School Crosses the Line

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by callmebob, May 17, 2013.

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  1. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    May 17, 2013

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  3. stampin'teacher

    stampin'teacher Cohort

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    I get wanting to crack down on senior pranks, but not allowing them to walk or even be on campus is pretty extreme. Not condoning what they did, but as senior pranks go, a food fight is a pretty light prank.

    If I was a principal I'd much rather see them clean up the cafeteria every day/week until graduation because they're mostly disrespecting the custodial staff with their food fight.
     
  4. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Cleaning up the cafeteria every day until graduation is NOT adequate punishment in my opinion.

    Students need to get over the idea that they are owed a senior prank. What the heck? Where did this strange entitlement come from? I think it's obnoxious and out of control.

    I've read about a couple of very DISTURBING senior pranks in the local papers in the last week or so. Seniors at one school cut off animals' heads and put them in the bathroom...

    It has to stop.
     
  5. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    I agree that some pranks are too much and should never happen. But some things, like this one, are harmless. Nobody was hurt and once it is cleaned up (something the students could have done), there is no lasting damage. It is no different than an April 1st prank you play on someone, have a little fun. Taking away the ability to walk at graduation for something as harmless as this, is an abuse of power.
     
  6. microbe

    microbe Comrade

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    I'm actually going to have to side with the school on this one. Their choice showed an extreme lack of respect for the school and those in it. (Also, we're not sure how bad the mess was either.) I think the principal himself put it best, "As a principal I was disappointed in the display which indicates a lack of respect for the school and fellow students at Combs High School. I am proud every day of students at Combs, today I was disappointed."
     
  7. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    May 18, 2013

    Just a quick fix there, the principal is a woman, I know her, since I work for this district. I have been in that cafeteria multiple times. I know the place. This was a bad a choice.
     
  8. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    May 18, 2013

    Suspension is warranted. The students were disrespectful to their peers and the custodial staff. Nobody has the right to create such a mess and disruption. We did not have senior pranks when I was in high school, and doing something like this would not have crossed my mind.
     
  9. Tom_B

    Tom_B Rookie

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    May 18, 2013

    I think the school was right to punish them like that. They are graduating seniors they are old enough to know that acting stupidly comes with consequences. The seniors suspended are lucky they didn't do something illegal or hurt someone or they could be facing problems much worse than walking at graduation.
     
  10. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    May 18, 2013

    From the principal's statement:

    "Today at Combs High School an unfortunate incident occurred during lunch. Several students made the bad choice to instigate a food fight in the cafeteria. Many students joined in. With bad decisions come consequences. The administrative team dealt with the students involved following the guidelines for consequences in the student handbook. The students received the appropriate disciplinary action."

    That pretty well covers it for me, especially the part in bold. How many times do state on this forum that students need to learn that actions have consequences?

    The P administered the discipline outlined in the school handbook, so the students can't claim they didn't know that was a possible punishment. They just thought they would avoid that punishment since they are graduating in a week. If they had had the food fight two weeks ago, they would have served their suspensions and been back in school in time to walk the stage. However, I have to agree with JustMe on the whole issue of Senior Pranks - WHAT makes kids feel they are ENTITLED to a Senior Prank to begin with?

    Could the P have made an exception to the handbook policy and let the seniors clean up the mess instead? Yes, she could have. But then what if the Juniors decided next week that THEY want to have a food fight too? Naturally, they will also expect an exception to the policy since the seniors got one. That trickles down to individual students being able to challenge a suspension, because if an exception was made once, it can be made again.

    Some lessons in life are learned the hard way, but those are the ones that tend to stay with us the longest.
     
  11. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    May 18, 2013

    This is about power, not about teaching a lesson. It is the idea that a severe punishment will deter other events in the next years. Severe punishments have now become more the norm for behaviors that don't necessarily rise to the level of being as severe as the punishment.

    Just think if every day until the end of school these kids had to clean something in the school or do odd jobs around the school as a consequence for their actions. Most seniors want to spend the last weeks of school hanging out with friends after school or doing other fun activities. Most aren't looking forward to cleaning the cafeteria. It is a punishment in line with the action.

    When such severe punishments are issued for events that do not rise to the severe nature such as fighting or drugs in school, it sets the tone that it really doesn't matter the severity of a student's action. It encourages bigger pranks because if caught, there really won't be any worse consequence offered for a small prank or a big one.
     
  12. Cerek

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    May 18, 2013

    Having worked at a school where the P consistently did NOT follow the student handbook guidelines, I have to disagree. The kids at that school knew there would basically be NO consequences for their actions, or at worst, they may get a couple of days ISS.

    So when a P actually does follow the discipline spelled out in the handbook, I do not view it as "an abuse of power" at all. Instead, I view it as "The handbook means what it says".

    Now, could the P have made an exception in this case? Yes, she could.
    Would it have been more fitting to have the kids clean the cafeteria every day until the end of school? Possibly, but the actions of a few ended up creating a major disruption and a pretty big mess in the process.

    What about the freshman or sophomores (or even other seniors) who did NOT want to have food thrown at them, but still got hot pockets running down their shirt because they were eating in the cafeteria like they always do? I've been in that situation myself, where I had absolutely NOTHING to do with the prank at hand, but still had to suffer some of results of the prank for the rest of the day.

    Personally, I would be fine with either punishment. I think having the students clean the school - not just the cafeteria - every day would be a fitting punishment, but I don't condemn the P for adhering to the guidelines laid out in the student handbook either, because I've seen what happens when a P doesn't do that.
     
  13. a2z

    a2z Maven

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    May 18, 2013

    Cerek, I understand where you are coming from. I would LOVE to see the actual student handbook and what section was used to issue this punishment. It may very well be directly stated in the handbook. What I do know from my own district and school that very often the comment made by the school using support of district/school documentation is often a very loose interpretation to justify the actions taken. This behavior is not something that is just a practice in education but applied in almost all aspects of society.



    If it is directly outlined in the handbook the administration was in its right to issue the punishment. It then becomes an issue of whether or not the outlined punishments are really an effective means of dealing with situations that arise in schools or if zero-tolerance is an effective way to deal with discipline. That is another huge discussion.
     
  14. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    May 18, 2013

    I guess I'm in the minority. I think harmless senior pranks are okay. We've had a couple over the years at my high school that were very mild. The staff even enjoyed them.

    Last year, seniors vandalized the old elementary building. They weren't disciplined at all because their parents donated money. That made me extremely angry, especially since class officers were involved.
     
  15. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Fanatic

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    May 18, 2013

    To me the problem isn't that the students will be punished, it is that the "punishment doesn't fit the crime". I agree that the actions deserve a firm consequence and one that is consistent with the handbook. I do think a exception should be made so the students are able to attend graduation. Missing graduation over a food fight is a bit harsh. As was mentioned in the video, this was a food fight not a fist fight.
     
  16. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Absolutely agree that the punishment does not fit the crime. To not be allowed to walk at graduation you better have done something really bad. This was harmless and an over reaction by admin. I hope that the decision is changed or the senior class does something as a whole to stand up against it.
     
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