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Angelo Angelo is offline
 
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Where on earth
Old 05-04-2019, 09:43 AM
 
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did some parents get the idea that they have "veto power" over school-level consequences?

I'm guessing there are schools out there where parents are asked for input into the consequences their kids face when they break the rules?

One of our admins was laughing yesterday at the number of cases where a student is suspended from school and the parents say something along the lines of, "I do not support this action. The goal should be to keep Junior in school. Can we work together to find a more suitable way for him to accept responsibility?" Ummmmm... the school isn't asking for your permission to administer a suspension. The school is informing you of the disciplinary action it is taking as per the code of conduct you signed when you registered. This isn't like launching a nuclear torpedo from a submarine where it takes two keys to activate it.

I see it sometimes, too, as a counselor. Parents will call me up to say that their kid is about to be get detention and/or a suspension, wring their hands, and ask, "Is there anything you can do to intervene?" Number one... I think these parents have a fundamental misunderstanding of the chain of command in a school. A counselor does not overrule the school's administration. Number two... the kid broke the rules... even if I could intervene, why on earth would I want to?

And parents? Here's a tip. You can take the morning off work to come in and argue with an action the school has taken, but just so you know... you're kid's still suspended at the end of your ranting, raving, yelling, negotiating, crying, pleading, etc.


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Old 05-04-2019, 09:47 AM
 
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It works in my building. Parents come in and play ďLetís Make a DealĒ and admin plays. Suspensions are bargained down. Or, admin doesnít want to deal with parents so they donít discipline at all. A fight is given a lunch detention when it should be a suspension.
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Angelo Angelo is offline
 
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Bargaining
Old 05-04-2019, 09:50 AM
 
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Yeah, I'm guessing some of our students used to go to schools such as you describe. They're in for a rude awakening when they come to our prep school. The funny part, though, is why they are so surprised by it. Our school is pretty upfront about its "firm but fair" approach to discipline when families apply and eventually register. I guess they think they're calling the school's bluff, only it isn't a bluff.
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Where on earth
Old 05-04-2019, 10:19 AM
 
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Greyhound girl got it right. I found elementary school Ps and APs just donít have a backbone to stand their ground, or back up their staff. So, way too often, the really persistent/annoying/loud parents get their way.

So, when they hit upon an administration that actually follows through and doesnít deal, they flat out donít believe it.
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Parents
Old 05-04-2019, 10:28 AM
 
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I used to work in public schools, so I've seen that side of it too. The funny thing is that even really difficult, aggressive parents will usually back down (eventually) when an administration is firm and consistent. When I came to work for a prep school with obscenely high tuition rates, I assumed the parents would rule the roost. They certainly try to, and we do get a lot of "power players" who think their wealth and status should translate into getting whatever they want for their kids (see my collected works on this board).

What still surprises me, though, is how often these parents end up caving in the end. Every year, I'm convinced several of our parents are going to pack up and pull their tuition dollars and donations out of our school because they're furious about something or other. They certainly threaten to. In the end, though in 99 cases out of 100, after a parent says, "We will be looking elsewhere since this school is not supportive" the kid is back in class the following year with nary a peep from the parent. And on the rare occasion when a parent does pull their kid, we usually have a wait list of families ready to take up their spot (and, ultimately, the parents know it).

The fact is that kids DO get an excellent education at our school. And our seniors get offers to some great colleges.

It's an object lesson for weak admins that you can remain strong in the face of parent demands and opposition, support your staff, and the sky won't fall.


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Old 05-04-2019, 11:29 AM
 
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I agree with others- Weak P's everywhere are whats causing you this headache. Even if the kids themselves didnt go to a school with a weak admin mom is friends with someone who did. They have heard the stories and they believe the hype-everything is up for negotiation if you are willing to "advocate for your child".

Also in my state at least parents "reviews" can literally cause a failing score of the schools state accountability dashboard. They get to respond anonymously to surveys about school climate and those surveys become part of the schools grade right along with test scores and attendance reports.

So, parents can in effect-not have any behavior standards for their kids, we have to try not exclude them because then it effects how we score on discipline as well as attendance. So we try other method of discipline but they can negotiate out of accountability. If the admin doesn't negotiate then the parent can write a bad review on their school climate survey and and the school will become a failing school. To avoid this P's everywhere are folding like a cheap suit and negotiating everything. My admin still tries to be better than many but the whole system is messed up.

Your parents are clearly onto the way the game works elsewhere and they they are furious when it doesnt work at your school.
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My question
Old 05-04-2019, 02:20 PM
 
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Is where ISN'T that the case?
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PBIS, Restorative Justice, etc.
Old 05-04-2019, 03:15 PM
 
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Some of the "negotiation success" is from the restorative justice movement. Principals are pressured by their higher-ups to reduce suspensions, not improve discipline. The result is that they don't suspend for infractions that used to result in suspension. We have "talks."
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Right
Old 05-04-2019, 03:33 PM
 
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It's not the administrators any more that it is the teachers. The problem lies with manipulating statistics that get reported to the state DOE. Don't suspend students, because it will "look bad". Hence restorative justice.

While I agree that we need to look at suspension rates and try really hard to bring them down, if a child causes physical harm to another child or to an adult, he/she needs to be given a consequence in ADDITION to the "talk". The "talk" will make a difference in the long run, but sometimes the infraction is so bad that something needs to be done immediately as well.
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Old 05-04-2019, 03:51 PM
 
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Quote:
A fight is given a lunch detention when it should be a suspension.

OMG! You work in my building. Hand in mouth! Weak sauce administrations.


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I have difficulty
Old 05-04-2019, 09:04 PM
 
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understanding why administrators don't lead by example when it comes to staff. Employing PBIS techniques rather than writing up teachers, putting teachers on improvement plans, or non-renewals surely is the appropriate way to run schools.
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Old 05-05-2019, 10:55 AM
 
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Imagine a high school where the OSS is located in the same building. Basically, when you get suspended, you still come to the school and you just have to go into a separate location. The students are allowed to use the bathrooms and get lunch. And even though that happens at certain times, they're still in the same presence as the general population. Our suspension program is a joke.
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Old 05-05-2019, 01:45 PM
 
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I used to work for a Catholic diocese where the principals were told not to disturb the parents. This leads to massive behavior problems because students quickly learn that consequences don't exist. I even had a student threaten to bring his father's guns to school and shoot everyone. The principal did absolutely nothing. Apparently it's better to risk the lives of every student and staff member at the school rather than upset his parents.
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