Pupils and discipline

Everyone reading this attended school, even if only for a short time. Classes are attended, tests are taken, passes and fails are assigned and the goal at the end of how ever many years you are there is graduation, a diploma and all the preparation needed to go out into the real world, be it be to college, university or employment. For most pupils, this journey is a smooth one, with never a blight on their record. For others, it may seem more like a battle rather than a journey.

In Ontario, there is a program called Safe Schools, which from the Ministry of Education down to the individual school focuses on keeping schools and those within them safe and dealing with discipline. You can read all about this at the Safe Schools webpage of the Ministry of Education. Elsewhere on the website statistics can be found on suspensions and expulsions throughout Ontario, down to the individual school board as well as provincial.

While the provincial average of suspensions has dropped from 7.28 for the 2002-2003 school year to 4.18 for the 2009-2010 school year, the two local school boards have had different trends. The London Catholic School Board (LDCSB) has gone from 3.85 to to 4.54 although the actual number of suspensions has not increased greatly. The Thames Valley Catholic School Board (TVDSB) has stayed consistent around 6.5.

In plain english, this means that if your child attends a LDCSB school, approximately 1 in every 25 students will be suspended at least once in their school life, in TVDSB school, approximately 1 in every 15 or 16 students will be suspended. It should be kept in mind that the TVDSB enrolment is 3 1/2 times larger than the LDCSB.

Expulsions for both boards are a lot lower than the provincial average.

Provincially for the 2009-2010 school year there were 86140 students suspended but 149080 suspensions handed out. This means either each student was suspended 1.7 times or there are students who are suspended multiple times.

Incase you have forgotten, or have never had to deal with it, suspension means that the pupil is not allowed on school property and must work from home for the period of the suspension. If you are a pupil who dislikes school, getting suspended means you get to complete your school work at home, in front of the television, in your pyjamas, listening to loud music, while texting.

In the case of longer suspensions, the student may be directed to attend an alternative facility, dedicated to students on long suspensions.

A principal in Walla Walla in the US now uses a New Approach towards discipline. Rather than giving the student the third degree, and handing out the usual suspension, he talks to the pupil to find out what brought the student to his office and if there is an issue that the student is dealing with outside of the school. The pupil is still disciplined with in school detention but isn’t forced to stay home. The suspension rate has dropped 85% in just one year. Aces To High

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