Monday, May 10, 2010

Venting the Anger: School Discipline...or lack thereof

Ok, so I wasn't at school last Thursday or Friday. Today I got the reports back from the substitute and noticed that two of my students left for a track meet at 1. That seemed a little early because most of the time it is 1:20. So I looked at the list for release times and noticed that there was no scheduled release time for track that day. Bingo! Class cut...two of them.

So I am writing up the referrals for the two students (Student A & Student J). I didn't know that Student J was in track so I thought just cut. So I am telling this to my TA and she tells me it wasn't Student J it was Student S. So I proceeded to write out a referral for Student S and thought the sub just misread the seating chart.

So I send up Student A & Student S for a class cut. I tell the class that I almost sent up Student J on accident. Then another student speaks up and says, "that's no mistake, Student S told the sub his name was Student J."

This was interesting to me because on top of a class cut, Student S lied to a substitute, a big no no in any district I am sure. As I am calling his counselor, my TA tells me that Student S also asked her if she thought he could get away with ditching the class.

I am pretty excited now, I have Student S who told my TA he was going to cut, lied to a sub, and then actually cut class. I explain it all to the counselor and wait.

Student A comes back with a simple 1 hour detention after school. I was a little upset, but that counselor has a reputation for going easy on I wasn't too shocked. I read the referral and it said "student was confused about release time". Clearly she wasn't...but whatever.

Student S comes back in smiling saying he was pretty sure he would get caught, but whatever. I asked him for his referral and noticed he got only a one hour after school detention! And the same excuse was on there about being confused about the release time. So nothing happened for him lying to the sub.

I am getting sick and tired of things like this happening. How can anyone justify this? A student blatantly lies to a sub and cuts a class...his punishment? Oh that big one hour detention (actually 45 minutes). What has he learned? That he can cut class and not get into serious trouble. Oh and he can flat out lie to the person in charge and nothing else.

I usually don't bring stuff like this up to the principal or VP, but I think I might on this one. You can't justify a one hour detention for that. I have had students come back from getting detention for tardies with candy from the counselors too. I am sorry, but can anyone say reinforcing negative behavior? The counselors have been horrible on discipline this year. When a student is excited to go to their counselor to get into trouble, there's something wrong with that.

And what does that do to us classroom teachers? It takes away any power we have. The students know they can screw around and have nothing happen to them. Or they play good cop all the time. I had a student who was late all the time, the candy kid. So he was on crutches for a week and showed up late. They had 15 minutes to get to class, which is plenty of time, since you can get across campus in 5. So I send him up for being late. What happens? His counselor tells him "If you can convince Mr. W to take away the tardy, I won't give you a detention. I am sure he will, you are on crutches". Yeah how fair is that to me? I didn't change my mind either, in case you are wondering.

It is this constant coddling that is killing education. If it's not the parents, it's the counselors and administrators.


Mrs. H said...

Amen to this post! In the new district I work in, the students come back from the AP's office with candy. The first time I saw this, I was shocked. This would have never happened at my old school. The office was one place my students did not want to go and tried to avoid it all costs. Of course that was West Texas where they got a "swat" for misbehaviour and were sent back to class with a sore behind not candy. I know, it is terribly old fashioned, but it worked.

Mr. W said...

Said to see it outside of CA. The one thing I like about blogs is reading about other teacher's trials. It makes me feel a little better to know I am not alone.