Rogers: Saturday School not an effective or fair form of punishment


Courtesy of Audrey Robinson

Saturday School at MSMS is commonly used as a punishment for tardiness or unexcused absences.

Jordan Rogers, Web Layout Editor

Saturday School is a popular form of punishment used amongst a number of different schools. However, many schools, including MSMS, seem to use this punishment as a means to avoid addressing the actual problem at hand.

Saturday School is given to students for a number of disciplinary actions, with tardiness and unexcused absences being the most common at MSMS. At MSMS, a student is assigned two hours of Saturday School after the third tardy and four hours on the fourth offense. As for unexcused absences, students receive four hours on the first offense. 

For many students who attend non-residential schools, parents have to find a way to transport students to school early in the morning and pick them up only a few hours later. This is a huge inconvenience for many families, especially considering the fact buses do not run on those days. 

MSMS students are required to meet promptly at 8 am, with a faculty member monitoring them. For the allotted time, we are required to sit and complete academic work. The time a student has missed class and their status academically is not accounted for by administration when they are assigned this time, so even if a student has perfect grades and all of their assignments turned in, they still must find something academic to work on.

MSMS’s version of Saturday School is another way of giving students study hours. Assigning students these hours that they must do academic work outside of school is tiring and inconvenient for students, especially considering the fact that MSMS students have incredibly busy schedules.

Aside from this, students are not allowed to eat, drink, sleep or use headphones during Saturday School. Four or even two hours is an excruciatingly long time to sit in a room trying to find work to do. I know from personal experience that not being able to eat or drink for hours after rushing out of bed to make it on time can be extremely irritating. If anything, I believe this lack of stimulation alone is cruel and has nothing to do with the reason Saturday School is assigned.

Administration is failing by not actually considering why students are receiving tardies in the first place. A student is likely to be tardy because they have not had an adequate amount of sleep. In some cases it may just add more problems as students have to wake up early on the weekend, which students typically use to catch up on sleep.

The amount of class that is missed in these cases is insignificant in comparison to the hours students spend in Saturday School. Even being fifteen minutes late can cause students to potentially be given another hour. It also does nothing to mitigate the lost teaching time, as no specific assignments are given and teachers aren’t even present. 

Saturday School is also a large inconvenience to faculty, as the school has to find someone, in most cases ResLife staff, to monitor students. These faculty simply watch the students for hours on end, which has to be particularly inconvenient for them. 

Instead of handing out Saturday School, administration should find a new way to aid in reducing tardiness and unexcused absences. They should find a different, more positive method focusing on how to reduce tardiness instead of having to implement Saturday School, which only seems to cause more problems.