Detention Replaced by New Initiative

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Photo illustration purchased from Bigstock.com.

During morning meeting Wednesday, Dean of Students Paul Murray  announced that the School is replacing detention with what is being referred to as “In-School Community Reengagement,” or ISCR.

Instead of arriving Thursday at 7:00 a.m. to sit quietly for an hour, without doing homework, reading or having access to technology, students who commit minor infractions, such as often arriving late, misbehaving, or using profanity, will engage in community service around campus.

Taking place during an individual’s free time or study hall, ISCR may include anything from picking up recycling, washing tables, moving objects, or whatever else Upper School Dean of Students Paul Murray finds fitting. However, students will have a choice of how they want to repay the community.

After examining disciplinary policies at private high schools in the area, as well as hearing feedback from parents, who felt that detentions didn’t make effective use of student time, Murray instituted the policy change.

“When you make mistakes, you need to be held accountable for those mistakes in a way that is meaningful to both you and the community,” Murray said. “We looked for something that would provide more meaning and give kids a chance to give back.”

When students break rules, Murray said, they are “disengaging from the community,” and that ISCR is “a way for a student to reengage with the community in a positive fashion.”

Before issuing an ISCR, a teacher must speak with the student and fill out an online form to notify Murray.

“Detention didn’t accomplish anything,” said Megan Stander ’20. “Sitting in a room for an hour does not change a person’s future actions. I believe that doing community service will actually make a difference.”

“I think it’s a good idea for people who live far away,”  said Anja Westhues ’20. “Early morning detentions are difficult for parents and students.”

The Middle School will continue with its policy of distributing detentions.

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