In Suspense for Suspensions

By: Avery Britt and Rayne Namuo, Highlands Voice, Highlands Intermediate School

A few Highlands students have ended the first quarter with a suspension. However, according to Ms. Martinson, the principal at Highlands Intermediate, suspensions and violations of class A and B offenses have never been that big of a problem at Highlands, and this year is no different.  

  “Suspensions are one form of disciplinary consequences,” said Ms.Martinson, “but I prefer students to stay in school.” The amount of time a student is suspended depends on the severity of the offense. A student who commits class A or B offenses, such as bringing dangerous weapons, possession of illegal substance, or starting/participating in fights, can get anywhere from one semester to one year of suspension from school.

  However, the Department of Education has new rules about suspensions. Schools have to meet with the students involved in the incident and find out what happened before suspending them. With this

new rule, the rate of suspension has gone down from 11,500 suspensions to 5,400 suspensions in a school year (Star Advertiser).

   Other than suspension, students can be sent to BMC, which is in-school suspension where students study and do classwork with teachers away from other students. They also have lunch detentions, lunch duty (cleaning tables after lunch), community service, and academic detention (tutoring). All of which are accompanied by counseling.

    Many teachers don’t like the idea of suspensions. “They can reinforce bad attitudes towards school, which prevents students from learning” said Ms. Onishi, an eighth grade Laule’a teacher. She believes that more time away from school causes bad academic performance, which causes students to make poor life choices. Also, some students don’t consider suspension to be a punishment or they do not complete the work that hey are given at home, causing them to fall behind in school.

     However, students have mixed opinions on suspension. Some students, like Macielyn Gervacio, an eighth grade Ho’oko student, believe that suspending students is not an effective way of teaching them to not break rules, but instead give them less time in school. On the other hand, students, like Hui Manao student, Reese Aaron, believe that going through the consequences from doing something bad will teach them a lesson and they won’t think to do it again.

Students Benjamin Bercasio, Taylor Ann Agena, and Rylie Goo

(left to right) rather work hard than get into trouble.




Reese Aaron, 8th grader on Hui’Manao shares how she feels when she heard that a student got suspended.

  “I feel bad because that certain student or students will miss out on the awesome activities and experiences that everyone else will get to have.”