This is in response to the guest column by John Neal (Jan. 20). Finally, someone who echoes my thoughts about the effects of disruptive students on the quality of education being offered.
Like John Neal, I would provide such students with an opportunity to return to the system if they demonstrated clearly that their attitude had changed.
Many communities currently provide high school vocational programs that work wonders for some of those students but, unfortunately, they are tied to traditional requirements which demand credits in English, math, science, etc. Forced to attend those classes, those students disrupt the learning of others.
My answer is to cut them loose.
One solution might be apprenticeship programs offered by experts in such fields as construction, carpentry, electrical work, plumbing, welding, culinary arts, computer technology, etc. In other words, training for jobs. The option would be available to all students from the age of 14 to 18.
Like all employees in the real world, if students refused to comply with the standards required to learn a skill, they would be fired. At that point, perhaps they would realize that learning is a valuable gift, offered by a community, but it requires a willingness to cooperate in order to learn.
Teachers don’t teach anything; they provide opportunities to learn. Those opportunities could also be available by organized apprenticeship programs with instructors who are practitioners in their specific fields. They would be most qualified to present their skills to the young students.
Marcel Pare, Lewiston