Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Classroom Discipline and the RCWs

So where is that optimum learning atmosphere ensured by the law?

After reading through a few comments and reflecting, one has to wonder if it is time for a class action lawsuit on behalf of teachers, students, and parents to force the SPS and other districts to obey the law and provide the optimum learning atmosphere.

Clearly in most places school administration does nothing so what happens must happen on an individual teacher level. In most cases the teacher will suffer retaliatory treatment should they attempt tp get administration to do the job descrobed by law.

So now the question is what about RCW 28A.400.110 found HERE

This refers to RCW 28A.600.020 found HERE

The next question should be what is going on with the apparently do nothing SEA union in this regard? (You can probably supply most other locals in place of SEA.)

RCW 28A.600.020
Exclusion of student from classroom — Written disciplinary procedures — Long-term suspension or expulsion.

(1) The rules adopted pursuant to RCW 28A.600.010 shall be interpreted to ensure that the optimum learning atmosphere of the classroom is maintained, and that the highest consideration is given to the judgment of qualified certificated educators regarding conditions necessary to maintain the optimum learning atmosphere.

(2) Any student who creates a disruption of the educational process in violation of the building disciplinary standards while under a teacher's immediate supervision may be excluded by the teacher from his or her individual classroom and instructional or activity area for all or any portion of the balance of the school day, or up to the following two days, or until the principal or designee and teacher have conferred, whichever occurs first. Except in emergency circumstances, the teacher first must attempt one or more alternative forms of corrective action. In no event without the consent of the teacher may an excluded student return to the class during the balance of that class or activity period or up to the following two days, or until the principal or his or her designee and the teacher have conferred.

(3) In order to preserve a beneficial learning environment for all students and to maintain good order and discipline in each classroom, every school district board of directors shall provide that written procedures are developed for administering discipline at each school within the district. Such procedures shall be developed with the participation of parents and the community, and shall provide that the teacher, principal or designee, and other authorities designated by the board of directors, make every reasonable attempt to involve the parent or guardian and the student in the resolution of student discipline problems. Such procedures shall provide that students may be excluded from their individual classes or activities for periods of time in excess of that provided in subsection (2) of this section if such students have repeatedly disrupted the learning of other students. The procedures must be consistent with the rules of the superintendent of public instruction and must provide for early involvement of parents in attempts to improve the student's behavior.

(4) The procedures shall assure, pursuant to RCW 28A.400.110, that all staff work cooperatively toward consistent enforcement of proper student behavior throughout each school as well as within each classroom.

(5) A principal shall consider imposing long-term suspension or expulsion as a sanction when deciding the appropriate disciplinary action for a student who, after July 27, 1997:

(a) Engages in two or more violations within a three-year period of RCW 9A.46.120, 28A.320.135, 28A.600.455, 28A.600.460, 28A.635.020, 28A.600.020, 28A.635.060, 9.41.280, or 28A.320.140; or

(b) Engages in one or more of the offenses listed in RCW 13.04.155.

The principal shall communicate the disciplinary action taken by the principal to the school personnel who referred the student to the principal for disciplinary action.

The fact that there are children who at times have no interest in learning and choose to disrupt others and yet have no significant consequences because administration prefers none seems to violate these laws.


Anonymous said...

Wrong tree. Ouch! You'll have to fight the PTSA, American Disabilities Act, ACLU, etc.

Which organization do you think removed paddling? The PTA. Corporal punishment is illegal. Technically, you can't build a paddling machine that will punish everyone equally (that's the short of it)

Just because states manufacture laws doesn't make them so. There are laws that are only symbolic and can't be enforced. A judge will just as easily say the law is a violation of an individual's civil rights and throw the lawsuit out. Unions have better things to do then spend money testing laws that districts can't enforce.

I won't even go into the protections afforded disabled students. But suffice it to say, students give up plenty of rights in society in order to have their privacy protected. Being labeled with a learning disability is not a one-way street and any kid can still be arrested for committing crimes (e.g. using a lock to break another kid's nose is assault and battery). The kid's parents can be sued by the victim. If a teacher is assaulted, the student gets charged the same way. The bad news is a bad kid is more familiar with the law than the teacher, so there are a nest of loopholes that kids know how to use and so teachers are unfortunate victims.

Disruptive behavior is a norm, but its not a crime. Its in your job description, but most adults try to ignore bad behavior and that doesn't help either.

Use better curriculum, use higher standards, pass more kids. It a tight rope teachers have to walk.

Anonymous said...

Where I taught we had a group of young teenagers that eventually were arrested by the FBI for armed bank robberies (around 30 of them in our city). He was all of about 19 years old.

Our valedictorian was standing in the bank line and they stole her car - and she recognized one of the kids from her class and reported him. (this is a true story)

The boys wouldn't give their names but said which school they were from, so the agents visited our principal with photographs and of course - one, we'd suspended for stealing a teacher's laptop.

We sensed he was a bad kid, but we didn't know how bad he really was.
So I guess the moral is, even kids with learning disabilities can rob banks and go to prison. He didn't even recognize his classmate, said he forgot to take his ritalin.

dan dempsey said...

I think it is unprofessional not to push for enforcement of this law if needed.

If you care to mention this in an interview I doubt you would ever be hired.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what your question is? How would you enforce a law that made it illegal to disrupt classrooms because it prevented students from learning? Doesn't reform math prevent students from learning?

Please describe how you would treat all disruptors equally. Would you give them the same punishment?

Could you not measure the efficiency of a classroom by counting the number of times the teacher stopped to discipline children because their behavior was preventing other students from learning? Is the teacher being efficient or helping students waste time?

What if I just happenned to be a funny looking kid and I made everyone laugh with my squarepants impersonations? Do you stop class every time one of your little monekeys decides to impress his peers with an annoying yawn?
What if the kid you set outside the door for a moment, gets into a fight and knocks the other kid in the eye, so he has to have surgery. Are you responsible, even though you tried to make your classroom less disruptive? Of course you are, so don't be foolish. Protect yourself and focus on the fact that those kids are going to be in your class until June.

If you're going to teach, you need to learn how to laugh a little too.
although I would never laugh in front of my students.

Criminal codes have very precise legal definitions and that's why we have law schools.

If we can't agree on what is learned or taught then how can we agree on when a child is being a disruption and then what is the punishment. I think computers promise us things like that, but not even software has found the solution.

Teachers and bathroom passes. When do you put our foot down and say no more passes. I don't know about you, but I can't teach when I'm getting a request for a hall pass every minute. Perhaps I should change what I'm doing so fewer kids use the hall pass?

What teacher has not had a problem with hall passes? And when do we stop admitting children to the bathroom?

How many teachers stopped to think that a child might decide that they had to go anyway and what do you say to their parents after the fact?

Administrators are very tuned into these problems and the last thing they want is an office full of children who disrupted learning in another teacher's classroom. What would you do? Send them all home?

Improve curriculum, improve the learning environment so kids begin to feel they are learning something and the number of disruptions goes down. Its pretty simple. Learning is a human characteristic and you don't need to be an angel in order to learn. In fact, wouldn't you have to agree, devils are smarter than angels.

Considering circumstances, schools do pretty well with disciplining students. Its a loaded question however because everyone has a broad opinion and speaks with expert knowledge on how to discipline children.

Anonymous said...

Discipline is as much about leadership in the classroom as it is about having immediate consequences. Its comforting to have a law that makes it illegal to disrupt classrooms, but teachers manage classrooms, they don't write referrals like they were parking tickets. I write a referral when I believe the offense is a crime, not when a student is breaking a rule. Truancy is a referral; tardiness is a phone home.

Anonymous said...

Some classrooms are a bit like a regress to the French revolution. You might as well lock the classroom door and call it prison rather than attempt discplining all rule breakers. Alternative ed doesn't compare to a ninth grade summer school integrated science or ninth grade Ingegrated 1. Reform math is brain food for roaches.

Anonymous said...

With half the students, mostly boys, dropping out of the 50 largest school districts in the US, how do you think enforcing a law is going to change these kids' minds about the importance of education? Furthermore, who is going to educate those kids who left school on account they couldn't follow a few classroom rules, especially if teachers don't enforce the rules equally on students?

dan dempsey said...

Try reading the law.

Anonymous said...

The only consequence I see is the teacher directed 24-hour student suspension or silver bullet. Sounds like panacea - the teacher initiates the suspension, not the administrator. I see problems, perhaps you don't - what happens when the student misses too much class and they get dropped from the program for nonattendance?

Anonymous said...

I know the law and I'm aware of the consequences. Are you thinking CEP is going to pick up the slack? What makes you think you will be able to clear all the troublemakers out of school with teacher-initiated suspensions? What is the teacher doing to keep so-called 'troublemakers' in school? Eventually, you will be confronted and you better have some good answers. Otherwise, you should expect some jerking around by the district.

If half the kids are dropping out of SPS, then I think I'd have all my ducks in a row. Attendance records and grade records don't make the bar anymore.

Anonymous said...

hey anon -

did you EVER think of figuring out how to pay for ANY of your non-ideas, or, ideas?

if a kid interrupts / disrupts a second time, the kid should be gone. period.

the care and feeding and nursing of that crap has to happen outside math class, or, there isn't a math class.

of course, you can join the admins and BLAME the teachers ...


that is why the teachers put up with that crap!

which is why the kids aren't learning!

BLAME the teacher for brat behavior!

how many degrees in psychobabble do you have?

Anonymous said...

I don't think admins blame the teachers anymore than parents do. Admins were teachers once too, they have to follow established procedure, that's why they are administrators.

And you have to document everything because that's the burden of proof. Its teachers that don't take the time read the law or ask questions first, who get themselves into real trouble and then expect to be bailed out. I don't disagree that discipline is important for learning, but lets take it a step further and take a look at what kids are being told to do in classrooms. Then we can focus on norms and not just make up rules that fail because they can't be enforced.

Take 504 Plans, school clubs, field trips. At some point teachers have to take some responsibity for following procedures because that is the law too.

dan dempsey said...

Great Teacher bashing:
Take 504 Plans, school clubs, field trips. At some point teachers have to take some responsibility for following procedures because that is the law too.

Lets try RCWs and Discipline.

So Bellevue and Seattle have or are moving to Moron pacing guides to guide teachers in moving through defective math curricula.

Does the idea that having an orderly classroom where students can learn indicate the teachers are not responsible for following procedures?

WOW if that is the case little wonder we have a shortage of math and science teachers.

Once again read 28A.600.020

It was said:
if a kid interrupts / disrupts a second time, the kid should be gone. period.

the care and feeding and nursing of that crap has to happen outside math class, or, there isn't a math class.

of course, you can join the admins and BLAME the teachers ...


that is why the teachers put up with that crap!

which is why the kids aren't learning!

The lack of respect for teachers in this society is accompanied by a corresponding lack of respect for teachers on the part of some administrators.


Anonymous said...

Second time gone rule can't be enforced - I was pointing out where it might be stopped - most principals will keep that sort of problem from reaching the district where the decision to disenroll would be overruled anyway - student rights come first and if you don't follow procedure (90% of the time the case gets thrown out -burden of proof, preponderance of evidence, proper procedure - two strikes are you kidding me - I see records that read like Atila's childhood, 100's of daily infractions and computers made all this possible) - teachers may think they're following procedure, but mistakes happen - I look at the stress and the working conditions - teachers didn't get into this business to be an administrator and everyone makes mistakes, including administrators (you should know if your a member of the NAACP) - the only place in the US this second time rule could happen is in a private school (using different standards and fast tracking troublemakers out the back door, and violating virtually every civil right (students have a different legal status, they're neither adults, nor children, but something in between so far as courts are concerned). You could always work at a private school.

What's more unethical than this is how troublemakers get shipped to different schools as transfer students and no one bothers to call ahead first, and say oh by the way watch out for this lilpieceofwork we're sending over. That is far more the case than a school actually filling out the paperwork for an expulsion - and I've seen it too where discipline records were expunged every semester.

Schools cannot handle the overload of infractions occuring hourly in classrooms - its a social norm, not an individual act. Improve the curriculum and then start enforcing rules. Otherwise the whole matter is arbitrary, capricious, and racist. Presently, everyone loses.

Once again, who gets used most often as scapegoats - minorities and male teenagers. This is a polarizing issue and it can't be addressed unless we change the math curriculum and adopt something that actually teaches kids. Lets start with a strong elementary program.

Anonymous said...

Go to a classroom in Thailand and you will see kids learning successfully despite the noise that fills their classrooms. There's usually two teachers up front trying to be over heard and directing kids at the same time. 60plus kids.

It looks like herding cats, yet the class stands on its own because everyone has access to the same curriculum. The curriculum works for everyone. And because it is the same curriculum, the country can promote students based on merit. In their eyes, US schools are unfair and racist because we have social promotion and we don't have a national curriculum.

Americans do standardized testing because it is tied to funding, making our system of education even more racist than Australia, Netherlands, South Africa, or Great Britain.

Even within schools, you will find classrooms with mostly white kids taking higher level classes using different textbooks and getting A's and B's because their parents said it was necessary to get into so and so college.

What a shame that Latinos in Washington can't visit Southern California and see the difference in classrooms down there where the majority of students are Latinos.

Go to Mexico for instance and see Latinos working as professionals. We cannot even fathom that people in other countries just might be more intelligent than us.

But while the US might be living in a goldfish world through Bush's eyes, Washington's bowl is no bigger than a drinking glass.

California and Texas are rejecting the reform curriculum because teachers don't use it with their students because they know better. Reform math and discovery learning DOES NOT work with English-dominant minorities and anyone who disagrees with this either on LSD or a card-carrying member of the KKK. Reform math belongs in the dumpster forever.

Signed Geoffrey, by order of the Garter.

Anonymous said...

You might care to read Chaucer sometime, he was writing about exactly the same thing back in his day (circ. 1260) The only difference was you had students, professors, and townspeople hacking each other to pieces and arguing over similiar things in education - e.g. realism v. positivism. It concerns your belief in God and that's why people have strong opinions about education. It took leaders like John Gaunt to put the problem into a proper perspective so society could move on.

Math happens to be divisive because it is a subject that fits closest to the teaching of philosophy and theology.