Editorial: Detention policy needs more flexibility

There needs to be changes in the current detention policy that benefits, both, the students and the community of  Evanston.

     The current detention policy places students on detention probation after receiving 10 detentions. Detention probation prohibits students from participating in school activities like dances and games. Students must go to detention lunches, afternoon sessions or Wildkit Academy to clear their record.  According to The Pilot, “If you have more than ten (10) unserved detentions, you will be suspended from participation in athletic and extracurricular activities”.

     Students with afterschool or weekend commitments like school athletics or a job, have trouble finding the time to clear their detentions. There need to be alternative options for detention clearance that not only accommodate students’ availability but also better the community.

     One solution is that students should be able to use community service hours to clear detentions. This system will give students a way to clear their detentions outside of a classroom setting, on their own time, and give back to the school or local community.

     Since students have such limited time, they wish the school had more opportunities to clear detentions that better accommodated their busy schedules. Allowing students to use community service hours would create a more flexible system that is more beneficial to students.

     It’s understandable that the school feels detentions should be served in school, to ensure that students are “being productive” by doing schoolwork. Also, 10 detentions is a lot. There should be a punishment when a student reaches that number.

     However, this “punishment” should be a more fulfilling experience that results in actual productivity. ETHS should provide students the opportunity to work in a school facility or volunteer at a local organization, turning in hours to clear detentions.

     Using community service as a punishment for crime is a successful technique used in the legal system that works as an alternative punishment for rehab or jail time. The same process can be applied to the current detention system.

     We at the Evanstonian believe that the school should consider a new detention policy that expands students’ minds and strengthens the community. This system will be more convenient and teach valuable lessons along the way.