Detention doesn’t work

Story and captions by Koel Wilkinson, Guest Columnist

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I don’t think detentions or suspensions should happen in schools.  Detentions and suspensions don’t show a difference in student behavior.  It’s not a punishment  if the behavior does not change. Detentions do not always show what needs to be corrected. Some kids think it’s a getaway or vacation.

“The current system does not work…more focus needs to be put onto the principles of behavior change.” Skinner  said the best way to solve behavior problems is to look at why their showing the behavior. Some of the reasons could be to get out or avoid class or work or to gain attention.

Suppressing a student’s inappropriate behavior with punishment cannot guarantee that they will know what appropriate behavior should Be  exhibited instead. Students who got detention don’t seem to care.  The students behavior doesn’t change and they would continue to get sent out. They see them as vacations they often don’t get the support they need.

Some people believe detentions and suspensions do work!  Students sometimes just sit and don’t show any difference. Rather than passively asking students to fill out a packet, Sisco  suggested engaging in active dialogue with the student. Here at Hoech Middle School, it took up to three or four weeks for me to serve a detention since a teacher gave it to me.  I couldn’t remember why I even earned the detention.  For you to talk to the teacher who gave you the detention the teacher would need to stay after.  I don’t think all teachers would be able to do that. Detentions area a very ineffective form of punishment because it doesn’t teach the kids what they’ve done wrong or how to fix their mistakes.

According to recent statistics more than 71% of Americans most students have extracurricular activities that they take very seriously. Statistics show that more than 81% of students belong to a team, club, or some other kind of extracurricular activity.

Punishment versus reinforcement. Punishments are given when somebody does something wrong. Reinforcements are given when somebody does something right.

Detentions and suspensions are given when students do something wrong as a punishment ,but sometimes they act as reinforcements. Sometimes kids get in trouble to get out of class. In this case they are getting what they want even though they weren’t doing what they were suppose to be doing.

When a student misbehaves a time out or a private conversation with the teacher might be a better option. Or the teacher could find another way to help them change their behavior.

In conclusion, detentions and suspensions are ineffective because it doesn’t always change their behavior, kids don’t always know why they get the detentions because it’s a long process, and some kids think it is a getaway or a vacation. These are the reasons why detentions and suspensions shouldn’t happen in schools.

But it’s easy to complain. The hard part is making suggestions. I have one.

An elementary school in Baltimore, MD, had kids who misbehaved just like any school. But rather than giving detentions and suspensions, this school does meditation to wind down. And it works. Since they started the program more than a year ago administrators have noticed that no suspensions have been reported throughout that time.

It’s time we start looking at that option.

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