Pearce should adopt smarter methods of discipline

By Sam Elliott | Staff Writer

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Most people are familiar with the SAE fraternity incident at the University of Oklahoma. Across the nation, people were outraged about the conduct of the fraternity members, including their racist chants.

Two of the members leading the chant graduated from nearby Highland Park and Jesuit High Schools, which adds local interest to national outrage. This event added an interesting point of discussion for the guilty-by-association argument. The dismissal of the entire fraternity means members who may not have even participated in the event are considered guilty just because they belong to the fraternity. All of this creates an opportunity to consider how misconduct should be handled at Pearce.

Students can be given in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension or alternative learning based on their misconduct and their history of misconduct. But the question is, are these punishments effective means of changing the student’s behavior?

“Punishments such as ISS or OSS are really not that helpful in getting students to act better, because the punishments do not include much positive training to do better,” junior Cameron Weir said. “Some of these students are depressed or have issues at home, so they act out. Punishing them will not do any good, but individual conferences to monitor the offenders might help.”

When students are placed in ISS, they must give their phone to the teacher and sit quietly doing their work.

While these attempts to curb behavior might discourage the student’s misconduct, they do not help the individual’s most basic problems, such as struggling with acceptance or feeling inadequate. Giving a student ISS or sending a student to the alternative school, where students have silent lunches and wear white shirts and khaki pants, may stop them from doing that activity, but it does not necessarily improve the student’s self-image.

A dog that encounters a shock may stop the activity that elicited the shock, but it will not truly understand why it should not do the activity. And the dog will most likely do another action that merits a shock, but humans learn from their mistakes and can fix their self-image, which will result in less misconduct.

“Students could be given some sort of mentor, which would really help the students with their problems, or just have weekly meetings with their counselor to curb their actions,” junior Collin Hitt said.

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Categories: Opinion

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