A public school in Portland, Oregon has garnered the ire of some parents due to the discipline that was meted out on their children through a corrective action based program aimed at bad behavior.
So why the ire? It’s not because their child was given extra homework or because they were suspended in any way or because they were “assaulted” physically with a paddle. The school had obviously decided that these punishments don’t deter or correct the bad behavior. The ire came because this particular punishment “humiliated” their child. And what was this “humiliating” punishment that crossed the line? Let me provided you with a quote from the story:
The “community service” program, called off at the César Chávez K through 8 school while the Portland Public Schools district investigates, reportedly punished misbehaving kids for unruliness (such as throwing food) by having them do chores that included picking up trash from hallways and paper towels from bathroom floors.
That sounds dreadful! How could something like that happen in America? This is the 21st century! And while I’m at it, will someone cue the soft and solemn sound of a violin please?
I’m no advocate of child abuse. I can’t be more staunchly opposed to it! I believe an individual should be punished to the extent of the law when an avenue of punishment creates unreasonable or irreversible damage to a child. But my friends, the only thing that will last beyond the day when it comes to the punishment of picking up trash in hallways and cleaning bathrooms is the lesson that was meant to be learned. If a little humiliation is what it takes for a child to learn not to throw food, or to disrespect a teacher or a fellow classmate then a little humiliation might be one of the best things that has ever happened to that child.
A culture that fails to see the necessity of disciplining a child’s bad and disrespectful behavior is a culture that fails to see the adult that an uncorrected child will grow to become. And in case you haven’t noticed, it’s a lot easier to correct a child that still needs to learn a lesson than it is an adult who refuses to acknowledge the fact that what they have done is wrong. When you think about it like that, I guess humility isn’t such a bad avenue of correction for a child after all, huh?
“Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.” (Proverbs 22:15)