Yes, it will.
What is consistent and firm discipline?
In a word, Justice.
Teens are very susceptible to injustice, to have double-moral standards for teachers and students. If you read them carefully, you would discover that they do not protest consistent and firm discipline, but to the contrary; bad, shaky, doubtful, contradictory “discipline” where arbitraries, lack of logic, absurdities and inconsistencies are passed as “justice”.
Our society, though, is plagued with injustices, with lack of discipline and with crime. Students see this all the time on TV, on the Internet, on the news, they know. It is happening all around them. The school should become a safe place to be at least until they leave it to pursue the rest of their professional and personal lives.
If a student feels he is manhandled or mistreated, he will protest, not directly but indirectly. Sometimes the student feels you were too soft, sometimes the opposite.
Students weigh very well what their punishment must be; or what the reward must be, and they have to be consistent.
If a student attacks physically a teacher, punishment must be immediate.
If a student asks questions impossible to answer by the teacher, or demonstrates he knows more than the teacher; punishing him would be unjust and the other students will see it as a demonstration of weakness.
Consistent and firm discipline means no punishment for students who think for themselves and challenge the information or the epistemological authority of the teachers.
But it means that disobedience to the rules of the school, disrespect to the person of the teacher, violation of the codes of the student, cheating and plagiarism, must be punished accordingly. You may be even tough and punish them harshly according with certain standards, but the students will love to be in the school, working dedicated to their studies if they feel safe. By harshly, I am referring to giving them physical work to perform.
Consistent means without contradictions.
Firm means with no hesitation, doubts or questioning.
Discipline is an agreement, training, means educating ourselves to do something well.
What is to be in class?
To be in class is the student paying attention to the teacher and the teacher grabbing the attention from the student in order to have the student perform certain activities through the knowledge he is either imparting or facilitating.
Now let’s say we have a student who is distracted, ‘hyperactive’, moving all the time, but when you ask him from the topic of the current class, the guy answers correctly with no lag.
He is paying attention to the class even if that is not noticeable. It would be impossible to punish the guy, at most you must give him extra work and physical activities.
Let’s say we have a student that is apparently paying attention but he never answers correctly, never studies and fights all the time. This guy needs discipline, needs to make up his mind about school, he needs to make some decisions that will affect his future.
The best punishment would always be working to clean the school or to pick up garbage or to paint or to fix whatever is needed; or working for the community. Forget about suspending students or putting them in the middle of the patio with two sets of books over their open palms, or hitting them, or as it is done now, drugging them. Students need to contribute to their school, and that is it.
Consistent and firm discipline also means to give awards and these must be deserved, the student who wins one must know he earned it, that no one could rob him whatever he earned fairly and squarely. This is extremely important; politics in terms of favoritism must not exist in the school. Equal opportunities, equal rights are the key to having consistent and firm discipline. Morale depends on its continued existence.