Volume 93, Issue 95

Wednesday, March 29, 2000


OPINIONS

Maybe parents should get a detention

Confusing acceptance with tolerance

CASA vs. CFS - the battle rages on

Column shows deviancy, hypocrisy

Art is a work of pure genius

Attack obscured in generalization

Sailboat much like Stonehenge

Diverse or just confused?

Maybe parents should get a detention



Re: "Parents oppose Harris' new code of conduct" March 22

To the Editor:

After reading last week's "Parents oppose Harris' new code of conduct," I was furious.

It is unacceptable to ignore the increasingly reprehensible behaviour of school youth today. Finally, [Premier] Mike Harris is attempting to implement some form of action that is actually beneficial for the academic community as a whole and I commend him.

Helen Jones made a statement regarding the responsibility of officials to make institutions more enjoyable for trouble-prone kids. Frankly, these children and adolescents have proven that they are undeserving of the "extras" teachers provide.

It is all too often that the public forgets the time teachers allot to help make school a better place. Remaining after regular hours to give extra help, coach athletics and even chaperone regular school dances is not in their contracts and they are not paid overtime for these activities. Why should we expect these teachers to continue spending their personal time to enrich students, when the thanks they receive comes in the form of verbal, mental and physical assaults.

As the daughter of two teachers, I am all too familiar with the lack of discipline currently within the education system and how badly it is required.

According to Stephanie Wagman, children who wish to miss a day of school will "turn to a teacher and tell him to fuck off" in order to be suspended. I am unsure of the reasoning here – is Wagman concerned that children will miss out on the education they obviously care so little about or is she upset that she will not be provided with free day care that day?

Discipline is the responsibility of the parents and it is not acceptable to put the onus on the school system when it is not enforced at home. It is too easy to declare children accountable for their own actions – they need to be given the time from their parents to be taught respect and proper conduct.

Both Jones and Wagman take the luxury of the education system for granted, as do many. Zero tolerance is necessary in order to maintain the safety and integrity of our schools.

Often, parents of children frequently in trouble refuse to admit there is a problem with the child. Perhaps this reflects their refusal to admit there is a problem with their parenting skills and disciplining within the home. After all, it is easier to ignore an issue than it is to solve it.

To state, as Jones does, that schools are to "be places of learning and not places of discipline" is ironically ignorant in itself. Learning and discipline are quite obviously correlated – without one, the other disintegrates.

Jennifer Parsons
Biochemistry III



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Copyright The Gazette 2000