02/24/09 — Talking points: Discipline discussion just one of many we need to have

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Talking points: Discipline discussion just one of many we need to have

Discipline. You would think it would be a no-brainer, a subject on which just about every person could agree.

Without discipline in our schools, learning cannot possibly take place.

But in that statement itself is a clue that perhaps there are more than a few places where problems outside the classroom just might be influencing what can be accomplished inside the classroom.

The parents and teachers who met Monday night to discuss the subject agreed that unruliness and rule-breaking -- no matter how innocent -- could be real barriers to learning and that someone has to do something about those obstacles.

They made some suggestions -- and they were good ones. But if we are serious about improving education in this community, we are going to have to do a lot better than 35 parents on a Monday evening.

Continuing discussions like the Kitchen Table Conversations are important. They give parents a glimpse of what challenges schools face as well as a forum to discuss their own ideas for how to improve them. It allows a community to have a real discussion about where the problems are and what it will take to correct them.

And this latest discussion on discipline would have benefited many parents -- except that the ones who needed to be probably weren't there.

And that really is the problem. Lack of parental involvement and children who have no one to teach them life lessons at home are becoming serious concerns both for educators and those who are charged with fixing our schools.

More community input -- as well as plans for addressing some of these concerns -- will be a big step in improving education in Wayne County.

All we have to do is convince more people that their participation is vital -- both as parents and community members.

Published in Editorials on February 24, 2009 10:06 AM