Culture of Punishment – Rough Draft

As the title suggests, I am still working this thought out, so bear with me.

The first step in stopping unwanted behavior is to punish or threaten punishment for those who are committing that unwanted behavior.

This is not my belief, but what I feel our culture sees as the correct way to handle people doing bad things.  This belief has made its way into our education system as well.  I work with a lot of schools (as I’ve said in many previous posts, but wanted to make sure anyone starting with this post knew the situation) and in every single one of them there is a district wide policy that the school has to follow when dealing with problem behavior.  Suspension and Detention.  A policy that lists all of the “Incident Types” and defines what punishment will occur should a student commit those behaviors.  Its written in stone and every teacher/administrator wants it followed.

There rarely is a district wide policy for correcting the behavior.  Listing the problem behavior and defining how they will be punished is not going to improve that student’s life.  It makes us feel better, “Ha, caught another one,” but what is it really doing?

More as I figure this one out.

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