What they do have is a lawyer-determined set of steps they are FORCED to follow. Alongside every step in the process is parent contact - you MUST be in contact with the parents to let them know about their child's progress (or lack) and their behavior. If that parent contact is skipped, in many districts a disciplinary AP literally *can't* progress to the next step unless the behavior is egregious or harmful.
Too many people want to dial things back to the 1980s when schools could just "kick out the bad kids" and they forget that all that does is cause rampant crime, drug abuse, homelessness, and creates a permanent underclass of under-educated or uneducated people.
Admin work is nearly entirely scripted - there's a code of conduct and a behavior consequence chart. Admin didn't create this, school boards and lawyers did. That's what drives me nuts about people complaining about "zero tolerance" - allowing employees to use discretion opens up liability for the admin to be sued for "disproportionately targeting minorities/women/boys/special education/etc students" with disciplinary consequences. School boards went to this one-size-fits-all approach to shield from liability.
But then we started criminalizing schoolyard misbehavior. Kids as young as seven were being expelled and given a criminal citation for sexual assault for (even though it's unacceptable) popping a girl's bra strap on the playground. So those behavior consequences have been by necessity toned down. Kids now "get away with everything" because it's reactionary to "kids get away with nothing" a generation ago.
Additionally, the federal government *has* noticed that punishments tend to be more severe on minority students. In schools where 80% of the population is white, why are 90% of the disciplinary referrals written about the behavior of black students? One might say "they're the ones misbehaving" but .. really? Are you certain? Or are some groups allowed to get away with behaviors that other groups can't? We see this in wealthy suburbs all the time. Certain kids (athletes especially!) get away with activities that would be considered criminal if it weren't in the context of school. This also doesn't include the mentality of "boys will be boys" that many small town and old-school administrators STILL have in regards to behavior.
Add to ALL of this the fact that our kids in high school spent most of their middle school/early high school lives raised by/around TikTok and other incredibly toxic sources of "entertainment" on their devices. Jackass used to be the exception, now it's the norm - remember Devious Licks?
So continuing to place blame on admin when their hands are tied by the policies put in place, and by society at large? Not fair. Admin is an absolutely thankless job. But teachers could 100% make things easier for their admin for documenting behaviors, making that parent contact, documenting the parent contacts, and holding themselves accountable just like they want the kids to be.
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