A Noteworthy Turnaround

, , , , , , , | Learning | November 16, 2017

(I’m 15 years old and a sophomore. Recently, I took a couple of days off school due to a nasty sinus infection. Before she drops me off, my mom gives me my doctor’s note and I head inside. A couple of hours later, I get called into the office of one of the three assistant principals.)

Assistant Principal: “So, [My Name], did you know we call the doctor’s office to verify sick notes?”

Me: “Um, I guess?”

Assistant Principal: “Since you have a clean record, you’ll only get one day of lunch detention if you confess.”

Me: “Huh? Confess to what?”

Assistant Principal: *gets a creepy smile on his face and calls for the receptionist* “You changed the dates on your note.”

Me: “What?! No I didn’t. I only got it from my mom when she dropped me off! I didn’t have time to do that.”

(The receptionist comes in and says the office only confirmed one day of my absence, not the three I needed. They go back and forth accusing me and telling me I’ll get a week’s lunch detention for lying. Finally, in tears, I take out my cell phone and get them to call my mom at work.)

Assistant Principal: “Hello, Mrs. [Last Name]. This is your daughter’s principal at [School]. She’s hysterical and wanted us to call you because the dates on her doctor’s note were changed. She says she didn’t do it, but…”

(There’s a long pause and his smile slowly fades away. He looks between me and the receptionist.)

Assistant Principal: “W-well, yes, ma’am. No, ma’am. Yes, ma’am, I will. But just for future reference, you can’t do th—”

(He pauses again and gives me back my phone.)

Assistant Principal: “So, your mother says she changed the note. Just tell her she can’t do that next time.”

(They got rid of the detention notice on my records and sent me on my way. I get having to punish kids who do mess up, but maybe don’t look like you’re enjoying it so much?)

Detention Retention

, , | Learning | September 13, 2017

(I am in seventh grade. I really like reading books, and I read whenever possible. One day my math class has a substitute teacher.)

Substitute: “I am going to hand out a worksheet. You must finish it before the end of class.”

(The worksheets do not take long and the substitute has no other tasks for us. When I finish, I read my book, but my classmates talk and eventually became very noisy and out of control.)

Substitute: “Everyone be quiet! Go back to your seats! This is unacceptable. I will be telling [Math Teacher] about this!”

(A lot of students complain as they sit down. I really do not expect to be heard among so many voices.)

Me: “But I wasn’t talking.”

Substitute: “What’s your name?”

(I am embarrassed, but I tell her and she writes it down. She has obviously seen me reading. The next day, our usual math teacher is back.)

Math Teacher: “I was very disappointed with what I heard from [Substitute]. You will all have lunch detention for the rest of the week! Except [My Name].”

(Lunch detention means sitting in a classroom during lunch and not being allowed to talk. It does not affect our record. Since all of my friends are in my math class, I sit alone at lunch for the next few days. From my perspective, not being “punished” with detention means that I read silently in a noisy cafeteria instead of in a quiet, peaceful classroom. I am very uncomfortable with being the only one spared from my math teacher’s anger. A few weeks later, my English class gets out of control.)

English Teacher: “This is the third time I have had to tell you to lower your voices! You will all get lunch detention except [My Name]. [My Name], thank you for listening to instructions.”

(I am horrified. I have, of course, been reading my book quietly, but most of my friends are also in my English class, and I do not want a repeat of the previous experience.)

Me: “Wait, no. I was talking too. I should get lunch detention.”

English Teacher: “…are you sure?”

Me: “Yes!”

(It was the only detention I ever had and, although I knew I shouldn’t, I enjoyed it.)

Detention Extension

, | Brisbane, QLD, Australia | Learning | July 25, 2013

(I am a pre-service teacher, completing my experience before I can graduate and register. I am put on the roster on at my school for Tuesday afternoon detention. The school I am at rarely has anyone in detention, but this afternoon I am supervising two girls.)

Me: “So, get out your diary girls. Your instructions are to copy out the code of conduct until you’re time is up.”

(At this point we all settle in for what should be an hour detention. However after about 45 minutes, they’ve been perfectly behaved, and I’ve been told I can release them early if this is the case.)

Me: “Alright girls, you’ve both been great this afternoon. You can head off early.”

Girl #1: “But I’m almost finished!”

Girl #2: “Me too! Can we stay and finish it off?”

Me: “I… I guess?”

(We stayed for another ten minutes. Later on I told a fellow pre-service teacher what happened, citing that no one was going to believe me at university, that students requested to stay in detention longer.)

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