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Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?



 
 
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  #21  
Old April 24th, 2009, 5:23 am
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

1. What does your educational system do to maintain order?

I know very little about specifics, except that detentions are certainly used.

2. What authority do you feel schools should be granted to protect students, teachers, or enforce policy?

I think that schools have some rights and responsibility to make the school a safe and productive place, and I think they have a responsibility to advocate on behalf of the students when there is suspicion of abuse or bullying.

However, I don't agree with schools taking on the role of parents or police. If there is valid reason to think that a student is doing something illegal, then the appropriate authorities should be brought in. And some things are just not within the school's jurisdiction.

3. How do you feel about corporal punishment in schools?


Absolutely against it. I disagree with corporal punishment in general, but I absolutely cannot agree with schools allowing it.

4. How do you feel about certain punishments far exceeding the infractions? (e.g. 10 day suspension for packing a butter knife with lunch)

Zero tolerance is necessary to an extent because the rules need to be clear and serious. However, ignoring specifics is unwise. I don't think it's necessarily intent that matters all that much. If you base it on intent, then you get into an area that's hard to govern and can turn into persecution of thoughts rather than actions, which I feel is unfair. But circumstances do need to be looked at. I think that punishment and discipline should be goal-oriented. If a child brings a pocket knife to school purely by accident, then they're probably not a huge threat to school safety. There's no reason why they can't be a good student as long as they remember to leave the knife at home. But a child who brings a knife to use in a fight could be a danger to everyone.

I have to wonder about the logic behind outlawing butter knives, though. You could certainly hurt someone with a butter knife if you were determined to do so, but it seems to me that various common school supplies, such as sharpened pencils and stable removers, are much more dangerous.

5. Savanna Redding, then 13 years old, is the subject of a Supreme Court Case. She was the victim of a strip-search for Ibuprofen. How do you feel about this case?

I think the school was out of line. There does not seem to be significant evidence against her, and if there was reason to believe that more investigation than a simple locker search was necessary, then the school should have brought in the police, who are trained to handle these things appropriately.

6 Do you feel schools are justified in conducting strip-searches, or searching lockers with or without cause?


Lockers I'm okay with, because it's part of school property. But I absolutely do not think that a child should be strip-searched, and I'm inclined to say that they should not have to turn over private property for searches, either. Again, if there's significant evidence, bring in the police.

7. (USA) Do you feel public or private schools should be subject to the 4th Amendment of the US Constitution concerning unreasonable searches and seizures? Why or Why not?

Public schools definitely should, as they're under the government. Private schools have more leeway, but I don't think they should be allowed to do something that can be defined as particularly undignified or potentially abusive, which strip searches can be.


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Old April 24th, 2009, 5:43 am
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

I remember when I was in high school I really hated my gym teachers' favorite method of discipline. They'd made it manditory for everyone in class to run/jog laps for 5 minutes at the beginning of every class, and if they caught anyone walking or refusing to do the laps, they'd punish the entire class & make everyone run extra laps. And they didn't care if you were having trouble breathing or had a bad cough or anything like that, they still forced you to run.


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Old April 24th, 2009, 6:41 am
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

That's the one thing I hated most about school discipline. Punishing the whole class because of one or two people. I know teachers seem to think that this will discourage kids from acting out, but it doesn't. It amazes me how out of touch so many teaches are (at least were when I was in high school in the mid 2000s).


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Old April 24th, 2009, 7:25 am
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

Yeah, but what bothered me even more than them punishing the whole class for something that only one or two people did, was the fact that they were forcing people to run who were having trouble breathing. I had trouble breathing while running laps in gym class back in high school. And if you google, you can find a number of cases across the country were kids have collapsed while running laps in gym class, and some have even died.


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Old April 24th, 2009, 4:07 pm
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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Originally Posted by Hysteria View Post
That's the one thing I hated most about school discipline. Punishing the whole class because of one or two people. I know teachers seem to think that this will discourage kids from acting out, but it doesn't. It amazes me how out of touch so many teaches are (at least were when I was in high school in the mid 2000s).
While it seems unfair, there is a lesson to be learned in this. Triumph as a team is great, but the team must share in the failures as well. The military knows this as well as any. This is especially true when an infraction has occurred, and the guilty party doesn't have the honor or guts to come forward. As a result the whole platoon or class will be equally punished. This teaches the guilty party that regardless of his or her deception he or she will pay for it, so they may as well not ensnare the whole group.


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  #26  
Old April 24th, 2009, 6:08 pm
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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Originally Posted by rigdoctorbri View Post
While it seems unfair, there is a lesson to be learned in this. Triumph as a team is great, but the team must share in the failures as well. The military knows this as well as any. This is especially true when an infraction has occurred, and the guilty party doesn't have the honor or guts to come forward. As a result the whole platoon or class will be equally punished. This teaches the guilty party that regardless of his or her deception he or she will pay for it, so they may as well not ensnare the whole group.
Or it just makes the kids in the class really bitter and cynical about the teachers' methods of discipline, because they know they could still be punished even if they do everything right. What's the point in trying to follow the rules if you're going to get punished regardless?


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Old April 24th, 2009, 6:37 pm
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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Originally Posted by rigdoctorbri View Post
While it seems unfair, there is a lesson to be learned in this. Triumph as a team is great, but the team must share in the failures as well. The military knows this as well as any. This is especially true when an infraction has occurred, and the guilty party doesn't have the honor or guts to come forward. As a result the whole platoon or class will be equally punished. This teaches the guilty party that regardless of his or her deception he or she will pay for it, so they may as well not ensnare the whole group.
Do they really learn something from it? Is it really useful? They say it makes the other students upset with the student so they want to get in trouble anymore, but it doesn't. They're not mad at the rule-breaker, they're mad at the teacher, the one who punished them. Next time around they're still breaking rules.


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  #28  
Old April 24th, 2009, 9:50 pm
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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I actually went to a school that did this. If you had Saturday School for punishment, you were forced to clean the floors and walls and such. I'm not sure I ever thought it was very effective because you would get Saturday School for getting three detentions, and the detentions could be for anything including leaving a book in the hallway after lunch. I think other schools I went to also had lunch detention in which you had to help clean up the cafeteria after lunch was over. I think that will work for some people, but just like any other punishments it wouldn't be a fix all. For some students a stern look is enough for them to feel properly recalcitrant, for others not even expulsion would be enough of a threat. I'd say some of that has to do with parenting, and others just on the personality of the child involved.
even if its not a punishment, at least the kid would be required to do something that helps the school

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I have to wonder about the logic behind outlawing butter knives, though. You could certainly hurt someone with a butter knife if you were determined to do so, but it seems to me that various common school supplies, such as sharpened pencils and stable removers, are much more dangerous.
that reminds me of something. In middle school, we weren't allowed backpacks during the school day (don't ask me why, the high school does). I can understand that for younger kids that didn't bring anything really but for the 7th and 8th graders, i remember having to carry at least 4 large 1-2 inch binders at a time along with like an expandable folder or homework folder of some type. And I swear i've gotten more injuries in those two years from being slammed by binders than i have in my entire life from stuff like knife wounds and burns and gym class. There was one time where this kid accidentally bumped into me and the plastic on his binder was all messed up and i ended up with a shallow but long wound on the side of my lower arm. Except for the scraping on the side of it, i swear it could've passed for a knife wound.

Obviously accidents happen but i can think of so many things schools have anyways that could be used as weapons


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  #29  
Old April 24th, 2009, 10:11 pm
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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Or it just makes the kids in the class really bitter and cynical about the teachers' methods of discipline, because they know they could still be punished even if they do everything right. What's the point in trying to follow the rules if you're going to get punished regardless?

I think the whole point of discipline like that is to force the non-disruptive kids to keep the others in check. Like fighting in the school yard. Half the time bullies do it to get attention from other kids who hang around egging them on. No those bystanders weren't directly responsible for the other kid getting beaten up but a) they witnessed it and did nothing to prevent it (which is passive aggresive if you ask me) or b) they encouraged the bully to beat the other child up. Neither option makes the bystander less culpable than the bully. In some ways it's often worse. By punishing a whole class it is likely that the class will more than like discourage bad behavior and socially exclude the miscreant than the teacher. Kids who take it out on the teacher are usually more of the instigators than the bystanders.


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Old April 24th, 2009, 10:37 pm
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

After a few years i became a bit less nice kid but before in elementary school i was like a model student. I never got in trouble, never disrupted the class, etc. And guess what i got punished for (well, kind of). Not being socially active enough...I mean seriously! I was well, more of a monkey than someone who enjoyed running so after 3rd and 4th grade when what we had to play on was a large hill and not monkey bars and jungle gym, on our report card we got graded on how socially active you were, i got a Good instead of an Outstanding (which i know isn't bad, but the rest of my report card was O ). And really, it wasn't like i was a hermit. i was friends with everyone, played with everyone, etc. Rather hypocritical of schools if you ask me...


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  #31  
Old April 24th, 2009, 11:07 pm
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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I think the whole point of discipline like that is to force the non-disruptive kids to keep the others in check.
In which case, it didn't work at all.

At least not at my high school, anyway. As Leah said, we didn't take it out on the disruptive kids, rather we blamed the teachers. "We" being inclusive of those of us who were usually teacher's pets in other classes.


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Old April 24th, 2009, 11:17 pm
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

teacher's pets tend to get even more annoyed at teachers since they're the ones that are most unfairly punished.


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  #33  
Old April 24th, 2009, 11:20 pm
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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teacher's pets tend to get even more annoyed at teachers since they're the ones that are most unfairly punished.
Perhaps that's why I'm still bitter and resentful about it so many years later.


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Old April 24th, 2009, 11:24 pm
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

maybe that's why i have since quit being a teacher's pet and turned into a disruptive class clown . so much for school rules making kids better


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Old April 25th, 2009, 12:28 am
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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They were looking for ibuprofen. That is absolutely ludicrous. Even if they were looking for cocaine I find a strip search inappropriate. As far as I'm concerned that was more than an invasion of her privacy that was a form of sexual abuse. I am not sure where school officials got the impression that they were allowed to ask students to remove clothing. If this was my daughter, I would have wanted them arrested.
I totally agree. If the school is that concerned about a student possibly carrying drugs then they should be bringing the police in. It is the police's job to do this kind of thing not the schools. If my child wer ever strip searched I would prosecute. Mind you I honestly can't see that happening in the UK because the rules about what you can and can't do with children are extremely tight and I am fairly certain that this would be against the law.


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  #36  
Old April 26th, 2009, 4:31 am
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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Yeah, but what bothered me even more than them punishing the whole class for something that only one or two people did, was the fact that they were forcing people to run who were having trouble breathing. I had trouble breathing while running laps in gym class back in high school. And if you google, you can find a number of cases across the country were kids have collapsed while running laps in gym class, and some have even died.
I have personally witnessed someone get an asthma attack, but fromstupidity really but it wasn't pretty. People shouldbe givensifferent amounts of punishment based onWho they are


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Old April 26th, 2009, 5:17 am
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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I totally agree. If the school is that concerned about a student possibly carrying drugs then they should be bringing the police in. It is the police's job to do this kind of thing not the schools. If my child wer ever strip searched I would prosecute. Mind you I honestly can't see that happening in the UK because the rules about what you can and can't do with children are extremely tight and I am fairly certain that this would be against the law.
I never would have thought this would be legal in the United State either. While we obviously do not have as strict of rules of what can and cannot be done with children, there are certain areas that seem quite well legislated, and those areas regarding children and nudity would be among them. If you found the right prosecutor in the US, they could probably find a law they think this broke...And if it isn't a law, I think I want it to be one. I can't imagine any circumstance under which I would agree with such action done by school officials.


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  #38  
Old April 26th, 2009, 12:28 pm
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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While it seems unfair, there is a lesson to be learned in this. Triumph as a team is great, but the team must share in the failures as well. The military knows this as well as any. This is especially true when an infraction has occurred, and the guilty party doesn't have the honor or guts to come forward. As a result the whole platoon or class will be equally punished. This teaches the guilty party that regardless of his or her deception he or she will pay for it, so they may as well not ensnare the whole group.
Sorry couldn't disagree more. It's school.. not the military. Punishing 30 kids for the wrong-doings of one is ridiculous and in my experience doesn't act as any deterrent. In high school I was a model student (99% of the time) and countless times I was kept late in class because some idiot decided to act out. He doesn't care about me or the other 28 of us. I think it's more likely to teach kids that even if you don't act out, you'll be punished so why bother being good? That's the effect I saw, anyway.

Quote:
Pox Voldius
Yeah, but what bothered me even more than them punishing the whole class for something that only one or two people did, was the fact that they were forcing people to run who were having trouble breathing. I had trouble breathing while running laps in gym class back in high school. And if you google, you can find a number of cases across the country were kids have collapsed while running laps in gym class, and some have even died.
Well yes that too! I remember in primary school we had to do the 'beep test' twice a year. I have very bad Asthma and it got to the point where I had to bring a doctor's note to class to get out of it because my teachers would push us so hard.


Too often in schools (IMO) it is the innocents who suffer. They are the ones who are over-looked and in some cases punished for things they had no part in. I went to two very very good schools and both had these problems.


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  #39  
Old April 26th, 2009, 2:50 pm
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

The problem with troublemakers is that many of them believe that they have nothing to Lose and nothing that happens is a big deal


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Old April 26th, 2009, 3:18 pm
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Re: Have School Authorities Overstepped Their Bounds?

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I think the whole point of discipline like that is to force the non-disruptive kids to keep the others in check. Like fighting in the school yard. Half the time bullies do it to get attention from other kids who hang around egging them on. No those bystanders weren't directly responsible for the other kid getting beaten up but a) they witnessed it and did nothing to prevent it (which is passive aggresive if you ask me) or b) they encouraged the bully to beat the other child up. Neither option makes the bystander less culpable than the bully. In some ways it's often worse. By punishing a whole class it is likely that the class will more than like discourage bad behavior and socially exclude the miscreant than the teacher. Kids who take it out on the teacher are usually more of the instigators than the bystanders.
Honestly, even if this did work for kids, I'm not sure I like the idea of children being shamed into something. Childhood and making friends and relating to others is difficult enough without giving the kids another reason to dislike them. I mean, that's the premise of why it could work, right? That fear of being a social outcast will make children act in a certain way? And while it is true that life is not fair, children will learn that in so many other ways than being punished for things they don't do. We don't arrest adults who were in a store when it was robbed because they didn't stop it, and the other person in a car doesn't get a ticket because the driver is speeding, even if they were saying "go faster, go faster!" Children should not be put in the position to act as parents or teachers and threaten bodily harm in order to prevent a fight. If all of the children are engaged in bullying then that is a problem and it should be dealt with accordingly on a situation by situation basis. Punishing the children who were just there and didn't throw themsevles in front of someone's fist or who didn't stop a bully out of fear they would be next won't fix the problem anymore than will the zero tolerance policy of suspending all children involved in a fight, regardless of whether they were being beat up or the aggressor.
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Sorry couldn't disagree more. It's school.. not the military. Punishing 30 kids for the wrong-doings of one is ridiculous and in my experience doesn't act as any deterrent. In high school I was a model student (99% of the time) and countless times I was kept late in class because some idiot decided to act out. He doesn't care about me or the other 28 of us. I think it's more likely to teach kids that even if you don't act out, you'll be punished so why bother being good? That's the effect I saw, anyway.
I agree. The only time I have seen these sorts of things actually work is with adults. I had a professor in college who threatened to set a pop quiz if anyone's cell phone went off. And while I'm sure people in part feared their own grade on the pop quiz, nobody wanted to be the person who made everyone in class take a pop quiz. I feel like often in schools, it is also not just the one or two people did something wrong scenario, but that say the noise level in the room became too loud. For something like that, it is difficult for one child to control, they can only control their own voice, and they can try to shush people around them, but if you are allowed to speak some, ultimately "too loud" is a subjective thing. Kids can't avoid an exact point if they don't know what it is. And I don't feel like punishing them will make them realize what "too loud" or "too far" or "too much" means, when children can be controlled by giving them an exact boundary, a reminder to pay attention to it, and then punishing those few students who purposely ignore the warning. The only situations in which I feel punishing a whole class would be necessary would be in something where they all acting poorly, such as in a class food fight or similar.


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