Each day I browse around the websites of various newspapers that I would read if I had subscriptions and had the time to sit down in the morning and look over them. These include local newspaper websites like the Asbury Park Press and the Daily Record. This morning I was flipping around the Daily Record’s website and came across an article entitled, “Roxbury student code of conduct now in effect 24/7/365.” I’d link you to the article, but these Gannett-owned newspapers don’t keep their articles online for more than a few days and then you have to pay for them (ha!). However, the point of the article was as follows:
The school board has revised its code of conduct policy to require students be on their best behavior the entire calendar year — even when school is out — or face suspension from extracurricular activities, board member Chris Rogers said Tuesday.
Now as a former student at Roxbury High School and as a former college student who fought this type of nanny-state activity at my university, I hate this decision by the Roxbury school board. And there are any number of reasons to hate it. First of all, the policy seems to single out those students that are involved in extracurricular activity. So little Susie is on the softball team and is found in violation of this vague policy in July (what IS “best behavior?”). Is she to be suspended from the first four or five softball games the following spring? Isn’t that a bit ridiculous?
What about little Bobby who doesn’t have any extracurricular activities. Does he get suspended from school if he does something that doesn’t qualify as “best behavior” in August? And if so, then is he suspended the first two weeks of school in September for an “offense” committed on August 1st? Is this insane or what?
How about Jen – the President of the Student Council. She gets cited for not being on her “best behavior” a few days after school is out in June. Is she then suspended from participating in the Student Council for the month of September?
And is it fair that Billy is suspended from school while Susie and Jen just get to miss out on their extracurricular activities?
And does this policy apply to the school’s faculty? Let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that every single teacher or employee of the school district exhibits their “best behavior” all day, every day. And who is to define “best behavior?” What if my family’s best behavior is different than your family’s definition? Do you see how crazy this can get?
These types of theoretical situations can go on and on, which is typical of policies that shouldn’t be enacted in the first place. The school board is overstepping their bounds in this case in an inappropriate manner. This policy should be rescinded immediately.