A student blows up at a teacher, drops the F-bomb. The usual approach at Lincoln – and, safe to say, at most high schools in this country – is automatic suspension. Instead, Sporleder sits the kid down and says quietly: “Wow. Are you OK? This doesn’t sound like you. What’s going on?”
He gets even more specific: “You really looked stressed. On a scale of 1-10, where are you with your anger?” The kid was ready. Ready, man! For an anger blast to his face….”How could you do that?” “What’s wrong with you?”…and for the big boot out of school. But he was NOT ready for kindness.
The armor-plated defenses melt like ice under a blowtorch and the words pour out: “My dad’s an alcoholic. He’s promised me things my whole life and never keeps those promises.” The waterfall of words that go deep into his home life, which is no piece of breeze, end with this sentence: “I shouldn’t have blown up at the teacher.” Whoa."
what a radical idea yo
Bam. Kids “misbehave” for actual, real, valid reasons. And have feelings.
For fuck’s sake, it takes the people in charge so long to figure shit like this out! Good for Lincoln High!
This needs to be the policy EVERYWHERE…
Spread this likw wildfire til every school has and actively employes this policy.
Maybe the open palm approach will have more luck than the spate of elementary school arrests that seem to be the norm now. Fingers crossed.
(via invisiblelad)This is called trauma-informed practice. Most ongoing, adverse behavior is caused because of of traumatic experiences a child has experienced at some point in their lives, and for many kids, multiple traumatic experiences are an ongoing norm for them. Trauma causes fight or flight behavior and can look very, very similar to ADHD and is often misdiagnosed as such. If adults would learn to talk to kids instead of our punitive “zero tolerance” policies, not only would the adverse behaviors likely end - but providing kids with protective factors such as being acknowledged, taken seriously and being listened to - can promote resilience and lead to better outcomes for them as adults. Most punitive actions retraumatize and make these behaviors worse.