Society & Politics

Schools That Separate the Child From the Trauma


David Bornstein

To what extent should schools hold students responsible for misbehaviour? This question becomes more complicated when new research on “adverse childhood experiences” (ACEs) suggests that traumas in a child’s home such as divorce, separation, mental illness, drug abuse and physical and sexual abuse are more common than previously appreciated and have an impact on the development of a child’s brain and body, potentially leading to behavioural problems. 

David Bornstein claims that because of this new information about ACEs, it would be wrong to punish children for “misbehaviour that they often do not know how to control,” and he finds this good reason to institute sweeping changes in the way schools deal with misbehaviour generally, away from the traditional approach that relies on punishment to correct misbehaviour and toward methods focused on “deepening the understanding about others and building supportive communities.”

How might a biblical understanding of the way sin and relational brokenness affect a person influence the discussion of how to deal with misbehaviour in schools?

How can society tackle the underlying issues of brokenness within the family that might be causing many students' misbehaviour? What role can the church play here?

Source: The New York Times

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