jueves, 19 de julio de 2012

Expulsion: is it an appropriate disciplinary measure?

Many different groups have argued about the convenience of expelling disruptive students from regular classes. Does it have any positive effect? Well, it depends on the point of view, or better, on the affected people. If you ask all the participants in the still, some will be surely relieved whereas for others it will cause a nervous breakdown and a truly pain in the ass. Take the other students, for example. For those only interested in studying and benefiting from a good lesson –which will make them study and review less hours at home–, the measure is worth an Oscar. But if you think of those parents of the “angel”, who probably will have to seek somebody to care for the boy, or take a day off, or just leave him alone at home, abusing the computer, the punishment is not useful. A boy at home on a school day certainly means problems. For the teacher, giving a class without the black pie takes a lot of stress away. And as far as the other not very nice pupils in the classroom are concerned, the exemplary sentence will serve them well: they will either avoid getting into trouble or try to “suffer” the same cruel but liberating punishment.
Some groups have doubted about the efficiency of the measure. Sending a problematic student home is not a solution. Well, it is for the rest of the school community, but not for him. Society thinks that education implies making an effort, and taking the student out of school is not precisely an attempt. Reaching that point, we all have to make ourselves a question: is a single person more important than the collective? Do we really have to sacrifice the whole class so as to save a unique and very special critical person? The answer is not easy, but amplifying the scope may help. How does society deal with criminal behaviour? Do they keep disruptive people with the regular community, waiting something wrong to happen? Are those misbehavers to be re-educated, listened to, consoled and comforted, and reinserted in society without moving a single muscle of their bodies? Just as adults are penalised with fines, prison, seizure and other ways of public rejection or deprivation, so do students have to be punished with effective measures. Dialogue, understanding, care and attention are first procedures to apply but there’s a point when thumping the table with the fist is necessary and highly recommended, not only for the disruptive pupils but also for the rest of the academic community. Infinite patience would be the best option but, if parents cannot provide a whole life to take care of their children, how could teachers look after twenty minds starving for affection and understanding?

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