America must demand a great discipline plan. Our education system is being paralyzed by poor discipline. School discipline is the huge elephant in the room that no one will acknowledge. Everyone knows that the elephant is there but no one will step forward, because if you admit to having a discipline problem, you are now obligated to solving the problem. Very few people are stepping forward to address this problem head-on because they don’t see  any plausible solutions. America, we have a huge discipline problem. I am not afraid to say we have a discipline problem because I have a school discipline plan that works. This discipline plan has changed, low-performing, out-of-control schools into disciplined, safe, and productive schools.

The golden bullet that leads to solving all of America’s educational problems is great school discipline. Therefore, to start the process of solving school problems it is important to know and understand the differences between great school discipline and poor school discipline.

Great school discipline acknowledges a problem and develops  the will to solve the problem. Poor school discipline will not admit to a problem and points blame at others.  Great school discipline is the process of identify and solving big discipline problems and then identifying smaller and smaller discipline problems and solving them. This process leads to safe and productive schools.  Poor school discipline identifies and solves problems as they show up at the office. This process leads to more and more problems of increasing severity showing up at the office. This process leads to administrators being trapped in their offices and an increasingly unsafe and unproductive school environment.

The goals of mutual respect, proper manners, and proper individual and social behavior are constantly demanded by a great school discipline plan. This  plan demands the adults in a school to model, show, and teach these behaviors and skills.  Armed with respect toward students, proper manners, and behaviors, the adults of a school can confront bad behavior and thinking and demand a change in thinking and behavior. Poor school discipline sees these problems but has no mechanism or plan to solve the problems of lack of respect, poor manners, or bullying problems.

Great school discipline has consequences that change student behavior and a plan on how to deliver those consequences in an effective and efficient manner. Lecture And Pester (the first part of the school discipline system that I provide) offers  the mental consequences that changes student behavior. The Proactive and Persistent Discipline Plan (the second part of the school discipline system that I provide) offers an effective and efficient  system of constantly confronting students with the Lecture and Pester process. When these two processes are combined students change their behavior and schools become safe and productive.

Poor school discipline is the result of not having a process or philosophy of  mentally challenging students about their wrong behavior or thinking. Changing student behavior with detention halls, suspensions, and Saturday classes will not work with today’s student and  is a low percentage game. Throughout the school year the percentages decrease as students lose respect for the discipline system and the adults trying to enforce the discipline system. This downward process leads to bullying, out of control schools, community frustration, and low performing schools.

Every student in a school has a problem. Half of great school discipline is identifying and solving student problems. Often there is a underlying problem in a students life that causes a discipline problem. A great discipline plan is in the business of solving problems. When a school discipline plan solves problems more and more students bring more and more underlying problems forth to be solved. This leads to an upward spiral of happier students with less discipline problems. This upward spiral leads to high performing students and schools.

Great school discipline is a constant upward spiral. A great school discipline program does not stop when a school is safe and controlled. Every hour of every day, a great school discipline plan demands a higher level of achievement, responsibility, and self-discipline from each student, parent, teacher, and administrator. A disciplined school and student body will naturally develop programs and goals of ever higher success.

The underlying common factor for all of our education problems is poor school discipline. When the discipline problem is solved, the other educational problems in the school can be solved.

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Hope:
1) to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence
2) to believe, desire, or trust
3) to feel that something desired may happen

The  educational battle has heated up. Large foundations and “big money” people have entered the fray. Education reformers are to be found in many different forms with ever increasing passion and anger. Old voices and new voices argue passionately over every issue, every success, and every failure. The problems appear to be too big and too many to be solved. The arguments and anger of the combatants becomes more heated. On every issue there is less willingness to compromise or even to work together to solve the problem. The feeling of hopelessness, despair, and loss of hope grows in everyone. There appears to be no way to solve these problems.

Wait a minute, I have been through this process. This same educational battle was waged on a much smaller scale at Austin HS in the early 90’s. The Shared Decision Making Committee (SDMC)  made up of parents, students, teachers, administrators, and community leaders had fought the same educational battles. The SDMC, after many heated arguments and anger, eventually  realized what was the real problem.

Austin HS had every educational problem. The SDMC set up sub-committees for every educational issue. There were sub-committees for the school budget, school pride, student achievement, teacher performance, discipline, dropouts, etc. The sub-committees  and SDMC argued and sought solutions for every school problem for weeks. After months of meetings, very few solutions had come forth to solve our school problems. One huge truth had emerged from all the sub-committees and SDMC meetings. The underlying cause of most of our school problems was the school discipline problem. Until we solved the school discipline problem , we could not solve the other school problems and educational problems. The same truth applies to America, if we want to solve our problems in education, we must solve our school discipline problem. Fortunately, for America there is a school discipline plan that can solve our school discipline problem.

One saying goes, “Necessity is the mother of invention.” This saying rang true for the Discipline Committee of Austin HS. We, as a committee, argued and sought solutions for our discipline problems. Only when Ms. Judy Dew stood up and read a definition of discipline did we start to solve the problem. It’s the definition of discipline I still use today : a set of consequences for bad behavior, often unpleasant, that will make a person change their behavior. The ultimate goal of  discipline is to become self disciplined.” Contained within this definition are all the reasons America has a discipline problem and all the solutions to our discipline problems.

Eventually, I developed the Lecture and Pester methods and the Proactive and Persistent School Discipline System. The Lecture and Pester process delivers the unpleasant consequences that changes students behavior. The Proactive and Persistent School Discipline System is the process of identifying the biggest problems and going after these problems. The combining of the LP processes and P&P Discipline processes are efficient and effective in solving the school discipline problem. Quickly, 90-99 % of student discipline problems disappear without taking students to the office, detention halls, Saturday classes, etc.  The combining of these two systems puts time, numbers, and control of the discipline problem on the side of the adults.

Using L&P with P&P Discipline, I was able to, by myself, clear hundreds of students from the hallways, decrease the tardy problem to zero, increase in class instruction time by 20,000 hours each month, stop bullying, cut visits to the AP offices by 90-95 % , and save tens of thousand of dollars each month in vandalism and graffiti costs.

This is why I have hope for America. If I can affect these changes in a school by myself, what could parents, teachers, and administrators accomplish working this discipline system together in a school? What would be the results if every school in America used this discipline plan?

I believe every school in America can be made safe. I believe we can eliminate the bullying problem in schools. I believe the cost of disciplining students can be reduced by several billions of dollars each year. I believe this saved money can be used to solve school budgeting problems and other school financial problems. I believe that by solving the discipline problem, we will bring different groups together to solve other education problems. I believe solving the school discipline problem will lead to solutions for all other school problems.

There is hope for America’s public schools, and it is one discipline plan away.

Calling Out Bill Gates

October 2, 2010

Bill Gates should be applauded for his interest and desire to improve education. He’s made a difference around the world and his achievements are commendable. However, his thinking and direction for solving educational problems are flawed. Albert Einstein once said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” The experts and ideas that Bill Gates has around him have created the present problems and situations in our schools. Although Bill Gates had to go outside of the conventional box of thinking to create his empire, his current solutions and ideologies to solving educational problems are exactly the opposite — they are “in the box.”

New ideas and paradigms of thinking are required to solve our present educational problems. Currently, the knowledge and wisdom of the people in low-performing schools is not being utilized. Has it ever occurred to anyone that in order to solve problems you must first go to the ones who live them everyday — the teachers, the students, the parents?

There is a way to solve most of the major school problems America faces today. We cannot do it in our old ways of thinking. It requires something new. In my opinion, building a grassroots approach to solving these problems is desperately needed. If we cannot solve the problems from the “top”, then we are going to have to start from the roots and work our way up.

I  worked and lived in the inner-city, low-performing school situations for 11 years. I have seen these problems first-hand and it’s why I write this blog. It’s why I am passionate about seeing effective discipline implemented throughout American schools.

So, I challenge you, Bill Gates.  I challenge you on your position in education and how you believe the problems of our schools can be solved. Your ways will not solve the core problems. More charter schools, more testing, and eliminating the “bad teachers” are not the ways we will see America’s schools thrive. The problem with our schools is school discipline, and we can solve that by implementing an effective school discipline system.

I call you out, Bill Gates. Let me and you go to a low-performing school, and with the help of 4-6 administrators and 8 parents, change that school into a safe and productive school that is on it’s way to success. Along the way, you will discover that over 90% of the students, parents, teachers, and administrators are good, hard-working people.

Overall, I believe that you will have new thoughts and paradigms on how to truly solve our educational problems while saving millions of dollars each year. Millions of dollars that can be put into educating the future generation rather than putting money into solutions that won’t solve anything.

It is possible. The future is bright.


 

It’s time for a paradigm shift in education. The current ways and policies for solving discipline problems in American schools are leaving us empty. Things must change and paradigms must shift if we want to see radically effective changes in discipline in our schools. It starts with us and the way we think. In this blog, I’ll discuss why we need a paradigm shift and how we can do it.

The use of Lecture and Pester with Proactive and Persistent School Discipline changes schools. As the tardy problem disappears, you are now able to work on other big problems, such as: chaos in  the cafeteria, the dressing room in the gym, late arrivals to school, etc. These problems are recognized and finally given attention to and become minor problems instead.

As problems in these areas become small, a transition to the second phase of the discipline plan begins. Administrators and hall masters bring these discipline processes to the door of the classroom. Teachers and administrators agree, that if a classroom is controlled and focused during the first five minutes of class, the rest of the period will be the same.

Teachers and administrators work together to identify and solve big and small problems at the classroom door. School discipline quickly becomes more effective and efficient. Massive hours of work are eliminated as there are less referrals to the Assistant Principals’ (AP) office, which also causes a major reduction in paperwork. A teacher’s authority and classroom discipline improves as students realize the problem will be addressed  immediately at the doorway, with the AP and teacher working together, in front of classmates.

As the adults of the school bring a school under control and discipline is established in the classroom, the next phase of the discipline program begins. Just as a self-disciplined person can set goals for higher achievement, so can a school set goals for higher achievement. The school can ask students to strive for a higher average daily attendance goal or have a study hall with 500 extra hours of study each week. Whatever the goals, they can be focused on more, now that the discipline problem is under control.

The use of this discipline program changes how people look at schools and educational problems. This program creates new paradigms about solving the daily problems of our school system. It is time for a change and the current system of solving these problems is not working. Paradigm shifts must happen to see these discipline problems solved and American school systems under control!

First, we realize that 99% of our students can become self-disciplined and productive. We learn that 99% of our teachers can have disciplined and productive classrooms. We are amazed as administrators become effective disciplinarians. A paradigm shift occurs when we realize the discipline problem was not us. A poor discipline plan and system was the problem. This leads to other paradigm shifts in thinking about other  educational problems.

Let us start with a paradigm shift in thinking on how to solve the drop out rate. The first step has already been taken. Students walk out of a school when they feel the school is not safe and/or a waste of time. The school is safe now and is setting higher goals for student achievement. When proper school environments are created, dropouts will walk back into the school.

When a school becomes well-disciplined another paradigm change of thinking takes place. The realization that a majority of schools in America are boring, dismal, and provide few fun activities for students. Pep rallies, fun assemblies, and exciting events rarely, if ever, happen in schools today. Administrators and the school faculty are scared to bring students together in large assemblies when a school has little discipline. With disciplined students, the school needs to provide as many fun, exciting, and educational events as possible.  When schools become fun and exciting, the dropout numbers will go down drastically.

Fun and exciting schools improve discipline. First, students do not have to create  excitement to break the oppressive cycle of boredom. Gang fights, fist fights, and confrontational behavior currently be used to relieve boredom can be greatly reduced. Also, having the consequence of not allowing a student to attend a fun event is a powerful persuader to follow school rules.

When I had the paradigm shift that 99% of students can become self-disciplined, I had another paradigm shift in thinking. I realized the way we tie together grades, discipline, failure, and punishment together must be overhauled. Texas House Bill 72 has been a success and an extreme failure at the same time.

I was there when former Texas Governor Mark White spoke to the Texas Legislature Education Committee. He was presenting arguments to keep House Bill 72 and the No Pass- No Play amendment in force. He spoke powerfully and eloquently about his classroom failure and removal from the football team. Governor White then went on to make an argument for No Pass-No Play. The argument and linkage for No Pass- No Play is generally:

fail a subject–>expulsion from extra curricular activity–>desire to get back to activity–>change behavior–>study hard–>earn a passing grade–>be accepted back to banned activity–>success

This No Pass- No Play scenario may work in highly successful schools and suburban schools. The success rate of students is high, so only a small percentage of students have to deal with No Pass- No Play. Extra curricular activities and sports teams are big and successful. Failing students have a large desire to get back to the activity. The No Pass -No Play linkage works in these schools and they become schools of success.

The No Pass – No Play section of House Bill 72 has been a disaster for education in inner-city schools. The education philosophy created by No Pass – No Play has created schools of failure in the inner city. The argument and linkage of  No Pass – No Play works in reverse in low-performing schools. How can this be so? First, at any given marking period at least half the school is ineligible for extra curricular activities. Therefore, most teams and organizations are small and unable to compete at a high level. Students on these teams are ridiculed, harassed, and called fools for being on a team by half the school. A downward cycle of less participation, more failures, and less competitive teams is created. No Pass – No Play produces  failing environments and messages. The immediate message, to half the school, is you are a failure. Because you are a failure, you can not participate in school activities and you are not part of the school.  The feeling grows that the school and teachers are “out to get me,” they will not allow me into an activity where I can be happy and successful.

Half the students in the school are labeled failures and never allowed into programs where they may experience success. The adults of the school lose control over  half of the school population. The process of success in one area being transferred to other areas and subjects never occurs. Students see themselves as incapable of being successful.

So who is around to pick up the students who are rejected, disfranchised, unwanted, angry, and not in an adult managed activity? The gangs are there telling these students they are valuable to them. The school cares little for you but we care. The school is a failure and had the nerve to call you a failure. We know you have skills and you can be successful with us. If you come join us, we will make you successful and respected.

The gangs are in the schools giving the students the messages the schools should be giving to them. The problem is the law of the land (HB 72) sends the wrong messages.  HB 72 does not allow the adults of a school to reach half of the school with the right messages.

How do we correct this situation? It requires paradigm changes in thinking. We must develop school strategies and ideologies that are inclusive not exclusive. Every student must be allowed to develop his/her special talent or skill. When you believe that 99% of a student body can become self-disciplined, the paradigm change occurs.

The only real connection between grades, discipline, and success is that a self- disciplined person is usually a successful person. A disciplined person has failures, but has a process of behavior, thinking, and goal setting that leads to success. Schools must allow all students a chance to experience success. By experiencing success in one area, students can begin to develop the behavior, thinking, and goal setting processes to be successful in other areas.

Schools must become inclusive and allow success. How is this done?  One step to take is to change the eligibility requirements for extra curricular activities. After age, there should be only two requirements for participation in school activities and extra curricular activities.

1)Come to school according to attendance policies
2) Do not be a discipline problem

If after you read these two requirements and immediately thought of a massive breakdown in student and school discipline, you need a discipline system that allows 99% of you student body to be self-disciplined! You need a paradigm change in thinking, about how to solve the school discipline problem in America.

If a student fails all his subjects, he is still eligible for extra curricular activities. Now teachers and coaches are not restricted in allowing students into activities, where they can be successful. The sports teams, band, cheerleaders, debate teams, etc. can become bigger, competitive, and successful. Cycles of success are created in students and the school. Student success in one area allows transfer of success to other areas of endeavor. Teachers can give a true grade without major conflicts with coaches, administrators, parents, or students. Classroom behavior improves as conflicts between students and teachers over grades is greatly diminished. The massive classroom problems caused by exclusion from school teams and activities for poor grades is eliminated. There are less attitude problems that disrupt the education of all the other students in the classroom. As conflicts over grades are greatly reduced, teachers can reach out and help more failing students change their behavior and become successful.

Increased student achievement, competitive teams, and  feeling you are part of the school builds school pride and community pride. Administrators, teachers, and coaches, eventually, have 99% of the school under adult control and authority.  The school and local community can come together to set higher goals for student achievement. We have created a school of success.

A large amount of schools in America are in big trouble and can see no way out of the problem. There is a solution. The solution is  a few paradigm changes of thinking and one school discipline plan away.

 


Have you ever wished you could be Joe Clark and turn a tough, unsafe, out of control, low-performing inner-city school into a safe and productive school? I don’t have to wish, because I have done what Joe Clark did at Eastville High School. One scene in the movie Lean On Me depicts Joe Clark and dozens of police removing the bad “element” from the school auditorium stage and the school. My story is different because I had minimal to no help from the school administration or police of the school. I am no superman, but I believe I have built a better mousetrap.

The old proverb of “build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door” does not apply to education. I have devised a school discipline plan that works and no one is beating down my door!

I first used this discipline plan at Austin High School (AHS) in the Houston Independent School District (HISD). AHS made national news two years prior when the students staged a walk-out. The walk-out was a protest about their school situation and problems in the school. Two years later, the school was again out of control and unsafe. At the time, I was the chairman of the School Discipline Committee, right in the middle of huge problems. These huge problems forced me to develop a school discipline system that is efficient and effective. I have titled the system  Lecture & Pester and the Proactive and Persistent School Discipline System. Using this Lecture & Pester techniques and the Proactive and Persistent School Discipline System, the school was made safe and calm. This process of becoming a safe, calm, and productive school was accomplished in weeks, not months or years.

In the spring of 1996, The Teachers’ Union, with the approval of HISD, transferred me from AHS to Deady Middle School (DMS) for one month. DMS was experiencing large fights called “rolling thunder” that started at one end of the school and traveled the hallways throughout the school. Many innocent students were being hurt. Graffiti covered every square inch of the walls in the boys’ restroom, from more than twelve feet off the floor. Students must have stood on each others’ shoulders for hours to create this art work. The teachers were even afraid to go to the parking lot by themselves. For many, DMS was a hopeless situation. Two weeks after I entered DMS and applied the Proactive & Persistent Discipline System, the school was safe and under control and I returned back to AHS. Unfortunately, no one learned the techniques of the school discipline system, and two years later, a student was stabbed in the ear with a screw driver and died in the hallways of DMS.

These out of control, unsafe, and unproductive schools exist in every city and state in America. Would you believe me or label me crazy if I said every school in America can be safer, under control, and much more productive two years from now? Would you believe that eight parents trained in the this discipline system could tame a school in weeks? How can 4-6 Assistant Principals bring a major school under control in two or three weeks? The use of my school discipline can produce such results.

America, here is the rough blueprint and philosophy behind my school discipline system. The beauty of this discipline system is that it adapts to all issues and problems, while striving for new higher discipline goals.

The driving power behind the school discipline plan is called Lecture and Pester. Lecture and Pester provides the unpleasant consequences that will change 99 out of 100 students’ behavior. Lecture and Pester is the process of

  • Asking questions
  • Solving problems
  • Preventing transfer of blame
  • Using manners
  • Showing respect
  • Accepting responsibility
  • Establishing goals
  • Establishing self discipline

A student who is capable of changing his behavior and becoming self-disciplined should be considered a good student.  Lecture & Pester turns 99%of the student body into good students. Some students take a little longer to become good students. Students that don’t change their behavior find each new encounter with Lecture & Pester more unpleasant and frustrating. There are few consequences more unpleasant to teenagers than to be questioned, lectured, and pestered by adults about their discipline problems, time after time.

Here is one Lecture and Pester scenario to help explain the process.

Lecturer and Pesterer (LP): Excuse me, sir? (manners) Why are you in the hallway after the bell? (problem)

Student (STU): I’m just late to class. (minimizing)

LP: Well sir, just being late is not good enough. Just being late is not good for you or the school. Just is not good enough. (higher expectations)

STU:  What is your problem? Why are you doing this? This school is no good. Look at all the other people in the hall. (transfer of blame and responsibility for problem)

LP:  Well sir, we have decided to try and make the school better (establishing goals.) The first thing we need is to get everyone into class on time (setting goals and appropriate behavior). I can see there are a lot of people in the halls. I will be catching up to them, but I stopped you and you are tardy to class (school goal-personal goal). Can you get to class on time? (beginning the self discipline process).

STU:  Yes.

LP:  Excuse me sir. Yes what? Yes sir? (establishing manners and mutual respect- developing adult control)

STU: Yes.

LP: Yes what?

STU: Yes sir.

LP:  Thank you. Are you telling me that you can do this by yourself? (establishing self discipline)

Stu: Yes sir.

LP:  Are you saying that your word is good? Are you saying that I won’t have to deal with you again? (establishing goals for self discipline)

STU:  Yes sir, my word is good. (becoming self disciplined and accepting responsibility)

LP:  Okay.Thank you, sir, now please get to class. Do you need help getting into your class?

STU: No sir.

LP:  Okay, good luck. If you need help getting into class come see me. (problem solver)

Lecture & Pester has an infinite number of scenarios, but follows the same basic process. Lecture & Pester will change teenage behaviors when delivered on a consistent basis.

The school discipline plan that delivers Lecture & Pester on a consistent basis is called the Proactive & Persistent School Discipline System. The combining of Proactive and Persistent Discipline with Lecture & Pester will change the bad behavior of 99% of the student body. With patience and increasing persistence the remaining 1% of the student population can also change their behavior.  Highly effective and efficient discipline is created using Lecture & Pester Processes with the Proactive & Persistent School Discipline Plan.

Steps to Setting Up a Proactive & Persistent Discipline Plan In a School

First, someone must identify and admit to having a discipline problem in the school. For example, the tardy problem is a big problem in many schools. Therefore, let us solve the tardy problem.

Second, a group of Hall Masters are taught the Lecture & Pester techniques and Proactive & Persistent discipline processes. They will go through a few hours of learning and then to the hallways for hands-on  job training.

For example, It is time to solve the tardy problem. First we must establish adult control of the hallways. The first steps in establishing adult control are to become the big dog and the big voice in the hallways. The next step is to make students aware of bell system of the school. Therefore, five minutes before the tardy bell, with a big voice and a big dog attitude, start a countdown to the tardy bell. “Let’s go, let’s go, break it up over there…get off the wall…let’s get to class…four minutes to the bell…hurry, hurry…close that locker…say goodbye to your girlfriend…we want a better school, three minutes to go.”  Hall Masters work the countdown to the tardy bell.The bell rings and immediately, Hall Masters go into the Lecture and Pester mode. Tardy students are walked to their class as they are Lectured and Pestered about their behavior. Hall Masters walk and talk and put students into classrooms until the hallways are clear. After the hallways are clear, the Hall Masters have a quick meeting to discuss problems and to develop a proactive plan for the next period.

First period ends and five minutes before the second period tardy bell rings, the process begins again. Students are more aware of an adult presence and control of the halls. The hallways are becoming less of a comfortable place to hang out in. Students are becoming aware of the bell system. The bell rings and students are Lectured and Pestered again.

First period took fifty minutes to clear the halls. Second period hallways were cleared in fourty five minutes. Every hour, every day, every week, every month the hallways become more controlled by adults. In less than a month the classroom doors close, the hallways are clear and controlled, and there is no tardy problem.

The tardy problem was solved without sending hoards of students to the AP office. The massive paperwork, detention lists, detention halls and teacher duty stations associated with other discipline systems were completely eliminated. How and why did the school tardy problem miraculously disappear?

First of all, there are consequences that change behavior. Teenagers hate to be questioned about their behavior. They get tired of trying to justifying their wrong behavior. Each time a student goes through the Lecture and Pester process, the process becomes more difficult. As a history of earlier truths, lies, half-truths, and facts are mixed into the Lecture and Pester process, students run out of arguments, excuses, and justifications for their wrong behavior. Students discover the only way to escape the Lecture and Pester process is to change their behavior.

Second, the Proactive and Persistent Discipline System is an extremely effective and efficient program when compared with other school discipline systems. The largest and most dangerous problems in the school are identified, attacked, and solved. This system does not wait in offices for problems to show up. The system puts time and numbers on the side of the adults in the school. We allow good students (99% to 100%) time to change. Most students don’t change the first time they are caught, they wait to see if you can catch them again. When students understand and feel the discipline system catching up to them, time after time, with a steadily increasing regularity, they change their behavior.

Gangs, disruptive groups, and misbehaving individuals feel more isolated and less powerful each period. As adult control is established, every adult in the school becomes more empowered and respected by the students.

Third, administrators and hall masters become problem solvers. If a  student has no first period, we take him to a counselor and find a first period for him. If a teacher dismisses a class two minutes after the bell everyday, we go to the teacher and solve the problem. If a student says a teacher will not let me into class, we will find a solution to this problem. By solving little problems, students become confident to bring big problems to your attention– problems such as there is a handgun in the school or there will be a fight after third period.

Finally, as 99% of the student body becomes self-disciplined, the 1% of students that will not change their behavior are run through the old school discipline system. Old school discipline becomes more efficient and effective as discipline consequences are handed out to students who will not change their behavior.

With this school discipline system, there are only thirty students in a student population of 3,000 that are being run through the old school discipline system. The 30 real discipline problems of the school are processed quickly, put into discipline programs for longer times, isolated to a greater degree, and they are not allowed to return until they agree to change their behavior. These 30 students become powerful and effective messengers, that being self-disciplined is a very good idea.

As a general rule, schools do not allow parents into the school to observe the hallways, cafeteria, or other operations of the school. Schools will cite a fear of safety to you or the students if you are in the halls. This may be true, but if they fear for your safety, why do they allow your child to walk the hallways? Perhaps, they fear more that you will see that the school is unsafe and out of control. The greater fear is that parents may realize the school has no real solutions for solving the problems in the school. The greatest fear is that parents may band together and demand a safe school. American schools are in desperate need of much greater parent involvement.

With the use of Lecture and Pester and the Proactive and Persistent Discipline Plan, parents can be invited into the school. Administrators, teachers, and parents can work together to solve problems. Parents working with administrators can walk good students to class.

A school with a large tardy problem and hundreds of students walking the hallways divides administrators and teachers. Administrators assign hundreds of hours of duty stations, in the hallways and entrances to the school. A faculty meeting is called and a plan for classroom detention halls and in class punishments for tardiness is thrust upon teachers. Next, large hall sweeps occur and offenders are herded into the cafeteria by the hundreds. What are the results of such actions? Students find the weak spots and blind spots in the hallway duty plan. Administrators have created a plan that allows transfer of blame for the problem to the teachers. If a problem occurs in a stair well, administrators check the duty roster and assign blame. The teachers feel they are being put into duty stations that threaten their physical well being. Teachers are put in duty stations with little power or back up to do the job. How would you feel if you are a young, 100-pound female assigned to a isolated, dark, third story stairwell? What can a teacher do when rival gangs suddenly appear and a large fight occurs? Probably, the most prudent action is to run for your life and get ready to accept the blame.

Next, the in-class detentions and punishments run their course. Teachers send tardy students to the AP’s office. Tardy students return to class, thrust the detention slip into the teacher’s face and laughs at the teacher. The teacher and the student know he is not going to detention. Everyone in the school knows the discipline system has slim to no chance of catching up to him.

As teachers, we blame administrators and call them bad, lazy, and jusy plain no good. Should we blame administrators when most are the hardest working people in the school? AP’s are trying to prevent the school from exploding. They are working major problems of gangs, weapons, threats, drugs, etc. while forty tardy problems are sent to their office every period.

All to often, teachers get a second slip of paper from the office. This note informs the teacher that too many tardy problems are coming from your classroom. Maybe, you have inadequate classroom management skills and teaching abilities which cause so many tardy problems. If more students are sent to the office, a teacher assessment will be scheduled to observe your classroom. This is a veiled threat of a bad assessment of teacher performance. Most, teachers understand that any student behavior in class can be interpreted many different ways. A bad observation is the first step in removing job security. Most teachers stop the referrals to the AP office.

Hallway sweeps are now occurring. A thousand students are swept into the cafeteria. All morning is wasted writing detention slips and compiling detention lists for Saturday detention hall. Saturday morning 200 students show up for detention hall. They are the good students. These good students ask “Where are all the students who are always late to class and constantly in the hallways?” The good students are frustrated and mad. Eight hundred students sit home smugly laughing at the school, administrators, and teachers. They know the school discipline system has little chance of catching up to them.

A downward cycle of less respect for the school, administrators, and teachers takes place. More and more discipline problems occur in the classroom and the school. The discipline problems get bigger and more dangerous. Every day the school sits on a powder keg and everyone prays it won’t explode. Then one day a Columbine keg of powder explodes.

These explosions lead to a loss of hope in schools, finger pointing, transfer of blame to different groups, and a general feeling of hopelessness in solving America’s school problems.

America’s school discipline problem and many other educational problems can be solved by using the Lecture and Pester process and the Proactive and Persistent School Discipline System. 99% of our schools can and will be safe and highly productive. 99% of our students will become self disciplined and educated. 99% of our administrators will become heroes in their schools. 99% of all teachers will become good teachers.

I believe  inner city schools can achieve and compete on the same level as suburban schools. I feel that billions of dollars that is wasted on poor discipline can one day be used to further educate students. And sometimes, I believe that I am the only one in America saying these things can happen. A lonely voice declaring there is a solution and a way to solve our educational problems. I hope that others will see the promise, truth, and hope this discipline system can bring to America.

Finally, I have faith in the competitive spirit of America’s Public Schools. If one school or one school district out performs another school or school district using this discipline system, the race to the top has truly started.