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Opinion & Editorial

Editorial: DHC’s Announcements at Assemblies Elicit Controversy Among Student Body

You may have noticed at this year’s assemblies that our Upper School Head, Mrs. Izokaitis, has been reporting  any recent Discipline and Honors Committee’s decisions. These announcements have sparked murmurings among the student body. Many question the usefulness behind this practice.

Some students still admire the old system because it protected the person (who was either suspended–or in rare cases–expelled) from social embarrassment, and, thus, see this new way of making such public reports as a form of  communal shaming. Students who do not like Academy’s new DHC policy  do not want their peers stamped with a scarlet letter for the community to see.

Stating disciplinary verdicts also veers toward a violation of privacy. Bringing unwanted attention to mistakes only worsens the school environment for that student. High schoolers are known to be gossips, so even if the pronouncement is kept anonymous, everyone is bound to find the details within hours.

On the other hand, the news can provide clarity. The event and the terms are plainly stated, giving us both an understanding and a  reminder of consequences. If our faults are kept shrouded in history, it will perpetuate the false notion that no one makes mistakes, and, they are, therefore, unacceptable. It is hard to accept, however, that the loss of one student’s comfort is worth reinforcing punishments to the rest of the student body.

The administration has looked closely into this issue and the costs of keeping things quiet. Izokaitis says, “I think there were questions regarding whether or not we responded to them whether we acted on them or not that things were happening fairly.”

Our school has sought the help of lawyers and its ELT (Ethical Literacy Team) for answers. Because Columbus Academy has responded differently under different upper school heads, the current administration sees the drawbacks and benefits of both instances. Its biggest concern seems to be how to protect students while still communicating that people make mistakes and how they are met with in the aftermath. While unsure whether the school has found the ideal way, Izokaitis states, “It’s the best way we have right now.”

Izokaitis assuages students’ objections by assuring us nothing overly sensitive or humiliating will be addressed in public. The administration has not closed its doors to further discussion, but it believes it is a happy medium for now.

And as the record goes, see our school handbook on the school’s designated procedure for DHC protocol.


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