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Paper: Unruly pupils face tougher sanctions

Work correction exercises may take the place of detention for unruly school pupils, writes the syndicated Väli-Suomen newspaper supplement Sunnuntaisuomalainen.

Koululaisia koulun pihalla.
Unruly pupils may soon have to clear up the mess they cause. Image: Yle

The paper reports that Minister of Education Jukka Gustafsson plans to initiate a change to the law governing school discipline.

In practice, a work correction order would allow a teacher to order a pupil to clean up the mess caused by his or her actions. Current legislation prevents this.

In a recent incident, a school principle received a warning from the Deputy Chancellor of Justice for ordering a pupil found smoking en route to school to write about the offence.

In the opinion of Minister Gustafsson, a more modern approach to detention should be adopted.

“Instead of staring at an empty wall for an hour or two, more beneficial activity could be carried out,” he suggested.

Both the Trade Union of Education in Finland (OAJ) and the Finnish Parents’ League have proposed substituting work correction exercises instead of detention after school hours.

Earlier Gustafsson proposed schools draw up a separate disciplinary plan. However, OAJ chairman Olli Luukkainen commented that a plan in itself would not solve problems of discipline in Finland’s schools.

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