April 18, 2017
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Student discipline at Sierra is a controversial issue among staff and students. There are different ways that students are disciplined depending on the circumstances.
There are two deans at Sierra, Christine Pomme (eighth grade) and Brett Michel (seventh grade). One of the main jobs of a dean is to deal with student discipline. Although this isn’t their main job, this is usually what they are dealing with around the school.
“We don’t like to give consequences just to do it. We do it to change behavior,” Brett Michel said. “If somebody has made a mistake, the issue is always confidential and so are the consequences.”
Michel also stated that academic teams are a very helpful way of being able to punish students correctly. Each team has their own discipline policy and ways of helping students behave appropriately. For example, Telluride’s Behavior Reports. If a student is misbehaving, teachers will have the student fill out a behavior report reflecting on their actions.
There are different punishments depending on what the student did. “It’s a reflection on what they did and how they are going to fix it,” said Christine Pomme. For example, students will be asked to write a paragraph reflecting on their actions and state what they are going to do to fix their behavior.
The Sierra Staff Handbook states the policy of student discipline. This policy states that students are not to be embarrassed in front of others (teachers or students). Student punishment is also not supposed to be done in front of a class due to the further disruption that would be caused.
Teachers may remove students from class into the hallway for a few minutes of a class period, but teachers must notify the parents of the student and document the intervention.
Students have their own opinions when it comes to discipline. “When it comes to dresscode, it’s definitely not fair to girls. Society nowadays is trying to teach us to love our bodies, but if we keep coming to school and getting dresscoded we can’t do that,” said Tiffany Little.
“I’ve been dresscoded because ‘too much of my back is showing.’ But teachers choose favorites because a friend of mine would wear the exact same thing the next week and didn’t get dresscoded,” said Jenna McCaa. This shows the unfairness of the discipline that goes on at Sierra.
Security also plays a role in disciplinary action. “We have seen an uprising of vape pens and drugs,” said Erin Hayen the campus security guard. “In that case we would usually bring the student to the office and they would have to take a drug class and possibly do some community service hours, but that’s not through the school. Those type of punishments are through the state.”
Larger offenses are handled through the office by higher power, such as the deans. Smaller offenses are handled by the team teachers using the team’s choice of punishment.