Delayed detentions

Detention policy remains a mystery following remote learning


*indicates name has been changed for privacy reasons


With students returning back to in-person school after a year of remote learning, the detention policy remains unclear.

Detentions at Jones are often unheard of, with some teachers having not administered detentions at all in their time working at Jones.

“I have never given out a detention and this is my sixth year working at Jones,” said Athletic Director and former PE teacherteacaher Michael Strok. “The detention policy is not something we’ve discussed since being back [from remote learning]. Before COVID, students would have detentions from the tardy policy and using the elevator [without a pass]. But, since then, we haven’t discussed the policy moving forward.”

Since students returned to in-person learning, teachers and administration have adapted to newer punishment methods. 

“We’re having a non-punishment structure being pushed forward,” said Strok. “We’re finding a way to repair the harm and make sure you don’t feel like you’re just being punished. We can find better ways than [detention].”

Some who received detention feel the circumstances were unfair. 

“I have a 504 plan and I had certain days where I wouldn’t come to school or would turn in certain homework late, but I had the option to and I would always let [the teacher] know,” said Daphne Derby ‘23*. “[My teacher] gave me detention for a piece of late work. I honestly didn’t even think Jones had a detention policy until I got detention, but you can get it for really weird reasons like mine, which I feel wasn’t much of a reason to get detention.”

Remote learning forced Jones to take a different approach towards addressing student behavior and reprimanding students, especially through restorative discussions.

“Going completely remote may have helped us break that pattern of just using detention,” said Principal Paul J.Powers. “Because during remote learning, we had to engage more in what I would consider restorative discussions and practices to try to change behavior and ameliorate the kind of misconduct that some students might have had.”

Although receiving a detention is rare at Jones, the administration is prepared to organize detention periods if needed.

“If we feel like it is necessary, then we’ll assign one or more detention periods,” said Powers. “Generally speaking, we try to talk through things and prevent any repeat behavior. It’s a fairly simple process, it’s not highly structured, but it’s recorded and it goes in the records and so forth.”

Some students feel that while detentions have been mostly ignored, social conflicts within the school community still need to be addressed through administrational discipline.

“From my point of view, and just for the three years that I’ve been here, Jones does not really enforce student etiquette towards each other,” said Derby..”

Despite the lack of a clear detention policy, Jones does seem to be slowly working toward a restorative approach to addressing student disciple.