Detention: Then and Now

My youngest, Elise, served time in detention today. I discovered later, after e-mailing her teacher, that there was a misunderstanding and she really wasn’t given a detention. Nevertheless, she served her time. I guess she’s getting it out of the way for something she’ll do later. šŸ™‚

Talking about her detention made me realize that so much has changed since I was in middle school. Detention then meant you had done something really bad, or had repeatedly done something really bad. If you were given detention you knew you had crossed the line and gotten in too much trouble. Detention now is a totally different animal. You can be late to class 3 times in 9 weeks and get detention. It seems detention has lost some of its fear factor it had when I was in school. Kids now act like it is no big deal…just an annoyance. Although I don’t want either of my kids in detention, I have to agree that is it not such a big deal. Really, it is more of a punishment on the parents, who have to arrange picking the kid up after detention is served. Because detention can be given for minor offenses there isn’t much for the kid to fear. I think we need to go back to the way things were in my day. Address the small stuff, sure, but save detention for when the kids have done something that actually deserves the time. Maybe then there will be that sense of fear instilled in them as it was in me.

What are your thoughts on detention in our schools today?

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