Saturday, May 14, 2011

Disciplinary Problems

We had an unfortunate incident at the school this week.  One of our students in secondary school, which encompasses both middle school and the first two years of high school, had a little disciplinary problem.  For those that are sensitive, it would be advisable not to read the next line.

One of the guys in secondary school was caught masturbating and throwing sperm in the classroom.  It was extremely disturbing to hear, I am just glad he wasn’t in my class.  Obviously any behavior even close to that can not be tolerated in the classroom and he was suspended until a further punishment could be given.  All of the foreign teachers recommended expulsion without much thought.  The director and owner of the school decided on a 2 week suspension.  If you aren’t going to expel someone from the school for this then what is it that someone would have to do to get expelled?  We mentioned something to the owner of the school hinting that we weren’t satisfied with the punishment.  We ended up being right…

I always had a good relationship with the student in question.  He really isn’t a bad kid; it’s just that he has some family problems and bad influences in his life.  Apparently, he is involved with the narco-traffickers in town.  This seems to be the reason why the punishment didn’t fit the crime.  I think the director of the school was scared that something might happen to her.  The next day during lunch we heard a gunshot not too far away from the school.  It was the student that got suspended.  He was carrying a pistol walking by the school and was shooting it in the air.  He never entered school grounds, but it was enough to scare us a little.  Surprisingly, we didn’t think much of it at the time and classes went on as scheduled.  I was thinking how incredible it is that a person can fire a gun in a public place, especially near a school, without consequence.  Who is going to enforce the rules?  The police in town are nonexistent.  I have never seen a policeman patrolling in public.  I am sure if we had called the police we may not have gotten an answer.

The problem with expelling a kid like him is that it does nothing to help him or the community.  I doubt any other private school in the community would accept him mid school year with his reputation, and public school is like putting him on the street.  I would really like the opportunity to reach him and talk some sense into him, but unfortunately it is too late.  It is likely that he will fall into a worse pattern than before.   

I am recognizing the need for another disciplinary system other than an informal discussion between the principal and the owner of the school.  I am proposing that we create a disciplinary council that will make all further decisions regarding disciplinary action.  The council will be composed of faculty that care to participate and every decision will come to a vote.  As well as serious disciplinary problems, the council will take care of students that repeat small offenses and are sent to the office three times.  When they are put in front of the counsel a mandatory one day suspension is given.  I am going to propose it to the owner and I hope it doesn’t feel like I am trying to take power away from him or the director.  I am just trying to spread the power out a little bit so an unbiased decision can be made.

We are coming up on the one month break and I will be giving final exams on Thursday.  Can’t wait for some adventure…

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