I’m working with a district that is revamping it’s discipline procedures. Since adopting some of the recommended changes, a common staff compliant is that now it requires too much documentation to expel a student from a campus.
To which I reply, that’s the point.
It should and must be difficult to expel a student. We have a responsibility to educate and mentor all of our students, not just the easy ones. Before we give up on students and place them on the “drop-out” track (don’t fool yourself, once a students has been expelled it is a safer bet that he will drop out, than graduate) we need to document the steps that we took to try to prevent their failure.
Gone are the days where an individual teacher or assistant principal gets to serve as judge, jury and executioner of a student’s future. The stakes are too high and frankly it is too much to expect for an angry and frustrated adult to make consistently rational and objective decisions.
The discipline system has to err on the side of students and hold adults to the highest of professional standards, even when it is inconvenient.
Think. Work. Achieve.