Unjust Discipline Action
Unjust Discipline Action
Why this petition matters
On Monday, November 7, 2022, the principal handled a bullying situation at Kasson Middle School. The principal has taken a group punishment approach to deter future bullying episodes at the school. However, research dating back to mid-1990s has disproven this as an effective method of changing behavior in school aged children. This discipline will last for at least the next nine weeks, all students are to walk the track instead of participating in their regular recess activities. While understanding the importance of teaching children that actions do have consequences, the children who have participated in this incident will not have the benefit of understanding this. This type of punishment can also lead to future acts of bullying as children who did not take part in the incident may retaliate against the children who did for losing their recess time. At best group punishment is morally questionable and studies have shown it is unlikely to produce positive behavior. Current research into child development suggests that collective punishment increases future problematic behavior as students often misbehave when feeling disengagement such as feeling excluded from peers. The negative peer pressure associated with collective punishment increases the likelihood of further exclusion exacerbating the matter.
We, the undersigned parents and guardians of Kasson School students cherish our school community. Unfortunately, Kasson students are no longer able to thrive and the school risks losing its unique character and quality of instruction due to the principal’s negative impact on the school climate. Traditionally, Kasson School has a reputation of student, parent, and community involvement and cooperative problem solving. However, the current principal’s actions, parents have felt excluded and alienated while our children feel discouraged and uninspired. Even in these post-COVID times, students are receiving instruction virtually meaning parents continue to need to be more active in their children’s education. However, parents are feeling left out and fear our children will be left behind. It is important our children receive a quality education with discipline used as an opportunity to learn about consequences for actions, not a blanket punishment. It has become apparent that the principal does not want the parents and guardians to be part of the school community as she has tried to disband the PTO, fails to notify parents of important meetings for their children, and does not provide any correspondence on why the entire school is being punished for the actions of a few students. Barbour County schools, and especially Kasson Middle School, have always been a place for parents, administration, faculty, and staff to collaborate on providing the best education possible. The undersigned are requesting for the immediate removal of the principal so these values can be re-established at KMS.