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Placing responsibility where it belongs

August 10, 2011
Lehigh Acres Citizen

To The Editor:

In last week's Lehigh Acres Citizen and online at, you reported that the school board, at its last meeting, added options beyond the $250 fine, for students exhibiting "unsportsmanlike" conduct.

These options would allow a student to "pay off the fine or a work detail program that would also pay off the fine over a period of time."

You stated that board member Don Armstrong throughout the options were a good idea "because he thought they should not be punishing the students for their socioeconomic status."

So does that mean that socioeconomic status provides some kind of special measure that makes it okay or not as bad or some kind of excuse, to be "unsportsmanlike?"

And if it does, what is that measure that takes way responsibility for unacceptable behavior and does it carry over into classrooms and life as well?

Schools are making every effort they possibly can to solve the "bullying" problem, to require the kind of discipline necessary to educate our kids in safe classrooms, and to maintain extra-curricular programs which are beneficial for their students.

It would seem to me, a fine of $250 for "unsportsmanlike" conduct can be easily understood by all participants and is a deterrent for those who can afford it as well as those who can't.

So if schools make it "easier," what's the message to the students?

This is not to mention the fact that developing and maintaining a work detail program requires one more task for the principal as well as those who must supervise the program, taking time away from curriculum issues.

When are we ever going to get back to placing responsibility for acceptable behavior where it belongs?

Mary Johnson

Lehigh Acres



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