So far I have listed attitude toward education and blame as concerns of public education. Today I would like to add consequences to that list.
In today’s society teachers often have a difficult time with behavior. Behavior often worsens due to lack of significant consequences. Most states have placed a ban on corporal punishment. The states that still allow corporal punishment leave the choice to parents. Most parents are against it. I am not an advocate of corporal punishment. I would feel very uneasy about others spanking my children. However, I fear that the banning of corporal punishment is only the beginning of schools losing the right to punish children for bad behaviors.
Some parents argue against making a child eat at a table alone or sit by himself in the classroom due to bad behavior. They feel that the teacher is damaging the child’s self-esteem. Other parents do not want their child punished by making him lose playtime. We have some children at our school that their parents prefer them to serve basically no consequences for their behavior.
In kindergarten we typically use the time-out method of punishment. There are some children that refuse to stay in time-out or that make a game out it. If the behavior continues, we have had to call the parents to come and pick up the child from school. Once the child is at home, the parent may let him play as if it were a day off. Therefore, the child has actually received a reward instead of a punishment.
Children need to learn that there are consequences for their actions. Some consequences are good and others are bad. Regardless, we must at some point in time be accountable for our actions. If children are not given consequences then the behavior will continue.
Parents should support reasonable consequences and discuss inappropriate behavior with their children. If all forms of punishment are taken from teachers or teachers become so conscious about lawsuits that they do not use punishment. Our schools will turn into total chaos.