@psparent Sorry you and your child had to go through the stress inducing process of disciplinary action at boarding school. I echo what @EarlyMTNester suggested regarding transfer potential if desired. I’ve know quite a few BS kids who have transferred to more selective colleges after a successful start at the initial school.
Thanks for bringing an important subject to the forefront. It’s important for every child and parent to read and understand the school’s policy handbook. I think the process of notifying colleges of disciplinary action and of disciplining for violations for off-campus activity is fairly universal. As mentioned, it can be even more harsh for one strike schools and a reason I am not a fan of one strike policies. Teens do make mistakes and seem to have it wired into them to test boundaries and experiment.
It’s really easy to look at your kid when 13/14 and being the boarding school process and think, well, I’ll never have to worry about THAT stuff with Junior. And Junior might think that him/herself. 15/16/17/18, much different. I’ll be honest that with one of my kids we really sweated it out until kiddo crossed the graduation stage and was handed a diploma. Great kid (says mom) but a bit of an independent streak. Gave me extra gray hair. Like in all high schools, there will be drugs, drinking, sex, and silly stuff that just breaks rules. Some kids will cheat, plagiarize. You can look at some of the surveys and you’ll see that it is a sizable percentage that will engage in some kind of rule breaking behavior before they graduate. They all think they are smarter than they are and won’t get caught - until they do. Or someone else gets caught and they all go quiet for a little while out of fear and a reminder, but that only lasts so long. I do have sympathy for the school administration in trying to enforce rules. Without some harsh consequences, I’m sure all hell would break loose. It’s a tough call to make. One advantage to BS in my own days was that, unlike parents who could be fickle or emotional about punishments and thus inconsistent, at BS you knew the penalties as they were all laid out.
I’ve always said that BS starts off giving a kid more freedom than he/she would have at home at 14 but by the time they graduate it is usually much more restrictive than life at home and at public school. As far as public schools and partying, in my area, every year or two there is a big party busted by town police and kids get charged for underaged drinking. At least at BS, no one brings the cops in for your underage drinker or pot smoker.
It might be worth noting that you can always suggest your child call you before agreeing to anything or saying anything when confronted. I do know families who have “voluntarily” pulled their kid out before disciplinary action progressed. Not saying that is the right way to handle it, or the way your child will learn the most, but it is done.
As far as notifying colleges, I think it is done regardless of the offense whether it is marijuana, drinking, or cheating or plagiarism. How much colleges consider it a knock will depend on what it was and when the infraction took place. Make a mistake in 9th or 10th grade and one can successfully spin it as a learning experience. In 12th grade, it is every parent’s nightmare and much harder to justify in that way. I will also add that plenty of disciplined kids go on to very good colleges. It might not be the tippy top schools one had their heart set on, but they are still going to have wonderful colleges that will accept them and provide a great education. I know several examples of such from my kids’ friends and classmates. Doing well at fine institutions. In the big scheme of things, it wasn’t overly harsh or limiting to them.
Read those handbooks. Talk to your kids. Give them constant reminders. Be careful of what kind of permissions you give them for off campus gatherings. Those off campus gatherings and weekends can be bad news.
“First, I do not believe the school should be able to proactively contact a college about anything unless it is something that is a felony.”
There are things that BS are required by law to notify the police about, selling drugs and sexual assault being two off the top of my head. It’ll be a matter of public record. As far as the rest, as private schools you and your children agree to abide by the rules as laid down by the school. Make sure you understand what you are signing.