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Suspending Suspension Points
by Jessica Kovach, Guest Editorial

Certain disciplinary actions (or attempts) here at West G. have become a joke. When you were a child, you got one chance to mess up and then you were put in “time-out.” Being young adults, many students ignore most attempts at discipline put forth by the teachers. I think it’s about time the teachers take more control and find a more effective way to discipline students.

Presently, students receive suspension points for anything a teacher finds unacceptable. To many students, that suspension point means nothing. Students aren’t being punished for their actions until the tenth time they “mess up.” West G. needs to get rid of the suspension point system and bring back the dreaded disciplinary action of detention.

No student wants to stay after school and twirl his/her thumbs while s/he could be home watching television or doing something else fun. The use of detentions would put students back in their places. Assistant Principal Mr. Takacs said, “Any teacher could give a detention [but] most teachers don’t want to spend their time.” Most teachers pull out suspension points and threaten to hand them out when they need to gain control of a class. If a student is going to do something disruptive, s/he will do it regardless of whether a suspension point is threatened. Mrs. Paine, math teacher, commented, “Suspension points are delayed punishment and should be more immediate. Mild offenses [can] hurt a student academically.”

Students are basically given nine chances to goof off, be funny, disrespectful, or disruptive during class before we are punished. One former West Geauga sophomore commented, “ I think suspension points are a joke. Back in middle school, we had detentions and it made me not want to do anything wrong because I didn’t want to stay after school.” Some students antagonize a teacher until s/he gives the point out because we find it to be funny that that’s the only way teachers think they have control. Students who receive points for unimportant things, like having a pen instead of a pencil or having to use the restroom, can hurt the student’s grades if s/he is put in suspension for receiving ten points. Those things shouldn’t be worthy of putting a students academic standing at risk.

Teachers and administrators should think about bringing back mandatory detentions. I guarantee the disruptions by students would drastically change because now you would be taking away something that matters: freedom. Nobody, especially young adults about to venture into the adult world, should be given ten chances to mess up before disciplinary action is taken.


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