A Quick Question about Discipline

I am calling on the collective powers of the online teacher community to see if anyone can help me out. I know it’s a long shot that anyone will respond. But hey, you might know the answer for your school, or you might not know the answer and be intrigued enough to find out the answer.

(1) What are the disciplinary infractions that get reported to colleges by your school?

(2) Does it matter when in high school the offense was committed?

(3) In your school, who makes the decision whether something gets reported to colleges or not?

The reason I’m curious is that I’m on the Student Faculty Judiciary Committee (SFJC) at my school, which is composed of 8 elected students and 3 faculty members, which hears all cases involving student misconduct. (Yeah, yeah, I know… fancy… we didn’t have anything like this in my public high school… but I think student-centered disciplinary committees are common in the private school universe…)

We’re now about to have a discussion with the administration about our current set of disciplinary responses, about infractions getting reported to colleges, about what sorts of offenses warrant the college counselors reporting them, and if it matters what grade the student is in.

If a 9th grader cheats once, should that get reported to a college? What about a 12th grader? What about if a 9th grader cheated 3 times? What if a 12th grader cheated, after being sent before the disciplinary committee for cutting 3 classes the week before?  What if a student cheated in 9th grade, and then again in 12th grade?

It gets really sticky, especially with something as high stakes as college admissions, and a clear policy — or at least general guidelines — needs to be drawn up so that there aren’t gross inequities in what happens to one student and what happens to another.

So anyway, any idea of what the policy is in your school? Or if you don’t know the answer, muse a bit in the comments with your thoughts about how you would deal with this in your ideal school: what kinds of things you would say HAD to be reported, and where you would draw the line between something being reported and something not being reported.

PS. If you care, the Common Application has students fill out the following:




  1. I had a little chuckle at this… At my school, many of the kids would have to check “yes” to #1. But then again, most of them wouldn’t be filling out the common application.

    You’re lucky that you can address cheating as an offense. We’re too busy dealing with things for which they actually get a police record. I don’t even know if we have a policy about cheating.

  2. @certain absurdity: i love your drawn picture icon! yeah, my school is totally different than a lot… we get to focus on teaching for most of the time, instead of every other thing.

    sometimes i wish there was a large community of independent/private school teachers, because the annoyances/problems/issues are so different.

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