Aug 25, 2018, Janesville (WI) Gazette: Our Views: Discipline problems confound educators https://www.gazettextra.com/opinion/our_views/our-views-discipline-problems-confound-educators/article_26a814fa-1723-5334-9e6d-71b8a8340948.html … Teachers typically don’t like to do it, but incidents prompting a trip to the principal’s office are happening with astonishing frequency in the Janesville School District. In one school alone, Madison Elementary on the west side, there were 691 incident referrals in the 2017-18 school year. That’s about 1.5 incidents for each child attending the school and up from 191 incident referrals in 2014-15. And these incidents don’t include the random spitball shot at the classroom whiteboard. They involve harassment, bullying, fighting, theft or repeated violations of school rules. It leaves us wondering, how does teaching get done at Madison Elementary? To address disciplinary issues, the school district plans to hire a dean of students to be shared among Madison and Wilson schools. This is a pilot program, meaning the position is new for the elementary school level…. The Holy Grail within the education world is the system/strategy/program that minimizes discipline problems and maximizes academic achievement. Nowadays, educators are focused on so-called “adverse childhood experiences,” believing that if they can address the core reason for students misbehaving, they won’t misbehave. It’s a noble goal, and we hope the district succeeds in better identifying and helping those students with troubled home lives…. But we hope parents and educators alike keep this in mind: There’s no replacement for teachers who know how to run a classroom and demonstrate each day a contagious love for learning. If only this kind of teacher could be replicated across every classroom, a new dean of students probably wouldn’t be needed.
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Children today are noticeably different from previous generations, and the proof is in the news coverage we see every day. This site shows you what’s happening in schools around the world. Children are increasingly disabled and chronically ill, and the education system has to accommodate them. Things we've long associated with autism, like sensory issues, repetitive behaviors, anxiety and lack of social skills, are now problems affecting mainstream students. Blame is predictably placed on bad parenting (otherwise known as trauma from home).
Addressing mental health needs is as important as academics for modern educators. This is an unrecognized disaster. The stories here are about children who can’t learn or behave like children have always been expected to. What childhood has become is a chilling portent for the future of mankind.
Anne Dachel, Media editor, Age of Autism
(John Dachel, Tech. assist.)
What will happen in another 4 years? How can we go on like this? This is a national (and international) problem of monumental proportions. We have an entire new class of children who cannot be accommodated by the system: many are manifestly neurologically impaired. Meanwhile, the government and the medical profession sleep on regardless.
UK media editor, Age of Autism
The generation of American children born after 1990 are arguably the sickest generation in the history of our country.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
It seemed to me that with rising autism prevalence, you’d also see rising autism costs to society, and it turns out, the costs are catastrophic.
They calculated that in 2015 autism cost the United States $268 billion and they projected that if autism continues at its current rate, we’re looking at one trillion dollars a year in autism costs by 2025, so within five years.
Toby Rogers, PhD, Political economist
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