School Discipline

School Discipline is a form of discipline found in schools.

The term refers to students complying with a code of behavior often known as the school rules. Among other things these rules may set out the expected standards of clothing, timekeeping, social behavior and work ethic. The term may also be applied to the punishment that is the consequence of transgression of the code of behavior For this reason the usage of school discipline sometimes means punishment for breaking school rules rather than behaving within the school rules.

Generally, the aim of school discipline is (in theory at least) to create a safe and happy learning environment in the classroom. A classroom where a teacher is unable to maintain order and discipline can lead to lower achievement by some students and unhappy students.

The enforcement of discipline in schools can, however, be motivated by other non-academic, often moral objectives. For example, a traditional British public school usually has a strong underlying Christian ethic, and enforces strong discipline outside the classroom as well as in it, which applies particularly to boarders. Duties can include compulsory chapel attendance, sport participation, meal attendance, conformation to systems of authority within "houses", strongly controlled bed-times and restricted permission to leave the school grounds. Such duties can be stringently enforced, formerly by corporal punishment, and more recently by curtailment of freedoms and privileges (e.g. gating's, detentions), and by punishments administered by senior pupils on more junior ones (this last form tends to be the harshest and most arbitrary form of discipline, and even in modern times can include practices such as forced prolonged exercise to the point of exhaustion, sleep deprivation, and has been known in extreme cases lead to severe abuse). Such systems of discipline are often deliberately arbitrary, working on the philosophy that purely reasonable rules are inherently logical and therefore open to question and debate. The conservative elements inherent in traditional religious schools often demand full and unquestioning, instinctive respect for and adherence to rules, and an atmosphere of complete obedience, which necessitates a universal, rigorously enforced system of discipline.