The latest public school news is that students and parents want more counseling in school and less discipline. I submit the reason we have many of the day to day problems in the public school today is because of the lack of discipline.
Over the last decade self-esteem has replaced self-respect. The overall disregard for authority has increased to the point where many students will break rules just because "they can". Why do they think they can, because they know from experience nothing will be done if certain rules are broken. It starts at the top but the results filter down into the classroom every day. If a classroom teacher "follows the rules" and others dismiss those rules whether that means the school disciplinarian, the administration, or the Board of Education itself (depending on the infraction), the student now realizes the teacher "can't" do anything and will continue to break the rules.
Not surprisingly, the students who normally follow the rules and don't complain will eventually start to break some rules too. Some have told me themselves the reason they do this is because if the kids who always break rules don't get into trouble, why should anyone have to follow them?
Now when it comes to counseling, there is a time and a need for that in the school system, but that is for a very small percentage of the students. The majority don't need nor want counseling. Unfortunately, when society keeps excusing bad behavior and labeling it as the latest "syndrome", "disease", or "disorder" it's no wonder everyone wants to excuse bad behavior. Sometimes it's just what it looks like...bad choices, bad decisions, growing up. If it goes beyond that, in many cases, it becomes a police matter, and then it's out of the school's hands.
Parents again need to step-up and be parents. They need to be an active, positive part of their child's life. If they see their child is struggling seek out the help they need be it tutoring, counseling (even family counseling), or as a parent communicating with your child and helping them in the best way possible. The parent in this article stated, "The answer is not more police in schools, or harsh discipline practices, but for CPS to invest more than the current $0.8 million to provide more social, educational and emotional support that will give our youth a more positive learning environment and not set them up for failure,” she said.
If expecting students to follow basic school rules, like not cutting class, is setting students up for failure, we're really in trouble.