The Hot Box: Fair Punishment or Harsh Discipline?

Ethan Phipps '16

The Activities Ineligibility List (AIL) has always been a subject of dread for Jones students. In the past, it was used as a small push to encourage students to serve off all of their detentions. The punishment for being on the AIL seemed modest but often resulted in being highly inconvenient. Students would not be able to attend school events or participate in sports. This punishment was effective enough to get students to serve detentions without seeming unfair.

This year, however, implemented an even greater discipline into the AIL system. Students with 10 or more detentions on the AIL must report to the lunch room during Ac-Lab, a free period, for assigned study.

In the “hot box” students have very little freedom in what they are allowed to do. Working on classwork is the only option given, and doing anything else results in harsh punishment.

Since its creation at the beginning of the school year, students that have attended the hot box have questioned the reasoning behind its restrictive nature.

Students have constantly complained that the punishment is usually too serious for what they did to get placed there initially.

This was the case when I landed myself in the hot box. The detentions I had were stacked up from a few tardies to first period, and every time I was only late by a few minutes. The fact that I wasn’t intentionally late or late by a large portion of time was what really aggravated me.

This is a relatable story for many students. Detentions are usually handed out for harmless things and before you know it, there are a ton to serve.

Because of being punished for what seems to be a miniscule issue, many students such as myself are resentful of the rules rather than being remorseful for our actions.

Being in assigned study doesn’t change the student’s perspective on their actions, it simply gives them a reason to have disdain towards the staff. Conflict arises between both sides because of this issue, and it simply isn’t worth all the trouble.

Jones needs to take a step towards policies that coincide with their discipline beliefs, but still offer a middle ground with students that makes everything a bit more fair. Students are already under the pressure of grades, studying for the ACT and looking for colleges – the school that should be supporting them shouldn’t be the ones adding more stress to their lives.