Earlier this week we noted how lax student discipline policies are making it difficult for many students to learn. Yet these policies continue on in the name of sensitivity and equity. 

But is it possible that those acting up and disrupting class are secretly longing for discipline, order, and stability?

That seems to be the message coming out of Grizzly Youth Academy in California. As The Atlantic reports:

“Grizzly is a charter boarding school run by the National Guard that’s designed for high-school dropouts (or would-be dropouts) and operates using ‘quasi-military’ style of governance. Its authoritarian structure is aimed at fostering the kind of protective and caring environment many of these kids—who often have track records of disciplinary issues and substance abuse—are seeking. 

And it seems to work. A three-year study conducted by the nonpartisan think tank MDRC showed significant statistical success in the program; participants are more likely than their control group counterparts to have obtained a high-school diploma, to have earned college credits, and to be working.”

When contrasting the success of strict Grizzly Academy with the lax and chaotic schools in many cities, author Michael Godsey wonders if normal “schools [are] shirking direct responsibility,” largely by giving students the velvet glove treatment and blaming behavior problems on their backgrounds or other scapegoats. 

With that thought in mind, are we frustrating students by training them to follow their feelings and express themselves in whatever way they want without consequences? Should we reasonably expect schools to give students more direction, discipline, structure, and guidance?

Image Credit: Chicago Detours