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The Therapy Sessions
Saturday, June 12, 2004

A true shame

Teacher suspended for washing student's mouth out with soap

Hell, if my sons were in the school where this teacher worked, I would request that they be moved into her class.

Soap is harmless, but the message is vital.

School discipline works best using a "bottom up" approach, similar to "broken windows" method of policing that has worked in New York.

Cracking down on little infractions(like a student calling a classmate "a cunt")conveys an invaluable sense of order. The sense of order is conducive to learning, and it discourages students from contemplating more serious offenses.

Tolerating an environment where students throw vulgar insults at each other leads naturally to other things. Students are likely to test the limits. They will probe, trying to see if teachers are serious with rules forbidding eating in class and being late. Will fights be ignored? Will there be any penalty if I refuse to do homework? What happens if I skip school altogether?

I fear that we, as a society, are too concerned about students' feelings to crack down on the little things that matter.

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