the poor are suspended disproportionately-a fact that remains true today.

This all sounds like it correlates to being poor. Minorities are still disproportionately poor today, children from low income households generally have parents low education backgrounds, so they can't supplement children's development at home, poor households also are disproportionately single parent households or parents who work extreme hours so they don't have time for reviewing their children's homework, meaning children from poor households also have disproportionately low grades. Again, none of this has any bearing on whether or not suspension is an effective form of punishment.

I'm all for doing proper research, but these data are not convincing at all.

/sorry, didn't mean to pick on you, I would have pointed it out anyway, you just gave me something to respond to.
2013-03-18 07:33:06 PM  
1 votes:

bhcompy: 2) The real point of suspension isn't the day-of punishment, it's the mark on your record that goes with you forever


Really? Forever? Don't you mean until the end of that school year? If you were a truly unruly student that stuff might follow you until you graduate but that's about it.
2013-03-18 07:32:27 PM  
1 votes:
Same reason we punish murderers by killing them....
2013-03-18 07:31:50 PM  
1 votes:
Very true.  I would try to get suspended as I saw it as a 3-day vacation.
2013-03-18 07:28:34 PM  
1 votes:
My last year of high school, showing up late meant that you got sent to in-school suspension for the class you were missing.  I'm sure this sounded great in theory, keeping students from coming in late and all, but in practice, you still came in late while the beleaguered teacher was forced to stop what they were doing and write you a hall pass to go to the "holding cell".

They probably still have this system in place.

Personally, I never got any kind of suspension or a detention because I didn't want to have to answer for farking up my parents' carefully planned scheduling.  The yelling / punishment wouldn't be the worst of it.
2013-03-18 07:24:42 PM  
1 votes:
The same reason they push them through grade after grade when they can't read - actually doing something to address the root causes would require too much time and effort, and mean acknowledging a systemic failure.

In-school suspension also requires a babysitter, whereas given enough OSS, a kid will fall far enough behind in their work that they get moved to an alternative school or drop out - either way they're off your books.
2013-03-18 07:24:13 PM  
1 votes:
At friend's school, they only suspend students out of school when they know the parents well enough to know they'll have consequences at home. If not, it's in-school and that includes cleaning the cafeteria, the windows, and (with parental permission) the bathrooms when the student isn't working on school work. He says they've actually had parents bring their kids in before school on out of school suspension days or on Saturday mornings to clean the bathrooms to make up for their infractions.

\not bad for a city school
\\ amazing what good parents can do
2013-03-18 07:23:51 PM  
1 votes:
1) Most schools I know do on-school suspensions now.  You just sit in a room all day doing homework or reading a book or something.
2) The real point of suspension isn't the day-of punishment, it's the mark on your record that goes with you forever
2013-03-18 07:23:32 PM  
1 votes:
Suspension is to punish the parents, not the children.
2013-03-18 07:23:05 PM  
1 votes:
Always wondered about that one myself, as someone who cut school often as a child.

"Little bastard doesn't want to come to school? Fine! We won't let them!"
2013-03-18 07:22:38 PM  
1 votes:

melewen: Once there was a time that suspension meant a day home with a parent who would actually enact additional punishment....


THIS.   If I'd been so bad as to get tossed out of school for a few days, it wasn't the "suspension" per se that would be a punishment, it would be the frightening things my father would have thought of to occupy my so called free time.

Thirty-five and that man still scares me.
2013-03-18 07:20:51 PM  
1 votes:
Because it's illegal to cane children into submission like the Victorians would.
2013-03-18 07:15:56 PM  
1 votes:
Could it be that the schools want the parents to get involved in adjusting little snowflake's behavior?
2013-03-18 07:14:35 PM  
1 votes:
...so the parents have to stay home from work to watch them, and beat them senseless for being little bratsopen a dialog to communicate with the little angels?
2013-03-18 07:10:01 PM  
1 votes:
When I was in high school, I was suspended for ditching school. My mother went bonkers on what an asinine punishment that was, so we all got community service hours to do too. (Catholic school).

I still maintained my grades, it was just so fricken boring.
2013-03-18 06:27:23 PM  
1 votes:

Nadie_AZ: Some have 'in school suspension' now. You go to school, you sit in a room and do nothing.


A few districts have suspension schools.  You go to another school and do your homework and classwork and the penalty for any rule violation is more suspension.

Schools in some states lose money if a student is absent.
2013-03-18 05:46:56 PM  
1 votes:
Some have 'in school suspension' now. You go to school, you sit in a room and do nothing.
 
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