As common as detention is, we know very little about its effectiveness to change behaviors.
Opinions are mixed on the best way to utilize detention time, or to practice the use of detention at all. A study done by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Nebraska Department of Education points out that very little research has been done on the effectiveness of using detention to correct student behavior. This study also found that despite the lack of evidence “detentions are one of the most common disciplinary actions utilized by schools with varying ages of students.”
What little research there is about after school detentions reveals that detention alone is ineffective with repeat offenders. Kids who frequently find themselves in after school detention quickly perceive it as a part of their normal school routine. Think Judd Nelson’s character John Bender from Breakfast Club.
(The names in this article have been changed for the sake of the students’ privacy.)
When fourth-grade teacher Mrs. Watkins became aware of a potential bully situation on the playground, she enlisted the help of Rocketoons.
Dealing with mean-spirited behaviors before they become full on bullying situations, saves kids the pain and stress associated with being bullied and also being a bully. Mean-spirited behavior includes when a student aggressively harasses another student. It is possible for mean-spirited behaviors to escalate into full-blown bullying when the behaviors aren’t addressed and appropriately handled.
In this case, Mrs. Watkins became aware that one little girl in her class was teasing another girl in a mean-spirited way. The behavior had not been chronic nor was it directed at any other students. She knew a gentle intervention could diffuse a potentially hurtful situation.
How are you supposed to slow down, stay calm, and be empathetic when kidsare acting out? Because, you know, the kids who are acting out are the ones in need. They’re the ones who:
realize it’s Wednesday. “The day I switch from mom’s house to dad’s house. But dad won’t answer the phone when mom calls to remind him, so sometimes he forgets me at school. I’m worried I’ll be forgotten again.”
just saw Suzy’s post on Instagram. “She took a picture when I fell down at lunch, and everyone is commenting LOL. The whole school is laughing at me!”
are worn out and exhausted. “I didn’t get to bed until 10 last night because I had soccer, a band concert, my violin lesson, and a boy scout meeting. I’m so tired.”
are lost in class and in the lessons. “I miss a lot of school. It’s only third grade. What’s so important in third grade that I have to go to school every day?”
who are afraid to speak up. “I’m too nervous to ask for help. What if no one will help me, or I get in trouble for asking?”