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Ideas: A "Miranda" Warning For Students

image from www.turgingsomedrama.comWhat if there was some sort of Miranda warning for students at risk of being expelled or "counseled" out of school?  Perhaps such a thing already exists but if not it might look something like this:  "You have the right to decline to answer questins about your immigration status, home situation, learning or behavioral issues, or anything else besides your age, previous school, and home address at the time of your enrollment...You have the right to stay at your school despite poor grades or spotty attendance or nonphysical behavioral violations (verbal outbursts, defiance, etc.)...  You have the right to have a parent/guardian, translator, and student advocate attend any  conference at which your continued presence at the school is discussed... You have the right to request in-school suspension or access to an alternative program within your current school site rather than any change of schools that may be suggested or initiated by school administrators... You have the right to appeal any attempt to determine residency or eligibility that takes place after March of any given school year... Any violations of these terms should be reported to the independent office of student pushouts at toll free number."


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Yes, that "right" exists de facto. But because it is not explicit, we get the worst of all worlds. We should inform students and parents of the "rights" you cite, and we should do so in a nurturing way. That should be the first step towards respectful conversations. But, if and when the conversations do not reach satisfactory agreements, then the adults in the system must act as adults. While acting cautiously, school systems must have the guts to make choices that individual parents and students do not support. (even then, immigration status should NEVER be revealed)

I agree about immigration status, etc. And as a teacher, I was grateful for child advocates, student advocates, social workers, etc. etc. that worked on behalf of my students.

But non-physical behavioral outbursts- how much should one group of students have to take? And their teacher? And the staff at the school? At some point, it is interfering with the learning of 30 or more other students in any given class, not just with noise but with the kind of stress under which we know humans cannot commit new information to memory. And yes, some students do it precisely to prevent any learning happening in a learning situation. And by 5th grade some of their parents have given up. "Sticks and stones" and all, but we know now, there is empirical evidence, that bullying has serious consequences for students in public schools, whether they are the target or the bystander, and whether it is happening to students or to the teachers by the bullying student. Non-violent behaviors doesn't fit with the rest of your list.

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