Monday, June 3, 2013

[Reblog] Dignity, not disciplining

From child trauma support and resource site Aces Too High comes this article: Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA, tries new approach to school discipline — suspensions drop 85%.

In short: zero tolerance approaches to misbehaviour may be counterproductive, causing additional stress for the students who are acting out and causing them more trouble in the long run.

Punishing misbehavior just doesn’t work. You’re simply adding trauma to an already traumatized kid.

Jane Stevens, Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA, tries new approach to school discipline[...]. Aces Too High.

Indeed, once the external factors that lead to misbehaviour have arisen, that misbehaviour is practically a fait accompli, the completion of a cycle.

Severe and chronic trauma (such as living with an alcoholic parent, or watching in terror as your mom gets beat up) causes toxic stress in kids. Toxic stress damages kid’s brains. When trauma launches kids into flight, fight or fright mode, they cannot learn. It is physiologically impossible.

Ibid.

Depending on your view of education and developmental psychology, the message here may be either paradigm-shifting or completely unsurprising. There's a lot more inside the article; check it out here.