Directions for the post should include how/why the candidate’s actions would be similar or different and an analysis and discussion of additional case law and statutes that might have been included.
Seventeen-year-old Tanya is popular with her peers and frequently at odds with school rules. Tanya has been suspended on numerous occasions for disrespecting faculty, fighting, and general mischievousness. Several teachers as well as Assistant Principal Donner were convinced that Tanya significantly contributed to an increase in student disorder.
During class passing time in late April social studies teacher Frank Elliot reported to Assistant Principal Donner that he had seen Tanya follow Senior Franklyn Smith into the men’s restroom. Mr. Elliot reported that Tanya was in the restroom about a minute. Surveillance cameras confirmed Mr. Elliot’s report.
AP Donner confronted Tanya with the surveillance recording and stated “Tanya, did you really follow Franklyn into the men’s restroom?” Tanya admitted to following Franklyn into the restroom, but claimed that he had taken her cell phone and had dared her to follow him into the restroom to reclaim her property. School rules forbid the possession of cell phones during school hours. Students who violate the rule are assigned Saturday detention. AP Donner decided to suspend Tanya for 10 days for possession of a cell phone in school, flagrant disregard for school rules and disregard for decorum. Tanya’s parents immediately hired an attorney. Argue for or against the suspension of Tanya.
Response from Classmate
In the case of Tanya and her ten-day suspension from school, there are a number of things that must be considered. These include circumstances, precipitating factors, and mitigating factors. After careful consideration of the facts fop the case and the circumstances, it is appropriate that Tanya was suspended. However, the suspension was not handled appropriately and there are other actions that would need to take place as well to justify the suspension of Tanya.
The most important thing to consider in this case, and the reason that the suspension of Taya is justified and valid, is that she broke two clear school rules. She had a cell phone in her possession during school hours, which is clearly a violation of school policy, and she also went into a male only restroom after the student named Franklyn Smith. The combination of these two factors, along with the prior history of her disruptive nature at school and her previous suspensions are the reasons why this suspension is justified.
It needs to be noted that the school rules forbidding the possession of a cell phone during school hours contains in it a specification that the punishment for a violation of that rule is a Saturday detention. Taken at face value, that would seem to suggest that the ten-day suspension of Tanya is excessive and out of order and therefore not justified. However, when the violation of that rule is taken into consideration in the context of the other rules that have been broken and transgressions that have occurred, then this ten-day suspension seems more appropriate.
This is because Tanya, in addition to the breaking of the primary rule of the cell phone possession, also entered the male only bathroom. This is also a violation of school rules, and while the scenario does not indicate what the punishment for it is, it can certainly be considered as a confounding variable. This would necessitate a punishment for the even more significant than the Saturday detention. However, the other complicating factor is Tanya’s recidivism. She has proved to be exceptionally recalcitrant to school authority and the metered and measured punishments the school and the district might hand out. Since it is the responsibility of the district to provide a safe and effective learning environment for all students, her continued disruptions are a problem and a threat to the effective learning and achievement of all the other students (Shalaby 2017). For this reason, also, the school board would be justified in supporting the ten-day suspension.
However, there are two significant points that need to be considered in counter to this position. The first is that the student Franklyn Smith engaged in theft. Therefore, he must be punished as per appropriate for theft of personal property. To not do so would to be applying differential treatment and standards to student discipline. The second thing is that the AP has a documented dislike of Tanya. Therefore, the referral should have been made by the AP and the suspension actually decided by the principal, the superintendent, or the school board.