Attention! Watch out for a Detention

Mackenzie Guynn In the past, detentions have been a threatening, scarce punishment, saved for when a student seriously messed up. That has changed drastically this year. Now you can get a detention for leaving your bags outside the cafeteria or under the staircase, talking on the phone in the hallway, and eating anywhere but the cafeteria. All of these rules have been in place for a while, but this year they are becoming increasingly more strictly enforced. Additionally, detentions aren’t as easy as sitting in a room silently for a few hours anymore. Getting a detention could mean anything from reflecting on the mistakes that landed you there, physical tasks like helping Ms. Wells move backpacks from outside the cafeteria, or servicing the school in any way that seems fit. Detentions are becoming more and more punitive and less and less meaningful. Students leaving backpacks outside of the cafeteria is by no means rare— an easy way to not get in trouble for having a backpack in the cafeteria. The shelves, where you are supposed to leave your backpacks, are filled quickly, leaving no room for the latecomers. Leaving bags in lockers sounds like the perfect solution except it is inconvenient for many students— sophomores whose lockers are on the fifth floor rarely go there for books in between classes, let alone to put their backpacks away for lunch. Even if they did, our “big” lockers simply cannot fit a large sports bag as well as a backpack. Because of this, leaving backpacks outside of the cafeteria seems like the only option. Michael Davis, a sophomore, recently received a detention for leaving his backpack in the wrong place during lunch. He “understands why” he got a detention, but “that doesn’t make it less stupid” to him. Those who enforce it have made the reasoning behind the ban on cafeteria backpacks very clear. They say the fire code demands it. And while the fire code is very important to everyone’s safety, getting a detention because your one bag was in the wrong place seems harsh.   Detentions may seem like the end of the world, but they are only annoying inconveniences. Detentions will not go on a student’s official transcript or alter their chances at getting into college. And with the frequency of their being given out steadily rising, detentions could easily soon be a commonality that means almost nothing. ]]>