Some parents and community members have been concerned that their students have been unfairly targeted in schools for detention, suspension, and expulsion. I am confident in declaring that is simply not true in the majority of cases. The truth is, schools have rules that must be observed like anything else in life.
If you are encouraging your student to ignore or disregard school rules, you are doing them a great disservice.
Traffic has rules, and people can choose to ignore them if they want (and many do), but you can wind up dead, or killing someone else.
The courts have rules, and when you go to court you have to submit to them. You have to come appropriately dressed; you don't speak out unless you are directed to do so by the court; you don't smoke or use profanity in the courtroom; and it is likely you have to turn your cell phone off.
If you don't subscribe to these rules, you can be found "in contempt."
Even at the beach, a place that most Californians love, there are specific rules: No throwing objects in the water; no swimming past the breakers; enter at your own risk if there are no life guards on duty; do not enter the water if sharks, jellyfish, or manta rays have been spotted; no nudity if it is not a nude beach, and so on.
The students today are a different brand than any who have preceded them. For one thing, they have "games on the brain."
Some the games they like to play include Uproar, Sleep at my Desk, Ignore Teacher, I Can't Do It, I Don't Want to Do It, Use Every Foul Word I Know, Challenge Teacher (talk back), Change the Grades on my Report Card, ad infinitum.
School is not a game and should not be treated as such. Students should have as much respect for a classroom as they have for a court room.
I feel that every teacher, administrator and support staff person around here should be given a golden crown.
The aforementioned problems are present in every school, and in every ethnic group -- whether red, brown, yellow, black or white. And I know for a fact, from having been in the trenches, they are all treated as the school policies recommend, And as the saying goes, "If they can't do the time, they shouldn't do the crime."
Those adults who are concerned about this situation should seek each other out to form a coalition to deal with the problems in a proactive manner. Sometimes these adults have to go to the school and sit with the problem student(s). In my earliest days as an educator, before I branched out into several related avocations, I often had parents come to do just that.
It's amazing how dramatically a student's level of understanding can rise when their parent is there in the room.
I though maybe this group could be called "Village People" but I remembered there is already a group with that name, although as the African proverb suggests, "It really does take a village to raise a child."
Then I thought of Guardian Angels, but there is also a group by that name already. But the idea is to take concrete action in promoting your child's teacher and assisting your child's school to be the best it can be. After all, the educator spend more time with the students than you do.
Just do it!
Brenda Isaacs is an author, Bible scholar and part-time teacher. She can be reached at email@example.com.