My new student, aged twelve, going on seventeen, comes complete with cellphone, a slim thing tucked in close to her bare belly by stretchy pants.
If this were regular school instead of my special program, bringing in a cellphone might be grounds for suspension—not that I can see that this rule has successfully separated any students from this new version of a security blanket. Adults’ threats of confiscation or “no more minutes until you behave” are now the disciplinary tool of choice for parents and teachers but I’ve yet to see any positive long-term effect.
This is precisely why my student has brought in her favorite toy—to tempt me out of my role as therapist into the role of disciplinarian. She knows how to handle disciplinarians—keep them busy with behavior issues to avoid getting down to the business of learning. She and the trusty cellphone can manipulate well meaning but…
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