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Schenectady, NY: 'Restorative' practices reward bad behavior; 'bad kids' go to "calming space"

Sept 20, 2018, Schenectady (NY) Daily Gazette: District gathers feedback from parents about improving schools … The comments came as part of one of nearly two dozen focus groups the district hosted this week with parents, students, teachers and community members as they gathered input in what the district should focus on in the coming years. In recent years, the district has shifted its approach to handling disruptive student behavior, emphasizing “restorative” practices that aim to address behavior constructively rather than punitively. But the parents said they were worried that approach has come off as overly permissive or even rewarding of behavior that made it difficult for other students to learn. They asked: What does it look like to the students who are behaving themselves in class and trying to study if the disruptive students are allowed to leave the class for a walk or get sent to a special calming space. “Some of the bad kids get rewarded,” Casper said, relaying the kinds of things she said she has heard from her kids. “What do I get for doing what I’m supposed to?” Janine Johnson said she wishes her daughter’s teachers could offer her more attention instead of focusing on disruptive students. She said the bad behavior seemed to be reinforced at times.

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