Are suspensions effective in reducing negative behavior? Why or why not?
I think absolutely not. One example I can think of was when a friend's son was suspended for egging a school bus in the school parking lot. Instead of suspending him for three days, why not make him wash buses for three days? Let the punishment fit the crime!
I think that this depends on what the nature of the suspension is. I remember when I was in school, a suspension almost always meant an in-school suspension. You were sent to the library, or the principals office to serve your suspension, were given your class assignments and your books and were expected to complete them AND you punishement! If these were not done, you were given additional punishments.
Today, it seems that all suspensions are out of school, and work is not expected to be done. Essentially a mini-vacation for the kid.
I don't think so, I think that just gives them a short vacation. Give them inside suspension, have them work it off, counsel them, love them.
There is something called behavioral science that has been around for about 80 years now. The evidence is clear that "punishment" reduces behavior in the presence of the punishing source, but the problem behavior gets worse in most cases, when the punishing source is not present (when there is a lapse in supervision).
The science also proves that for negative behavior to go away an alternative desired behavior must be (usually) immediately positively taught and reinforced in place of the negative behavior. Some negative consequences applied to intermittent, left-over bad behavior can increase the effectiveness of the positive reinforcement for the new pro-social behavior. In my work as a clinical behavior consultant, I've observed that many kids love to go home and play video games and/or party etc rather than stay in school and face the challenges that they often need specialized supports in facing.
Suspensions=capitulation. But some of these kids are beyond the help of teachers who are not trained(nor should they be) to also deal with big social problems, results of things that aren't working in the society as a whole.
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