Monday, March 28, 2011


In my role as a disciplinarian at Conant High School, I have been involved with many suspensions in the last two years. Suspensions are the last thing and educator wants to enforce. My whole career has been trying to connect students with learning. Then how can I suspend a student from school and withhold one of the most precious of all commodities, education. I seldom suspend a student and when I do it is for the benefit of the high school community. It is rarely for the benefit of the student who is being suspended. I feel there are some acts, such as fighting, that an out-of-school suspension is warranted. The students who witnessed the fight see that the assailant is out of school for a time. This sends a signal to all other students that the infraction will not be tolerated. In-school suspension is not an option for these students because other students will see them before and after school and then assume that there was not a punishment for fighting.

It is a fine line that administrators follow. What is best for the student, or what is best for the school community. We try to make the decision based in the information we have and always use out-of-school suspensions as a last resort.

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