STAFF EDITORIAL: Youth should be educated, not incessantly disciplined

They may not be legal adults, but if our society wants the children of America to reach their potentials and be future leaders of America, school children need to have some freedom in the classroom.

These days, children seem to be guilty until proven innocent in the classroom. Zachary Christie, a 6-year-old Cub Scout from Newark, Del., was ordered to spend 45 days in a disciplinary school after bringing a weapon to school.

His weapon was a camping utensil: a classic, foldable tool containing a fork, a spoon and a small knife. He planned to eat his lunch with the clever contraption. However, this violated the zero-tolerance weapons policy issued by Delaware’s largest public school system.

Sure, the young boy should have been told to not bring a knife to school. In fact, maybe his parents should explain to him why his actions were not necessarily wrong, but improper for school. Instead, the young boy will spend a month-and-a-half being disciplined for his youthful indiscretion.’

Christie is not the first young person to be needlessly punished for youthful ignorance. In an Oct. 12 New York Times article, Ian Urbina wrote, ‘A third grader was expelled for a year after her grandmother sent her to school with a birthday cake and a knife to cut it. The teacher reported the knife to the principal, but only after using it to serve the cake.’

Are teachers no longer teaching common sense or explaining their actions? How does American society expect kids to pursue higher education when their earlier school days are spent being incessantly punished?

Learning should be encouraged and good deeds rewarded. Misdeeds should of course be punished, but using common sense. If children are unaware of why something is wrong, the last thing they need is discipline for it. Instead, children need to be socialized and taught what is and isn’t acceptable. Most importantly, they need to be taught why.

Leave a Comment