Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Notes From The Education Underground

The TeachWonk Diaries: Ideas Wanted

Here's a "hypothetical" based upon a true story in an undisclosed California junior high school.

Even though the year has just started, a small group of teachers is having a conference with the parent of a child who has already decided not to even attempt to do any schoolwork.

During the conference, one of the teachers asks the parent to validate the parent's signature on several notes that the teacher had sent home with the student. After a look, the parent indicates that the signatures are false. After first denying it, the kid then admitted to having forged the signatures.

As one might expect, the parent was not happy with any of this.

Now here's the interesting part: To the surprise (and dismay) of the classroom teachers, the administrator-in-charge-of-discipline (who is sitting in on the conference) did not assign the student any type of consequence for this deception.

Once the conference was over (and the teachers safely away from administrative ears -our school's leadership doesn't really welcome the expression of disagreement with their decisions-) they collectively agreed that the administrator made a serious mistake by not giving the kid even a minor consequence such as an hour of after-school detention. In fact, the teachers are in complete agreement that the student's deception was a serious breach of our school's discipline guidelines.

Here is where it would be good to have your ideas.

Simply put:

Did the administrator do the right thing by not giving the kid any consequence for this dishonesty?