Social Question

KhiaKarma's avatar

So....how is it a punishment to get suspended from school?

Asked by KhiaKarma (4235 points ) January 14th, 2011

I work with “at risk” youth and their families and I was just curious and wanted to gather thoughts. This is a common consequence for misbehavior in schools where I live.

And furthermore, how is it helpful to put all the trouble-makers together in one place such as in an alternative school?

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23 Answers

963chris's avatar

i really never understood that at all. i was a tiptop student + managed to get away with most things; however, i did get caught once + got out-of-school suspension for nearly a week. it was good to be away but there was a lot of catch-up work to do as well as re-schedule exams. for students who arent doing well in school, this is only a disservice if that!

CyanoticWasp's avatar

It’s not necessarily punishment for the bad actors, but it keeps them out of the way of the 95% who are good (or at least not ‘bad’) actors.

Ditto the ‘alternative’ school. Let the ones who want an academic education (or at least aren’t trying to actively disrupt that) get it in ‘normal’ school, and if the bad actors want an education, then they can get it (if that’s possible) in a place where their peers are more concentrated.

YARNLADY's avatar

Disruptive, uncooperative students are removed from the student body to protect the teachers and other students. The punishment aspect of it is not felt until the child becomes an adult.

Alternative schools make a greater effort to accommodate the needs and interests of the student. Not all students in alternative schools are trouble-makers. Two of my grandsons went to independent study alternative schools, where the students go to class twice a week. They receive their assignments on one day, and take their tests on the other day.

The assignments are geared to their individual interests, and they are counseled on a regular basis.

mrmijunte's avatar

Personally every time I got suspended ( 3 times ) I hated staying at home because my Father would get me to do manual labor, and I would be away from friends. And then as @963chris pointed out there is the catching up with classes.
But if the troubled youth has no adult supervision then obviously it serves no purpose, because they will love it and maybe, maybe the schools are encouraging “criminal” behavior.

iamthemob's avatar

The problem with suspension is that it does everything that punishment shouldn’t – it marks the person as a troublemaker instead of attempting to make them something different.

As far as I’m concerned, schools should function more like parents. This may sound soft and fluffy – but it seems as if most schools are equipped not to try to figure out why children are acting out, but rather regulate the improper behavior. The latter results in solutions very, very rarely.

Our kids spend more time in the care of schools these days it seems, than in care of parents. Shouldn’t they be treated as something more than administrative holding cells?

KhiaKarma's avatar

I think segregating the “bad” kids just prevents them from being exposed to positive models and it encourages criminal behavior. I understand doing it for the kids who want to learn and are not causing trouble….but the “good” kids need to learn to tolerate and handle the kids acting up. After all, they will be around all sorts after they are done with school.

I find that typically the kids who get consequences at home when suspended aren’t often suspended.

perspicacious's avatar

When I was school it meant you were going to catch hell at home. Today it’s just an inconvenience for parents.

SavoirFaire's avatar

I have a friend who gamed this system hard when we were in high school. She skipped school on Monday, came in with no excuse on Tuesday, and was suspended Friday. Two three-day weekends in a row.

P.S. She now has an MBA. Anyone else see that coming?

blueiiznh's avatar

Many schools do in school suspend now. This way it keeps the offender from somewhat getting what they want and also a solitude area away from other students to discupt them.

963chris's avatar

im not of the opinion that only or mostly ‘bad students’ or ‘bad seeds’ get suspended. only those that get caught or those with ‘behavioral’ problems – much of which can fall under ADD, hyperactivity, etc. sending em home is pointless PERIOD whethers its merely a slap on the wrist or a beating or manual labor. i fail to see any rationale behind such an inane practice. if the majority cant deal with a problem student then that’s a problem in itself!

Jeruba's avatar

My son, a top student, received an unjust three-day suspension on a snap judgment by the principal. When all the facts came out, he was exonerated, and we received a formal letter of apology from the district. But the suspension came when he was due to present his (completed) English project to the class, and so he got a zero for the project. He was given no opportunity to make it up because the exoneration did not come before the end of the school year. His grade took a severe hit accordingly. This was a punishment.

downtide's avatar

I think the purpose of suspension usually isn’t to punish, but to protect the staff and other students who are still attending. Not all kids “catch hell” at home if they misbehave. In some cases the parents just don’t care at all and those are the kids with the most serious problems.

963chris's avatar

@downtide: im not sure what type of protection you are referring to? why would the majority (being the students + faculty at school) need any protection? protection from what? nothing stops disenfranchised teens from coming back to the school unannounced if s/he wishes.

downtide's avatar

@963chris protection from things like disruption in the classroom, violence, etc. Kids can’t learn if somone in their class is acting up.

klutzaroo's avatar

How is it punishment to get suspended from work with pay?

People are stupid.

Mikewlf337's avatar

Because they are so disruptive that they get in the way of other students gaining an education. You can’t teach students with some asshole running around school bullying people and fighting with people just because they disagree with them. You can’t teach kids if you have people who constantly harass other students. You have to remove them from the school for a certain period of times and if the person is still disruptive then he/she should be expelled. after the expulsion has expired and they still disbehave in the same manner then the he/she should be permanently removed from that school and be forced to attend another school. Much to the parents dismay because they would have to take the kid to school instead of the kid taking a bus. Then if that doesn’t work the kid should be taken to some sort of reform school where even they can’t get away with saying one word during class. Suspension is not really punishment as much as it is the school finally getting fed up with the student to the point where they say “That’s it, I don’t want to see your face anywhere near this school for a week. Then during the suspension. It is the parents responsibility to make sure he is punished. If it involves excessive bullying then the kid should be told to stay away from the students. As well as being removed from all classes he shares with the student. No student has a right to take a fellow students right to recieve an education without fear of going to school. Suspension is just as it is used to remove certain students who disrupt the school in such a manner that other students can’t learn or are removed from school. When I was in high school only the most disruptive students were suspended or expelled. Usually for fighting, excessive bullying, racial slurs, etc. It is also the parents fault because they have done such a poor job of teaching thier kid proper social interaction. I was bullied in an extremely harsh way during my freshman year in high school and to be hones if he were punished by lashes with a singapore cane in front of the entire student body I would not have felt sorry for him. He was that bad. So removing such a student from the student body to me is justified. Sad part is that most of the student body of my high school during my freshman year liked him and did nothing. If I were the principle or superintendant I would have punished that entire class for that. The guy even pulled a knife out on me and they were just giggling.

963chris's avatar

usually if there was a student being disruptive in class, the students being disturbed could take care of it + handle their own. i mean it was usually 1 against 20 or 30. if it wasnt handled in the classroom, then it could well be taken care of outside. merely a means of empowering solidarity + the student body.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@963chris Yes, because 20 or 30 students physically restraining one of their fellows wouldn’t get them in trouble or interrupt the learning process at all. Moreover, it is completely reasonable to expect such a solution to occur to school age children who have (what is supposed to be) an authority figure right in front of them. ~

963chris's avatar

@SavoirFaire: no one said anything about getting physical! dont get all olivia newton john on me;)

SavoirFaire's avatar

@963chris Well, “take care of it,” “handle their own,” and “taken care of outside” are usually euphemisms for physical coercion, especially since we are considering the possibility that the troublesome student is acting out violently. But I suppose the other students could try scorning the troublesome student into submission—assuming, of course, that the students are themselves concerned with having an interruption-free school day. Is that likely, though?

963chris's avatar

@SavoirFaire: whos to say its likely or not but i saw it happen several times back when i was in school. i was simpy suggesting enabling the majority rather than letting a minority run the roost or resort to postured politics on behalf of the principle + pals. bottom line being that suspension out of school isnt really solving much of anything aside from throwing a rug over the debris. on the note of euphemisms, it was more likely to take other actions then say resort to anything physical (even before the internet was around).

SavoirFaire's avatar

@963chris I’m not sure I understand your response about euphemisms. What people were more likely to do doesn’t change what the phrases typically mean. That said, I don’t disagree that suspension from school is ineffective. I’m just not sure how we’re going to mobilize a couple dozen students who are themselves teetering on the edge of being disruptive, and who probably enjoy the disruptions, to control the student who gets out of control. Only a minority will find it at all worthwhile to do so. I was part of that minority in school, and I even tried a couple times to help control an obnoxious student. Never worked, however, and I never got any support. (I did get called some excellent names, though.)

963chris's avatar

@SavoirFaire: i can only imagine.

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