Is school discipline a breach of human rights?

This post is prompted by this article by Dan Haesler which covers the idea that removing students from a class (or more formally from school) may be a breach of students right to dignity and an education.

Our school is strong on restorative practices. This is lead by our Principal Maurie Abraham who regularly presents on implementing restorative practices and by one of our Deputy Principals Lea Vellenoweth who recently made us cards for our lanyards to help us remember the “Mini Chat” script:


Our practices are reinforced (and challenged to improve) by Marg Thorsborne who is an inspiring pioneer and trainer of restorative practices. After her recent visit we have realised as a school that our next steps are to further educate our students and parents in what restorative practices really means.

I really like the “warm and demanding” approach that restorative practices promote. As a teacher my primary role is to help students learn. As Maurie pointed out late last year:

When students do not learn a new skill or concept we teach it to them again and again until they learn it. The same should be true of behaviour. If they don’t have the appropriate behaviour, it is our job to teach them the appropriate behaviour not just to mindlessly punish them.


This post is Day 18 of My Questioning Quest.



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