Tackling Disrespect in Cincinnati Schools

Written by Patricia Hawke for www.schoolsk-12.com

Disrespect on the Rise in Cincinnati Schools 
In order to raise students who turn out into successful and high performing individuals, it’s imperative that they attend school and behave appropriately.  In 2003, however, 13,000 students in Cincinnati public schools were ordered to spend time out of school – suspended or expelled for poor behavior or actions.  This was the highest number of suspensions in schools in the state, and has rightly given rise to concern whether such suspensions and expulsions serve the purpose for which they are used, i.e. to bring about a change in students prone to misbehavior in Cincinnati schools. 
While everybody agrees that the problem of misbehavior in students in Cincinnati schools needs to be addressed, there are doubts over whether suspensions are the way to go about it.  In fact, many educational authorities and analysts argue that suspensions can have the exact opposite effect.  Students who are suspended repeatedly from Cincinnati schools are in danger of choosing to drop out altogether in coming years.
The Cons of Suspensions in Cincinnati Schools 
While you and I might agree that misbehaving students in Cincinnati schools are a distraction to other students who are interested in learning, there are better ways of dealing with problem behavior in the classroom than by sending the student home for a defined period of time. 
Think about it this way.  You’re telling a student he can stay home for 10 days or so with no home assignments, and no school work, and he can spend his free hours doing whatever he might want to do- but he cannot attend class.  If a child does have deeper issues, he might actually think “Hurray!” which defeats the entire purpose of the suspension - getting him to reform or change his ways. 
Plus, he has the added burden of catching up with other students once he does get back to school after his suspension.  This puts him back further academically, and only adds to his frustrations.  No wonder educational authorities agree this approach stinks. 
Experts say there are other less harsh and more effective ways to handle the problem.  They point to support and training for teachers in Cincinnati schools to better handle instances of misbehavior in classes and on campus as a step in the right direction. 
Cincinnati schools are making efforts to create alternative learning opportunities for students who have been suspended for misbehavior.  These alternative learning centers also serve to help students who have been expelled through grades 9 and 12 keep up with their education. 
Some Cincinnati schools have begun a monitoring system that tracks infractions and sets into motion a mechanism that begins communication with parents to keep them informed of their children’s behavior problems.  This last one is a heartening approach – keeping an eye on students in Cincinnati schools who show early signs of discipline problems enables both parents and school authorities to step in and begin a process of communication with the student which will help dig out the issues that lie at the core of the problem.