Mount Vernon I read with interest Caroline Hemenway's opinion letter on June 6, "Respecting Parents' Roles," which raised concerns with current disciplinary policies in Fairfax County public schools. Ms. Hemenway describes a scenario where principals routinely pull students into administrator offices and interrogate them for hours for alleged offenses.
I have two daughters at West Potomac High School and my wife and I are very involved in all aspects of their education, and athletic and musical participation. I am grateful we have not experienced any situation that Ms. Hemenway describes, nor have we heard of these practices being used by the principal, Mr. Hardison or his staff. What concerns us about Ms. Hemenway's letter is the absence of a discussion on the virtue of telling the truth. Administrators will confirm that upon asked, most students will acknowledge possession of illegal substances and voluntarily hand them over to the principal. In these cases, no clothing search is necessary despite the right of the principal to do so.
Perhaps Ms. Hemenway and her supporters want to be on the ground floor of the questioning to either support or stop it, depending on the consequences for their children. Or maybe the discussion should really be about what is a fair punishment, realizing that teenagers make mistakes and should be given a second chance. I would welcome that worthy discussion but I am not willing to sacrifice knowing the truth, and the importance of teaching this to our students.