Teachers Need to Stop Punishing the Entire Class for the Actions of a Few​

school cafeteria

You know what I'm getting really sick and tired of? My kid coming home from school and telling me that his entire class was penalized in some way, shape, or form because one or a few of the students in his class acted out.

I swear, at least once a week, he gets off the bus and tells me how his day was kind of a bummer because his class was forced to stay in for recess. Or be silent during lunch. Or any other sort of lame punishment -- all because of the actions of one, two, three, etc., students who couldn't seem to keep their behavior in check that day.

Seriously -- what is up with teachers and other school staff punishing kids when they didn't do anything wrong? Are they just really bored or fed up or ... what?!?


I mean, I sort of get it. They're trying to prove a point by showing kids that their actions have consequences. But how, exactly, does everyone in the class staying inside for recess teach the one or two kids who did something bad to behave in an acceptable way? Maybe I'm going out on a limb here, but it seems like a much more effective punishment would be to make only those kids stay in for recess -- and then sit them by the window and make them watch the other kids outside having fun without them.

And don't even get me started on the "no talking at lunch" thing. I'm sorry, but the time kids spend in the cafeteria is one of the few points during the day where they can socialize and relax a little. If they are handling themselves properly, they shouldn't be made to shut up.

On top of it all -- if everyone receives the same treatment regardless of their behavior, how, exactly, is that going to make them want to change their ways and stop acting out? Even if they do shape up, they're still going to get in trouble if someone else misbehaves, and so on and so forth.

Don't get me wrong -- I expect my son to be reprimanded by his teachers if he does something out of line. But please don't take something away from his classmates when they aren't the ones who deserve it.

Surely there must be a better way of letting kids know what kind of behavior is and is not acceptable. (Or maybe I'm just living in a dream world.)

Does it bother you when your kid's entire class gets a punishment?


Image via agricultured/Flickr

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