When pupils commit similar
types of misdemeanours time after time, it is common that they are
persuaded to stop by using threats that take the form: "If
you do this again... so... These kinds of threats are often
uttered in a state of irritation and anger and it is common knowledge
that their effect is meager.
A better alternative
is to have a negotiation with the pupil where it is mutually agreed
what will happen should he commit a similar wrongdoing again. In
such a negotiation a detailed plan is drawn as to what will be done
in case of recurrence. It is suggested that a written document is
made of the agreement that is signed by the teacher, the pupil and
also some witnesses. It is of importance that such a treaty be public:
all those concerned should know about the agreement.
Also of importance is
that such a treaty is not an empty threat but a clear mutual agreement
about what action will be taken should the pupil for one reason
or the other break his promise and do some similar wrongdoing again.
The pupil was caught snatching sweets from a store. He had taken
responsibility for his action. He had spoken face to face with the
shopkeeper and paid for what he had taken. He convinced that there
was no need to fearing that he would ever do anything like that
again. In order to seal his promise it was agreed that if for whatever
reason he would, despite his wow, steal again, a meeting would be
set up at the school for people to get together to think what should
be done. To this meeting at least the following persons would be
invited: The shopkeeper, the pupils both parents, his big brother,
the policeman who was associated with the school, and at least two
of his friends. The draft for the invitation letter was completed
and signed by the pupil.
Even if the
pupil promises never to do anything similar again, it does not mean
that other people will automatically start to trust him again. In
order to be credible and to convince that what has happened has
changed him, he should also demonstrate a responsible stand by finding
a way to contribute to any work that is being done is the school
to prevent similar types of wrongdoings. That issue is discussed
last under the heading Sense of Responsibility.