As kids go back to school in our area, the effort to keep them on track and out of trouble in school continues

CSRA News

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) — Augusta University’s education program is trying to give our educators alternatives to address behavioral problems.

There are several ways teachers can promote good discipline in the classroom. To get away from just punishing students, AU is giving educators a homework assignment of their own.

Asking students to leave class because they forgot a pencil is not an effective way to discipline anymore. Augusta University is trying to reducing disciplinary actions. The first step, raising educator’s awareness of implicit bias —- that a student may get a harsher punishment than their classmate because of their race, weight, height, or gender.

“Then those biases then play less of a role in their professional practice,” said Augusta University Assistant Professor, Margaux Brown.

Dr. Brown told NewsChannel 6 reporter Devin Johnson students aren’t bad kids. They might be acting out because of anxiety. She says when they are unable to regulate their emotions, they have a disconnect between decision making and behavioral control.

“Because in toll, the child is emotionally regulated and brought back to his settle state in their brain,” said Brown. “You’re not going to get anywhere addressing the remediating the underline condition.”

She suggests teachers in the elementary and middle school level to have a designated calming area for their students.

“Children can have the opportunity through suggestion by the adult or through their choice, to go and help calm themselves down,” explained Brown.

High school students should have restorative practices, meaning …

“Because it brings the offender and the offendant together to have a conversation,” said Brown. “It also gives power back to the offender, to be able to have input into the consequence.”

The assistant professor says educators should connect with their students at the emotional level before addressing the behavior.

“And to consider each child and the context in which they are living,” said Brown. “Because they may be in complicated circumstances at that time.”

Dr. Brown says if all three of our school districts applied these guidelines, the student and educator relationship would improve. She and the rest of AU’s College of Education are working to combat student harsh disciplinary actions one school at a time.

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