A ten-year-old girl at an elementary school in Texas was given detention for a week for having a piece of Jolly Rancher candy. Apparently a friend gave her the candy and a teacher took it away, then the girl, Leighann Adair, and her friend were both given detention.
Over a piece of candy.
The girls had to serve detention during lunch and recess, and they had to write an essay about what they did and why it was wrong.
According to her mother Leighann was never in trouble before and the whole incident has devastated her. The mother, along with some other folks, think the punishment was extreme for so minor an infraction.
Despite protests, school officials are standing by the punishment. They say they have to be strict in order to enforce their no-gum, no-candy policy. Candy and gum, they say, can cause a mess. And according to the school superintendent, they were only following state guidelines to limit the amount of junk food in schools.
That’s a good sound bite, but it is absurd. The state guidelines apply to what the schools can provide and endorse, not what an individual brings to school. And punishing kids for having a piece of candy is not going to encourage them to eat healthy. Save the harsh punishment for the serious infractions.
What happened to the policy of simply taking a piece of gum or candy away from a student, throwing it away, and reminding them that gum is not permitted in school? That was the way such infractions were handled for years. And if a student persisted in breaking the rule, then it was time to take more drastic action.
What do you think? Was this an extreme reaction?