Do you think that your school has got their discipline right? Lola, aged 6, reflects on the “Triple Rs” in her school.
At school they have a system of triple “Rs”: Red, Reflections and Reminders. When you do something very naughty, or something by accident and the teacher does not believe you, you are afraid your teacher or head teacher will give you one of the three “Rs”.
A “Reminder” is just below a reflection. If you have fallen short of the “Golden Agreements” of the School, your teacher or head teacher will point at you and say, “I remind you”. “Reflection” is just another term for time out. You are expected to go to another classroom and think about what you have done and how you can make it better. At times, children get upset and cry, and the teacher will let you do reflection in the classroom. I know, because it once happened to me.
Two of the girls from my class were playing “flip-flops”, and I was calling them a name, which I thought they may like. I called them “Mrs Flip-Flops” (cute, right?). The girls heard me and said: hey! (and spat at me), which is what Flip-Flops do. The teacher noticed and put me on reflection. I was standing on the spot with tears leaking from my eyes.
In reflection time you need to write things down on a reflection sheet and hand it out to your teacher when your time is up. I wrote “I was calling so and so names” and “I’m sorry”. “Next time I will show respect and not do it”. I am not sure what they do with the handed-out reflections, I think they are kept in a tub.
I wanted to quit school. The punishment is way too harsh.
Reds are another matter. They are now called “Re-starts”. When you get a re-start you need to go to the head teacher and tell them what you have done. I think Reds / Re-Starts and what the head teacher told us about detention in secondary school is wrong. That kind of punishment is very strong and can make children very unhappy. Children get scared when talking to the head teacher. Head teachers sometimes get very fierce and angry about it, and when you are a kid you get scared.
Imagine walking all the way up to the head teacher’s office, wait outside until they call you in, to tell you that you have done something wrong. I have never been on a red, but the thought of being on a red is scary.
If it ever happens to me, instead of being scared I will be proud. I want to tell him that the punishment is way too strong. I believe it should be deleted from the School Agreement. If I am ever called in, I will let them know that a red is not right. I am still a kid and I need to learn. If I do something wrong, I am sure I will have a good reason for it, or it would have been due to an accident, and the teacher did not believe me.
I want the school teacher to know that this punishment is too high. I want every school kid to feel able to stand up and to know that standing up to your head teacher is not that scary.
How to stand up to your head teacher is obvious. All you have to do is to go up to them, tell them that this punishment is wrong, when they let you go at home time you tell your parents what happened. Oh, right only do it on red or detention.
If the head teacher ever leaves the school and I am a grown up, I think I want to take his place. I think I will be a really good one.
Sometimes I cannot stop thinking about reds. I hope if it ever happens to me, that I remember how to stand up to my head teacher.