Student Discipline Policy Critique
Policy 4373, “Expected Behaviors in Safe and Supportive Schools” addresses student discipline. This policy requires that all schools respond quickly and consistently to any behavior that disrupts the learning environment in a manner that effectively deters future incidents and affirms respect for individuals. Student Discipline policies have two main goals: (1) ensure the safety of staff and students, and (2) create an environment conducive to learning. Serious student misconduct involving violent or criminal behavior defeats these goals. However, the commonest discipline problems involve noncriminal student behavior (Moles, 1989). These less dramatic problems may not threaten personal safety, but they still negatively affect the learning environment. Disruptions interrupt lessons for all students, and disruptive students lose even more learning time. This change in policy perspective is both reactive and proactive. The big picture encompasses a school wide vision, prevention, and intervention. Policy 4373 contains four levels of disruptive behaviors and provides reasonable interventions and consequences for each level. However, the decisions on disciplinary actions are determined by the principal at the school level. The following is a brief description of each level: LEVEL 1: Minimally Disruptive Behaviors – disrupt the educational process and the orderly operations of the school but do not pose direct danger to self or others. LEVEL 2: Disruptive and Potentially Harmful Behaviors – disrupt the educational process and/or pose potential harm or danger to self and/or others. The behavior is committed willfully but not in a manner that is intended maliciously to cause harm or danger to self and/or others. LEVEL 3: Imminently Dangerous, Illegal and/or Aggressive Behaviors – are willfully committed and are known to be illegal and/or harmful to people and/or property. LEVEL 4: Safe Schools Act Behaviors - are...
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