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Prep school disciplinary policy re alerting colleges

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Replies to: Prep school disciplinary policy re alerting colleges

  • PeriwinklePeriwinkle 3403 replies105 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited April 2017
    Penalties can be more severe for boarding students misbehaving during term time, because they are officially under the school's care, even when off campus. Day students, in contrast, are officially subject to their parents' authority after school hours off campus.

    There was an off campus party held by Concord Academy students many years ago. This article, written a year after the trial, does list the consequences the students faced:http://www.andovertownsman.com/news/local_news/townsman-exclusive-new-information-on-night-of-teen-s-suicide/article_9d9be347-b75f-5074-86a0-9359c726886d.html.

    In 2008, students from Phillips Andover were arrested, and expelled: http://phillipian.net/2008/10/16/three-pa-students-arrested-on-drug-and-alcohol-charges/. I believe the deans did follow up on the names found in one of the dealers' text messages.

    @Gnarwhail, lying is grounds for expulsion. Read the school rules. If asked, not telling the truth is grounds for expulsion. As another student had already been questioned, of course, unless both students tell the same truth, there is the danger of expulsion.
    edited April 2017
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  • PeriwinklePeriwinkle 3403 replies105 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    And I will add, read your own school's rules very carefully. In some schools, it is sufficient to leave the area if other students start using drugs and alcohol. At others, there is a duty to report the students.

    If your child suspects his/her roommate of using or dealing drugs, you and they cannot turn a blind eye to the goings on. It is wise to speak up to the child's advisor, and make sure you have a written trail, of your objections.

    Keep in mind that tuition insurance will usually not pay if a student is expelled due to disciplinary infractions.

    In general, schools give no quarter to students caught supplying substances to other studhttp://talk.collegeconfidential.com/discussion/1985170/prep-school-disciplinary-policy-re-alerting-colleges/#ents. This is often a trap day students will fall into, as friends may try to pressure them into dealing. If your child is a day student, talk seriously with them about the consequences.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 20834 replies216 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Some schools also will have a sanctuary policy whereby another student, faculty member (or I believe even the student themselves) will be turned in "for their own good" as a way of getting help for said student. Sometimes, if a student knows he himself will be getting in trouble or another student knows (say they got word that Johnny was busted and they might be implicated), that student will arrange to have someone invoke the sanctuary policy and report them. Consequences still prevail - probation, testing for x period of time, counseling etc. but it doesn't become a disciplinary action requiring going before the disciplinary council nor does it require reporting to college.

    It's designed to get a student help for medical/wellness reasons. But, it can be used as an escape hatch sometimes to avoid disciplinary action. I've known RAs who use it to protect students who have a high likelihood of getting in more serious trouble.

    Of course, policies vary from school to school, but another reason to know the school's handbook.

    Personally, I wouldn't send my kid to either a one strike school or a school without some kind of sanctuary policy.
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  • GnarWhailGnarWhail 298 replies17 threadsRegistered User Member
    edited April 2017
    @Periwinkle If the whole thing went down as it was described, the school had it in for the OP's kid--or at least had no regard for him whatsoever. I specifically said that a kid should talk to parents before admitting anything in order to avoid lying. Some kids are better at stalling and prevaricating than others, but cracking right away and admitting everything before you might have to is never a good move, as this kid's experience proves. Who are you gonna believe, the bad kid or Mr. Good Guy? But it should never have come to that. The school did its thing and searched the room. If it was clean, that should have been the end of it. Without having first-hand knowledge of this school (probably) or this case (very likely), I will say that students faced with similar scenarios have gotten off with no discipline at all if their rooms did not contain the evil substance in question because it happens all the time (not really) but regularly enough to establish a pattern. Some people get away with stuff and some don't. That's not cool for the ones that don't.

    It's a tough situation, but it sounds like it was a perfect storm of unfortunate behavior on the part of the kid and the school.

    And I will state unequivocally that if the entirety of the situation was as described by the OP, then the school was wrong in the way they handled this.

    Frankly, if the kid in question was as described by the OP and no drugs were found in the room, the family should have expected (someone at) the school to make this go away for the kid. The simplest way would have been to ask the kid if they had drugs in their dorm room supplied by Snitchy McSnitchface. If the (truth) answer was no and none were found, that should have been the end of it. Nobody would have needed to lie and the message would have been sent.

    Nobody wants to find out in the worst way possible that they are not of the elect, but inherently conservative elite institutions have their flaws, too.
    edited April 2017
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  • PeriwinklePeriwinkle 3403 replies105 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Sanctuary usually, though, serves to put the student on a list of students who need to be watched more closely for drug and alcohol use. They may be subject to drug tests. They usually need to take part in some sort of counseling. It isn't a "get out of jail free" card, more a notice that there is potentially a significant mental health issue.

    I agree with doschicos that I wouldn't send a child to a one strike school. I believe one strike policies serve to drive substance use underground. It still happens, but then fellow students are paralyzed, afraid of alerting adults to dangerous behavior because they don't want to get someone else "in trouble."
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  • PeriwinklePeriwinkle 3403 replies105 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @GnarWhail, I apologize for being cynical, but there isn't any proof that this is a "first offense." The drug test would have shown pot use. The charge wasn't possession of pot, it was use of pot.

    And I do object to your describing the first student caught as Snitchy McSnitchface. That other student was also facing severe disciplinary consequences.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 20834 replies216 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Yes, periwinkle, that is true as I stated. But when your choice is between being DC'ed and sanctuaries, many folks will pull the ripcord on the sanctuary and its required testing, counseling, and observations. The lesser of two evils, I guess.
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  • GnarWhailGnarWhail 298 replies17 threadsRegistered User Member
    @Periwinkle Yes...but...if the situation was as described by the OP...if...the kid was the best sort of kid and never in big trouble...if...then...Snitchy McSnitchface...busted "for other infractions"...if...then...snitched on the kid for no reason except that he or she was a Snitchy McSnitchface.

    It might all be nonsense. Or a bored ****. Or something else. All we have is what was presented. If the entirety of the situation was as presented....

    As always, consider the source and the posting history.
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  • Sue22Sue22 6144 replies112 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited April 2017
    If the whole thing went down as you described it, you can almost certainly be sure that others in similar situations at your kid's school would not have faced any discipline whatsoever.

    @GnarWhail, I don't know how you can claim that. It might be true at some schools (all schools have different disciplinary procedures) but I've seen the kids of trustees who also happened to be major donors suspended for similar infractions at more than one school.
    edited April 2017
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  • Sue22Sue22 6144 replies112 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @psparent,
    Sorry this has happened. Your son did something dumb and now is paying the price. Luckily his "dumb thing" didn't result in him or someone with him getting hurt so you can all chalk it up to the immature teen brain and move on from here. I'd be willing to bet he's learned his lesson.

    As for the college results, although you may be disappointed, please remember that it's not the college a kid goes to that matters but the kids who goes to college. He'll have plenty of opportunities to prove himself and many kids who end up at schools not originally high on their lists flourish there.
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  • GnarWhailGnarWhail 298 replies17 threadsRegistered User Member
    @Sue22 How can I claim that? The exact same way that you can make a claim.

    And the point is not that one school handles things differently than another school. All schools depend on their staff for enforcement, and some staff at every school will be super-lenient and others will be insane sticklers. When you're a kid at any school, it is often a coin-toss which one you run into when make your mistake.

    From what I've seen, if a high-ranking trustee, enthusiastic donor, current principal or whoever has their kid face discipline, it is always with the expressed written consent of the family and the NFL. Every single one of these schools knows who is really in charge. And some of those wealthy powerful parents have no problem sending their idiot spawn such a message if they think it will help.

    As always, consider the source and the posting history.
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  • 123Mom456123Mom456 855 replies6 threadsRegistered User Member
    OP's DS tested positive and was suspended for breaking a school rule. Some may think the punishment was harsh but he was attending a school where he agreed to abide by these rules. Regardless of how the school found out, the kid broke the rules.
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  • GnarWhailGnarWhail 298 replies17 threadsRegistered User Member
    And every rule breaker should be punished as harshly as the law will allow every single time! Witch! Sinner!!

    But...

    Oh...
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  • Korab1Korab1 334 replies4 threadsRegistered User Member
    Is there a contract out there that requires a kid submit to a drug test at the whim and whimsy of the school? I haven't seen that. I agree with @GnarWhail - the school went overboard here. Every kids first response when something bad like this goes down should be to ask to speak with his or her parents before being questioned further.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 20834 replies216 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Most certainly each school has a contract and parents and students are required to sign a statement that they have read and abide by that year's handbook which they are provided. Boarding Schools have good legal counsel.

    @Korab1 Are you a current or prospective parent? Make sure you read what you are signing.
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  • Korab1Korab1 334 replies4 threadsRegistered User Member
    I have reviewed everything carefully - there is nothing in the ones I have reviewed that authorizes them to demand a drug test.
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  • doschicosdoschicos 20834 replies216 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Under any circumstances or just the scenario described by the OP?
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  • psparentpsparent 46 replies4 threadsRegistered User Junior Member
    The deans need some basis for a search or drug test but the threshold is VERY low. It is not spelled out in the parent manual. Also, many schools breathalyze before dances (also at breakfast after prom!)
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  • Korab1Korab1 334 replies4 threadsRegistered User Member
    @doschicos The ones I have reviewed are silent. That doesn't mean they cant ask, but it does mean they would have a hard time imposing discipline for declining to submit to a test they don't have the authority to ask for. If you are sober and have nothing on you and no illegal or impermissible conduct was alleged to have happened on campus, then what is their authority to ask for it? Weed is especially problematic, as it will show up in your urine for 30 days - Is the school going to kick you out because you smoked weed or had a beer while on Christmas break 17 states away?
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