As a high school student myself, I have observed that most adolescents are driven to rebel against enforced discipline. Therefore, firm discipline will not make any difference whatsoever.
From experience and insight gained from literary works and other aspects of culture, it appears that trying to change and shape someone into an ideal form does not work without his/her consent. The effort of the student is invaluable, and yet this effort usually dissipates at the mention of ‘rule’ or ‘law.’ As adolescents, we are still trying to find out who we are and what our identity is, and yet we are constantly being pushed and shoved by authoritative figures into cookie-cutters that may or may not be who we actually are. It is almost like expecting a tadpole to climb a tree; there is plenty of room to grow and yet it seems that school takes away the time necessary to do so. Once we hit grade 12, we are expected to be perfect icons that never want to do wrong, and it is this image that primarily pushes us to rebel and tell the world that we are not ready to be perfect yet. In addition, this experience is sometimes traumatizing for young folk because it gives them a sense that they are horrible people and failures in life when the cutter doesn’t fit the already-baked cookie.
Trying to enforce discipline in school is like trying to force feelings onto a robot: it is simply against the very nature of some people. In fact, I would argue that one should not try to change the spontaneous student into a planned and well-organized one since, from reading what experts have to say about personality development, being forced into a cookie-cutter image may result in a disturbed psyche. There are many positive aspects of school, but one of the largest criticisms available against it is that it favours certain personality types over others. The extroverted thinker is usually given preference over the introverted feeling type, and yet they are both beneficial people to society at large. If firm discipline is continued in school, it may result in more disturbed and under-developed psyches to enter the adult world.
The world is full of people who are all different from each other and have different needs and ways of learning. To say that discipline can account for all of these special cases is to say that insects can build skyscrapers. Authoritative figures are unable to understand every single student that enters their doors and as such, they usually have no right to punish when they are using their own belief systems. Discipline is neither efficient, nor is it necessary. Individuals are able to realize when they have done wrong, and it is up to them to find out what to do about it.