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Tough Love for Tots?

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by ethics, Dec 17, 2002.

  1. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    A tough new discipline policy in the Philadelphia public schools has resulted in 33 suspensions of <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/16/education/16KIND.html?8bhp">kindergartners</a> in the first three months this year, compared to one suspension in the same period last year.

    The suspensions, first reported this week in The Philadelphia School Notebook, an independent quarterly newspaper, included 26 out-of-school suspensions. Most of the suspensions lasted one day, school officials said. However, parents groups and children's advocates have condemned this as unfairly draconian, and a system that will stigmatize these children at an age where they are still building a self-image.

    They have decried the suspensions as a quick-fix answer that pits parents against schools.

    Defenders of the system note that the real intent is to engage parents that are not doing their job teaching discipline to 5 or 6 year olds. Said one official, 'This is a sort of time out, ratcheted up a bit. It's not about punishing the kid or hammering the kid.' Said another, 'You don't wait until middle school to teach kids to read, and you don't wait till middle school to teach kids that violence isn't appropriate.'

    I guess it all depends what they are being suspended for. Hitting, pushing is about being a kid, and unfortunately, I am a believer that kids must go through this phase with some supervision but not suspensions.
  2. Sierra Mike

    Sierra Mike The Dude Abides Staff Member

    Wow, when did Philly start acting like it was in California?

  3. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    It's one thing to want to achieve the nirvana of no violence, none, not ever. It's another to forget that man is an animal with certain instincs for self preservation and protection. Suspending children for not being capable of advanced citizenship ahead of their parents is counter productive. As the article pointed out, you have now labeled this child in his own mind as being bad. If not countered by some very intelligent parenting the child has a good chance of buying into it.

    My dad's way of telling his children their egos were getting a little big was to tell us, "Don't start believing your own shit." I would say to these people who think human kind has evolved (or should evolve) to a pacifist never raise your hand state of being, "Be very careful of believing your own shit."
  4. HaYwIrE

    HaYwIrE Banned

    My sister-in-law has owned a day-care center for over 20 years now. I've observed some of these children over the past 5 years, and I've gotta tell ya, I disagree that this is a phase that all kids <b>must</b> go through.

    You can watch a kid for 10 minutes and tell how good his/her parents are at teaching discipline. Then, after seeing some of the kids' parents and listening to some of their excuses, my "pre-analysis", if you will, is right on the money.

    Parents don't take parenting seriously anymore. Many parents don't realize what a responsibility they have to mold their children into good upstanding citizens. This must begin from day one, not when trouble starts with the child elsewhere.

    There is no child on this planet <small>(WHO DOESN'T SUFFER FROM A MENTAL DISORDER OF SOME KIND)</SMALL> that cannot be brought up to know that hitting without rather serious provocation is wrong. Likewise, there is no child on this planet who cannot be taught right from wrong in any situation. It all depends on how responsible the parents are.

    I am all for these children being suspended for committing acts of violence. It is not the responsibility of the school to teach children the basic facts of life. That responsibility belongs 100% to the parents, and if they cannot do that they shouldn't have had children in the first place.
  5. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Exactly, Shiny. The most shocking of all issues in that article was the fact that it appeared in NY Times.
  6. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Ok, this is freaking me out here. NY Times writes totally opposite of what it usually has and Haywire is writing something a little bit to the left?

    What the hell? It's not April Fool's yet so who is playing this joke on ethics?

    In all seriousness, Haywire, that was a heck of a post to show the opposing view. You've presented it without the usual label and name calling, you feeling alright? ;)
  7. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    I can vouch that it is a constant struggle teaching a 3-year-old proper behavior, including not hitting, sassing back, throwing tantrums, etc. It's not an easy job, nor are the rewards immediately evident.

    It is, however, perhaps the most important job in the world and the benefits and rewards, down the line, are immeasurable.

    If the schools can yank some parents out of their complacent little world, all the better! In the process, maybe there are some who have children with previously unidentified behavioral problems (mental health). All the better, as now the parents can seek treatment for the child.

    If the schools think, though, parents who don't care and are unwilling to do the necessary job involved will suddenly "see the light", then the school system is sadly mistaken.
  8. HaYwIrE

    HaYwIrE Banned

    That is neither left or right view, ethics. It's the way it should be. Parents just don't give a shit anymore. And that's a sad thing.

    And if you like the post so much, then RATE it you damned Liberal!

    There.... Better? :nut:
  9. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Double income is the one entity I would point a finger at the most, but that's another thread.
  10. Violet1966

    Violet1966 Stand and Deliver Staff Member

    This is just sad though. I mean come on...think about it. who's really suffering here? The kids :(

    I feel that suspension should be able to be used on any student if it's truly warranted. That would mean that every other route has been exhausted and it's a last resort.

    Kindergarten is the beginning of a new world for some kids. Not every parent parents the same and there's much to be learned in kindergarten for kids who have not had to interact with other children in groups.

    I feel that suspension might be abused and actually do more harm then good. If anything...make the child wear a dunce hat or have to sit next to the teacher. Take away play time. But removing the child from the environment where they would have a chance to learn what they haven't learned yet, might just drive them further away from the path to being a good child.
  11. jamming

    jamming Banned

    I think it would depend upon the level of disruption of the particular child, some of these children arrive completely unsocialized to schools by their parents. Suspension is the next to last punishment that is given, and the suspension may be in school supervised depending upon the location.
  12. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    Okay, aside from the 5 year old flasher, the rest of these sound like a suspension was appropriate. It should be a wake up call to the parents..."Hey you've got issues with your kid here".

    The article would have been a bit more informative had they listed all the offenses that resulted in suspension. Violence precipitated by a 5 year old is something that should fall directly on the parents to deal with. The school, IMHO, is just putting the responsibility for dealing with it where it belongs.
  13. ShinyTop

    ShinyTop I know what is right or wrong!

    Damn Coot, you had to go and read the article. I agree that each case should be considered on its own merit and that parents need to be aware if a child has issues.
  14. ethics

    ethics Pomp-Dumpster Staff Member

    Coot, that's what, 4 out of 33 cases? Like you, I wonder what the full count was for every one of those cases.
  15. Coot

    Coot Passed Away January 7, 2010

    Yep. Dollars to donuts, some of those involved pushing and shoving, which is somewhat normal behavior for 5 year olds. I have no doubt that when all the details are out, some of these suspensions are warranted as in the cited examples, but a substantial number will be examples of another boneheaded zero tolerance mandate.
  16. Frodo Lives

    Frodo Lives Luke, I am NOT your father!

    Ah, if you don't teach these kids now, that might end up doing something worse in later grades ,such as the third grade, where they will get busted with 19 grams of pot and getting arrested. :rolleyes:
  17. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    I was raised in a home with both parents working, and I like to think I turned out ok. My brother, on the other hand, not so ok - but he turned out to have a real problem.
  18. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    As coot pointed out, some of these kids have been suspended for things that if an older child committed those acts, they'd be in Juvie.

    I think maybe the schools are trying to nip the problem in the bud - if these kids don't start learning how to behave properly while they're little, they're going to be uncontrollable when they're older, and they'll be the future bullies who will terrorize other kids. Bullying has become a serious problem - it's no longer one kid beating up another kid if he doesn't give him lunch money. Bullies are now stabbing and shooting people, and coming up with real vicsious things to humiliate their victims - and their victims are coming back with weapons to protect themselves.

    Wasn't PA the state that had a girl shoot another girl in school, and as it turned out, the shooting 'victim' was the ring leader of a gang of bullies that had been terrorizing the shooter for years? Since like 1st grade? I remember something like this happening about 2-3 years ago.

    Kids being kids, such as pushing each other on the playground or getting into little fights is one thing - that's normal and its just kids testing their boundries. But serious violence, like stabbing another person or kicking a pregnant woman in the stomach - those are criminal acts. I think that in those cases, the schools are being WAYYYY too lenient by just suspending kids - I think a more appropriate punishment would be involving the police and filing a report against them - put serious fear into those little thugs.
  19. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    I agree. I think I would want to see a list of the offenses before rushing to judgment.

    There are many things I could think of that would, in my opinion, warrant suspension for these young children. However, hitting is not one of them(unless it was brutal). Violence should never be tolerated for middle school students and up, but I am not so sure about very young children. I would be much more worried if I heard a kindergarten student call another student a bitch or a whore or a nigger than I would if one slapped another. Any child who uses foul language at that early of an age is in serious trouble later on in life. And the problem is probably at that child's home, so trying to get the parent(s) more involved in discipline is probably naive. Unless we can find some way to punish piss poor parents, I'm afraid we are all screwed.

    Edit: Argh! I didn't see the link you provided, ethics. Hmmm...yeah, I think suspensions certainly were justified for those few cases cited. I would like to know what the others were for, though.
  20. Ravenink

    Ravenink Veteran Member

    While I think the goal of using this as a wake up call to parents is a noble endeavor, I doubt it will meet with much success. It is my opinion that some parents are great parents and some are not, and without significantly modifying the thought process of the parents themselves it is unlikely school punishment will help the matter.

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