Expelled from school? A huge risk the future
Mr D aged 16yrs was studying in class 12 in an in Pvt School in Chennai. He came to consult me with his parents. He was upset and his parents were hopeless about his behaviour. The issue was around his improper behaviour with teachers along with verbal quarrels, he also used to chew tobacco along with his friends. On the day at school, he had a quarrel with the security staff for not allowing him to enter school on being 10 minutes late. He had arguments with them heating up to the extent that he had to be sent to the principal for not respecting the elders and quarrelling.
He had the same issue in the classroom as well. He was not keen in listening to lectures, lacks motivation to study and frequently breaks test tubes in laboratories due to his carelessness. He was also into a relationship with a girl in that same school. Since the 6th standard itself he started to steal stuff of the fellow mates including pens, erasers, boxes etc. He also played mobile games for 2hrs a days.
Though his predominant interests stayed in electricity related works. The student was not referred to any profession counsellor for conduct related behaviour. The school decided to suspend him and allowed his entry only for the examinations, that too on the request of his parents. The school administration only suspends which they feel like it would bring a substantial change in the attitude and behaviour of the student. This is not only Mr D, there were many students who were suspended from 6th to 12th standards in that same school.
Do we think that suspension or expelling from the school would even yield a positive behaviour change? I can give a “BIG NO” as a reply. The expulsion of students increases the future risk of them engaging in criminal and anti-social behaviours, or getting hooked on to drugs.
There are psychologists who help improve the student behaviour in schools.
Students with higher behavioural needs may need to receive more intensive interventions focused on developing appropriate communication techniques, social skills and emotional regulation.
In this process teachers can help in gathering and recording data about when and where problem behaviours occurred. This can help to find trigger factors for this behaviour. The teachers also needs to change their attitudes towards their students and try not to express overly dominant behaviours. Changes in teachers’ attitude towards at-risk students is fundamental for positive change in behaviour of the children it also promotes inclusion.
The teachers should not be a burnout cascade, where unwell and poorly coping teachers resorts to punitive and ineffective responses to student behaviour. Also the stressed teachers are more disconnected from their students. They fail to notice the student’s needs.
The school principal or administrator must send students for counselling for their conduct related behaviours rather than expelling them. This will help the students, parents and school to bring out a Good citizen with a healthy personality to our society. They can also provide the program to reduce teacher occupational stress which will reduce unnecessary suspension and exclusions.