...a website I've discovered lately that criticises the now-widespread use of BIST and "zero-tolerance" in public schools. A sample story snippet concerning a recent transfer student asking a math question:
"... but the teacher had said 'no questions now.' The child raised his hand again and the teacher then sent him to the safe seat for 'being disruptive.' When he got sat down in the safe seat he asked if she would answer his question now. This got him sent straight to the “Buddy Room” where he was told to sit down and do his work, but he said he couldn’t do the work because he still had that question about it, whereupon he was sent to the “Recovery Room” (my note: read this as "closet") where he said he didn’t even know why he was there since he didn’t do anything (of course by this time he is indignant since all he had done was try to ask a legitimate question about his math lesson)."
(OK, this kid was transferred from another school and didn't realize that he needed to just shut up and show "respect" to get by. He had no clue and the escalation by this point probably has him more than a *little* angry, scared and traumatized!)
"So he got sent to the vice principal for being a wise guy. The principal ended up calling in the parents and sending the kid home. So in this case the poor kid gets put through the entire discipline system and the parents get called in just because the teacher wouldn’t answer his question and refused to simply ignore his raised hand until the appropriate time for questions."
Yeah, well, as long as the kid learned to show respect for the teacher, eh? At least that day, I suppose she reigned supreme. It's entirely possible the kid was sassy during math class, but does he need to get locked into a closet as a result?? One aspect of the BIST program that really bothers me is that they literally go through all the steps in reverse until your child can go back to class. So from the "recovery room" (closet), he'd go to the "Buddy room," which is another class, where your child would work on a "Think sheet" (coerced confession... sometimes your kid is guilty and sometimes he's not, but he WILL confess!). Then he will speak with and apologize to the teacher and talk about how things will "look next time." That is, how HE is responsible for the problem, takes ownership and responsibility, and makes positive changes the next time the problem comes up before it escalates.
Yeah. Sounds like a program you want for YOUR local public school, eh?