Talk Back: Do You Favor Out-of-School Suspension?

School districts can mandate in-school and out-of-school suspension when it comes to student disciplinary action. What is your choice?

Depending on a school district's policies in taking disciplinary action with regard to student behavior, there are typically three choices: in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension and terminating a student's participation in school completely.

The debate that typically arises has to do with out-of-school suspension and whether it's a valuable option as often times students are sent home and left unsupervised during the day given parents working.

Advocates say it's a stronger punishment than in-school suspension and sends a stronger message to the student, and parents, about the infraction.

Critics say it just means days off for the student and puts them behind in classwork and learning.

Others advocate having the student perform community service as a activity for school infractions.

What are your thoughts? Vote in our poll below and give us a few comments. We'll compile the feedback on Friday.

Steve April 24, 2012 at 11:56 AM
Do You Favor Out-of-School Suspension? No, as it just gives the students free time at home. 5 (71%) Really? Only if you allow it to be like that mom and dad. There it is, the mentality that sonny boy or daddys girl should be taught all their lessons at school and its not mom and dads responsibility to teach lifes lessons to their children. Stop placing all the responsibility on the cops and teachers and accept your responsibility. I don't want my child near your trouble making kid! You take care of it at home!
NotWhoYouThinkIAm April 24, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Yeah, but in my experience the OOS (out of school suspension) kids are unsupervised, not doing schoolwork, and free to sleep, watch TV, game, Facebook, etc. At least that's the way I hear it. ISS (in school suspension) is a whole other kettle of fish. The full school day, sitting in a boring room, supervised the entire time, no socializing, presumably working on school work out of boredom if nothing else. One of my kids had a day of it and said it was the worst day of his life and never got in trouble again. I consider that a success. IMO, ISS is more punitive than OSS.
Tobias Sullivan April 24, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Personally i LOVED being suspended out of school..... :-D why would i want to be stuck in school all day? wake up on time for school? when i can just chill out for a mini vacation
Yvonne Kleine April 24, 2012 at 02:11 PM
It's a different world today with most parents working outside the home. This gives unsupervised children days of time to get into even more trouble and has no constructive purpose. I like the idea of some form of community service from which the child could learn valuable lessons not taught in school, especially if the suspension is for bullying. Failing that, ISS sends a message and keeps the little "troublemaker" from more mischief.
Terry Geraghty April 24, 2012 at 05:48 PM
This is a tough question. As a mother who has had children in the school district for over 20 yrs. now, ( oldest 26, youngest 16) I've pretty much seen it all. While I agree that a lot of parents out there have to realize that truly "innocent" kids are about as rare as hens teeth, and the best way to tell when a tween and teen is lying is when their lips are moving. I also believe the schools have replaced using common sense with their "no tolerance policies". After all why should the schools use certain situations to actually educate, when it would take time away from teaching kids how to take standardized test. So while I agree that whether they work or not parents have to start parenting again. I also know that if my kids break the rules at home I don't get to suspend them from home. The schools have our children for six hours a day five days a week. Maybe its time for schools to remember there's more to educating than just whats in text books.
Donna April 24, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Terry, Exactly what certain situations do you expect schools to actually educate your child? I will tell you when I do. I work in a middle school in Sachem. When I pick up a student's pencil and they neglect to say, Thanks" I remind them. When they push pass me in the halls, I remind them to say, "Excuse me." When I hear an 11 year old telling her friend that if she was Jewish, she would be cheap and look for sales, I tell her that is a hate crime. When I see a student's lips moving, unlike you, I don't think they are lying. I think, "What must their home life be like?" And to get back to the original question, out of school is a big expense to districts. Tutors need to be provided. But it needs to be done. Sometimes you have to remove a child when other students no longer feel safe in the halls.
Terry Geraghty April 25, 2012 at 12:48 PM
Donna, first let me say anyone who teaches middle school has my total respect. My children have been blessed by having some amazing teachers. And believe it or not ,I don't totally disagree with you. There are times a child has to be removed. But lets be honest. Unless that child's parents are on the same page as the school and are willing to work with the school and their child to change bad behavior, it all becomes a big waste of time, effort and money. Speaking of money, when you say," out of school is a big expense to districts". That's our taxes. It comes out of our pockets. which is one more reason the districts have to make sure a out of school suspension is truly warranted. Let me give you the "Readers Digest" version of why I don't think out of school suspension doesn't always work. I know a young boy, in middle school. He went to school and was teased and bullied unmercifully day in, day out, every day. He finally did what his parents and the school had taught him to do. He sought out an adult within the school to talk to about what was going on. He ended up being suspended for a week because he had told that adult that he wished his bullies were dead. "No Tolerance Policy" The bullies got a good talking to.
Tony Chliek April 25, 2012 at 09:32 PM
I went to school in Florida during thew 50's & 60's. When we were sent to the principal to be disciplined, we were given a choice, for example, of three whacked with a paddle or three days on yard (working for the custodians, usually outside). I always choose the paddle, because that went away quickly. I can't imagine to actually having to do custodial work in front of my friends. Maybe working in school doing odd jobs would be a good deterrent. Send them home and they learn nothing but getting a free vacation. Putting them is study hall for the day does nothing either.
Mary Nolte April 25, 2012 at 11:01 PM
Terry, both of your comments are very well said. Unless things have changed in the last few years or rules differ from district to district, tutors are not required unless suspension is more than 5 (?) days. I could write a book on this subject but will refrain.
Vito April 26, 2012 at 01:29 PM
If a suspended child is left to their own devices and/or will have a "vacation" when home on suspension, I can be pretty certain I know where the problem with that child lies, In my opinion, the benefit of an out of school suspension is that it would negatively impact the parents, who then might be inspired to work to alter their child's behavior. Educating a child should not require the educators also perform the duties of a parent. If a child is incapable or unwilling to be educated, if they are violent, if they constantly disrupt the education of others, they should be suspended as often as it takes for them, and more importantly their parents, to get the message.
NotWhoYouThinkIAm April 26, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Vito, here's the thing: if a kid is repeatedly suspended then there is generally a problem at home already. The parents are very often not engaged in active parenting. You wouldn't believe how many of those parents blame the school for their kid's problems. In other words, they take their kid's side and feel their child has been treated unfairly so they won't take any action at home. I wish I were kidding but I am not. The parents that DO take action pretty much have the kids that don't repeat the infraction.
Vito April 26, 2012 at 03:11 PM
I know you are right, but what it boils down to for me, is do you let these kids drag down the rest of their class, because they do. They are a drag from both a disciplinary standpoint and an academic standpoint. This is why years ago I elected to send my children to private school; The problems got kicked out. I feel we are too concerned with addressing the needs of special cases and in the process are compromising the needs of the majority. It may sound heartless, but let them go be someone else's problem.
Justamom May 04, 2012 at 04:25 PM
I would disagree with out of shool suspension. The kids of today are too spoiled and the resources they have at home would be a mini vacation for them. No matter how strict we are at home with them, they always seem to have the little gadgets in their hands to amuse and entertain them. Leave them in school, let them do work, both academic and labor-let them clean up with the custodians and make it supervised, no fun and games. Most importantly, take away the cell phones while in ISS. Maybe they will think twice for the next time!
NotWhoYouThinkIAm June 03, 2012 at 03:21 PM
Middle school kids just had a food fight. They're getting one day out-of-school suspension. They are already planning a beach day together on that day. Great parenting, parents. You might think it's a joke but the kids whose lunches were ruined aren't laughing. Neither are all the kids who got hit by splatter.


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