Behaviorist Theory has drastically changed  the landscape in terms of using corporal punishment in schools, in public, or in the home. The mere mention of corporal punishment brings out all the screaming banshee defenders of Behaviorist Theory. Scathing articles are written questioning the sanity of anyone that even hints of the positive effects of corporal punishment. Victims of the overuse of corporate punishment are brought before the press and the TV cameras. Pictures of blistered bottoms appear, and then emotionally and mentally damaged adults are interviewed. Rightfully so, the excesses and improper use of corporal punishment must be aggressively pursued, exposed, and punished.  The real problem is Behaviorist Theory is so entrenched in the thought processes of Americans, and our education system, any positive effects of corporal punishment are minimized and never discussed. Of more importance the basic theories and negative aspects of Behaviorist Theory are never discussed, exposed, or challenged. What are the negative  effects of Behaviorist Theory?

Could bullying in our schools and society be one negative effect of Behaviorist Theory?  Bullying was present in schools and society in the 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s. Bullying was definitely not the huge problem that it has become in the 80’s, 90’s, and twenty first century. There is a correlation in the acceptance and use of Behaviorist Theory and the massive increase in the bullying problem in America. The  negative effects of Behaviorist Theory can be see in the areas of empathy and self-esteem development of our school age children.

Watching the development of children over the years, the use of empathy and the understanding of empathy does not appear in ample amounts, until the ninth or tenth grade. Before those grades, students find it hard to put themselves into another student’s,  or a teacher’s situation. A bully puts little to no effort into understanding how another student or teacher feels or thinks.

At the elementary level a recess period or play period can quickly turn into a scene of mass chaos. Very quickly a fun play time can turn into payback time, survival of the strongest time, and a bullying time. How much empathy development or self-esteem development can be found or developed in these situations?

Behaviorist Theory has allowed bullying situations to become prevalent throughout schools. How can this be so? Behaviorist Theory will not allow a student to be punished in any physical way. Behaviorists believe a paddling will cause huge psychological and emotional problems in the development of a student. Furthermore, a paddled student will grow up thinking, physical punishment is the way to solve problems. The consequences of these beliefs are a bully can physically hurt and punish every student in the school and he knows he will not face physical punishment himself. The mental and self-esteem processes of every student in a classroom or school can be damaged or destroyed, as behaviorists strive to protect the mental and self-esteem processes of the bully.

Behaviorist Theory has become so entrenched in school policy that teachers find it hard to discipline a bully. Teachers breaking up a fight must not bruise, scratch, stretch a joint, or redden any part of the bully’s body. An administrator or teacher can face disciplinary procedures, if any of the above consequences show up on the body of the bully. A teacher can face disciplinary action, if a teacher uses harsh language, intimidating language, or yells at a bully. The sad truth is, if a bully starts to cry from any action of school personnel, that adult faces the possibility of reprimand, disciplinary procedures, or the judge.

A large amount of students in Behaviorist Theory Environments become bullies. The consequences and punishments for bad behavior, espoused by Behaviorists, will not change bullying behavior. Students in these environments come to believe, they are stronger and smarter than teachers and administrators of the school. Students come to understand and believe, they are bullet proof to any discipline consequences. Armed with these beliefs, students are enabled and empowered to be discipline problems and bullies. Bully behavior, huge discipline problems, poor manners, a lack of respect for teachers, administrators, adults, other students, and the school are the final results of following Behaviorist Theory.

What happened to a bully before the arrival of Behaviorist Theory? In the “old school days”, school personnel verbally confronted and reprimanded a bully. A bully quickly understood that his bullying behavior was wrong and unacceptable. If a bully assaulted a student, he was dragged down (often by the ear) to the office. In the office the bully was paddled by the principal. Behaviorists believe these are wrong consequences for bullying behavior.

What effects did “old school consequences” have on the school, teachers, victims, and bullies? A bully learned, quickly, that his behavior was wrong. After a paddling a bully started to develop empathy for the victims of his behavior. A bully facing unpleasant and real consequences, changed his behavior. Facing real consequences, a bully came to understand the teachers and administrators were in charge of the classroom, school, and student behavior. Administrators armed with unpleasant and real consequences for bad behavior and bullying could produce safe schools. Students could come to school without the fear of being bullied every day. Of more importance, teachers, unencumbered with Behaviorist Theory, could call a bully a bully. Teachers, to a much higher degree, could verbally and mentally challenge a bully to change his behavior. A student on his way to becoming a bully could change his behavior, and mentally and emotionally became a student with more self-respect and self-esteem. Along the way, he also became a productive, courteous, and happy member of the student body.

A huge bullying problem is just one negative consequence, that Behaviorist Theory brought to our schools. Behaviorist theory has brought several other negative consequences to our schools. Other negative consequences will be a topic of a future post.

Have you ever wished you could be Joe Clark? Do you wish you could go into an unsafe, out of control school and just like Joe Clark, bring that school under control and make that school safe?

The lead story on the local TV news was of big fights at one of the schools in the Spring ISD in Texas. These fights and hallway control issues have been going on for several months. The latest fight appeared to get so big and the students so unruly that a policeman felt compelled to use pepper spray.

TV interviews with parents indicated that their children were often afraid to go to school. The news media had found parents with stories about their children being bullied at school.  These parents were hoping and wishing that conditions in the school would improve. Parents also expressed their disappointment and frustration with the school, teachers, administrators, and the school district. They also expressed a will and desire to help solve the problem. Everyone involved in these school situations wants to solve the problem, but no on has the solution.

I understand your frustrations and discouragements. I have been through these experiences and emotions.

There is a way to solve these school problems. Joe Clark turned a tough, out of control, inner-city school into a safe and productive school. I have done the same thing. In the movie, Joe had the support and help of dozens of police officers. Who knows how much help he really had to solve these problems?   I received minimal to no help from school administrators, police officers, or teachers. I started walking the school hallways, using my school discipline plan in August and by December the school was under control, safe, and productive. The school no longer had a tardy problem. During that same period of time, I escorted three students to the AP’s office. How long did it take Joe Clark to bring the school under control? How many students had to be escorted to the office?  I would be willing to bet it took longer and many more students were run through the school discipline system.

I am no super man , but the school discipline system I created and used has superman qualities. The school discipline system is so simple and safe, parents can be invited in to help bring  a school under control. Teachers, administrators, and parents can work together and within a few weeks solve the discipline problems of your school. When a school solves the school discipline problem, that school has take the first step in solving all the other problems of the school.

Teachers, administrators, and parents no longer need to feel hopeless and frustrated about school discipline issues of bullying, tardiness, violence, or safety. Working together, using this school discipline plan, we can all become the ” Joe Clark’s” of our schools.

Recently in the news and politics of the day, the word entitlement has become a big word. Policemen, firefighters, and teachers have been labeled “entitled”.  Along with the label comes the inferences that these groups are fat, lazy, and not dedicated to their profession. Once these groups have been labeled fat, lazy, and unprofessional, the next natural progressions are the suggestions these groups are against capitalism and American ideals of hard work and democracy. Once again the word shift game has been played by the people with the power and money.

This happens quite often on the battlefields of education.  School districts and schools with the poorest children and the least resources are labeled as low-performing. The hardest working teachers and administrators in America are called entitled, lazy, unprofessional, and not dedicated to the students of  the United States. The students and parents of these schools end up with the same labels along with the tags- burden to society and a drain on our resources. These labels lead to the perception and belief that these people are getting what they deserve. There is also the perception these people are unable to raise themselves up by their own bootstraps.

My question to the the people at the top (with the money and power) is how can you call teachers, fireman, and police lazy and entitled when you have never worked these jobs?  Professions most of the 1% would quit in less than two years. The use of the word entitlement, however,  leaves the impression the people in these professions are undermining the core ethics of hard work, equal opportunity, and democracy.

In truth, who is really undermining the core values of the United States? Who in America is truly “entitled”? Bill Gates with your 56 billion are you working 56 million time harder than the average teacher, policeman, or firemen?  The Koch Brothers, Walton’s, investment bankers, etc. are you entitled to all this money?

The top 1% of the country, how can you really feel that you are entitled to 40% of the wealth of our country? Or do you hold the royal attitude that you deserve all this money? Do you hide your greed and entitlement behind the twin pillars of capitalism and democracy?

The United States of America needs a new and better system of capitalism. The business leaders, scholars, and professors need to devise a capitalist system  more aligned with the principles and freedom found in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of  The United States. A capitalist system should be created, that does not allow wealth and power of the country to be concentrated in the hands of the few. A capitalist system that will not let  people have an excuse and justification for their greed. We need a system that provides the just environment and proper rewards for innovators, risk takers, etc. to keep capitalism healthy and vigorous. As capitalism is kept health and vigorous, strategies, philosophies, and laws must be created to more evenly distribute the money of these companies.

Let’s use Bill Gates and Microsoft as one possible scenario for new capitalist system. Perhaps Bill Gates would be allowed to accumulate no more than one billion dollars in personal wealth. One billion dollars should be enough to stimulate most innovators and risk takers. The other 55 billion, you are not entitled to keep, this wealth must be put back into your company, the people of your company, or investments in America. Perhaps, a billion of those 55 billion dollars could be used to bring together all segments of the United States to create a better system of capitalism?

Maybe the people of the United States need to play the entitlement word shift game. Why should owners and managers of corporations be allowed to believe that they are entitled to  company jets and perks, extravagant salaries, and huge bonuses? Especially when their companies are know to be life-sucking parasites of  employees, families,  American communities, and America ideals.

The offspring of  our United States billionaires are not entitled to inherit all those billions. They did not work for the money. Those billions should go back to the people of American to invest in making the United States better.

When corporations and billionaires hire lobbyists, buy elections, and run their companies as dictatorships, they should not be entitled to say they are defenders of the Constitution of The United States and democratic ideals. They should be the last to say others are unpatriotic or not loyal to the United States. Especially, if they move their business to another country that suppresses human rights and human dignity.

This entitlement word shift game can be played out in many different ways. The underlying premise is the wrong people and groups are being called “entitled”.  The billionaires, elected officials, and corporate leaders need to look internally if they want to find entitled people.

If we find the truly entitled people  in the United States, the next game we should play is the transfer of blame game about who is truly responsible for America’s economic problems.