What is considered a serious discipline problem varies between school systems and how this is handled varies as well.
In a New Mexico middle school, a seventh grade student artificially burped loudly many times, and peers laughed loudly, making for complete disaster in a physical education class. A uniformed officer was called in and handcuffed/took out the offender.
The student’s parents are suing the school for mistreatment and humiliating the student. How should a situation like this be handled?
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Definitely, it makes teaching difficult and unpleasant. When supervising university student teachers, there were neophytes who seemingly took care of discipline problems rather well the first day; others had difficulties here. The personality of the student teacher is involved, and they did have the cooperating teacher nearby to help in cases of discipline. My being there to observe the student teacher teaching made a difference also.
An overcrowded classroom can make for problems in school discipline. Usually there are models in behavior for others to follow. It is good for the school in and of itself to handle discipline. School policy needs to have a quality program of means to take care of discipline problems. In-service education is poignant here in using time out, detention, and informing parents of the offender’s behavior, among other procedures, so that teachers may teach and pupils can learn. Time is indeed short for learner achievement in pupils moving through pre-kindergarten to high school graduation. School principal preparation programs must include ways of modifying and changing negative school behavior; they should not stay in their office too continuously, refraining from assisting with discipline problems in the school setting.
Marlow Ediger, professor emeritus, North Newton
Safety of children
I strongly disagree with the Op-Ed published last Sunday by Kansas Department for Children and Families Secretary Phyllis Gilmore (“New qualifications won’t sacrifice safety”).
Record numbers of foster children are in the foster care program. Why is that?
Instead of reducing the qualifications, the Kansas Legislature should be doing more to determine why there are record numbers of children being moved into the foster care system. I believe that if the state stops moving children out of homes unnecessarily, there would be less of a caseload to manage.
Additionally, I believe the problems facing Secretary Gilmore’s department go beyond the qualifications of social workers. Children are being taken from their homes and having to stay overnight in contractor facilities due to a lack of beds to accommodate placements.
An audit from July found that DCF has failed to ensure the safety of children in foster care. It also indicated that some current social workers already lack required work experience to adequately meet the demands of the job.
I want nothing more than to guarantee the safety and well being of every child in Kansas, but that requires more oversight and more reform of the system, not a reduction in qualifications of those who work with our most vulnerable children.
State Sen. Oletha Faust-Goudeau, D-Wichita
A look at a map of China, Japan, and the two Koreas shows graphically the potential result of a nuke on North Korea. Simply, today’s bomb could destroy a radius of over 500 miles, including both Koreas, and some of the highest population concentrations in China including Beijing, and Japan, including Tokyo, some 100 million people over all. This is why the leaders of three countries have spoken urgently, personally with our president. Some say he thinks it is a “deal,” a game. If so, unspeakably horrible, insane!
Alfred James, Bel Aire
The country is facing a myriad of problems. Could they be fixed? Yeah, I think so. Will they be fixed? I doubt it. Why? It’s because the pain necessary to fix them would be great and the people of the country would rebel and toss all of these elected government officials out of their soft cushy jobs.
At the root of the problem is money. To be viable you can’t spend more than you take in. A balanced budget amendment needs to be passed saying you can’t spend what you don’t have.
Then the tax code needs to be thrown out and replaced with a flat tax, not a fair tax or any of that other mumbo jumbo, just a flat tax that affects everyone. With no exemptions for anything, no income level, age, or any circumstance, then everyone has skin in the game and shares in the pain of supporting the cost or burden of government.
With such a system in place, then the job of those in power would be to divvy up what they take in. After skimming off 10 percent earmarked for paying off the debt they’ve incurred, let them fight it out over who’s going to get how much and for what project. You know, like what the rest of us do after every payday when we sit down with checkbook in hand to pay bills.
Jerry W. Davidson, Valley Center
The U.S. private sector is controlled by the “market,” with companies owned by individuals or stockholders and employees hired, paid and supervised by the owners. Even companies with union contracts agree to terms of pay and benefits to be provided by the employer. The private sector abandoned employee pension plans decades ago due to the cost.
The government sector is another world from the private. The “owners” are actually the elected officials who are dependent on the employees, and their unions, to get things done. The symbiotic relationship works for them, because both parties have a personal interest in their monetary rewards.
Consider the underfunded Wichita city retirement plan along with the Kansas and federal overspending and debt. The Obama administration left taxpayers with more debt than all other presidents combined, but he is receiving his “retirement” pay just as all other presidents and other government employees. From a state perspective, judges, teachers and other state employees are asking for more tax dollars with little regard for the financial disaster they are perpetuating.
The invisible hand of the market may have worked for Adam Smith, but it is a big government failure.
Robert Wine, Wichita
It is time for all of you to stop blaming Bill Clinton and Barack Obama for things they did. Your man is in office, and he needs to suck it up and move ahead. He looks weak and small when he blames Clinton and Obama for his problems. He said Obama wire tapped him, which was a lie, which he does a lot. In fact he is the biggest liar of all the presidents we have had. I wonder why the people who support him cannot see it. I think they see it but choose to ignore it. When he said Obama was not born here; he knew that was a lie. So Donald Trump keep on lying, and soon your lies will catch up with you.
Alex Ray, Jr., Wichita
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