School suspensions aren’t always logical

School suspension is a punishment for the parents; it’s the expectation that parents endure hardship.

To the Editor,

We know it takes a village to raise a child, so why do the schools think they can opt out when children aren’t perfect?

This past month, a seven-year-old boy became angry and broke a school window, resulting in an immediate one-week suspension. His single mom had to take an entire week off work, without notice, resulting in a slashed monthly budget, ticked colleagues, and an extraordinary amount of stress. Meanwhile, the child – who hates school – didn’t have to go to school.

Let’s be clear that school suspension is a punishment for the parents; it’s the expectation that parents endure hardship to instill disciplinary action on behalf of the school, for circumstances that arose beyond the parents’ care and control. That’s not acceptable.

Further, school is not a privilege to be taken. School is a right. You don’t take away the rights of a small human being still learning how to navigate this crazy world just because he misbehaves. This boy needs to be in school regardless of whether he likes it, and removing him is not an appropriate punishment. It’s not even a logical punishment.

We need to choose punishments that make sense, and teach lessons. We also need to stand beside our children when they’re having a tough time, and show them how to manage.

We are a community, and we need to do better for our children.

Melissa VaseyNanaimo