As a student myself I know that if my peers or even me aren't punished or if the punishment isn't extensive enough we will only continue to break the rules. As we get older the problem becomes more serious, instead of stopping the problem teachers and staff are only postponing it till later. First comes a rule breaker, then a criminal.
Students who only receive a light punishment are likely to commit the same violation they did prior to the punishment. I could name more than a few students in my classes that are just like this, and it is absolutely infuriating. It's the same thing with the felons you see on TV that get out of jail much earlier than they should. You become furious.
Yes, students who do not follow rules should be given harsher punishment, because they are often a disruption to other students. Students who do not get the message with one punishment might learn to avoid a behavior if they are punished more severely in the future. Students who cannot conform should eventually be placed in alternative learning environments.
It seems that teacher are put in positions where they cannot punish a child in a manner that will get them to stop. As these students disrupt other students who are there to learn, they need to change their behavior or be sent somewhere else. Fortunately these students are generally kept out of the advanced classes, but why should students who struggle to understand concept as well be kept down with these kinds of students taking away from their educations?
Students who disrupt class tend to want to draw attention to themselves and greatly inhibit the learning of other students. Students who are focused on learning resent this behavior and are upset when teachers do not or cannot discipline these students. A few disruptive students can drive down the average of an entire section of students. Every second that a teacher spends managing disruptive behavior is one less second that a teacher has to teach or to individually help a student who wants to learn.
Parents these days do not discipline their children. The school should provide harsher punishment, such as less amount of disciplines required to be send to alt school or to be expelled. Again, they disrupt the learning environment and need to get the message that they need to stop right now.
Harsher punishments shouldn't even be on the minds of school administrators, with all due respect. Harsher influences can cause a more violent behavior in the students. Once that keeps happening, students could, in groups, respond to that in a violent way, as a form of defending themselves. If the children see that punishments are harsh in school, they will choose to do home-schooling. Schools will lose their students, teachers, administrators, and most importantly the school. Many times the problem is at home.
Kids are not miniature adults, they are still developing in many areas. Not every child is capable of sitting still, listening and learning in the same way as other children. The education system needs to recognise how unique each child is.
The worst things schools can do for kids like this is expel them. It's the other kids who could probably get an education anywhere, but those who struggle with behaviour need the structure of the classroom to help them learn. Expulsion is a form of major rejection which can impact them emotionally for the rest of their lives.
Expelling kids from school should be the maximum punishment for a student. If a student is disruptive in class, does not hand in work and constantly does not comply with the rules, then problem solved. Expel them, and no more student. Done. But bringing back corporal punishment, or even the fact that it it still allowed in some modern societies, is a sickening thought. Hitting kids does not make them respect you, and violating their personal space with make them act out more. I mean believe me, having an expulsion mark on their record is much worse that giving them a smack.