Re Monday article regarding the lack of progress on bills revising police officers’ disciplinary duties in schools:
I drove a school bus for four years and personally witnessed students who need discipline in their life in addition to understanding and compassion. They were not “bad” people but rather, students who need direction in their lives.
Neither resource officers, school administrators, nor bus drivers should be expected to teach students right from wrong; how to behave in public, or how to interact with others. It is the job of parents and/or guardians to inject these values into their school-age individuals which state that if you become disruptive, threatening, and/or a problem in the classroom (or on a school bus), you will be held accountable for your actions.
Additional training for resource officers and administrators may help for a reactive response but students and their families must take the lead in preventing such situations from occurring. School staff members should not be afraid of legal reprisals against them for doing their jobs.
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Action items which could be introduced are:
A 4-step discipline system for non-threatening/criminal offenses where first offense is in-house suspension with a letter being sent to parents/guardians. The second offense is a one-day school suspension and another letter sent to parent/guardian. The third step would be a one-week suspension with parent/guardian meeting with administrators upon their returning the student to school and the the fourth and last step would be permanent suspension for the balance of the school year.
Modify today's elementary and middle-school curricula to include “Social Behavioral Skills,” which would provide directions for students on how to conduct themselves in and out of school such as courtesy, politeness, speaking in public.