Can you imagine if you were fined every time you received a detention in high school? Even more so, imagine that having an untied shoe or missing button could contribute to such fines. For students of Noble Street College Prep in Chicago, it's not a figment of their imagination. Click here for the story.
I went to a private school through eighth grade and I definitely got into plenty of trouble, especially as I became a "big fish in a small pond" as one of 14 eighth graders. One of my most memorable offenses consisted of throwing a yogurt covered raisin at the principal -- and hitting him on his bald head. Sweeping the gym floor during recess was my punishment and it was totally worth it.
There was also a time when I received three detentions in two days. During one of the detentions, I had to copy the dictionary page featuring the word "respect."
Plenty of other times, I got the opportunity to "hold up the wall" outside the classroom for pushing the class clown routine a little too far.
I'm guessing if I would have had to pay fines for those infractions, I would have shaped up long before earning myself a three-day suspension. Maybe, I would have learned that actions have real consequences.
But, maybe the fear of paying a fine would have caused me to internalize things more and eventually blow up on someone to "earn" my fine and cause even more problems.
I'm not sure.
There are people coming out on both sides of Noble's approach. I think if it works for them, maybe it's OK because no one is forced to go there and no one is forced to behave badly and pay a fine.
Opponents say the fines are hindering some students or keeping some students out of the school altogether.
Other critics say the school should use positive reinforcement. I agree with that. If I had something to work toward, I don't think I would have gotten into as much trouble.
That was the case for one of my lyrical heroes George Watsky, as this link shows. The link does include some mild language, but it's kind of an inspiring story for others who have found a way to use their energy in a positive way.
Any how, I'm sure y'all have differing opinions, so what do you think about a prep school charging fines for detentions?