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

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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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    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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    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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    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

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    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 Virtuoso

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    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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    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 Virtuoso

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    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

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    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

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    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.
     
  17. Cerek

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    Absolutely! Let's encourage students to stand unified against the consequences outlined in their handbook. That certainly won't increase the sense of entitlement many of them already feel.

    Heck, let's have them stand unified against consequences at all. Once we remove all negative consequences from the school environment, all that will be left is a positive environment where students are excited about learning. :rolleyes:
     
  18. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    This isn't even a prank, people. It's obnxious, rude behavior. That said, I think seniors feeling entitled to pranks and adults agreeing has become one of my biggest pet peeves if education. It's incredibly frustrating.

    As far as cleaning up for the rest of school... How many days are left? Five, ten? For those who feel more good would have come from making them clean after school until graduation, I don't feel there are enough days for that to be the major consequence. Although it should still happen.
     
  19. stampin'teacher

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    I guess I'd like to see what's written in the handbook and see how different the Ps interpretation is from the specific section. I doubt it says "if student starts food fight, they cannot participate in graduation."

    JustMe, you're right-who knows how many days are left in their school year, so it's possible cleaning up until then wouldn't even be worth it.

    Still, missing graduation for a food fight just doesn't seem to be the right consequence for the crime to me. Although I've never really understood suspension as a consequence either. Especially as seniors-they're already checked out and now they don't even need to show up. Maybe that's why graduation privileges were taken away? Sorry, now I'm just kind of thinking "aloud."
     
  20. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    There are 4 days left in the school year. Graduation is on Thursday. I have always wanted to take part in a food fight. The reason have not is because I never want to clean that mess up. Cleaning up the mess of a food fight is the nonfun part of the event. That is why I say they should have had to clean it up. Once they clean it all up, then you move on and no big deal after that.
    I am guessing that those here who are against senior pranks also do not see the joy in pranks on April 1st. To me it is a day that you just relax, have fun, and don't take everything so seriously.
    I am not condoning standing up against all consequences, just one that is unjust and impacts something that only happens once in someones lifetime.
     
  21. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    All I have to say to your second paragraph is chewed Pop Tart and fingers.

    Handbooks can be used for proper punishment or they can be used without common sense.

    I found the student handbook. It has recommended punishments and also states the administrator has the option to make the punishment greater. Recommended also means that the administrator has the option to make the punishment lighter.

    Food fight was not directly addressed. Categorization of the incident then also was up to the administrator.

    Seems the administrator wasn't as mandated as he explained.
     
  22. KinderCowgirl

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    What if someone had gotten hurt because of it? Gotten something in their eyes that was caustic, gotten knocked down in the melee or if a real fight broke out because the food fight was started? The problem is people do things like this without thinking. Maybe a serious consequence will open their eyes to this in the future.
     
  23. a2z

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    Let's apply this thinking to driving.

    What if you went to jail for life for going 10 miles an hour over the speed limit because what if you hit someone and killed them, what if you hit another car and they went off the road and died, what if....

    You can't punish someone for something that may have happened the same as someone where it actually did happen.
     
  24. KinderCowgirl

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    I think the reason we have rules is because of the what-ifs.
     
  25. Tom_B

    Tom_B Rookie

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    No truer words have been spoken. :thumb:
     
  26. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    What if? The problem with that is, there is no report of any of that. There could be what ifs in every situation in life. The reality is that those things did not happen. My stance on this is as a result of those things no happening. Completely different opinion if they had happened.
     
  27. callmebob

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    But you punish/discipline based on what DOES actually happen.
     
  28. a2z

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    Said much better than I did. :D
     
  29. callmebob

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    I just talked to a high school student from a different district local high school who told me about last years senior prank. They let out the air on all of the buses tires. It caused an over hour delay, but I guess the principal called the cops and told those kids they couldn't walk. To me, that is a great prank. Nobody gets hurt, it is some harmless, and that is funny. I don't understand why some people are so uptight about a joke. If you can't take a joke in this world, it has got to be one long painful life for you.
     
  30. JustMe

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    Oh, well that is funny. Screwing around with property that isn't yours and delaying everyone's life for an hour...too awesome! :rofl:

    Truth: No, no it's not. It's making me want to scream right now that you condone such shenanigans. I would be very disappointed in my child had they chosen to do such a stupid thing. It's not funny. I love a funny, but this just isn't one.
     
  31. KinderCowgirl

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    I'm sure the guy who had to fill all those tires back up and probably get them inspected in some way after doing so, thought that was just hilarious! :lol: To me that's vandalism.
     
  32. 2ndTimeAround

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    yep, and how many people were late to work because of it. How many younger siblings were alone or went without. How many bus drivers had to work late and not get home to their families on time.

    We had something similar happen here. The students were charged with vandalism and had to plead their cases in court like every other criminal. If I remember correctly, they all ended up on probation and had to pay fines.

    A harmless senior prank is forking the football field (with the plan to clean it all up the next day). Coming to school dressed like a favorite teacher. Acts of vandalism are always a problem for someone.
     
  33. callmebob

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    Seriously, how do you not think that is funny. People need to lighten up, relax a little bit, and have a good time. To me, what this teachers the juniors is that they need to do a better job of not getting caught when they commit their pranks. If they had slashed the tires, that would have been way out of line as it would have cost a great deal to take care of that. They let the air out, not a big deal.
     
  34. JustMe

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    :|
     
  35. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    If one hour out of your life is too much to handle, maybe you need to practice on patience. God doesn't just hand us patience, He gives us opportunities to be patient.
    Me, I would be disappointed in my child if they got caught doing it. Smart kids don't get caught.
     
  36. JustMe

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    This is just asinine.

    If you believe this then there is nothing I can say to make you understand.
     
  37. callmebob

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    I am still trying to understand why people can't handle a harmless prank. Why people have to take everything so seriously?
     
  38. cheeryteacher

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    Of course they are willing to clean up. Everyone always talks about what they are willing to do after a punishment they consider too harsh is handed out. I consider starting a food fight as inciting a riot and they paid the price with their graduation. I personally don't think cleaning up is enough and with less than a week left the school only had one card to play.
     
  39. 2ndTimeAround

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    When I was nearing graduation we were warned about wearing appropriate attire to the event. Girls had to wear dresses and boys had to wear dress shoes, slacks and ties. Everyone knew that if you failed to abide by the rules, you weren't going to walk. Sure enough, some kids wanted to buck the system. Two managed to find something at the last minute. At least one kid did not walk, just as promised. Were they upset? Sure. Was their family upset? Sure. But all actions have consequences.

    I didn't see the handbook. But I imagine it says something similar to ours, in that acts that disrupt student learning, impact the school financially and include vandalism are subject to out of school suspension. And suspended students are prohibited from attending any school events during the suspension period.

    We had a girl miss prom because she was suspended. Her senior prom, for which she had already purchased a dress, jewelry, etc. Her suspension ended the Tuesday after prom. Did she B&M about the timing? Yep. She also tried to take it to the school board.

    But the problem with fighting an established rule, is that you don't fight it when you've gotten caught breaking it. If it is truly a bad rule, fight it beforehand. Or better yet, just follow it!
     
  40. monsieurteacher

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    It always amazes me how easy it is to take the bait when someone posts something absolutely stupid.
     
  41. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    What ever happened to just painting "Class of *****" on the water tower? Or just senior skip day and going to the beach.
     
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