Unfair Detention Policy?

By Emily Amjad

Rolling out of bed on a dreary Monday morning, I pressed the home button on my iPhone. Of course it was already 7:30 and I was going to be late for school. I had been up late the night before studying for a history test, writing an English essay, and conjugating Spanish verbs, all after my dad’s birthday celebration. I threw on a sweater and leggings, shoved my chilly toes into warm Uggs, grabbed a rubber band and a granola bar, and was finally on my way. As I jogged through the menacing front circle door at 8:01, out of breath and chomping on granola, I was met by the infamous clipboard. I stammered for an excuse, but finding none, I scrawled my name next to a sloppy 8:01. My third tardy this semester meant a lunch detention was looming in the near future.

The next day I was handed a pink slip demanding my presence the following Monday from 1:00-1:29. The rest of the week dragged on as I awaited my day of judgment.

Detention Monday rolled around and as X period came to a close, I grabbed my lunch, ate quickly, and then cleaned the dining hall until it shone, or at least until the bell rang. The 29 minutes spent cleaning meant nothing to me, but it did make me upset that I was being punished for missing one minute. Honestly, how many life-changing announcements could have been made in those sixty seconds?

A fellow prisoner had been sent on account of her cheating on a test. Honor Council thought missing a few lunch periods equated punishment enough. I thought copying down someone’s answers and being one minute (*gasp*) late to school did not warrant the same disciplinary action, but apparently in the eyes of the administration they did. The sixty seconds of lost announcements maybe could’ve possibly offended the presenter, had she even noticed my absence. But dishonesty and stealing another’s answers offended a much wider audience.

It is interesting to think that our detention system over-punishes for one-minute-lateness, yet barely bats an eyelash at deception on an assessment. In the future, it’s important to look at the implications of the offensive action on the broader community. Tardiness is indeed impolite; however, to thieve answers from a student who has put her own time and effort into studying is bad-mannered and distasteful. Considering the repercussions on the school at large, the disciplinary system as a whole might want to review its procedures and punishments.