Schools safer, discipline worse (7/22/2010)
|University of Delaware Professor Aaron Kupchik spent years observing school discipline in high schools, interviewing school administrators, teachers, parents, police officers and students. - Courtesy: University of Delaware|
Research at four high schools in two different parts of the U.S. (Southwest and Mid-Atlantic) helped Professor Aaron Kupchik develop an unflattering picture of school discipline in America. Schools are much safer now than they were 15 years ago, yet discipline tactics still grow harsher. Too often, Kupchik notes, school officials rigidly enforce rules, rules created in reaction to highly publicized school shootings, without considering how to help troubled kids.
In his recently published book, "Homeroom Security: School Discipline in an Age of Fear," Kupchik examines disciplinary practices in schools, practices that include assigned police officers, drug-sniffing dogs, metal detectors, armed security guards, surveillance cameras, zero tolerance policies and even strip searches of students. Kupchik is an associate professor in the University of Delaware Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice.
He proposes current strategies are excessive and counterproductive and offers alternatives. Kupchik recommends removing police from full-time assignment at most schools and involving students in the rule-making process, among other solutions.
|Aaron Kupchik discusses his thoughts about school discipline. Kupchik is an associate professor of sociology and criminal justice at the University of Delaware.
His book, 'Homeroom Security: School Discipline in an Age of Fear,' has just been published. In it, Kupchik examines disciplinary practices in schools, practices that include assigned police officers, drug-sniffing dogs, metal detectors, armed security guards, surveillance cameras and zero tolerance policies.
He says policies created as a reaction to school violence and shootings, including Columbine and others, are excessive and counterproductive. He suggests schools rethink the way they handle discipline, by removing police from all but the most violent schools and involve students in the rule-making process. - Courtesy: University of Delaware|
Note: This story has been adapted from a news release issued by the University of Delaware