Has your child ever had detention?

(30 Posts)
Madmog Thu 17-Jan-13 10:14:40

My daughter is in Year 7, a reasonably high achiever and lucky to be popular with lots of girls (not sure why he he!), so it came as a shock when she got detention for drawing on someone's collar and making the comment that it wasn't fair someone else had bought a kit to make a castle when everyone else had spent a whole day making them (there were no rules to say they couldn't do that, but I sort of see her point).

Anyway, we were annoyed at the time and she was clearly worried about the detention. Half to laugh though, turned out she really enjoyed it - she had to ready for an hour and chose a book they are studying for English homework - she loves reading and it got some homework out of the way.

Just wondered what other parents experiences are. Why did your children get detention, did you expect it, did they care? Hopefully for mine that will be the first and last detention!

tiggytape Thu 17-Jan-13 11:34:39

Detentions are much more common at secondary school than they used to be back in the day. Once, they were reserved for quite serious misdeameanors but now they can be given out for forgetting P.E socks or not wearing the tie correctly.

I have to say though that drawing on someone else's collar is quite a serious thing and does deserve a detention. For some reason your post comes across like you think it isn't a big deal or that it is quite funny. Maybe you didn't intend it that way but I don't think you should let her think that the fact she enjoyed the detention means it doesn't matter that she got one.

tiggytape Thu 17-Jan-13 11:35:25

I mean - misdemeanours (I never coulld spell it)

Ladymuck Thu 17-Jan-13 12:38:59

I'd read the OP as "we were annoyed at the time" at her dd, not at the fact of the detention.

Ds1 is year 7. Is meant to have had 2 so far, 1 for not putting his phone in the locker during the day, and 1 for not having got signed out of the correct lesson for his instrumental lesson (he had followed the correct procedure for the initial time of the music lesson, but then the music lesson got changed and he forgot to get the other teacher's signature). He doesn't actually seem to have served either detention yet, though clearly has been bollocked by both the school and us about both offences (which took place last term). But I think they have to send letters home etc so perhaps detentions happen less frequently. I suspect that I agree with the OP - given that ds's detentions have been hanging over him for 5 weeks now, it will feel a slight anticlimax if he gets to read for an hour.

chuckerbuttypat Thu 17-Jan-13 14:12:31

It was pleasing she enjoyed the detention. That is positive

Madmog Thu 17-Jan-13 14:35:08

tiggytape, you're certainly right drawing on a collar does deserve a detention. I was totally shocked and I phoned the other Mum to apologize and made my daughter apologize too. My daughter was told if the ink didn't wash out she would have to pay for stain remover. Luckily for her it has. My husband absolutely hit the roof.

Also, have told her that it could be totally different if she gets a detention with another tutor. I know some of them have to sit in absolute silence for an hour and if there is any reaction while doing that they have to start over again. Her English teacher caught her leaving and said to her she was the last person she expected to get detention which made her feel a little uneasy.

I posted the thread as we had been shocked that she would ever do that, there had been upset and tears and I was interested to know if that sort of thing had ever happened to others either expectedly or not and why.

tiggytape Thu 17-Jan-13 14:42:12

Apologies madmog - I misread the tone totally. In answer you your question, detentions are very common at secondary school. They seem to be the only sanction used for everything with on,y the length varying from 15 mins - 1 hour depending on the severity of the deed. It used to be that a detention was a last resort but not anymore.

At DS's school, they can get detention for forgetting something they need eg P.E socks or for being somewhere they shouldn't at break time or for being seen to have their phone out (even if just to check the time) as well as for serious stuff like fighting or swearing.
And there are no warnings - it is an automatic detention even for children who are never normally naughty. DS has avoided one so far but many of his friends have had them for relatively trivial things (like using a phone to check the time and getting caught). He is careful now about obeying the rules but at some stage he is bound to get one simply because they are so easily given out.

Madmog Thu 17-Jan-13 14:55:10

Ladymuck, my daughter was expected to sit her detention the same week, she was given a letter and one was also posted to us to sign. My daughter was genuinely ill (we were actually concerned she would end up in hospital) and was unable to do it that week but notice came out when they returned last week. It's not much fun having it hang around five weeks, I know my daughter was worried about it and kept getting up in the night - out of character and stopped the night she actually did the detention.

What my daughter did was wrong, but I think detention for genuinely forgetting things is about getting them to think for themselves. Schools obviously have problems when they are young and new comers and I think they are trying to nip it in the bud so to speak.

Madmog Thu 17-Jan-13 15:02:38

That's fine tiggytape - no offence taken, I'm not very good at putting things across sometimes so probably don't help myself.

My daughter's school was very strick when they first started about detentions for forgetting things, not letting tutors know whey they couldn't attend lessons (my daughter has missed a few lessons as she hass a violin lessons or was taking part in the school concert). Things seem more relaxed now, my daughter has music lessons at different times so she doesn't miss the same lesson each time and all tutors have now said to her she doesn't need to let them know she can't attend as long as a friend does. I guess they now know it's genuine she has violin lessons. She doesn't even has to let her tutor know for registration but still does as she wants things in order in case of a fire alarm (they had a few genuine calls outs for minor things in her old school). She forget her history book the other day, was given paper and told to re-write everything up in her book that night which is fair enough.

Fingers crossed, we won't be getting any more detentions here though.

Blu Thu 17-Jan-13 15:12:41

Parents evening has just confirmed Yr7 DS as a high achiever and all round golden boy of model behaviour. Every teacher commented on his extremely good behaviour.

And yet he has had several detentions:
5 mins - over a third of the class were told they had not got through enough work
5 mins - eating a cookie form the school vending machine in the playground instead of in the hall
15 mins - shouting out a joke silly answer having been asked to identify something more than obvious
15 mins - not having printed out homework - printer fail at home, and too big a queue in the library.

The school issuessame day detentions of up to an hour - that would worry me as he wouldn't be able to use his phone to warn us of being late without incurring confiscation of phone!

It's a way of life in secondary schools now, and the price of us wanting better discipline, better standards, i guess.

BoundandRebound Thu 17-Jan-13 16:34:56

A school has to inform parents 24 hrs in advance of any detention over 20 minutes

cricketballs Thu 17-Jan-13 17:35:34

that is no longer the case bound the law on this changed about a year ago.

pointythings Thu 17-Jan-13 18:49:25

I think the pendulum has swung too far on detentions and they should only be used for serious stuff - otherwise what will schools do when a child does something really bad? Straight to suspension/expulsion?
Some of the 'detainable' offences in this thread are just ridiculous.

DD1 is in Yr7, her school has a sliding scale ranging from verbal warning on two levels (the 2nd level goes into their school record for 3 months), then written warning/letter home to parents, then detention. So far DD has had one 1st level verbal warning which was withdrawn when she was found to have been not guilty (and she got an apology from the teacher too).

But she knows that if she really messes up she will get it in the neck at home as well as at school, and she is naturally well behaved.

cricketballs Thu 17-Jan-13 19:09:36

but pointy what would you class bad enough to warrant a detention?

Being late, not following clear rules, not having the correct equipment disrupts everyone else, their learning and the overall running of a school so why shouldn't they be deserving of a detention?

tiggytape Thu 17-Jan-13 19:17:33

Pointy - For really bad stuff now exclusions are used - internal exclusions for bad behaviour and external exclusions for very serious stuff or repeated bad behaviour.

serin Thu 17-Jan-13 19:22:52

Yes, recently DD who is in year 11 got her first detention.

She had forgotten her chemistry homework.

It's her first ever 'offence' and she was bloody furious with herself and them as she had an exam the next day and it impacted on her revision.

We personally think detention was way too harsh, she works so hard and sets herself very high standards (A* all subjects).

pointythings Thu 17-Jan-13 20:06:31

Being late - warning for a first time, detention for a second time.
Disobeying rules - depends on which rule it is, really. Are the consequences potentially dangerous or harmful? Yes, fine, detention. Not getting through enough work - add it to the homework list for those who have not completed, then follow through with consequences for not handing in homework.
Forgetting equipment/homework - as above - warning for first offence, detention thereafter.
It works in DD's school, and behaviour standards there are very good indeed - with good teaching and leadership there is no need to be draconian, in fact I think that approach is a sign of weakness.

Honestly - are children not allowed to make one mistake? They aren't doing brain surgery, they're learning. There are many workplaces where a first mistake does not result in formal disciplinary proceedings.

The warning system was in force when I was in school in Holland (a loooong time ago) and it worked well - the fundamentally 'good' kids got a short sharp shock and upped their game, the persistent offenders got consequences.

IMO schools should be focusing on dealing with bullying and genuine disruptive behaviour, not getting their knickers in a knot over one forgotten pencil case.

cricketballs Thu 17-Jan-13 23:39:27

pointy - how do you know that the dc mentioned in this thread had not already received a warning? In my experience very few children have told their parents that they have.

Every school I have worked at do give warnings for the situations you have described, but there comes a cut off point when warnings are not enough.

pointythings Fri 18-Jan-13 19:37:04

cricketballs my DD1's school logs verbal warnings in the planner and demands a parent signature. So unless you're the kind of parent who doesn't give a damn, you will either see the warning in the planner and follow it up, or you will notice that your devious DC has torn out the page. Either way you will know something is up.

It's a common sense system that works.

Both tiggytape and serin's posts suggest that their schools do not give out warnings but proceed straight to detention. Given the small size of the sample in this thread and the relatively large number of posters reporting a 'no warning' system, that suggests that this is a relatively common occurrence. (unscientific, I know). It is bad practice and very OTT.

Dominodonkey Sat 19-Jan-13 00:22:52

pointythings

I agree - I always give a warning for homework/forgotten books.

I learnt early on that those teachers who were quick to set detentions tended to hold loads every week. They clearly weren't working. With my way, I get the result I want (ie the hmk given in or book remembered) without actually wasting my time running a detention. It is only a few children who don't take their second chance.

In the OP's case however I think a detention, without warning, is perfectly fine for writing on someone else's clothes.

timidviper Sat 19-Jan-13 00:30:58

My DCs went to a school where a minor infraction got a "lunchtime", slightly more naughty got a "Wednesday" which was an hour after school and real sin got a "Saturday" which was 9-12. Wednesdays and Saturdays were given a week in advance and parents were sent a letter in a lovely heavy embossed envelope, every time DD got one I got overexcited, thinking it was an invitation of some sort, until I read it.

LynetteScavo Sat 19-Jan-13 00:42:35

Yes, DS1 has had a fair few detentions. Mostly for not doing homework ( I can imagine he would have had reminders, and still not handed it in), or not turning up to a detention for not doing homework. hmm

He usually enjoys detentions. (After school ones mean he gets a lift home in the car, rather than take the bus).

During one detention they all went into the theater to watch the GCSE drama production rehearsal. He particularly enjoyed that. Apparently Comics are provided during detentions - school policy is that staff will ensure the pupils are occupied, and behave in a way the do not get another detention during the first, IYSWIM.

No, he's never cared about getting a detention.

echt Sat 19-Jan-13 06:43:29

I don't get the way detentions run in some schools. They really need to be kept in reserve.

Homework. Home.Work. The clue is in the name. Why should I spend my time with children who should be doing this At Home. Quite a few parents don't get this either, and are cross I won't keep their PFBs in and supervise them.
If it comes in late with no reasonable excuse, work goes the bottom of the pile. Not the pile of work from that child's class, but of ALL my classes. Will get marked when it gets to the top of the pile, at which point it will have zip value. Homework is a privilege, and my swift marking and feedback is the reward for punctual work. Most students get this, and I have a good return on work because they know I'll do exactly what I promise.

Forgotten books/equipment. Email home and emphasise that it's not OK for their child to affect the learning of another by peering over their shoulder reading their book. I will loan a chewed pencil and paper, but the work has to be written up in ink for the next day. I don't allow loans of equipment by other children in class; it's quite often a subtle form of bullying.

Detentions are only for behaviour, only held on Friday after school. If they don't like Friday, they can do Saturday morning. Quite a few parents don't like this, either.

Forgot to say detentions are copying from the dictionary in best handwriting. I don't think detentions should ever be about schoolwork. Work is not a punishment. OK, it IS, but you know what I mean. grin

marriedinwhite Sat 19-Jan-13 20:50:52

DS: writing on a desk, larking about in changing room, not doing homework, not learning vocab for the re-test, lates, forgetting a training session etc., etc.

DD: One detention - the whole class was given a detention for the disruptive behaviour of six pupils. Didn't seem right to me that one.

pointythings Sat 19-Jan-13 22:16:19

Forgot to say that I do agree that writing on someone else's clothes is a detainable offence and one where a warning is not appropriate.

married don't get me started on collective punishments, they're a sign of a weak teacher.

Idiom Sun 20-Jan-13 09:04:24

At our school nearly all detentions are for not doing homework or for forgetting a book. They do not get one for a first offence. If they fail twice to turn up to a lunchtime Faculty detention they get given an after school detention. With the older children this is particularly useless as they would rather stay after school than miss time with their mates during the day!

HecateWhoopass Sun 20-Jan-13 09:09:07

Yes. My eldest had a kit detention once for forgetting his pe kit. He was extremely distressed and it affected him for weeks.

My youngest has been in the school since september and I don't think he's gone a full week without a detention. <sigh>

They both have autism. My eldest is very anxious about rules. The pe kit thing floored him. My youngest doesn't give a crap about anything and is compulsive including having verbal and non verbal ticks. Which results in him shouting stuff out in class. Including swear words blush which results in detention. As does his total refusal to work. As does standing up in class and yelling THIS LESSON SUCKS. blush

He will say exactly what he thinks. At all times.

MissMarplesMaid Sun 20-Jan-13 16:13:47

DD1 had none throughout 5 years - now in a different 6th form
DS is in year 9 and has only had 'whole class' detentions
DD2 is in year 8 and has had two 'late' detentions (15 mins). Second was apologised for as she wasnt late!

On the whole I think that the short detentions are used a bit heavily. Because they are short teachers seem to use them without much thought rather than using warnings and checking facts.

The collective punishments only serve to build resentment.

MissMarplesMaid Sun 20-Jan-13 16:29:33

I think that for my two the effect of the punishment far outweighed the 'crime'. DS likes rules and follows them. Having collective punishments just makes him feel got at. In my opinion the collective punishments are a sign of lazy classroom management. The teacher abdicates responsibility.

Sadly some schools use punishments to set an example. I warned my DCs that because they tend to be well behaved they are precisely the ones likely to be used for making an example of. No one notices if the usual suspects are in detention but people will notice if it is one of the 'good' children.

BackforGood Sun 20-Jan-13 18:12:49

dd1 (in Yr9) never had one, nor a whiff or a warning - this probably isn't surprising, she's just not the sort to provoke staff

ds - got to Yr11 before he got one, and then they were for being late. He's never had any for behaviour stuff. He's definitely not a 'golden boy' - more the 'loveably rogue' type. I suspect his school has used a lot of common sense and good teaching along the way and not got bogged down in drawing up lists of 'crimes' that must be punished in certain ways, but have left it to the staff to look at intention, provocation, reaction to warnings, etc.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now