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The Solution is More Discipline, Not Vouchers or School Choice Essay

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The Solution is Discipline, Not School Choice


Charlie is a problem child by any definition of the word.  He hasn't done anything horrific, like shooting another student or attacking a teacher. It's the annoying games he plays that drive everyone crazy.

His favorite game is throwing scissors at the chalkboard when the teacher's back is turned.  He likes the screeching noise he can make if he throws the scissors at just the right angle.  And when he gets caught, he loves cursing at the teacher.  His biggest thrill is telling her to "mind her own f---ing business" while his classmates giggle or snicker.

Charlie's teacher, Mrs. Anderson, spends her class time frustrated and powerless to stop Charlie's constant disruptive behavior.  At first, she looks him in the eye and asks him to stop.  Finally, she points her index finger toward the door and says, "Get out!"

Charlie's classmates breathe a sigh of relief.  Mrs. Anderson does not.  She knows that tomorrow Charlie's father and mother will storm the principal's office demanding that she be fired or reprimanded.  Mom and Dad think that Charlie's personal rights have been violated; that he has a right to learn and not be disciplined by anyone, except by his own parents.  Due to this precedent, Charlie grows up with little educational discipline or accountability.   As Charlie's parents watch him grow into adulthood, they are forced to admit that their son is actually poorly educated, disrespectful and far from perfect.

This story is all too familiar in America's public schools today.  Children in need of discipline have suddenly become the victims and their teachers, the oppressors.  As a result, America's school children are sorely under-educated and undiscipline...


... middle of paper ...


...wer than 25 in a year.

Implementing this change throughout America, especially suburbia, will not be easy.  This is where every American must recognize that in order to educate all our public school children we must deny a part of our own "self interest".   In order to make the change, America's parents and politicians must recognize that this "greater cause" can be public education.   Charlie's parents, along with many other parents, need to be encouraged to recognize that sometimes a little tough love is in their child's best interest.

The next time Charlie's parents seek to confront school officials on behalf of their disruptive child, they need to be met with the empowerment of authority.  More importantly, Mrs. Anderson should be able to provide a healthy learning environment for all the children, if possible with Charlie, but if necessary, without him.


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