This unit is being prepared for my remedial reading middle grade students. These are students who live within dangerous confines...in the neighborhood, or in the school. As for the neighborhood, the danger and fear hinges on the probability of being wounded, beaten, or death. This is due to the violent atmosphere which prevails on the streets because of the drug culture. Students who have had confrontation the previous week, night or day feel the need to “get even”, so the problem will many times come in to the school. Roving gangs called “posses” may try to finish whatever was started in the streets which is usually in a disruptive manner.
This disruptive manner, in school, comes across as “I was only playing” syndrome. However, “I was only playing” can and does lead to students and teachers getting hurt. Then there is the problem of the incidence that is perceived from two different points of view that of the student and of the person involved.
When this occurs, the right to be safe and secure is gone. Where once learning and respect abided now chaos and disrespect have become the norm. If the above mention does take place in a school, then all learning personnel should be knowledgeable about school procedures...especially discipline and students rights.
The function of the unit will be to look into school discipline and its effect on one’s performance and behavior in school. Are the procedures used by the administrators consistent? Does the crime fit the punishment? Can I expect to have certain standards upheld in the classroom and not infringe on the rights of the students? This dilemma is one that many middle school teachers face on a daily basis.
Many of the students know how to act or react around certain individuals. They can easily “read” a teacher or an administrator. By that I mean, students can sense how far to go and when to pull back with certain individuals and situations. Therefore, this unit will acquaint teacher, student, and parent with certain Disciplinary Laws which may effect the child someday.
Some problems to be explored are: student suspension, student dress code, offensive language, class and school attendance, and physical violence. These are problems that surface on a daily basis in school. The unit will present excerpts from specific court cases which the student will read and discuss. The objective is to have individuals (students and faculty) be knowledgeable about the rights of all who participate in the learning process.
The unit is designed for a Remedial Reading Class. Through the readings, students will be able to draw their own conclusions about Disciplinary Law. The cases will expose the students to a variety of experiences which they or other students may have had.