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The Spartan Speaks

The student news site of Orono High School

The Spartan Speaks

The student news site of Orono High School

The Spartan Speaks

Newly Enforced Detention Policy Causes a Stir Among Students

Newly+Enforced+Detention+Policy+Causes+a+Stir+Among+Students

Orono High School has chosen to more strictly enforce the detention policy in the 2023/2024 school year by handing out detentions to students that have 1 unexcused class absence, 3 tardies, or have their phones out in class, in hopes to improve overall attendance at Orono. The detention policy at Orono has greatly affected all students as well as staff this current school year.

“In my case, there were mistakes made by the teacher and some teachers don’t pay very close attention to the attendance of the class” said freshman Grier Wheaton as she expressed her frustration with the detention policy and mistakes that were made with her attendance.

“It went even further than affecting my day when I had to go talk to teachers to fix my attendance; I also had to call my mom and have her call the attendance office to confirm that I indeed was at a doctor’s appointment,”Wheaton said.

After Senior Maggie Lundell had a similar experience with receiving a detention due to an attendance-taking error on the teacher’s part, she had some advice for teachers.

“I think that the teachers should double check everything before they submit the attendance, because when I get a [detention] slip and its actually a mistake it becomes a bigger situation for many people involved,”Lundell said,

On the other hand, Orono High School administration wants students to know that the detention policy is not new, it is simply getting enforced this year. Assistant Principal Aman explains that
“The goal is not to give out a lot of detentions. The goal is to get students to class by following the policy with more fidelity,”Assistant Principal Jeff Aman says.

“I do believe that the more time we get our students to spend with their teachers, the more we can support them and the more success each student will have.”

Aman used to be a teacher at Orono High School before becoming Assistant Principal, so he understands first hand knowledge about how important it is for students to be showing up to class.

Some students around Orono think that they are being given detention unfairly, but Ms. Brynes, who may be better known as the “detention lady,” wants students to know that “[the detentions] are totally run by an attendance reporting system. Administration has no control and it is very unbiased.”

This detention policy came as a shock for the freshman class, as life in 8th grade was a little different.
“[the middle school] had no detentions. You could show up late and they didn’t care,” Freshman Tommy Lundell says.

This causes many mixed feelings as it becomes a big change for students. But the enforcing of the detention policy at Orono High School has proven to be successful,

“[administration is] checking data every month and there has been substantial improvement in student attendance” says Aman.

When Orono High School’s detention policy is compared to neighboring high schools, there are many similarities. Oronos ‘twin school’ Mahtomedi has an identical detention policy, according to their school handbook. So while some Orono students may feel alone in this policy, they aren’t. There are other schools who have the same policy for the benefit of their students.

Delano High School, Orono High School, and Mahtomedi High School are three schools who are often compared to each other. Orono and Mahtomedi have strict detention policies but Delano has a more relaxed detention policy. According to the U.S News High School Rankings Mahtomedi High School has a 85% reading proficiency, Orono High School has a 89% reading proficiency, and Delano High School has a 66% reading proficiency. Clearly there is a connection between high schools’ attendance policies and their academic scores.

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