PDA

View Full Version : Getting in trouble in high school: dean's office, detention


CurranCR
05-15-2010, 09:35 PM
Okay it's been a while since I went to high school, and I didn't get into serious trouble when I was there. But the MC in my YA story gets into a fist fight in the halls. He goes to a medium-sized, public high school in a lower/ middle class area in the USA.

How might he be disciplined? Would he get sent to the principal's office or the dean's? Would he get detention? Suspended?

In another scene, the MC and a friend are in more minor trouble (they've damaged laboratory equipment in a chemistry class). If the teacher didn't want to handle it himself, who would he send them to? I think in my school it would have been the dean.

Any personal experiences (especially recent one) from people who got into trouble in high school are welcome.

Thanks,
Caroline

Maryn
05-15-2010, 10:07 PM
Caroline, a lot depends on the setting. Is it Italy (where I see you live), or the US?

In the US, public high schools don't have deans (at least not the ones I know anything about). The Vice Principal handles student discipline, sometimes with the input of the student's counselor and, if it occurred in a class, the teacher.

A fight involving a student who had not been in trouble before would probably result in detention and conference with parents and student together, impressing upon them the gravity of the situation. However, if there was a serious injury or a weapon displayed (even if it was not used), suspension is fully possible, if that serves your story better.

If the lab equipment was not careless accident but willful, those students would be sent to see the vice principal. The student would probably be expected to cover at least a portion of replacement cost, although if the area is poverty-stricken, probably not all of it.

Maryn, who was also well-behaved in school (aren't we goodie-two-shoes!)

Kelsey
05-16-2010, 04:46 AM
My high school had a Dean of Students, so while I think you could get away with using it, a Vice-Principal or Principal is most common.

As for disciplinary measures: we had Saturday school :(

Silver King
05-16-2010, 05:41 AM
My high school had a Dean of Students...
Mine had (and still does) a Dean of Boys and a Dean of Girls.

The Deans, almost exclusively, are in charge of disciplinary measures in relation to students. It wasn't so long ago that those measures also included corporal punishment, which consisted of getting whacked on the behind by a heavy wooden paddle. It hurt. A lot.

Cathy C
05-16-2010, 05:45 AM
I second the Vice Principal. The response would depend a lot on the MC's past history. If a Honor Society student with no past history, it would probably be a trip to the counselor--not detention. For better or worse, they'd suspect the other person was at fault. If, however, the MC has been in constant small troubles (tardy, mouthing off to teachers, etc.) they might see the fighting as an "escalation" and would definitely call in the parents/guardians to discuss the fight. Definite detention or possibly even suspension.

Now, the second time, with the lab equipment . . . that would be too many instances in a VPrincipal's opinion and if the fight didn't put the MC in detention, the lab certainly would. And definitely, s/he would be required to pay for the damage if it was due to horsing around, not a simple chemical malfunction.

Dot Hutchison
05-16-2010, 06:22 AM
Okay, I'll be that kid- had the fist fight in high school, got written up by the teacher for it. From there, the dean (we had several, at a high school with about 2500/3000) was supposed to decide my punishment, which would have been a warning on my record, a detention, in-school suspension, or out of school suspension. (Actually, she tore up the write-up by the end of the day because so many students came by and said the other kid deserved it).

A big part of what the punishment is depends on the MC's past history (are they goody two shoes or troublemaker?), their attitude during and after the problem (backtalk the dean during his lecture? quick jump to detention or ISS), and the actual extent of the incident. Throw a few punches in a fight that's quickly broken up, no one's going to go too ballistic, but a major fight with the chanting ring of students? More severe reactions. At my school, getting into a fight with a weapon was an instant suspension, or, depending on the weapon, instant expulsion. At my brother's high school- one that combined the remedial dregs of the county with the IB program- getting into a fight of any sort, whether you started it or not, even if you weren't in the fight but just got hit or were obstructing the administrators' path to the fighters, got you an instant arrest.

As for the lab equipment, it depends on whether or not it's an accident. If it is, they'll get lectures on being more careful, threats about how they should be made to pay for it, and they might have to stay after to clean it up. If it's on purpose, depending on how much damage is done, it would most likely lead to detention or suspension, paying for damages, and being watched like a hawk by the teacher. If it's a big explosion and it was on purpose, especially if anyone got hurt, they'd likely be expelled a/o arrested.

With any of these, there would almost definitely be a note or call to the parents/guardians.

Which was usually worse than any punishment the school could give me.

Silver King
05-16-2010, 06:52 AM
Potential thread derail moment, but when I mentioned paddling earlier it brought back a vivid memory of the first time it happened when I was in seventh grade.

I'd talked back to a teacher and was sent to the Dean's office. He summoned a secretary into the room as a witness, then told me I'd be receiving "two whacks."

I was nervous and didn't know what to expect. The Dean told me to place my hands apart on the front of his desk facing away from him and to spread my legs. I did as I was told.

Then I felt the blow, followed by excruciating pain that set my ass on fire. I couldn't believe anything could hurt that much and fell to my knees, crying out in horror while covering my backside.

The Dean said, "Get up. You've got one more coming."

His words sent me into a panic, and I crawled over to the secretary and begged her through snot and tears to please oh god, please please please don't let him hit me again. Please.

I held the hem of her skirt as if my life depended upon that fabric. She lifted her leg and pushed me away.

I was forced back into position for the second whack, and that one hurt more than just about anything I've ever felt in my life.

Smish
05-16-2010, 07:27 AM
Keep in mind that there are also legal issues involved. The kid could be charged with a crime and have to go through the juvenile court process.

Kenny
05-16-2010, 01:09 PM
I have a story for the science lab:

My science class tutor was the head of science. One lesson he said he had to leave our class to talk to another class who had misbehaved--they messed up lab equipment. He left out room and went next door to talk to the class. Being students we all tried to listen out for what was being shouted. We did not hear a thing. A short while later in came the tutor and class commenced.

I had a mate in the class that had the talk from the head/our tutor. He said the guy had not shouted but kept an even tone of voice. The lack of shouting worried him and put him on edge because he expected the head to start shouting at any moment.

As for the fight I think the head of year, student, and parent meeting was involved for me (I was a first time fight guy and before that a reasonable student).

Kenny

PS all of this was done in England in a secondary school.

CurranCR
05-16-2010, 05:41 PM
Thanks for all your answers. To answer your questions:

* The school is the USA.

* The damage to the lab equipment was due to horsing around. The MC and his friend put tic-tacs, an eraser and several other objects into a heated beaker. This was the MC's first offense. He had been a goody-goody. The teacher is asking for reibursement.

* No weapons were involved in the fight - just punches and shoves. It lasted about a minute, with a small crowd of students by the end. The other kid in the fight has been in some other disciplinary trouble, so the adults might blame him.

One more question. Back in my day there was after-school detention (also Saturday, I think). Does that still exist in some schools? I really hope so. It figures into the plot!

Caroline

Horserider
05-16-2010, 10:48 PM
Note: Everything that follows is from experience in my small-town public high school. Where basically if we have a month no one gets into a fight, we're doing great.

How might he be disciplined? Would he get sent to the principal's office or the dean's? Would he get detention? Suspended?

Principal's office. We don't actually have a dean as far as I know... I think that's more of a private school thing. We usually get suspended. Length depends on the number of previous offenses, but a good number for us is three days.

In another scene, the MC and a friend are in more minor trouble (they've damaged laboratory equipment in a chemistry class). If the teacher didn't want to handle it himself, who would he send them to? I think in my school it would have been the dean.

Principal's office. Though it would have to be on purpose for the teacher to be able to do anything about them.

Any personal experiences (especially recent one) from people who got into trouble in high school are welcome.

I can't give any personal experiences because I try to stay out of trouble, but I do have experiences with people that got into trouble. My graduating class has been considered one of the worst in recent history.

Horserider
05-16-2010, 10:51 PM
Both students would be punished whether it was there fault or not. The one with a previous record might get an extra day or two.

One more question. Back in my day there was after-school detention (also Saturday, I think). Does that still exist in some schools? I really hope so. It figures into the plot!

*nods* We've also got before-school detention. Though I don't know if we have Saturday detention...

johnnysannie
05-17-2010, 03:05 AM
At the high school where I sub, a student caught fighting will be disciplined - they call the local police in on it as well as either suspend them out of school or send them to in-school suspension.

Dot Hutchison
05-17-2010, 07:19 AM
We definitely had Saturday school- one of our favorite things to do when I had rehearsals on Saturdays was to walk past the detention class room after the fast food run. Mean? Sure. But I did so enjoy rubbing it in that I could leave if I wanted to.

stitchingirl
05-17-2010, 06:53 PM
This is just my experience from the 80's..

If two students were caught fighting, they both got detention. The matter was handled by the Vice Principal, who handled behavior issues. I know that sometimes the one who started the fight would get suspended for three days and the other one would serve detention. Or in my high school, you got SDC (student disciplinary classroom), which was basically in-school suspension. I've had friends who got sent there for fighting and the ones that they fought with, were put in the SDC on different days so that the two of them never were in there together. Although I did know a couple kids who intentionally got themselves in trouble so that they could get sent there on the same day(s) as the one that they fought with.

I think if two kids are fighting nowadays, the one who started it gets in trouble the most. The only fight that either of my kids got into was my son when he was in kindergarten and had detention. The teacher didn't see what the older boy did to my son, just that Cory slugged the boy.

Noah Body
05-17-2010, 07:18 PM
When I went to high school in Ohio--in the late 1970s--it was the vice principal's office. It wasn't until I moved to Connecticut in 1979 for my senior year that we had a dean!

Gretad08
05-17-2010, 08:34 PM
Personal experience...

I was suspended once for fighting. It was handled by the Asst. Principal. I was a major goody goody, first offense, I'd never even had a detention. I was suspended for 5 days "for my own safety". The girl I fought had her friends searching for me and my friends...it was ugly.

Anyway, she was suspended too. It was a no tolerance policy, and I believe the following year, anyone that got caught fighting automatically got arrested. No matter who started it. If you were involved in any way in a physical confrontation, it was an automatic suspension, automatic arrest.