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Lesson Plans

school discipline--VERY important question!

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Sharon Barrett Kennedy (sharonbk)
Fri, 3 Dec 1999 22:30:41 -0500


Of course there's a very long story connected with this question, but to
avoid all that, here's what I need to know:

When a student is called to the principal's office at your school for a
potentially serious infraction (or even a not so serious one), is the
principal allowed to be alone with the child behind closed doors?

It seems that for the protection of BOTH the principal and the student, a
neutral adult (guidance counselor or teacher or whomever) should be present
when a student is being reprimanded.

It's been a horrendous week on a personal level, and I'm still not sure of
the outcome. Fortunately, the school superintendent has been very, very
supportive and has promised to "take action" (though I don't know what,

It's going to get even worse, too, because another parent (whom I just met
today) contacted the superintendent today about a separate incident this
week in which the principal was threatening and harassing her son, and then
saying things that he had absolutely no right to say (legal or otherwise) to
a 12 year old kid.

It's all really been a nightmare.... From all that I can tell, the principal
totally lost his professional edge (if he ever had one)--and as this
continues to escalate and unfold, I'm learning that this week wasn't the
first time that this has happened to students at this school.

As a teacher, I'm very supportive of school administrators and of policies,
in general. However, the things that have occurred this week have shown me
that it's time for change in our district--minor children should NEVER be
"disciplined" by one adult behind closed doors. Based on these very
disturbing incidents this week, I'm going to push the school board to
require "neutral observers" (or whatever you want to call them) whenever a
student is to be reprimanded.

What is the policy on how discipline is administered at your school? Does
your principal meet alone in his office with a child?

Thanks for your help.


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