"Your Rod and Your Staff Will Comfort Me"
Dyson continues by returning to the origins of the word discipline and punishment, "The word “discipline” comes from the Latin “discipuli,” which means student or disciple, suggesting a teacher-pupil relationship. Punishment comes from the Greek word “poine” and its Latin derivative “poena,” which mean revenge, and form the root words of pain, penalty and penitentiary."
1. The punishment for breaking school rules is the same for all students.
2. Students at this school only get punished when they deserve it.
3. Students are treated fairly regardless of their race or ethnicity.
4. Students get suspended without good reason (this would be deemed authoritarian).
5. The adults at this school are too strict (this would be deemed authoritarian).
6. The school rules are fair.
7. When students are accused of doing something wrong, they get a chance to explain it.
1. Most teachers and other adults at this school care about all students.
2. Most teachers and other adults at this school want all students to do well.
3. Most teachers and other adults at this school listen to what students have to say.
4. Most teachers and other adults at this school treat students with respect.
5. There are adults at this school I could talk with if I had a personal problem.
6. If I tell a teacher that someone is bullying me, the teacher will do something to help.
7. I am comfortable asking my teachers for help with my schoolwork.
8. There is at least one teacher or another adult at this school who really wants me to do well.
The above are copied from the Appendix of Peer Victimization and Authoritative School Climate: A Multilevel Approach. Cornell, Dewey; Shukla, Kathan; Konold, Timothy, Journal of Educational Psychology, Apr 27 , 2015, No Pagination Specified. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/edu0000038Support has been treated separately, thus, one can in fact see how this factor by itself affects the prevalence of youth violence. An authoritative climate, first of all, is convincingly shown as able to reduce problematic behavior. In the following graph copied from the paper, it is seen that as the degree of authoritativeness increases, incidences of teasing and bullying inside the school are reduced.
|Above copied from Peer Victimization and Authoritative School Climate: A Multilevel Approach. Cornell, Dewey; Shukla, Kathan; Konold, Timothy, Journal of Educational Psychology, Apr 27 , 2015, No Pagination Specified. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/edu0000038|
What should be particularly enlightening is the greater effect of an authoritative school climate when this is combined with support.
Professor Dyson in the New York Times article was commenting on the indictment of a football player, Adrian Peterson (who later pleaded no contest to the charge), alleged to have beaten his four-year old child. Dyson closes his article with the following paragraphs:
Adrian Peterson’s brutal behavior toward his 4-year-old son is, in truth, the violent amplification of the belief of many blacks that beatings made them better people, a sad and bleak justification for the continuation of the practice in younger generations. After Mr. Peterson’s indictment, the comedian D. L. Hughley tweeted: “A fathers belt hurts a lot less then a cops bullet!”Some parents may indeed fail to see what the rod should really be, but schools should be able to do better. Unlike parents, educators do undergo formal training in the job that they are supposed to do.
He is right, of course, but only in a forensic, not a moral or psychological sense. What hurts far less than either is the loving correction of our children’s misbehavior so they become healthy adults who speak against violence wherever they find it — in the barrel of a policeman’s gun, the fist of a lover or the switch of a misguided parent.