Submitted by Martha Stanley, Tallahassee, Florida

Idea posted March 14, 2008

When I started a "no-putdown rule" in my class, my discipline issues were cut by about 90%. The way it works for me is, if you do a putdown, everything comes to a screeching halt and I address the situation. I look at the offender and say, "That was a putdown. Please apologize or leave the room (actually to a little lobby thing) and do a planning sheet which you will need to get signed by your parents." NO one gets to do putdowns. Risk-taking is a necessary part of learning and creating, and putdowns squash the willingness of people to take risks.