Okay, by ‘naughty’, I do not refer to mild cases of misbehaviour. I am talking about when children break the very school rules which come with the consequence of expulsion.

Why am I asking this question? I have heard of instances where parents come together in solidarity, pleading with the school authority to ‘temper justice with mercy’.

Some parents have even gone as far as threatening the school that if they go ahead with the expulsion, then, they would have no choice but to withdraw their own children from the school. They argue that expelling the child could scar the child, damaging him/her for life. Continuing with their argument, they insist that it is the responsibility of the school reform and not condemn children.

Now, it is not like these parents do not have valid points. However, if schools begin ‘forgiving’ every ‘Tom’, ‘Dick’ and ‘Harry’, at what point do the ‘culprits’ and the other children in the school learn about ‘consequences’ and ‘accountability’. Let’s face it, one of the biggest challenges our country faces today is that of accountability. People know they can get away with just about anything by ‘begging’, ‘bribing’ and what have you. However, the moment the people begin to realize that their actions come with real consequences, without a doubt, they will begin to think twice before doing the crime.

With that’s said, let’s just say that I believe in children ‘paying the time’ if they ‘do the crime’. This is because if they do not, nothing stops the next child (or even the same child) from falling out of line tomorrow since he/she knows that there is always a way around the ‘time’.

That’s one point. Another will be the management of the embarrassment. Usually, offences that attract expulsion could be rather embarrassing for the offender. So embarrassing that he/she may be unable to properly function, going forward. Hence, perhaps a change of environment may just be the clean slate which that child needs.

However, the question is how can the child have a clean slate when the stigma called ‘expulsion’ has been stamped right next to his/her name?

So, here’s the way a particular school (name withheld) manages the situation…

To the students in the school, the ‘offender’ has been expelled. Hence, lesson has been learnt by all students.

However, to the parents concerned, the child has been withdrawn. Yes, what the school does is to call the parents aside and inform them that their child has done XYZ which come with the repercussion of expulsion. However, in order not to damage the child’s chances of getting a fresh start in another school, the parents have the option of withdrawing their child instead. Hence, the situation is managed, with the good of the child and his/her future in mind.

To me, I think that approach makes sense. The children learn a lesson and the offender gets a real chance at reformation. Those are my own thoughts. What do you think?

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