Is it fair to punish a student for an entire school year for one mistake?
At my old school in Shelby County, Tennessee, if a student was caught doing or having drugs or alcohol, they would be sentenced to 180 days, the equivalent to an entire school year, of In-School Suspension and a mandatory drug counseling program for repeat offenders. At Mashpee, the typical punishment for this offense is a few days of suspension, depending on the student’s history. Which strategy is more effective, and should Mashpee adopt Shelby County’s drug policy?
For those who are not familiar with “in-school suspension,” it is a punishment wherein one would report to a room at the beginning of each school day. The room would have a proctor in it, and one would be brought any work that needed to be done to their designated cubicle-like workspace. The student would be given online or written lessons to learn, and the only two reasons the student would be able to leave would be for an escorted bathroom visit and, possibly, for lunch. Lunch was brought to the student either way, so there was no starvation involved. Finally, there would be no virtually no communication whatsoever for the 7-hour school day, and multiple drug offenses would lead to expulsion.