Letter: Discipline needed in school

As I read the op-ed piece that recently ran in both the Mission Hill and Jamaica Plain Gazette newspapers (“Discipline in schools”), I felt like a comment was justified.

This commentary was identified as being written for a sociology class assignment at the University of Massachusetts-Boston and the research was done through the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Economic Justice.

Where do I start? If you throw out the HUGE number 208,605 DAYS in the classroom that students missed due to disciplinary removal in the 2012-2013 school year, it sounds terrible. It was nice to at least see the authors of the piece at least did acknowledge that discipline in the classroom is necessary for learning. Without any order in the classroom nothing educational is happening.

What is “over reliance?” As a substitute teacher I once had to remove two students from my first-grade class because they were acting out and disrupting all the other students. I gave them not one chance, but four and then it was down to the office for them and peace in the classroom for everyone else.

You want to know an “unwelcoming school environment” is? It is disruption in a classroom that stops learning from happening. Perhaps behind the walls of academia, teachers can take the time to be psychologists, but too often in many communities here and elsewhere, teachers usually start feeling like police officers. Also, knowing every move you take could lead to a possible lawsuit.

Teachers come to school to teach and students come to school to learn. Bringing in the race card is frankly irrelevant. When it comes to discipline in the classrooms of most teachers, skin color or ethnic background play no role for 99.9 percent of all teachers.

You can come up with any studies you want to back your assertions, but the only study that really matters is getting students to learn how to learn and teach them some responsibility along the way.

The only conflict resolution that works, sadly, is the removal of students disrupting a whole classroom of students wanting to learn.

Sal Giarratani

East Boston resident

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