The teachers who came back from the middle school conference with information
on this merit/demerit system saw it as a POSITIVE form of discipline because
the kids who kept 100 merits would be rewarded each quarter with an
outing/"fun" type of field day.
I consider myself to be rather strict, but I must say I was surprised by some
of the student actions which could result in demerits...for example, students
would be docked points for drawing/writing/doodling in their student
handbooks. I KNOW that parents will complain that since they paid for the
handbooks, their kids should be able to put stickers, etc. in them.
It took about five years for the school district which had implemented this
policy to see a REAL turnaround in student behavior (fewer suspensions and
more kids getting to go on the field trips). I believe the district has
about 400 kids and is in a small, rural area.