Some people don’t learn. The best way to stop unwanted behavior, they believe, is to stop it. For one thing, the unwanted behavior will usually involve noise, self-expression, individuality, confusion, frustration ... in fact anything that causes us discomfort. And for another thing, ‘stopping’ means just that: disallowing, curtailing, restricting, proscribing, regulating, criminalizing ... Their watchwords are stop, don’t, cease, end ...
Well, this month we saw this negative attitude demonstrated by a principal (no name, no pack drill) in Arkansas who ‘handcuffed an unruly 9-year-old student as a punishment’. Well that’s an effective way top stop behavior, even in a nine-year-old. More, this principal (allegedly) "handcuffed the wrist and ankle of the student and then forced him to walk back to his classroom". This is a very impactful and effective treatment, for yes, it certainly stops behavior (nobody will annoyingly move around the classroom with wrist and ankle handcuffed together), but it also sends a powerful message to any prospective student individualists, for if this can be done to a nine-year-old, just imagine what would happen to you if you were fifteen! What could this nine-year-old have done which was so culpable? Fifteen-year-olds (so much more imaginative and competent that nine-year-olds) would imagine themselves being racked or nailed to a cross.
Society has already worked out a process for kids who are much older than that. It is the “Go directly to Jail, Do not pass Go, do not collect $200” solution — Try ’em as adults. It all starts with hand-cuffing nine-year-olds.
No colleagues of ours!