Nutley Parents paying for detention – what do you think?

Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple. – Dr. Seuss

Having raised my children in Nutley, NJ I read the newstory surrounding the consideration of charging parents for the costs associated with detention with great interest.

First of all, kudos to the Board members that had the courage to raise the question. Most people sit in the comfortable position of challenging the question and answer like a Monday morning quarterback, but lack the creativity to think differently in the first place.

So before I weigh in on the topic, (yes, I am playing the role of the Monday morning quarterback) I am grateful to the original thinkers, School Board members Steve Rogers and Walter Sautter for recognizing an opportunity to make things better.

My opinion is that we would be better served to have the students do something to improve the school rather than being babysat in a classroom.

* In the cases where they can be directly tied to an offense such as grafitti, they should be held accountable to clean it up.

* Where they were sent to dentention for being rude, late or other disciplinary actions, I am sure there is a laundry list of school clean up, repair activities or administrative work that always needs to be done. In that way, the students are the ones paying the price, not their parents.

After all, the purpose of an education is about learning, and it seems as if the students in detention are the ones that need the lesson. Your thoughts?



  1. Margarita said

    Look this boils down to the purpose that detention serves. As pointed out at the end of the article, kids are just waiting for clock to note the end. They aren’t really learning anything are they? Detention should teach them something – community service, work equivalent to the reason they are in the detention – something. Fining parents is the answer either, though. It’s not really addressing the student and the reason they’re in trouble in the first place.

  2. Yes, parents with unruly and uncooperative children should be financially charged for the detention of their children.

    Perhaps a financial incentive (i.e., cost being charged) will encourage parents to spend time with and properly discipline their children, teaching them to respect educators and honor class time. – worldwide speaker & author of “Teacher Success & Survival Secrets”

    info @

  3. Arlene said

    I think having kids pay the price with community service is an excellent idea in general. However, not every kid who is late has parents who don’t care. Most parents leave for work the same time kids are getting ready for school. A parent cannot be late for work on a daily basis tryin to get a teenager out of bed in the morning. In addition, it is my opinion, that there are many social issues attached to a child being tardy on a regular basis. Lastly, some kids have sleep disorders which are not diagnosed causing the child to be labled lazy, uncooperative, and unmotivated and a loser. I know, my son received detention for three years at NHS before being diagnosed with “Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome,” making our mornings a battlefield everyday. Not all parents are responsible for the actions of their children. Some are beyond our control. Acting out kids should be taught their are consequences for THEIR ACTIONS, not their parents. Community service is my vote.

  4. Rose Papa said

    I think having the kids be responsible for their actions is a better idea than charging the parents. I work in another school district that also has a detention problem. The kids are always coming up with excuses as to why they can’t serve their detention,( I have to pick up my younger sibling, I work, I take the bus, etc.) We have “in school” detention also. All this means that it gives them chance to catch up on sleep. They are not required to do “anything” during that detention. Giving them a purpose to being in detention and having them “do something” might let them think twice before they commit the same mistake that got them there in the first place.

  5. Excellent blogpost, great looking weblog, added it to my favs!

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