Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Charleston County Schools Must Get Parents on Board the Discipline Train

New superintendent. New school year. New discipline plan. All aboard!

We wish!

If you grew up in Charleston County in the 1950s and even the 1960s, you never saw police inside a school. The 1917 "disturbing schools" law was unknown to students, maybe even to teachers. It was also a time when troubled students usually dropped out, even in the early grades. Students who remained through graduation had supportive parents and usually understood that teachers and school staff deserved respect. Parents blamed their children, not the teachers, when problems occurred. 

Let's face it: our society no longer respects authority in that way. In fact, in our society in many ways we don't respect each other either. The respect that begins at home does not exist in too many families. The troubled children who used to drop out remain in school and somehow must learn to respect the learning environment if any student's learning is to take place. In too many cases, teaching self-discipline has become the job of teachers who must fill in what parents of all backgrounds have neglected. 

Students thrive on consistency. CCSD's new discipline plan promises to be consistent, yet until parents fully engage in the discipline process, it will be doomed to failure. The time to figure out how to involve parents in every aspect of the process is past due. Until they get on the train, unruly and disruptive behavior will continue to challenge the ability of every child to get the education he or she deserves.

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