The Instigator
mongeese
Pro (for)
Winning
47 Points
The Contender
Republican95
Con (against)
Losing
45 Points

An entire class should never be punished for the actions of one or a few students.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/22/2009 Category: Education
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 9,141 times Debate No: 8384
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (11)
Votes (16)

 

mongeese

Pro

Entire class - All of the students that are being taught by one teacher at one time (in this case, the class is assumed to be about twenty to thirty students, and in America)
Punished - Punish - to impose a penalty on for a fault, offense, or violation (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)
Actions - acts of will (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)
A few - Up to five
Students - those who attends a school (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)

Countless times, I am in a class where some kids start goofing off, and then the teacher comes in and decides to punish everybody. I think that students should only ever be punished for their own actions.

Thank you to whoever accepts this debate.

For this debate, by "never," I assume the class to be under normal, modern circumstances.
Republican95

Con

I agree with your definitions.

I will, at this time, outline my arguments that I will be relying on for the rest of my debate.

1. Sometimes, teachers have no other choice. In some instances, since the teacher did not see what actually happened, he or she is put into a position to where they can either punish no one or everyone. Since punishing no one would only encourage future misbehavior, punishing everything is the only way to effectively punish the class.

2. As a "innocent" student, you have the chance to save the entire class from punishment. In most cases, at least in my experience, most teachers will say something along the lines of "Tell me who did this or y'all are all going to be in trouble!" (I'm from the south, my teachers say y'all). You, as an innocent member of the class, have the possibility to say "Person A did it!" and save you and others in your class from being punished. However, since no one speaks up, the class is just begging for a punishment.

3. Is the punishment really all that severe? I've been in the same situation several times before, but the punishment has never been that severe. I mean, I've never received a demerit or detention for something I didn't do. The worst that I've received is maybe "silent lunch", where all students are prohibited from talking during lunch.

Now, its your turn to attack my points and establish your own.
Debate Round No. 1
mongeese

Pro

"1. Sometimes, teachers have no other choice. In some instances, since the teacher did not see what actually happened, he or she is put into a position to where they can either punish no one or everyone. Since punishing no one would only encourage future misbehavior, punishing everything is the only way to effectively punish the class."
Teachers have the choice of being watchful. If a teacher pays attention to what happens, this wouldn't be a problem. Additionally, because this targets everyone, it punishes innocent people, and I think that not punishing anybody would be a better alternative, in this case. I mean, the teacher isn't exactly sure if one of his own students committed the action, if he assumes that an action has been committed.

"2. As an 'innocent' student, you have the chance to save the entire class from punishment. In most cases, at least in my experience, most teachers will say something along the lines of 'Tell me who did this or y'all are all going to be in trouble!' (I'm from the south, my teachers say y'all). You, as an innocent member of the class, have the possibility to say 'Person A did it!' and save you and others in your class from being punished. However, since no one speaks up, the class is just begging for a punishment."
Any teacher should realize that people don't rat each other out like that. Telling on someone else in front of the rest of the class can lead to huge downfall in reputation, especially if the wrongdoers are popular. To have a social life, a kid has no choice but to take the punishment with the rest of the class. This makes the tool completely ineffective.

"3. Is the punishment really all that severe? I've been in the same situation several times before, but the punishment has never been that severe. I mean, I've never received a demerit or detention for something I didn't do. The worst that I've received is maybe 'silent lunch,' where all students are prohibited from talking during lunch."
I've had to sit out from recess before because of a few kids in my class. Once, in the class down the hall, something was broken in the classroom, or something of the sort, and the teacher suspected that one of the kids in her class had done it. Therefore, she said that every student in her class had to sit out from recess every day until the kid turned himself or herself in. Other students were incapable of turning in the wrongdoer, because only the wrongdoer knew who he or she was. This ended up lasting about a week until the kid turned himself in, and a week without recess is pretty severe in fifth grade.

"Now, it's your turn to attack my points and establish your own."
Alright, then.

1. Punishing innocent people is unethical. They didn't do anything wrong. Thus, they don't deserve the punishment. And yet, they receive it. How would you like it if you had to sit out of gym or recess every day for the entire year until a student, who may or may not be in your class, who you didn't know turned himself in? This isn't a rhetorical question; it is a question to be answered.

2. It is ineffective. Quite often, the wrongdoer isn't even part of the class that is being punished. Thus, punishing the wrong people gets nothing done. Additionally, students don't really care about punishment if the entire class goes along with them. They only care if they get singled out.

I have established my points, and countered yours. Fire at will.
Republican95

Con

Thank you for responding in a quick and timely manor, I was out of town this weekend and didn't have a chance to.

Opponent: Teachers have the choice of being watchful. If a teacher pays attention to what happens, this wouldn't be a problem.

You sure are asking a whole lot of teachers. A similar analogy would be "Murders should never happen, because the police should know everything that relates to the safety of a community". Teachers don't have eyes in the back of their heads. They can't watch 100% of the class 100% of the time. No one can.

Opponent: Additionally, because this targets everyone, it punishes innocent people, and I think that not punishing anybody would be a better alternative, in this case.

Not punishing anyone would be better? Wouldn't this only encourage future misbehavior? Teachers can't let students run right over them; they need to put their foot down and say "The buck stops here!"

Opponent: Telling on someone else in front of the rest of the class can lead to huge downfall in reputation, especially if the wrongdoers are popular. To have a social life, a kid has no choice but to take the punishment with the rest of the class. This makes the tool completely ineffective.

Who said it had to be in front of the whole class? You could approach the teacher after class, and I'm sure the teacher would keep your name confidential.

Opponent: I've had to sit out from recess before because of a few kids in my class. Once, in the class down the hall, something was broken in the classroom, or something of the sort, and the teacher suspected that one of the kids in her class had done it. Therefore, she said that every student in her class had to sit out from recess every day until the kid turned himself or herself in. Other students were incapable of turning in the wrongdoer, because only the wrongdoer knew who he or she was. This ended up lasting about a week until the kid turned himself in, and a week without recess is pretty severe in fifth grade

This is the problem with Generation Y, they see everything as an entitlement. Recess, by no means, is an entitlement, it is a privilege. You have no right to recess, and plus, their could have been worse things that could have happened.

Opponent: Punishing innocent people is unethical. They didn't do anything wrong. Thus, they don't deserve the punishment. And yet, they receive it. How would you like it if you had to sit out of gym or recess every day for the entire year until a student, who may or may not be in your class, who you didn't know turned himself in? This isn't a rhetorical question; it is a question to be answered.

It doesn't matter how I "feel". The teacher is the highest authority in the classroom, therefore he or she has the right to decide what is in the best interests of the class. And punishing innocent people might be unethical, but isn't the teacher the one who decides what is unethical or not, he or she is the utmost authority in the class.

Opponent: It is ineffective. Quite often, the wrongdoer isn't even part of the class that is being punished. Thus, punishing the wrong people gets nothing done.

I actually think it gets a lot done. It encourages students not to misbehave in the future, especially when the teacher isn't looking.

Another point: Punishing everybody happens a lot outside of school, and it is fair. Take for example you work with a firm that sells farm equipment. One year, sales are far below average, mostly due to the inabilities of two or three salespeople to meet their established quotas. You, on the other hand, as sold almost 150% of what you were suppose to sell. However, no one that year will receive Christmas bonuses because of a lack of sales. Is that fair? No. Is that right? Yes. Spending money you don't have is bad. Just as not punishing anybody for misbehavior is.
Debate Round No. 2
mongeese

Pro

"Murders should never happen, because the police should know everything that relates to the safety of a community"
However, if you do have a murder, and you end up with five suspects, with no evidence that could single any one of them out, what should you do? You should let them all go with a warning.

"Not punishing anyone would be better?"
Once one incident happens, the teacher should prepare for another incident. Yelling would probably get the job done.

"Who said it had to be in front of the whole class? You could approach the teacher after class, and I'm sure the teacher would keep your name confidential."
Nope. Usually, the punishment occurs directly after the incident is discovered, such as doing tons of push-ups or running a ridiculous number of lines. And nobody would want to go out of their way to turn in their classmate, especially when it is obvious that the word of what you did would spread. Also, what if you don't know who it was?

"This is the problem with Generation Y, they see everything as an entitlement."
Younger kids tend to need recess. If the police took away your driver's license because you might have been involved in a driving accident, but you really weren't, would that be just? No. The ability to drive is also a privilege, but people tend to need it.

"...their could have been worse things that could have happened."
Huh? So, if a guy steals your driver's license, you say, "Well, that's okay, because at least he didn't steal my keys!"? No.

"And punishing innocent people might be unethical, but isn't the teacher the one who decides what is unethical or not, he or she is the utmost authority in the class."
The teacher does not decide what is ethical and what is not. If Barack Obama got to decide what is ethical, it would result in many more abortions and affirmative action and so on, and if the king of the land got to control ethics, everybody would be his slave. What the people feel is a factor that determines whether or not something should be done. You still didn't answer the question.

"I actually think it gets a lot done. It encourages students not to misbehave in the future, especially when the teacher isn't looking."
Well, yes, it has a little bit of benefit, but this does not outweigh the negative points.

And as for your other point, it is not right to punish everybody in that situation. The failures should be fired, or their wages should be cut, and you should be promoted. That would be the right thing to do.

Thank you for reading.
Republican95

Con

Republican95 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
mongeese

Pro

All arguments extended.

This debate is pretty much over. Vote PRO.
Republican95

Con

Republican95 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Clear votebombing.
Posted by Lifeisgood 7 years ago
Lifeisgood
B/A: Pro.
Conduct: Pro.
S/G: Pro. Con made some noticable errors.
Arguments: Pro. Undeniable.
Sources: Tie.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Defaulted PRO due to forfeits.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
No. Just no. I'm not giving up another debate in which my opponent conceded twice to vote bombers. Just no.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Actually, I don't think that CON ever made that argument.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
A good debate. I think the only point that was missed is that Con could have argued that there is a responsibility of the class to maintain good behavior, independent of the teacher. When the class fails in that responsibility, there is some level of collective fault. The arguments seem to have all been made by the time the debate petered out into defaults, so I don't count the defaults for much in this one. I give the edge to Con, based upon what was argued.
Posted by mongeese 8 years ago
mongeese
I've lost spelling and grammar? How so?
Posted by bored 8 years ago
bored
*sigh*
no offense, but you've both lost my spelling and grammar vote already!
Posted by Maikuru 8 years ago
Maikuru
See, aren't you glad it's not me you're debating? I'd be in there with "my opponent" this and "irrelevant" that. That gets so tiresome, ya know? =D
Posted by Danielle 8 years ago
Danielle
It won't let me accept the challenge because we're already debating :P
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Vote Placed by Officialjake 6 years ago
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mongeeseRepublican95Tied
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