Fair School Punishment

Fair School Punishment

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carol valdez started this petition to School City of Mishawaka

Zero tolerance for fighting is a great policy. The punishment that goes along with this policy is not. Students involved in a physical altercation regardless if they are the aggressor or the defender are given out of school suspension. They can even be given the same punishment. If one student punches a second student, the second student is expected to not fight back, to just stand there and take it or try to run away. We all know this is an unrealistic expectations. I do not want my student to stand, lay, or sit there while another students punches or kicks me until help arrives. This policy needs to be changed. We need fair punishment for our children who are involved in physical altercations trying to defend themselves after being attacked. 

My story begins with my 14 year old son. He is an 8th grader who participates in multiple sports, active in Junior National Honor Society, and is relatively a good kid. His altercation took place during basketball practice where the coach is responsible for 12 athletes. The coach had previously lectured the kids about the team needing a leader, someone to stand up and get the team together. So my son attempted to do this when another athlete was refusing to run his laps. The other athlete and my son had some verbal conflicts back and forth. The other athlete decided to punch my son in the face. My son did retaliate back instead of lay down and take a beating. They were apparently pulled apart by the coach. My son comes home and tells me right away of the altercation. I email the coach and ask him to call me as I do not have his number. He responded that he would call tomorrow afternoon. I have yet to receive that call. The next morning my son went to school although his friends tried to say he was suspended. Mind you we had not been contacted by anyone. As he was eating breakfast the assistant principal came and took him to his office where he informed him he was suspended out of school for 5 days. They phoned me and I left work to go get my student. While meeting with each principal I was told that he did not start the fight but did retaliate and therefore had to be punished according to policy. This punishment is the same punishment the aggressor received. This puts my student out of the classroom missing education for 5 days for defending himself. He needs to be there to continue to get above average grades and learn. I agree with my student getting a punishment but this punishment is too harsh and unfair for defending yourself. If this was your student would you agree?

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