Putting Education Reform To The Test

The Secret Lives of Students: One Student Acts Up, the Whole Class is Punished

Breakthrough Miami

Student authors Joshua Partridge, 10 and Joshua Johnson, 11.

For today’s installment in our series, The Secret Lives of Students, students wrote and reported on class punishment.

Editor’s note: This post was written by elementary school students Joshua Johnson, 11, and Joshua Partridge, 10.

By Joshua Johnson and Joshua Partridge

This is an unreasonable procedure that teachers use: one student acts up and the whole class is punished for the one student’s actions.

This can cause bullying, the whole class can turn against the teacher, it’s not healthy to take away recess for a whole class, and it’s just not effective.

Breakthrough Miami

Shawn Thomas, 12, got his whole class punished because he was making funny noises in class at Miami Children’s Museum Charter School.

Shawn Thomas, 12, shared his experiences. He said he “felt guilty” that the entire class got in trouble because he was “making funny noises” in class.

Ms. Emily Torres, 21, is an elementary education major at Florida State University, and a teacher intern with Breakthrough Miami.

“I believe in one for all and all for one,” Ms. Torres said. “In order to be strong, we have to work together.”

“My students think it’s unfair and they don’t understaned why I use that policy,” she said. “I choose this method because I believe students need to understand how to work together and rely on each other.”

Jazlyn Garcia is a student who has been punished for a classmate’s behavior. She said she “felt terrible” because she was “blamed for something [she] didn’t do.”

“The teacher should listen to the kids’ stories and try fixing the problem,” Garcia said.

Breakthrough Miami

Jazlyn Garcia, 10, says she was punished in class for something another student did at Mater Academy Charter School.

She was frustrated with the student who caused the entire class to get in trouble and said she told him that he “should be ashamed of himself.”

We think this is an ineffective and lazy procedure that teachers shouldn’t use and students disagree with.

What do you think?

Joshua Johnson, 11, is a student at Young Men’s Preparatory Academy and Joshua Partridge, 10, attends Doctors Charter School. During the summer school program with Breakthrough Miami, both students attend The Cushman School campus.



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