When Zero Tolerance for Bad Behavior Works – or Doesn’t

According to John Yemma editor of the Christian Science Monitor, some educational systems are failing regarding discipline. What did they do wrong?

These schools instituted A Zero Tolerance Policy. In this case, if student acted out there were ousted of school.  Never to return.

Most likely, those children needed to return.  If they spoke rudely, hit someone, talked back, they’ll simply continue that behavior.  Most likely, that is what they grew up with. Or, they grew up with no guidance at all.

Barring the door to school doesn’t stop a negative trend. Most of these innocent children don’t have the capability to think about negative consequences or what it means to not be in school. Yet for us, we know it can mean aimlessness, lack of critical thinking, minimal job training and no sense of life purpose.  It can also mean gangs, violence.

These children need to and deserve to return to love.  Yes, even if they hit someone.  Even if they were angry, feisty and violent.  We can give them a firm, disciplinary love — a new way of treatment they might not have experienced. That means we look at their situation differently.  They are innocents; their actions are not. We need to show them positive actions which lead to positive rewards. When their negative actions stop, they can have a pure pathway ahead.

Here’s what we can do: Welcome them back. Coach, guide and give positive incentives for positive behavior.  There are consequences for poor behavior, but not a “kick-out-and-close-the-door-policy.”   We don’t give  a negative consequence for negative behavior.  Show them firmly and resolutely the way to positive choices and actions.

You will change the school.  You will make our community safer and more productive for all.  You, can change their lives.

Everyone’s true potential is as a kind, contributing citizen in the classroom and outside. We can help them get there, through the pathway of disciplined love.

For the full article on some innovative solutions: http://bit.ly/13QmFyZ


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