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07 October 2010 @ 12:08 pm
Long ago and far away, when I was in elementary school...  
The school had a points system for discipline -- you got points for infractions, and after three points you were sent to the office.

So for example, not having a pencil was one point, not having done your homework was two points, fighting was three points, and so on.

What I never understood, and what no teacher was ever able to explain to me, was why being disruptive in class was a one-point offense, but being inattentive (presumably quietly, since you weren't being disruptive) in class was a two-pointer.
 
 
Adrian Turtleadrian_turtle on October 7th, 2010 06:16 pm (UTC)
Insofar as it makes any sense at all (which it may not), it could make sense on the theory that one can BE inattentive much more often than one is CAUGHT being inattentive. Kids who are only slightly sneaky would probably get caught 1 out of 4 times they are quietly inattentive...so it would work out to a half-point offense. (A very sneaky kid might only get caught 1 time in 8, making in a quarter-point offense.) It works out to a bit of incentive to be quietly inattentive rather than disruptive, on top of the incentives not to do either.

Many authority figures don't like talking about harm-reduction strategies too openly. They seem to think it reduces their authority and makes those under authority less compliant. It's also possible that the infraction-point system was designed by different people than those implementing it and talking to you.