When Justice Feels Like Inspiration

Yes, those wonderful words were likely uttered by my friend’s Principal recently as some kids were told they’d done enough damage to the school-year and were asked to leave. One was given independent study, the other kicked out … for good reason. Apparently, his parent gave the school a false address in order to attend. I have no idea why. The school is getting more prestigious in the inner city where it sits but it is hardly a place yet where one would lie about their address to attend.

It is more probable the student couldn’t get in somewhere else … due to fighting … due to suspensions … I’m not sure. They were both fighters who showed little respect for teachers. In times like these when justice is served, it can feel like inspiration to teachers. With these particular kids, the teachers had patiently gone through all the avenues of referrals and classroom discipline etc. with mixed results. It was beyond their control when the students both, in their own way, continued to make learning difficult for the students around them.

I’m not a big fan of showboating “justice” at another’s expense. At the same time, isn’t that what justice is all about? All I know is that their former classrooms will a lot more conducive to learning now that justice has been served. In my classroom, there are many days when I don’t document a repeat offender. I just try and get through the lesson. That is wrong, I see that now. I need to be tireless in documenting when these type disrupt class. My friend is like that, and justice is now the result.

I am all for giving second chances but how many should you give kids who seem unable to respect the rules of the classroom? I had heard too many stories from my friend. You can be VERY forgiving all year and lose a lot of learning opportunities. -OR- You can document students who disrupt over and over again to one day eventually, deliver them back to their parents. I know my friend is rejoicing that “towing the line” and following lengthy discipline procedures paid off in the end.

2 Replies to “When Justice Feels Like Inspiration”

  1. I hope now that these students were expelled, you will see a positive change in the other students. It is hard to elicit behavioal changes in students if they are not particularly concerned with referrals, classroom discipline, etc…now that they have the threat of being kicked out of the school looming over their heads as an ultimate consequence, perhaps their behavior will improve…Well, one would hope anyway!

  2. Classroom management can be tricky for teachers, because the process of writing one little timeout can practically derail an entire lesson. But it’s a necessary evil–students need to see that there are swift and firm consequences for their actions, or else they will take advantage of the system all year long. I’m glad your friend was able to see this situation through to a satisfying resolution!

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