Suicides are never associated with a single cause, experts say. But Nick's difficulties – based on interviews with family, friends, experts and school officials, and more than 100 pages of case documents – allow a close look at how consequences intended to help a student correct course instead can fuel a growing despair.
His story follows patterns described by parents in at least a dozen other Fairfax cases with similar disciplinary consequences. Even first-time offenders are out of school for long periods – a month, two months, longer if an appeal is filed. When they return, more than half are not returned to their original schools and can face difficult transitions – new teachers, new friends and new classes.
Phi Beta Iota: We grieve for this family, and this post is a contribution to the public dialog. In Fairfax County, the school is an extension of the police, not an extension of the family. Originally inspired by the spread of very young Hispanic gangs into the schools–the police did a phenomenal job in shutting that down–today the police are an alternative to intelligent internal discipline. The schools have failed to evolve and adapt to digital natives to the point that the brightest students are dropping out or turning out, with the schools becoming advanced child care. This is not a new problem, but these suicides do offer an opportunity for re-examining what we regard as very poor administration of the Fairfax County school system philosophy and practice.
TED: Sugata Mitra–The child-driven education
Journal: It’s Official–Social Media EDUCATES
Worth a Look: Live Language Lessons Online
Worth a Look: Books Reviews on Education for Freedom & Innovation
Review: The World Is Open–How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education
Review: Making Learning Whole–How Seven Principles of Teaching can Transform Education
Review: Why Don’t Students Like School–A Cognitive Scientist Answers Questions About How the Mind Works and What It Means for the Classroom
Review: Reflexive Practice–Professional Thinking for a Turbulent World
Review: Ideas and Integrities–A Spontaneous Autobiographical Disclosure
Review: Philosophy and the Social Problem–The Annotated Edition