You be the decider: What punishments should students get?

May 13, 2014

A WBEZ investigation found that schools all across the city are disciplining students in many different ways.

In some cases, schools are suspending a majority of their students. The issue of suspensions has gotten a lot of attention both in Chicago and nationally. In January, the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice directed schools to use harsh discipline, like suspensions and expulsions, only as a last resort.

Chicago Public Schools is in the process of again revising its Student Code of Conduct, and officials say they also plan to train teachers and principals over the summer.

Aarti Dhupelia, heads the Office of College and Career Success, which oversees the implementation of the Code of Conduct, as well as school culture. She walked through several behavior scenarios with WBEZ to give listeners a better sense of how the code of conduct should be implemented in schools. 

Scenario #1: A student swears at a teacher during class, while instruction is going on.

Scenario #2: A student comes to school out of uniform.

Scenario #3: Three students get into a physical altercation during lunch and it ends with one getting a black eye and another getting a cut lip.

Scenario #4: A student throws a large stick into another group of students out on the sidewalk in front of the school.

Scenario #5: Two students are caught selling baked goods laced with marijuana to other students during school hours.

*CPS Spokesman Joel Hood clarified that in this case, schools are required to notify law enforcement, but that involving police may not automatically result in a suspension or arrest. 

Scenario #6: A security guard finds a gun in a student’s locker, but the student says it is not his and was just holding on to it for a friend.

What do you think? What should have been done in each scenario? Leave a comment below.

Becky Vevea is a producer for WBEZ. Follow her @WBEZeducation.