and, you're outta here!

My team has adopted this new disciplinary tool. Called "red cards" they are (supposedly) for those students that push the envelope in class after class but never quite get nailed in any particular situation. In theory, they sound great. Kids can be tracked, and if any child pushes the situation in one class, they can get nailed in the next one. If they get a warning in one class and continue to be dorks, they get an infraction (basically a demerit) in the next. However, as a teacher who has very few discipline problems to begin with, I've found that these cards have backfired big time.
I'm not sure I can quite articulate exactly why they have backfired. I can only say the litany that I've been repeating in my head since I first had to hand them out.

Well, if we only hand them to the kids we "expect" to be bad, and kids always do what we expect...then, really, this is going to be bad. Quite bad.

Discipline, for me, has never been negatively preemptive. What I mean by that is that I don't try to go in and squash all bad behaviors. Anyone who has ever been in a middle school classroom knows that that would actually be impossible and require either a virulent stomach flu wiping out half of the class or an act of God. Instead, my discipline really focuses on making a huge, embarrassing, gigantic deal about whatever great thing they have done that day. Finger shaking is not a huge part of my teaching, but I must give twenty high-fives a day. And it works! I rarely have discipline problems worthy of a demerit, and I almost never (once in two years) have had a student that had to be escorted. I'm no pushover (my procedures are my ten commandments, obey or be smited!), but I'm also not going to sweat the small stuff if my normally tough kids are in class and learning.
I just hate carding them before they've committed a foul. I think I'm going to vote to abandon the idea at our next meeting.