The downside of suspension as punishment

An article recently published on has revealed that many school districts still continue to use out-of-school suspensions, even for minor infractions. The problem, however, is that while it is popularly used as a disciplinary action, it has become increasingly apparent that suspensions fail to accomplish the desired outcome in the student and may, instead, exacerbate the issue at hand.

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One of the reasons for its failure should be obvious when adults take into account the nature of the punishment. It is essentially giving students a few days off from school and it does not truly feel like punishment, especially for those who already dislike school.

In addition, the grades of an already underperforming student punished in this way will further decline because he or she is made to miss more school work and the effort needed to catch up may become too great for the student to put up with.

To a certain extent, the report adds, it is understandable why schools choose this method of punishment especially for problem students whose antics can sometimes disrupt classroom activities. However, not dealing with the issues that cause students to misbehave will undoubtedly cause more problems in the future.

Therefore, the challenge that now befalls modern educators is that they need to find ways to discipline at-risk students or to recognize the causes for their misbehavior and provide help in any way that they can in order to make sure that no student is left behind.

Frank Biden is involved in Mavericks High, an educational institution that specializes on providing alternative programs for at-risk and dropout students.

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