do not listen to parents or teachers. This lack of
trust and respect is a serious problem.
The latest trend to tackle the issue in schools is
Restorative Justice. If you listen to experts the
objective is to reduce the number of suspensions.
However, in these efforts to reduce suspensions,
other students and teachers are left suffering.
Often, Restorative Justice is not concerned with
rehabilitating offending students - the objective
is to merely reduce suspensions and avoid
punitive consequences for student actions.
A frequent pattern of disruptive children being
endlessly returned to the classroom without any
actual change in their behavior is emerging.
Schools have to be able to remove continuously
disruptive students from classes. Ideally,
constantly disruptive students should be placed
in high-quality alternative education settings
where they can receive long-term, intensive
interventions. We especially need to strengthen
the authority of teachers who manage defiant
students. The concept of Restorative Justice
may be noble, but the implementation is often
flawed and harmful.
Some of the other barriers for this form of
discipline to work include that all participants
have to buy into the process. That is never going
to happen. Schools, parents, and students are
never going to be on the same page regarding
student discipline. The concept is not supposed
to be an alternative to punishment, which it has
become. The objective should be a change
in behavioe, not just a reduction in student
Student discipline should be designed to
improve behavior. In that regard, there is not just
one victim. It is not a student versus a teacher
scenario, but rather a chronically disruptive
student interrupting an entire class of fellow
students. Should parents be made aware when
their child’s class is constantly interrupted? Many
educators think so. These other students are
victims, as is their education. Restorative Justice
proponents are seeking to make educators take
even more time away from instruction to put in
effort and time to deal with a chronic behavior
problem. The modeled misbehavior could have
a negative impact on other students who are
deprived of instruction time. They may emulate
this negative behavior for attention.
continued from page 22
way to prepare for school closures and how
to handle the possible disruption of student
learning. Implementing best practices and
procedures will help prevent the spread of
• Avoid close contact with people
who are sick.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose,
• Stay home when you are sick.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with
a tissue, then throw the tissue in
• Clean and disinfect frequently
touched objects and surfaces
using a regular household
cleaning spray or wipe.
• Wash your hands often with
soap and water for at least 20
seconds, especially after going to
the bathroom; before eating; and
after blowing your nose, coughing,
or sneezing. If soap and water
are not readily available, use an
alcohol-based hand sanitizer with
at least 60% alcohol.
What we are seeing is the public health
community trying to catch up to the speed of
the virus. The public-school community will
have to adjust as quickly. We need to take
this virus seriously. Coronavirus (COVID-19)
could have an impact for a long time.