Punishments Confuse Hillhouse Students
by Brandi Fullwood | Sep 27, 2012 4:16 pm
Posted to: Schools
No announcement came over the intercom. No administrators spoke to them about it. But when Hillhouse students returned to classes Thursday, they knew their school had been all over the news—and some were skeptical about the latest turn.
On Wednesday, while school was closed, district officials suspended Hillhouse Principal Kermit Carolina and three of his administrators, plus the principal of Riverside Academy, without pay for over allegations of grade-tampering. Carolina received a three-day suspension, the others, two days. Click here to read about all that.
It was the latest development in a controversy that has raged since last December, when the allegations first surfaced and sparked counter-accusations of a political witch hunt.
Hillhouse students have had enough of it by now.
Students interviewed at lunch Thursday expressed a mix of concerns about the suspensions. (They did not want to be identified.) After all this time of the story dominating public discussion about Hillhouse, they were surprised at such a small punishment for what was being portrayed as such major alleged misdeeds. And they questioned why school system officials took nine months to make their decision.
“If they were already planning to suspend him, they should have” done so earlier, one senior said. “If it was serious it should have been more than three days.”
“Three days is barely a slap on the wrist. If there wasn’t going to be a hefty punishment, maybe the Hillhouse administrators shouldn’t have been punished at all,” agreed another student.
Overall, students said the controversy has drawn attention away from their positive achievements, ranging from their classmates who just won a spot at a national history day competition in Washington, to the internships others are doing at places like Yale-New Haven Hospital, to work of the math team and international club.
“I’m tired of this. It’s been going for too long,” one student remarked. “That’s all people focus on about our school. It just needs to end. It’s too frustrating for the students.”
Brandi Fullwood, a Hillhouse senior, is an Independent intern.
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The students’ answers are spot on. If the offense is serious then why the slap on the wrist? If proof of the offense was absent, or weak, then why a penalty?
Beyond the specific allegations, isn’t there a system-wide, perhaps nationwide problem? Student athletes get cheated out of a good education and all the other students are treated unfairly. Teachers get pressured into passing students who still need help instead of being able to give them the help they need. “No student left behind” really seems to mean that the needs of the student are left behind. Resources in this richest of rich countries must be provided. No excuses.