Today I want to share with you comments I received from a colleague in New Zealand about my recently-published article - Creating a School of Peace and Nonviolence in a Time of War and Violence. My colleague said:
Many thanks for a copy of your paper. Excellent observations in my view of the attitude to discipline and behaviour management in NZ schools – that is, discipline is the responsibility of someone other than the teacher who faces the problem.
I like your statement that schools struggle to balance accountability with compassion. From my experience, male secondary teachers do not exhibit too much compassion – I think they view this as showing weakness.
I believe this comment makes two important points - that compassion and accountability are not polar opposites; rather, the two ideas can work together in the process of healing the harm resulting from wrongdoing and conflict. And that compassion is not a sign of weakness; rather, comes out of strength and a unwavering belief in the dignity of every person as their birthright, which cannot be undone by their behavior nor the treatment of others.