How to Survive Discipline Committee The secret in education lies in respecting the student. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson by Larry Blackmer http://falcon.jmu.edu/~ramseyil/disciplinebib.htm
Who is in charge? Decide who will make decisions and how they will be communicated. Decide on a philosophy of discipline, get some consensus from your staff- live by it! Set the tone-be in charge!
Who is in Charge-2 Be careful to not run ahead of your staff in changing any decisions made by the staff. Be clear from the beginning that you will be the one in charge.
Be Open- From Day One Explain the difference between spiritual laws and rules. Explain that where you draw the line is arbitrary for many issues. Explain that you and the staff are human and will not always do things perfectly- but will strive to be fair.
Who are your at-risk kids. Let them know you care. Know them personally before they are in trouble. Keep it out of your office. Give them opportunities to grow in a non-disciplinary environment
The Student Make the student call the parents and explain what happened. Help them to fill in all the blanks. First-know where the blanks are. Second-get your facts straight. Treat the student with respect. Get an incident report What happened, who was involved, What was your role in the incident Signed and dated Pray with them.
The Other Students Hanging one from the flagpole does not always send the message you want! Give the student body some credit. Do not (in general) openly discuss the discipline. If there is real campus conflict-deal with it.
The Parents Be up front- share what you know and dont know. Do not rush into speculating on the discipline. LISTEN! Pray with them! Be empathic- it is their child!
The Faculty Have set policies regarding procedures. Let both sides present situation. Be wary of the traps My kid can do no wrong Strong discipline will hurt the child for life WWJD We have to be 100% consistent Bias Make discipline a matter of earnest prayer
Yourself Know the difference if you are listening with your head or your heart. Do not get overly emotionally involved-yet do not become unattached. Follow-through! There is not always a win-win.
Which is Most Important? Justice-get what they deserve. Consistency-all treated equally. Fairness-in the end they know that whatever the outcome, they were treated fairly. Let that be your guiding principle! Fairness!
Why Are You in Education? To see these kids in heaven! Do your best to see that the discipline you give will further that goal! Dont be bullied into thinking that forgiveness is the only way or kicking someone out will doom them forever- Do what is right because it is right and leave the consequences to the Lord!
Bottom Line Most of you will react as your temperament demands Know your temperament Build a team around you that complements your temperament Listen to council!
The most unfair thing you can do is treat unequal people equally! Larry Blackmer, 1980