Alternatives to Corporal Punishment
Not only is corporal punishment harmful, is it ineffective.
Instead of corporal punishment NJFC and other organizations want to create and implement effective alternatives to discipline that include effective, peer mediation classes,conflict resolution courses, restorative justice, saturday school, and community service learning.
Peer mediation is problem solving by youth with youth. It is a process by which two or more students involved in a dispute meet in a private, safe and confidential setting to work out problems with the assistance of a trained student mediator. Peer mediation programs are very successful when students are trained effectively. 58%-93% of the time success was achieved. Success is measured if agreement was reached and maintained. A 36% reduction of school wide general disruptive behavior, this includes fighting, verbal abuse, and arguments
Saturday school is an alternative to exclusionary discipline measures that requires students to give up a portion of their weekend to make up for their misbehavior at school. This schedule doesn’t interfere with the student’s learning time during the school week ,but allows students to remain in the learning environment during that time and receive instruction and assignments. A Saturday School program was implemented at Franklin Junior High School, Franklin, Tennessee, after discipline problems worsened. A statistical analysis done over 4 school years found significant differences in comparisons of data on the socioeconomic status, race, and gender of Saturday School students. During the test period, Saturday School helped reduce suspensions, and expulsions were infrequent.
Conflict Resolution Courses
The study of conflict and its resolution through negotiation is the goal of this course. This course will focus on the concepts and skills necessary to help you identify and resolve conflicts through negotiation. The Resolving Conflict Creative Program (RCCP) is being used in 375 schools nationwide, including in Anchorage, Atlanta, New Orleans, Newark, Phoenix, and Boston. A two-year evaluation by Columbia University's National Center for Children in Poverty found students in the program were less hostile, less likely to resort to aggression, and more likely to resolve conflict verbally instead of physically.
Restorative Justice is a community building process that aims to heal relationships between offenders, their victims, and their community. Restorative circles and restorative conferences bring affected parties together to discuss the problem or behavior and to find a solution or appropriate punishment. Teachers can model informal, unplanned circles as a means to diffuse minor classroom disputes. Eventually, students can be empowered to create their own problem solving circles. According to the NEPC brief, research shows that restorative justice programs have helped reduce exclusionary discipline and narrow the glaring racial disparities in how discipline is meted out in schools.
Community Service Learning
Community service can be performed at any time for any reason. Although meaningful community service often leads to transformative learning, this connection becomes explicit in service learning. Service activities are embedded within academic classes and are meant to help participants achieve specific learning goals. Students who engaged in any type of service had higher scores on attitude toward school surveys, though gender and school site may have confounded the results.The service-learning group scored higher on all academic measures though the only statistically significant differences were between the service-learning and the no service group. Comparison Study (Furco, 2002)
Other than the infliction of pain and the physical injuries that often result from the use of physical punishments, these violent disciplinary methods also impact students' academic achievement and long-term well-being. Despite significant evidence that corporal punishment is detrimental to a productive learning environment, “there is currently no federal prohibition on the use of physical discipline against children in public school.”
Scholars of Peace
Scholars of Peace is an interactive conflict resolution model that teaches students how to be peer mediators while learning strategic thinking skills. The Scholars of Peace Program creates a space where students can learn about HOW OUR ancestors dealt with conflict. Yoga, social emotional learning and strategic thinking games are involved so students gain tools that we can apply in our schools, homes & communities. Instead of suspending students we would be required to complete the scholars of peace program either after school or in Saturday school.