New York Times Reports on Discipline in Schools

The New York Times reported in the Education section on July 19, 2011: “School Discipline Study Raises Fresh Questions.”

The article raised questions about the effectiveness of school discipline. A study found that 31 percent of Texas students were suspended off campus or expelled at least once during their  middle and high school years at an average of almost four times for each student.

The article reported, “In the last 20 to 25 years, there have been dramatic increases in the number of suspensions and expulsions,” said Michael Thompson, who headed the study as director of the Justice Center at the Council of State Governments, a nonpartisan group.

The findings are “very much representative of the nation as a whole,” said Russ Skiba, a professor of school psychology at Indiana University who reviewed the study along with several other prominent researchers.

Almost 15 percent of students, a vast majority of whom had extensive school disciplinary files, had at least one record in the juvenile justice system, according to the report.

One superintendent said the data showed that “suspensions are a little too easy.”

An aphorism comes to mind: Insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results.

Such is the case for more punishments!

If I didn’t see it repeatedly occurring, I wouldn’t believe that educators in this 21st century still espouse outmoded, coercive, negative, and victimhood-producing effects and then expect young people to become more responsible.

If educators didn’t know of a more effective approach, I might understand. However, there is a better, more effective approach. And it’s all free. See the website.