School misconduct

   Educational French authorities have just published a Guide on preventing dangerous misconduct in education centers.

   The two most critical themes concern the crisis of discipline in schools and the language and reading deficit.

   School misconduct is a clamorous problem: drunkenness increases, the use of marijuana is trivialized, smokers augment in number, and the use of tranquilizers and synthetics drugs becomes more prevalent. This phenomenon is affecting all high schools, meaning that alcohol and drug consumption in less prevalent in the so called “educational priority zones”, which are located in the worst neighborhoods of big cities.

   The Guide provides recommendations of what should not be done, how to ignore conflict, elude dialogue, the failure to understand and the fall into complacency by accepting everything and anything. Fortunately, it provides advice on how to mobilize those who are involved, count on school medicine, and make sure that each student has someone to talk to.

   These problems are the consequence of the resignation of parents in the face of the difficult task of educating one’s own children.

   In the United States, the “zero tolerance” policy has been generalized against the lack of discipline. The system consists of not letting even a student’s most minimum infraction pass unnoticed, in order to never reach worst situation such as shootings. It is the same theory of the “broken windows”, which has shown to be effective to combat delinquency in New York’s metro as well as in other cities.

   A recent report by the State Department of Justice affirms that this idea is very much widespread. About 90 percent of schools in the USA implement automatic sanctions (e.g. expulsions in general) for students that bring any type of weapons to school.

   Strong emphasis is especially put on small fractions, such as fights, insults, or simple shoving and pushing.

   In order to carry out these methods, schools have adopted detailed codes that specify the applicable punishments on whatever fault imaginable.

   With the zero tolerance policy schools can provide results when society demands them. Educational authorities in Baltimore assure that rigidness has help drop the delinquency rate by 31 percent in the city’s secondary schools (Translated by Gianna A. Sanchez Moretti).
   Arturo Ramo

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