What's the right way for a school to discipline second graders?
About how much time should a second grader be put in detention? Is there any guidelines to how much time children should be put in time out? My grandson was in a quarral with another boy who threw him to the ground. The duty person did not see my grandson hit the other boy and my grandson claims he didn't. The two second graders were put in detention for 2 half days of secluded detention. They are given work, but never allowed any help. They also took his lunch away because it had chips in it and made him take a hot lunch. They both missed recess all day for a week. Something just doesn't sound right? He is attending school in Arizona. Any ideas or thoughts on this?
Situations like this can be very difficult for everyone involved, especially if no one actually saw what happened. Hopefully they attempted to find out what happened by talking to other children who where also in the vicinity. At this point, it sounds as if the consequences have already been issued & served, so it is now a matter of understanding what school policies are for an incident such as this, and deciding what can your grandson learn from this situation.
If you or his parents choose to discuss the situation with the school further, approach it as a learning experience for you, your grandson and the school. Some suggestions of questions and comments are: What kind of consequence is earned for negative and positive behaviors? Are the kids aware if they choose to physically hurt others, lie or cheat, they will be escorted to the principal's office and make a call to their parents, etc.? Are they able to earn back some privileges for accepting their consequences? Could they have limited recess time or play closer to the teacher/adult on duty, instead of excluding them altogether?
His consequence of having detention for two, half school days, could be the expectation of the school for his type of behavior. There is nothing wrong with questioning the school with the lunch and recess issue. It would seem that your grandson is receiving multiple & possibly excessive consequences for his behavior. But again it is important to remember that if no one saw what happened, it may be difficult for the school to know what the appropriate consequence would be.
You asked about how much a child should sit in time out. Pertaining to your grandson, who is probably around the age of 7 or 8, "time out" may not be effective teaching tool for him anymore. (A general rule could be the age of the child equals how many minutes for the time out) He may benefit from talking to and pre-teaching & him how to get along with others. This can be done in a controlled environment: playing a game with a friend that could come to the home or a sibling, helping with chores, doing something nice for someone else (friend, neighbor, grandparent, parent, etc). If the child knows how to get along with others, the temptation of a confrontation in the future, or having frustrated feelings ease and decrease.
Ultimately, you want the best outcome for everyone involved. Taking this into consideration, it is important to teach to kids skills such as dealing with frustrations & intense feelings, respecting others, following rules, accepting consequences, and telling the truth. School aged children should also be made aware of the rules and expectations of the school. As they continue to grow and develop, they will continue to apply their understanding of respect and consequences for their behavior, which will set them up for success in adulthood.