Sarah - posted on 04/08/2011 ( 45 moms have responded )
A headmistress who introduced a ‘zero-tolerance policy’ to improve standards in her school has handed out 717 detentions in four days.
Catherine Jenkinson-Dix has won the support of many parents after deciding to punish misdemeanours including smoking, chewing gum, eating between lessons, carrying mobile phones, applying excessive make-up and insubordination.
On Monday, the first day of the policy, 236 children – a fifth of pupils at City of Ely Community College in Cambridgeshire – were punished. On Tuesday the figure was 186, on Wednesday it was 180 and yesterday it was 115.
Supporters of the regime say the diminishing figures prove it is working. But the crackdown has divided parents, with some calling it draconian and others saying that old-fashioned discipline will be reflected in academic achievement.
florist Amanda King, 34, took her children, Ben, 12, and Shannon, 14, out of classes on Wednesday and is now looking for a new school. She said her son had been given a detention for arriving late to a French lesson.
‘I’m absolutely appalled. They are wrecking pupils’ education and turning it into a prison,’ she said. ‘Staff are nit-picking over everything – for behaviour, for what they wear.’
So, is it a stroke of genius, or a prison?