Sometimes the key to getting kids to change their behavior is finding their pain point. A West Virginia middle school has found one of those, and it’s made a huge difference in student conduct.
The potent pain-giver? Reverse suspensions, in which a miscreant student’s parent spends the entire school day shadowing their kid – in class, at their locker, in the cafeteria. Can you imagine anything more mortifying to a middle schooler?
That’s part of the reason that bad behavior incidents are down 50% at Huntington East Middle School since the reverses suspension option was offered to parents. It also helps that no parent wants to spend a second day wandering amongst a herd of gangly, awkward prepubescents. More than one pre-teen misbehaver surely got read the riot act after a day of reverse suspension.
And this from the Department of Really, You Just Figured That Out? East Huntington administrators say traditional suspensions weren’t much of a deterrent to bad behavior because students saw them as a break from school and sometimes welcomed or even courted a suspension.
The reverse suspensions are voluntary and are only used to punish non-violent, non-verbally abusive infractions. So far, about 30 families have chosen the option. That’s 30 little monsters walking the halls stone-faced as mom jabbers away and waves to their friends.
How long before the ACLU files suit saying it’s cruel and unusual punishment?
It’s actually both, and I love it!