LET BRYCE GRADUATE
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After a recent senior prank, Vandegrift High School officials along with superintendent Bret Champion made the rash decision to deprive a student, Bryce Martinez, of his high school degree without regard to his academic merit. After the prank unfolded, administrator Charlie Little informed Bryce that his 'punishment' could be as low as one day in in school suspension, but that it could certainly increase if the prank blows up publicly. Yet things have indeed escalated and are now at the point where a young man's future is at stake. There are three things horribly wrong with this method of enforcing punishment: abuse of administrative power, spiteful decision making, and negligent imprudence with the potential to alter the course of a young man's life.
Firstly, in order to show the faults in our adminstrators' decision for punishment, we must first be clear on what 'punishment' is and ought to be. Punishment, as defined by Oxford Dictionary, is the infliction or imposition of a penalty as retribution for an offense. In other words, to punish fairly is to give a penalty for an action. Administrators are not giving a penalty based on an action, but rather a reaction. He is not being punished for the prank, he is being punished to assuage the complaints of those upset about the alleged acts of animal cruelty. Bryce is now the victim of a political game in which L.I.S.D. administration's only concern is preserving their public image.
Secondly, whether you find the prank funny or cruel, it was a behavioral matter and not academic. Bryce has earned his diploma through four years of academic achievement and no prank - of any magnitude - can discredit that. While violations of school policy should in fact result in fair and just punishment, there should ultimately be no correlation between the aforementioned mistakes and one's diploma.
Last of all, what benefits come from treating an alleged case of animal cruelty with human cruelty? In the end, depriving a human being of achieving their potential through a means of education for making a mistake is completely and "udderly" ridiculous.
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