Friday, April 04, 2008

How much is too much school discpline?

New Disciplinary Action for Students in Cheektowaga, NY, a local middle school. Reported they had a list of 150 students who were barred from after-hour games, crafts and ice cream socials because of poor grades or bad attitudes. This central middle school is emulating old principles of catholic schools or military academies. The program initially began by grounding middle school students whose grades in any class falls below a 65% or those that show a lack of effort. More than a quarter of the 580 students are excluded from extracurricular activities, clubs, dances and plays, unless they demonstrate improvement on weekly progress reports filled out by their teachers.

The schools main goal is to adopt a larger campaign to instill more responsibility in young adolescents in a town of 80,000 on the outskirts of Buffalo. The rules are as followed:
* Students must carry id cards at all times
*Students must stay to the right of the yellow dotted line in the middle of the hallways
*Students must sit at their assigned seats when eating lunch in the cafeteria and must wait to be called on by a teacher.

You may find these rules to be harsh and lacking in the amount of freedom given to the student or some may even find these rules to be exactly what these kids need. Some questions I’ve asked myself, are these rules too strict on the kids? Will the rules help tom improve the student’s grades?

These rules are similar to the same teachings of Joe Clark, from the 1980s movie “Lean on Mean”. The school did admit to following some of Joe Clark’s principles. The school’s principal, Brian Bridges grew up in a strict single parent home. He is bringing his up brings into the school. He says, by “bringing more structure and discipline to the school creates a safer environment and teaches students to be members of a community”. Several kids at the school are not pleased with the new rules. They feel the school is being too strict and the discipline is overwhelming. There is one thing to discipline for the decline in grades, but to outcast them in the school and to take away their privileges on a constant basis is another. Some of the students feel as though the school thinks their supposed to be perfect when their really not. School is supposed to be a fun learning place, not a prison.

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