How much discipline is too much discipline? Last week, students across the nation discussed the benefits and harm behind disciplinary actions on students in school, particularly ones based on the zero tolerance policy in our #DoNowDiscipline post. We asked students Do you think that schools, teachers and administrators should change the way they discipline because of the new report on zero tolerance and new suggested guidelines? How might they punish differently? Is this a good or a bad thing?
Recently, the Obama administration announced new guidelines for punishment in school, urging schools to re-evaluate their zero tolerance policies and create ones that align with civil rights laws. Based on the zero tolerance policies, schools are allowed to issue strong punishments to rule breaking students, which may result in sending the students to court. For example, when Texas passed the policy in 1995, schools started to issue criminal citations to students for missing class, fighting, cursing and even throwing paper airplanes.
Students argued about the necessity of teaching students right from wrong, but also the importance of treating students with dignity. By the end of the week, the majority of the students agreed that the zero tolerance policies are too harsh and schools should assess a student’s situation before deciding on the punishment.
Discipline is Too Severe
Many students argued that the zero tolerance policies are too harsh for students.
— Dustin Ackerman (@ackermdu2015) January 14, 2014
— Emmanuel Laroche (@e_LaRoche1) January 16, 2014
No Change is Needed
Other students talked about how school punishment is important to teach students how to follow the rules.
— Jordan Bonilla (@JordanBfauhs4B) January 13, 2014
— DreamerDaniel (@DreamerDaniel17) January 15, 2014
Finding a Balance
Several students acknowledged the importance of punishment in school, but debated how far schools should go to keep students in line.
— cecilia huang (@ceciliaaahuangg) January 13, 2014
— Morayo Aderugbo (@aderugmo2015) January 14, 2014
Government Needs to Stay Out of It
Some students discussed how the school should be the ones to decide the punishment and not resort to court citations.
— Joi Fisher (@apgov_joi) January 15, 2014
— Dennis Dea (@DeabagDennis) January 15, 2014
Look at the Whole Picture
Many students argued that schools should evaluate the situation and severity of the action before issuing a punishment.
— Erin Moody✨ (@moody_erin) January 15, 2014
— marianila (@angiee_nila) January 13, 2014
— Sabrina Chu (@ChuSabrina) January 15, 2014
Ways We Can Change the Policies
Several students proposed different ways administrators could still teach students how to behave in school without resorting to harsh punishment.
— Kevin Tran-Le (@SiirKevin) January 13, 2014
— Ace Khonn (@AceKhonn) January 13, 2014
— Regina Kautzer (@kautzere) January 14, 2014