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Discipline and safety are paramount in any schooling environments and in general for that matter. For any learning facility to proceed with its daily activities while maintaining the normalcy state, people have to be assured of their safety. Security is, therefore, critical. Discipline as well counts a lot in schools. It runs down from how students behave, how they relate with their instructors and fellow students, and the kind of moral practices they embrace. It is important to note the kind of influence that The Education Act in Ontario, has had in schools based in Canada.
In Canada, cases of racial discrimination were rampant for the blacks. This is the main reason for the existence of The Education Act in Ontario. This was meant to regulate and indeed eliminate the number of cases reported, regarding black students being discriminated against. A further need for this law was meant to ensure there exists a safe environment for students to learn. Cases of other students threatening to inflict bodily harm to their counterparts were being reported in many schools. Most of the cases needed rules and regulations that would govern the administration of punishment to the offenders.
Students with disabilities were similarly vulnerable to these shortcomings. Having to receive threats from someone who is physically fit would put them in awkward situations since they cannot defend themselves easily. In as much as the Racial Discrimination Act was in place, cases were still being reported and this was a major threat to the parents with students who are racially different from others and those whose children were disabled. In this paper, however, we look to consider the effect The Education Act has had over the years on those who were previously being affected.
Alcoholism is a critical issue when it comes to the discipline of students. Apart from threats and racial discrimination, cases of taking drugs and drinking drugs can be of high threat to the well-being of other students. When under the influence of alcohol, students will not think straight. They become vulnerable to many bad activities. Disciplinary cases become rampant and thereby compromising the safety of others. Lucky enough, The Education Act provided for issues to do with alcoholism. With the new alterations to the Act, strict measures have been put in place to deal with students who are found in possession of alcohol.
The Education Act came into action with a little more advantage in terms of the powers of principals to suspend and expel students. Prior to that, students would only be expelled by school boards and their suspension was decided by the principals. It was difficult to punish wrongdoers through suspensions since there was little ground over which school heads could rely on to send children home. With the new modifications that came into place, school heads have now better grounds over which to suspend students who go against the rules and regulations.
Both the teachers and principals can now suspend students when they do mistakes. The Education Act further gave school heads a share of the power to expel. Principals and school boards now share the powers to expel students. It came up with two kinds of expulsion. There is the limited expulsion of a student from a school they are attending until a date set by the principal or board, or that date which the student meets the necessities brought in place by the board. Students can also be completely expelled from public schools until they meet the requirements of a discipline program meant to streamline them.
The new enhancements have further obligated the suspension and expulsion of students who go against school rules. They cover a wide range of infringements. Cases will have to involve the police depending on the weight of the infringement committed by the students. However, the Act contains some exceptions. A student who cannot their behavior cannot be suspended or expelled. If they also cannot understand the predictable outcomes of their behavior, they are exempted from suspensions. If the students’ stay in school does not in any way affect the safety of others no expulsions will be issued.
The Education Act has to a large extent helped establish and maintain secure learning environments around Ontario. With its new changes, it ensures that treatment of every individual is dignified and that no discrimination of any form is witnessed. Conflict resolutions are aw well taken care of. This has become better because of the consequences in place, of dealing with those initiating violent acts in the school. The people directly involved with the school are not left out either. They have to bear the consequences of going against any of the contents of the Act irrespective of whether they are in school compound or not.
However, it is worth noting that The Education Act alone cannot bring the much-needed changes. It just lay down a path for that should serve as a foundation for preventive measures. Students should be educated and taken through programs that will help them know the importance of discipline and safety. Programs for the expelled and suspended had to be established to make sure that they do not stay idle during the period which they are serving the suspensions and expulsions. Staying idle only mitigates them into doing activities that will see their discipline deteriorate further.
The programs help improve the students’ discipline. The students can also serve suspensions while they are in school, to help them not miss out so much on what the rest will be handling. But this is subject to the atrocities committed. Some bigger mistakes are worth being sent away from school. The students have to gain access to resources like hospitals and educational facilities. This will help their incorporation process into the community much easier and bearable. Without doing this, the students may feel not helpful to the society and that becomes a real danger to their discipline.
Counselling programs are very crucial. This will enable the students gain their mental stability and understand that there is a chance to make it right. As such, the community has to get involved. The community is a student’s surrounding. How they are brought up in their communities matters. If learners keep making mistakes in school and the community cannot take part in streamlining them, it becomes difficult for such a student to improve discipline wise. The school surroundings are part of the community. Creating a safe environment of learning means those living around have to be part of the plans meant to enhance security.
The codes of conduct of schools differ slightly from one school to another, but they put in place to serve the same purpose. They help keep students in check so that they do not go astray. They are usually set by boards. Committees have to be devised to help review what boards do. Committees can go as far as helping integrate the ideas of students, teachers and the community so that solutions favorable to all parties can be deduced. The effectiveness of advisory committees is huge as they offer school boards advice on how to tackle different issues. They provide a link between the school and education ministry.
Parents are major stakeholders in disciplinary matters. They have to be incorporated in the processes of trying to establish a safe learning environment and well-disciplined students. They are the people who know their children’s’ behavior and therefore they can offer advice on how to handle them. When parents are involved in disciplinary decisions concerning their children, it creates room for an extended solution to be reached. The teachers give their account of events about the student and then the parents can pick it from there and know how to go about their children’s situations.
Coming up with programs that benefit parents, students and the community can go a long way into creating a peaceful environment for learning. There should be partnerships between these stakeholders. Partnering with police will help in handling criminal misconducts. The police can further provide legal advice on the repercussions of doing certain activities. With such kind of information, students can find better reasons to avoid going against the school regulations. The coming together can further help create good relationships among the affected people. Better relationships will mean better implementation of policies.
It is worth noting that the measures that are put in place to punish the wrong doers matter a lot. In an effort to streamline students, these measures have to be corrective. Creating measures that serve to severely punish students has proved to be devastating. If the measures cause more harm than good there is no point in implementing them. Their nature should be in a way such that they the students find the good in being to these measures rather than feeling demoralized. In essence, these students need support to change their mentalities. Discipline is more about the mental state than the physical one.
One shortcoming that usually occurs and makes stakeholders fail in their responsibility is a lack of education and training. The school community at large has to be educated and notified on their responsibilities. This will help them get ready for their purpose in the fight against bad behavior and insecurity. When every stakeholder in education carries out their duty successfully, the overall achievement will be felt. Failure in a group of stakeholders performing their duty is what creates loopholes thus weakening the systems that are in place to improve students discipline and their safety.
Educative programs that teach the importance of maintaining good health can be crucial. Schools have to partner with health organizations to help them in educating students on the harmful effects of alcohol. These organizations can as well provide medical support to already affected students. Once students have the necessary knowledge about drugs and alcohol, their discipline will have been managed since they will find no good reason in involving themselves with alcohol. Medics working on the affected students can provide a major source of medical advice that will, in the long run, help prevent more alcoholism cases.
Leaving out The Education Act itself would be useless. Parents, teachers and students have to be taken through all the contents of the Act. This will enable each one of them to understand what stands to be achieved or lost if certain specific deeds are committed. The students will most of all benefit from this knowledge because they will be fully aware of what will happen to them if they mess. No student would be happy cutting short their education just because they committed a crime that would have otherwise been avoided. The importance of knowing the contents of the Act is very critical.
Communication is a key factor in achieving the safety of a school. Parents, teachers and the community should be in constant communication for security to enhance. Constantly communicating will ensure that whenever there us a problem it is depicted easily and quickly. Solving it becomes easier if the problem can be determined in the first place. Parents should be informed about the schools’ disciplinary measures and procedures, together with safety measures that have been structured to ensure the learning environment is safe. When everyone is kept informed, the chances of a problem arising are very minimal.
The community as well is kept has to be kept in the communication circle. It can provide vital information that can help secure the learning environments. The bad activities that students may be engaged in outside the school surroundings can only come to the notice of teachers with the help of the community. Suggestions of preventive measures can also come from the community because the people living around understand that environment better. Communication, therefore, assists in keeping the check since every party will be giving their account of events, making it easier to monitor the progress of students’ behaviors.
Taking note of the happenings counts a big deal. The school principals and boards ought to gather data on what happens in their schools and the schools in their regions. This will help know the trend of activities that pose a danger to the security of the school. Knowing the source of security threat means that they can actually devise measures to contain the threat, rather than coming up with measures when they are caught unaware. Statistics also assist in monitoring the schools’ progress. If there is an improvement in security, statistics will show a decrease in the number of cases reported.
It is, therefore, paramount to understand that monitoring the activities of students is a big step towards containing their disciplinary issues. The discipline of a student is determined by their activities and what the environment they live in teaches them. The earlier the things they get involved with are controlled, the better. Coming together as stakeholders, means a lot. The combined effort will imply that a lot of issues are constantly in check. Communication is important as well. This will help come up with safety measures to add on to the already existing ones and hence making learning environments secure. With time, security becomes a routine and those intending to disrupt often find it hard when everything is working correctly. Over the years, The Education Act in Ontario has improved the security in schools and the levels of discipline have risen.
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