Schools should inform parents whenever students are ordered out of the classroom as punishment.
That’s a position that the Victoria Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (VCPAC) will promote next weekend at the BCCPAC annual general meeting in Richmond.
The Victoria group wants BCCPAC to advocate for processes to ensure parents are informed when students are subjected to such discipline. VCPAC president John Bird said removal from a classroom indicates a problem and parents should be advised.
That would allow the school, the parents and the student to work toward a solution, rather than simply brushing the issue aside, he added.
“Removal from a classroom is sometimes used as a punishment designed to regulate certain behaviours,” the VCPAC says in a resolution to be debated at the BCCPAC meeting May 31-June 1. “It is becoming apparent that behaviour management techniques that are based on external control simply don’t work and frequently result in students becoming disengaged with their learning.”
Schools need to be more open with parents and seek their help in understanding student behaviour, Bird said, adding that the expertise of parents is too often ignored.
The VCPAC position is backed by the Education Ministry, which offers the following advice for teachers who are dealing with challenging student behaviours:
“Keep in mind that all behaviour is communication. Students ‘act out’ to communicate a need. At one time, the behaviour served a function for the student. Some behaviours become so over-learned that the original purpose for the behaviour is forgotten; the behaviour becomes a pattern.
“Try not to over-react to behaviour. An intense and abrupt reaction to behaviour may increase rather than diminish its frequency.”
An important first step is consulting parents to see if they have insights into the cause of the behaviour, the ministry says.
Bird said the VCPAC has been concerned about this issue for some time and now hopes to involve the provincial organization. To read the full resolution and contribute to the conversation, click here.