There have always been students who persist in disrupting the education of others. For decades, the strategy has been to suspend them. Only recently has restorative justice been used in its place (“Restorative practices may not be the solution, but neither are suspensions,” the conversation.com, Feb. 5).
A new study by RAND looked at restorative practices in Pittsburgh schools and concluded they were not as effective as its proponents have asserted. That does not mean, however, going back to suspensions, which have their own problems. Instead, I propose removing disruptive students and placing them in special isolated classrooms that are supervised.
Once placed in these rooms, students can still be given assignments to complete but without the opportunity to deprive their peers who want to learn. Students will quickly learn that there is no payoff for their behavior. Yes, some will drop out of school. But that is a small price compared to the price the vast majority of students pay when they are held captive by incorrigible students.
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