By: Bill Bosher
Discipline is fundamental to improvement of any kind, and it is critical to educational achievement. Very little that is positive grows out of chaos. I believe in the rights of all young people to have an education, but I believe even more in protecting the rights of those who want it from incorrigibility. While young people need to know that you care of them, you don't negotiate with them.
Negotiating with children or terrorists, especially terrorizing children, will produce an environment where the belief is that everything is negotiable. Strong discipline, which does not mean simply corporal, precedes English, Math, Science and Social Studies.
Area school divisions are looking at their codes of conduct. They are attempting to give "judgement" to teachers and principals after a long period of "zero tolerance" policies …and often meaning zero common sense. If these new policies are interpreted as giving ground, ground will be taken.
If they come to mean that classrooms, schools, and families will work together to set expectations and consequences, it could bring safer schools and happier homes. Policies should reflect that you can be hugged and suspended at the same time. The person is not being rejected; it is the behavior that's not accepted.