I coach one of my daughters' basketball and volleyball teams at their K-8 parochial school. Every couple of weeks, a few of my players must miss practice after school because they have detention.
As they tell me this, I always just put up my hand and say, "You don't have to explain why - none of my business. Just take care of it and we'll see you at the next practice, honey."
Here's the thing: I actually already know that they are serving detention due to tardies. I'm at drop-off each morning and I see them come running into the school late almost every day!
One family has three daughters. Another has a live music venue and successful restaurant as well as other similar ventures. ETC. I understand that everyone has a lot on their plates, but this is EVERY day.
Here's how the current school system works:
1. After a certain number of tardies, the child gets detention.
2. After a certain number of detentions, the child's grade is affected.
I contend it's not their fault. Sure, occasionally, the child (or parent) will run behind because they can't find their sweatshirt or shoe or homework - or the dog ate all three - but every day to the point of detention?
I believe it is the parents' responsibility to get them out the door and to school on time.
These kids aren't receiving detention because of bad behavior, for which they absolutely should serve detention. It's simply because they are late.
I don't feel that punishing the children achieves what it ought to achieve.
My thoughts on the system:
1. What they do in school is negated by a drop in grade for something beyond their control.
2. They should not feel stressed because of their parents' inability to arrive on time.
3. This puts the child in the position of possible resentment, of both school AND parent.
4. This may cause the child to feel they must voice their frustration to their parent (which they shouldn't have to do).
In my opinion, the parents are the problem, not the child, and they should perhaps pay a late fee which alleviates all of the stresses put upon the child. The families pay a fee if a student is retrieved late from Extended Care (after school program), so it's not an unheard-of concept.
I'd like to address this with the principal (she is thankfully very open to discussions) , but thought I'd ask you all what your opinions are. The school is FANTASTIC, but here, I just don't agree with their policy.
It doesn't affect my daughters (we're never late), so maybe I should just keep my nose out of it - but I can't help wondering what it's doing to the poor kids for whom it DOES affect.
Thanks for your input!