Addressing Student Behavior Issues in K-12 Public Schools thumbnail

Addressing Student Behavior Issues in K-12 Public Schools

By John Droz, Jr.

A slew of liberal ideas has contributed to this becoming a formidable problem…

I’m distressed that U.S. K-12 public school student behavior issues continue to increase. Without properly addressing that, at least four major problems result:

1) the disruptive student is likely destined to be academically deficient for life,

2) other students in the same class are penalized by getting a lower quality education,

3) some teachers will resign due to frustration from such distractions, and

4) societally we are ALL adversely impacted by the prior three consequences.

Clearly this is a BIG DEAL. I’m not part of the education system, so am free to propose some possible creative Critical Thinking solutions. Feel free to make comments (at the end) to add other constructive Critical Thinking ideas. (FYI, here is an interesting April 2024 K-12 education poll by Pew. Here are some additional informative education-related statistics.)… Briefly, some ideas:

Human nature as it is, some students will behave better if they know that they are being watched and listened to. Also, an audio-visual video will usually resolve who the protagonist is in a dispute. Further, a video will be very helpful in defending good teachers from inaccurate claims. (Of course, the video doesn’t have to be operating all the time.) The recommendation is that every middle school and high school classroom have at least one operating camera (plus maybe others that are not).

In some cases, bad behavior is a cry for help, rather than an indication that the student is incorrigible. A good way of assessing this is for the teacher (or guidance counselor) to attempt to have a non-threatening private discussion with the student to see if there are some underlying issues. It would be good if every school had a set list of questions to ask, so that there is a reasonable effort made to cover all the bases. (Note: use audio-video evidence from #1 as needed.)

Using the evidence from #1 and #2, the teacher (or guidance counselor) should do their best to meet with the parents. Enlisting the aid of the parents can be very helpful. If they are not cooperative, such a meeting will give the school worthwhile information to use in their plan for this student, going forward.

There is little doubt that cellphones cause distractions and are disruptive. (Here is a sample article.) That bleeding heart liberals protest that such a ban will adversely affect a child’s “connectivity,” gives a clear indication of where the cause of most of our academic problems lie. There is no legitimate need for cellphones in classrooms. I went from K thru graduate school with never having a classroom phone for even one minute, and survived just fine.

Students who are Critical Thinkers would more likely think more about their actions — e.g., whether they are in the student’s best interest, whether they will adversely affect other students, how they will affect the teacher, etc. This would help install some basic standards (like “do onto others…”). Please review this list of over twenty (20) exceptional benefits that are available to Critical Thinkers.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) as currently taught in US public schools, is really bad. I can’t say it any better than this: “If Judeo-Christian standards are considered taboo, what steps into this void and defines these virtues? Into this current moral vacuum slithers the antithesis of moral and character education, the vacuous SEL.” If SEL (as currently taught) is so great, there should be a marked decline in student misbehavior. The fact that the opposite is happening indicates SEL’s true value.

Most Left-wing political ideology communicated in schools today, is divisive in nature. In other words it is actually encouraging disruptive student behavior. Recently Florida passed a law banning such material from being taught. That seems like an excellent and very large step in the right direction… Combine this with teaching patriotism, which conveys a strong unifying message.

High self-esteem is something that students earn, not that they are entitled to. National child-rearing expert, John Rosemond, politely calls this psycho-babble. Read his piece on high self-esteem, as he can describe the nonsense about it better than I.

Relativism is the delusion that there are no societal standards, because truth, right-and-wrong, etc. are all “relative” to each of us. If every student is allowed to decide what behavior is right, it should be self-apparent that this will lead to chaos.

A dress code does not mean a uniform, but rather that there are some basic rules as to what is acceptable clothing to wear to school. Here is a reasonable article about the benefits of a dress code.

From middle school on, a definite part of misbehaving is due to trying to impress those of the opposite sex. It stands to reason that having separate classes for biological boys and girls, will reduce such behavior. (I’m speaking from first-hand experience here, as went to co-ed K-8, all boys high school, and co-ed college and graduate school. It was a resounding success.)

In response to the increased bad behavior of some students, state lawmakers are passing laws allowing stricter discipline. That said, without most of the other actions recommended here, more discipline will not likely solve the problem.

Not surprisingly, liberal education experts are opposed to essentially all of these ideas. Of course, following their council is exactly what has resulted in the current chaotic situation. This applies here: “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.” — Milton Friedman.

Isn’t it time that we say: Enough of your academic pontificating! We are returning to the real world where children are given a classical education and taught to be Critical Thinkers!

©2024. All rights reserved.

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