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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 Registered User Posts: 3,500 Senior Member
    @suzyQ7, "At a normal public school, getting caught with Alcohol or drugs OFF school property will have zero repercussions."

    Not true for athletes. http://www.westonschools.org/index.cfm?pid=24097
    MIAA Drug and Alcohol Policy:
    From the earliest fall practice date (the 3rd Monday in August), to the conclusion of the academic year or final athletic event (whichever is latest), on and off school grounds, weekdays and weekends, twenty-four hours per day, regardless of the quantity, use or consume, possess, buy/sell or give away any beverage containing alcohol (including products such as NA or near beer); any tobacco product (including e-cigarettes); marijuana; steroids; or any controlled substance as defined in the Massachusetts General Laws (Chapter 94-C, Sections 1-48). (NOTE: It is not, however, a violation for a student to be in possession of a legally defined drug specifically prescribed for the student's own use by his or her doctor.) It should be clearly understood that any gross violation of this rule, e.g., being drunk and/or disorderly, could result in immediate dismissal from the team.

    NOTE: Possession of alcoholic beverages on school property will be referred to the Weston Police Department for prosecution for violation of Massachusetts State Statutes (Chapter 272, Sec. 4A). Possession of any controlled substances on school property will result in criminal prosecution for violation of Massachusetts State Laws.


    The minimum PENALTIES per M.I.A.A. Rule 62.1 are:

    First offense: Suspension from representing the school for the next consecutive interscholastic contests totaling 25% of all interscholastic contests in that sport. All fractional parts of an event will be dropped when calculating 25% of a season. Students will be required to attend all practices and team meetings during that time. During this time frame, the student may not represent the school in scrimmages or jamborees.

    Second and subsequent offenses: Suspension from representing the school for the next consecutive interscholastic contests totaling 60% of all interscholastic contests in that sport. All fractional parts of an event will be dropped when calculating 60% of a season.

    Penalties shall be cumulative each academic year, and a penalty period will extend into the next academic year. That is, if the violation occurs outside a season of competition or if the penalty period is not completed during the season of violation, the penalty will carry over to the student's
    next season of actual participation, which may affect the eligibility status of the student during the next academic year.

    POSSESSION OF, USE OF, OR BEING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL OR ANY CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE WHILE REPRESENTING WESTON PUBLIC SCHOOLS AT PRACTICES, GAMES, OVERNIGHT ATHLETIC TRIPS, ETC. WILL RESULT IN IMMEDIATE DISMISSAL FROM THE TEAM.

  • copperboomcopperboom Registered User Posts: 188 Junior Member
    ^this.... My DD and I just had this conversation over spring break. She went to Europe with her BS choir and I asked her how they handled the 18 year olds drinking- She showed me the above policy- I teased her- how do they possibly know- you were allowed to go off on your own to lunch and dinner?! She said its an honor system and you are expected to refrain from all drugs & alcohol while at SPS including over summer breaks- have the conversations with your teens-
  • 123Mom456123Mom456 Registered User Posts: 677 Member
    Form one boarding schools handbook:

    When students are suspended from XXXX, these suspensions will be reported to the colleges to which the students apply. In the case of seniors who are in the midst of the college process, these suspensions will be reported promptly following their return from the suspension. In addition, if a student’s record changes in some fundamental fashion, the school will report these changes to colleges.
  • GnarWhailGnarWhail Registered User Posts: 294 Junior Member
    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. As it turns out, your kid had no friends in the administration at that school. Snitchy McSnitchface's snitching did not need to be acted upon by the school. For one, they didn't really have to believe Sr. Weasel, and certainly they were under no obligation to go nuts all over your kid's head the way they did. But they did. Arbitrary enforcement is one of the biggest dangers in a boarding school environment, and whether anyone wants to believe it, all enforcement is arbitrary because not everyone at every school is at TV's-own-Stannis-Baratheon levels of insane fanaticism for every single rule every single time for every single kid.

    What you should have expected from your kid's school was a search of the room because of a report of drugs. If it was clean, then the school should never have even asked him any more about it. Report, check, nothing found. Done. If your kid was Mr. Good Kid up until then and didn't have the demon weed in his room, he should have been given a pass. Without knowing any details, I will say with 100% certainty that similar scenarios have had wildly different outcomes at your kid's school for other students. That's the case everywhere. You believed your son was the sort of student for whom the school would be protective if at all possible. You were wrong.

    When faced with the possibility of major non-academic discipline, good advice is to tell your kids never to admit to anything major until they talk to you. If you and/or your kid have any friends at the school, get them up to speed and on your side ASAPy-like. Pull hard if you have any pull. (Of course, if you have real stick, then this never would be happening to your kid.) Read that rule book. Make sure the school is following their own rules. If a drug test is allowed by school rules, delay it as long as possible. Realize right then that the school is the adversary in this situation if you didn't see it before. Your kid is not important to them and never really was. If you have the means, get a lawyer on it.

    Boarding schools have lots of rules, and one of their functions is to be weaponized when needed to protect the school first and foremost. That's racing.

    Plagiarism and cheating are different animals all together. Expect no quarter, though of course cheating and plagiarism are as subject to arbitrary enforcement as much as any other infraction.
  • PeriwinklePeriwinkle Registered User Posts: 3,500 Senior Member
    edited April 20
    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.
  • PeriwinklePeriwinkle Registered User Posts: 3,500 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.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 14,431 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.
  • GnarWhailGnarWhail Registered User Posts: 294 Junior Member
    edited April 20
    @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.
  • PeriwinklePeriwinkle Registered User Posts: 3,500 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."
  • PeriwinklePeriwinkle Registered User Posts: 3,500 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.
  • doschicosdoschicos Registered User Posts: 14,431 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.
  • GnarWhailGnarWhail Registered User Posts: 294 Junior 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.
  • Sue22Sue22 Registered User Posts: 4,449 Senior Member
    edited April 20
    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.
  • Sue22Sue22 Registered User Posts: 4,449 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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