‘Structured Day’ focuses on reform, not punishment

“We want kids in class,” Griffith said, “That’s the best place for them to be.”

The goal of all forms of education is to learn as much as possible while gaining a meaningful experience full of life skills. In order to reap the benefits of the public education system, students need to be in the building as much as possible. However, with any form of compulsory education, some students don’t want to attend.

Students not wanting to attend school can cause many issues within the disciplinary order. Students who get reprimanded or written up, with consequences such as detention, can easily avoid them by simply not going. Once skipped, the punishment increases to longer durations of detention, which can also be skipped. The punishment then goes to a Saturday detention, which can be skipped. After this, the school has no choice but to issue in-school or even out-of-school suspension. Minor infractions, like throwing a piece of food in the cafeteria, are causing students to be given a suspension that causes them to miss valuable class time. While this may be effective for some students, others who make it this far, treat the days off as a vacation. This is completely counterproductive to the administration’s goal of having as many students in the building as possible. 

“It is simply about staying in class,” Vice Principal Mr. Jeff Griffith said. 

While at a conference, several administrators and teachers came across a possible solution, the structured day. The structured day is a unique combination of disciplinary tactics to provide students with consequences while not forcing them to miss class. The structured day starts with the principal or an administrator meeting the student in the lobby and escorting them to the office, where they take the student’s phone, AirPods or any communication devices until it is time for first block. Just before first block ends, the administrator walks the student to their next class. This carries on for the rest of the day, with PLT being a time for the student to meet with Griffith or Principal Mr. Steven Mott as well as a guidance counselor to talk about the student’s day and what they learned. 

“We want kids in class,” Griffith said, “That’s the best place for them to be.”

The punishment aspect of the structured day comes from the lack of socialization that takes place. By removing students from the lobby before school and stripping them of time with peers in the hallway, students on a structured day have very little interaction with their peers.

“Something Mr. Mott and I both agree that we want this to be reformative, not punitive,” Griffith said.

Despite its untraditional look, the structured day encompasses the most important parts of school such as the lessons and teaching and combines it with a negative punishment that takes a privilege away from a student. Despite already making a positive change for the betterment of the students, the administration continues to stand by, ready to sort out any problems with the system as they arise.