The Office of Disciplinary Affairs
Taking charge of disciplinary affairs can be a complicated job because the students live in the school 24 hours a day. Besides regular school education, the School also has the functions of family education and social education. Together with moral education and personality development, the School pays close attention to life education, as well as clarification and reconstruction of values for our students to serve and devote themselves to society in the future. For years, the School has been dedicated to building institutionalized management, and our duties are listed as follows:
A. Enhance life management to reduce violations
The purpose of daily life care is to make students feel warm and respected so as to help them develop adaptability to different settings. Life education is the root of all types of education and the cultivation of good habits. The cultivation of good habits, interpersonal relationships and emotional management helps students to stay calm and reduce violations.
1. Enact a fair system of rewards and punishments.
2. Reduce hostile situations between disciplinary staff and juvenile delinquents. Educate students with sound reasoning when they are being punished.
3. Provide places for students to calm their emotions, and activities or competitions to enable them to release excessive energy.
4. Assign work fairly (such as dormitory, classroom, specific area, and restaurant cleanup).
5. Keep monthly records of how students spend their money to see if any overspending occurs.
6. Make lists of items in the parcels they receive to keep track of their personal belongings.
7. Check students’ letters before they send them out.
8. Examine students’ academic performance to see if any abnormalities, such as extremely high or low points, occur.
9. Investigate if there is any unfair dish distribution during meal time.
10. Allocate dormitory rooms carefully, and observe how students interact with each other in the dorm.
11. Observe students’ attitude towards learning and how they interact with each other after class.
12. Investigate the number of times students go to the Infirmary, as well as their use of internal and external medication.
13. Observe how students with no cash under the control of the School pick up goods, food, dishwashing liquid, or laundry detergent.
14. Talk to students privately and avoid the situations where students are suspected as whistleblowers by peers due to such talks.
15. Strictly perform thorough body search on students, and the body search must not be performed by draftees of substitute military service.
16. Strictly screen out draftees who will have direct contact with students.
17. Teachers, homeroom teachers and counseling teachers should set up plans for individual students non-periodically.
18. Teachers should non-periodically familiarize students with school regulations, impart them with ethical education using actual violation cases as examples, and discuss class matters that need to be improved.
※Because of the abovementioned policies, the number of violation cases has been on a stable decrease for the past three years, and the performance of students also has greatly improved.
B. Diversify teaching activities to cultivate students’ interests
Most students were dropouts before they came to the School, let alone having any decent hobbies or school life. Therefore, the Office of Disciplinary Affairs held various activities, such as speeches on weekly meetings, freshman inauguration ceremony and graduation ceremony, examinations on law knowledge, inspiring skit contests, campus concerts, composition competitions, various cross-class activities (including military song competitions, garden and classroom decoration, karaoke competitions, sports competitions, sports day, chess competitions, etc.), and family reunions.
In addition to cultivating students’ interest diversity, the Office has also launched various clubs: Ceramics Club, Wind Instrument Club, Guitar Club, Flair Bartending Club, Sign Language Club, Dance Club and Calligraphy Club. Students can choose the clubs based on their preference, and they will have annual performance at the end of each academic year.
C. Dorm management and class management
When it comes to a class management topic, dorm management is usually not a subject. However, this was not true for Ming Yang High School. The Zhishan Hall and Zhimei Hall are where our students spend most of their daily life, and thus where most their conflicts and anxiety occur. It may either develop into a cruel battlefield dominated by powerful ones under the so-called jungle principle, or evolve into a harbor with beacons of hope where they will treat each other just like family. To be more specific, we should discuss the issue of class management from the perspective of Ming Yang’s educational objective of delinquent correction; there exist differences between Ming Yang and other schools in terms of class management. Isolated from the outer world, the class has become a scenario that combines family and school elements, where interpersonal relationships and conflicts are even more complicated (such as gang culture or subculture) and safety thus should be highly regarded.
Ming Yang’s class management is not as flexible as that of other schools (such as its token money policy or special school rules). However, this does not mean class management can be less regarded in Ming Yang; rather, the key to successful correctional education lies in class management. The correctional education system needs feedbacks on the practice and experiences of class management.
In view of the importance of dorm management and class management, the Office enacted the general dormitory rules. During February 3rd, 4th, 12th and 13th, 2004, a four-day seminar was held on class management through speeches, video viewing, book recommendations, and experience sharing from homeroom teachers, counseling teachers and teachers. These helped to inspire ideas and experiences for the class management of correctional education. The feedbacks of those involved were compiled.
D. Due process in parole granting
Since Yang Ming High School was reinstituted in July 1999, parole granting has been reviewed by the student treatment review committee, which is composed of the principal, deputy principal, secretary, director of academic affairs, director of disciplinary affairs, director of counseling, director of general affairs, director of infirmary, and one-fourth of the homeroom teachers as their representatives. On January 22, 2003, Article 33-1 was added to the Act of the Establishment of Juvenile Reformatory Schools and Enforcement of Education: A reformatory school shall establish a parole review committee which shall consist of seven (7) to eleven (11) commissioners. Besides that, the principal, director of disciplinary affairs, and director of counseling are the absolute commissioners; the rest of the commissioners shall be scholars and experts of psychology, pedagogy, sociology, criminology and prisons, and other impartial personages, after having been reported by the principal to the Ministry of Justice for approval.
The school’s parole review committee roster:
E. Employ various social resources and hold religious activities
The School introduced social resources, and each class has two-hour weekly religious activities, including Christianity and Buddhism (Prison Fellowship, Fo Guang Shan Compassion Foundation, Chung Tai World, Qing Liang Yue Buddhist Study Group, Chiefsun Compassion Foundation). Activities include hymn teaching and singing, sutra recitation, life experience sharing, video viewing, feedback sharing and group discussion, all of which are popular with students. Large camp activities (such as Youth Camp, Buddha Bathing Ceremony, Christmas Caroling, Spreading Love and Kindness Around the World: Book Giving Activity) are also organized on a regular basis.
F. Impart law education for students to be law-conscious and obedient
The School shelters juvenile delinquents that are sentenced to a certain term of punishment. Therefore, we place great emphasis on the importance of law education. Students can receive law education in the civic education course. Every month, Kaohsiung Bar Association sends professional lawyers to promote law education and give keynote speeches. Moreover, quarterly examinations on law knowledge are held to help students learn more about, and thus abide by, laws.
G. Athletic competitions and sports day
Athletic competitions are the best approach to form solidarity among a group. Because our students are energetic, we also hold athletic competitions regularly besides physical education and new health dance moves. The sports day is held on March 29th, Youth Day, for students to build healthy bodies and release their energy.