DHS administration violates student rights
The following are views of mine, Ameet Sharma, and do not necessarily represent the views of the journalism class.
On September 7th 2011, the Dixon High School Administration decided to impose lockouts on students late to school. The concept is a good one: if we start punishing tardiness, the tardiness to school will go down. Yet what the administration ignored was the rights and respect students deserve. They put a one size fits all approach on a situation that requires a unique case by case judgment. I agree 100 percent that students habitually tardy should be penalized, but not at the expense of and alongside students that were late for the first time, or were late for medical reasons. Detention should not be given to the innocent in attempts to catch the guilty.
Lockouts were a complete violation of student rights. The following is a small list of rights violated. The violations are of rights specifically written for students that the Administration decided to completely ignore. The rights mentioned are rights mentioned in various educational code documents and rights that are secured for all citizens.
First Right: Due Process of Discipline skipped.
In the student handbook it is stated that punishment are progressive. That means that certain Procedures must be completed before we are subjected to a lockout. The handbook states that first we must officially be warned about our tardiness, followed by a parent being contacted by a staff member then are we subjected to lockouts. I have yet to come across 1 student of the 108 detained that stated that this due process was completed. This administration has skipped the due process to make the system more convenient for themselves at the expense of student rights.
Second Right: Student’s Were Not Asked Reasoning, Sentence Without Trial
Most (if not all) students were not asked the reasoning for their tardiness. This is a tremendous violation of our rights, because some of us had acceptable reasons to be late. Those of us who were simply running behind still deserve the chance to explain, whatever the reasoning may be. By bypassing this requirement, the administration proved slip-shod and determined to do as they feel without respecting rights of students. They offer no trial, but straight sentence. This would be equivalent to a police officer demanding fines at the time a citation is written.
Third Right: Illegally Taking Away Our Time and Illegal Imprisonment
By law, passing times and lunch times belong to students. Forcing students into detention at lunch was a shameful display of how student rights have no respect in the eyes of the administration. Detention is a form of imprisonment. Under the US Constitution. No one can be put into jail without a fair and speedy trial. No student was offered a trial in front of the higher authorities to determine if punishment was needed.
Fourth Right: Freedom of Speech and access to phone denied
Students were not given the time or liberty to contact family to potentially excuse tardiness. The families that were somehow gotten a hold of were not treated properly, for the administration was already resigned to handing out detention. Come to think of it, convicts arrested for some of the worst crimes are given a free phone call- we were treated worse than convicts.
It has become evident that the current administration at Dixon High School does not have the decency to respect the basic rights that all human beings deserve. For the administration to have gone against the Educational Code to keep their bloated egos afloat was simply wrong. This administration went as far as disrespecting parents who spoke against the unfairness.
Lockouts are an on going slaughter of student rights. If you are or know any of the 1000s of students that have had their rights annihilated please contact for any discussion on this important topic. My contact is email@example.com.Be assured that your confidentiality will be of highest priority.