Reading DC Statements in Assemblies
by Sophie Cloherty on Friday, November 8th, 2013
It’s Tuesday morning assembly. SGA class representatives are talking about an upcoming event, and class deans are standing off to the side ensuring the accuracy of their attendance lists. This assembly seems to be just like any other. However, today is different; today, Mr. Heard is waiting in the back, giving a nod to a class rep before taking the stage as everyone shifts in his or her seats knowing what is coming next. At Milton, the administration follows a widely accepted policy of sharing DC statements with all grades and faculty. However, some students question whether reading DC statements out loud at assemblies is advantageous to the community.
Often times, a large portion of the student body is aware of some DCs before any statement is read. A quiet buzz dominates the room as some people whisper their predictions into the ear of their neighbor. In all high schools, rumors inevitably propagate throughout the community. Rumors surrounding Milton DCs seem to either come to fruition or are proven wrong when Ms. Bonenfant, Mr. Heard or Mr. Ruiz stand in front of the student body.
By disclosing the truth publicly to the Milton Community, the administration does an effective job of eliminating uncomfortable and often inaccurate rumors; however, the perturbation of the announcement is blatant. Students do not know how to react: do they acknowledge the DC statement or pretend the announcement did not happen? In addition, reading these statements out loud to each class must take a great deal of composure.
We must also acknowledge an often overlooked result of reading aloud DC statements: in addition to the suspension or even expulsion, the punished students not only have to accept the reality of his or her actions, but face a damaged public perception. This public humiliation tarnishes one’s character for the rest of his or her Milton career. The policy that accompanies DCs that requires the student of concern not to be present during these assemblies is woefully inadequate. The awkwardness of one’s absence can be almost as unmistakable as the challenge of their presence.
On the other hand, giving the community knowledge of what is going on could be beneficial to the tranquility of the student body. Understanding each other’s wrongdoings can lead to prevention of repeated mistakes as well. The student body can learn from their classmates’ wrongs by fully understanding why they are being punished. The solemn tone of the administrators as they read through the statements is in and of itself a deterrent from any such future wrongdoings.
While reading aloud DC statements may be seen as productive by some, the way in which the update on disciplinary actions is delivered could be improved. Instead of having the announcement in a full class assembly, an alternative option could be to have advisors relay the information to their advisees during their meeting period. Another option could also be an e-mail sent to class conferences, as a very benign way of spreading this information in writing.
However, no matter the forum for conveying the statement, it is almost impossible to escape the undue discomfort and awkwardness that accompanies a student who is undergoing or has undergone the process of a DC. We as a community should try our best to translate the uncomfortableness we feel during these announcements into sympathy and understanding for the student’s situation. Though these students have made a costly error, we must recognize that everyone makes mistakes, and should not hold this brief lapse in judgement against the student.
Short URL: http://miltonmeasure.org/?p=5461