Crime and Punishment

CrimeThe big news the past few days has been about a high school senior in Shelton, CT who is not allowed to go his senior prom because he got in trouble at school for the way he asked out a friend.   According to a story published in the CTPost.com, a high school senior snuck onto school grounds at 2am and posted a sign asking his best friend to go to the prom with him.  When school administration found out, the gave him a one day in-school suspension for trespassing on school grounds.  Unfortunately, as a result of the in-school suspension, this student will not be allowed to go to his prom.  There is a rule that any senior who gets an in-school suspension after April 1, is not allowed to attend extra-curricular senior activities sponsored by the school. So, here is the question:  Should this senior in question, who has not gotten into trouble before at school even though he broke school policy?  When is it alright to bend the rules for some and not for others?  Would this not send the wrong message to other students and family and faculty at that school if the administration were to bend the rules this one time?

Most of what has been printed on-line and in newspapers has been overwhelmingly in support of the student in question.  While supporting the student is good, and there is little doubt he is a good person, there is a difference between showing support and ignoring the infractions which occurred.  It is very easy to be sympathetic towards this young man. He did something which he believed was thoughtful and would carry few ramifications.  However, in the CNN article it mentions that the student expected to get in trouble.  There in lies the problem; he knew he was doing something wrong.  While most people are focusing on how romantic a gesture it was and how unique an invitation it was, very few are looking at it the way a teacher or a school administrator are looking at the situation.  Plain and simple, the young man broke the rules of the school, and knew what the consequences could be, yet he went ahead and did this anyway.  Clearly, it shows he was very calculating in his thinking.  Because this was a “premeditated act” the student is luck he did not get more than one day of suspension.

Punishment

Don't do the crime, if you can do the time.

What this all boils down these qualities:  trust, honesty, and responsibility.  Today’s young people seem to be missing the last one.  They do not take responsibility for their actions. It is always passed down, from student to sibling to parent or guardian.  It is never their fault homework is not completed or they do poorly on a test or they get in trouble at school.  Well, it’s time to face the music.  This generation has to learn about consequences; the only way for that to happen is for someone to be made an example out of.  The best thing that the student in question can do is to take his punishment like a man, stop going on morning talk shows and doing interviews and realize he made a mistake and accept the ramifications, regardless of what they are.

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