It seems that a high school close to my neck of the woods is going away with detentions. What is going on with this? Is this a good idea or not? Is it happening elsewhere? I don't know if it's a good idea or not, but I can certainly say we've done similar things with students at my school. There have been students who are either serving in-school detentions or were kicked out of class for a little while and were sent to the office. There, one of our educational aides who sometimes watches these kids needs to do some work, so she has the kids help her.

I had six 6th graders in my library one lunch period because of poor behavior and there was no other place for them to go. Now, I was only helping out because our regular supervisors weren't available and I got paid extra, but nonetheless, I put these kids to work. I had some books that needed labeling because I was rearranging the library so I had some of the kids do it. Was this a bad idea? Does it defeat the purpose of a detention or some other punishment because the kids might enjoy it? I don't know. I tend to think they might actually get something out of it and I might too.

The more I think about it, I don't necessarily think it's that bad. Work of some sort needs to be done and now there are people who can do it. Schools don't have to pay the custodian or someone else to do the cleanup. In addition, schools don't have to pay someone extra to supervise detention - I guess it's a money saver all around for the schools! Wait, I guess someone does have to supervise the kids while they are doing the "cleanup" so it may not be as much of a savings as I first thought. Regardless of the financial impact, I do think some students might learn a little responsibility from this. By having the students perform these duties outside of the school day, they miss out on something else they may enjoy doing. If this occurs on a Saturday, it may have even more of an impact. I guess only time will tell, but it might just be worth a try.

Maybe we should put orange jumpsuits on these kids, chain them together, and put them to work just like real life criminals - or at least the ones we see in movies.


  1. Pissed Off // April 13, 2007 at 8:19 PM  

    In my school, detention is a joke. The kids on suspension are assigned to a room, starting at 2:45. Until then, they wander around bothering classes. No one stops them. I wrote a kid up once for doing this, nothing happened.
    The subject teachers are required to send work to the detention room. Unfortunately, without being in school, the kids have no ability to do it. The teacher that is paid to sit there is supposed to be helping them, but that teacher usually claims ignorance in the subject so he can keep reading his newspaper.

    Working detentions sound like a much better idea.

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