Chancellor Dennis Walcott has proposed a significant weakening of the student discipline policy, especially in the classroom. For example students can no longer be suspended for cursing at a teacher, using their cell phones or ipods in the classroom, or defy a lawful command by the teacher. Moreover, the student can no longer be removed from the classroom for excessive lateness or their failure to work in class. These new rules are in draft form and can be found here. What is really amazing is that our next potential Mayor, Christine Quinn, otherwise known as Michael Bloomberg lite, wants to weaken it even more. Just unbelievable. Maybe these people should spend some time in the classroom before they develop these flawed education policy directives.
The new draft regulations recommend counseling for many student infractions and limits teacher authority to remove a student from the classroom. Weakening the student discipline code is short-sighted and harmful for the student in the long term. What the weakening of the student discipline code will do is to further reduce student responsibility and make them ill-prepared for the adult world. I have seen first hand what happens to a school when the Administration allows the students to run the school.
Can you imagine a student who went through high school showing up late to class, always text messaging in the classroom, and frequently being unprepared to work (no notebook or pen) and the only thing that happened to him or her was to take an occasional online "credit recovery" course that took less than a week to finish. The result is that the students receives an undeserved diploma. In my present school this happens far to many times and is a way to artificially raise the graduation rate.
Now this academically unprepared student tries to join the work force and since he or she is used to showing up late, having poor work habits, and disrespects authority guess what happens? Right the now ex-student cannot hold a job because companies will not tolerate lateness, poor work, or lack of respect.
These ex-students move from short-term low paying job to the next and may never become a productive member of society and the reason is that the schools never held these students responsible for their poor academic work. I actually saw this at my usual breakfast spot.
Rather than weaken the student discipline code, we should strengthen it and hold students responsible if they are to become responsible and productive adults. Did the Chancellor ever hear of "tough love"? Oops, there I go again using a bad word (love) I hope the Chancellor does not sic SCI on me.