Dedham Students Will Now Be Punished for Incidents Off School Grounds

Students may now face up to a month's suspension for getting in trouble on or off campus.

Starting today, the "Memorandum of Understanding" (MOU) will go into affect.

Students can now face punishment if they are involved in any one of the incidents described in the document.

Within the MOU, incidents include being caught with alcohol, drugs, fights, or threats of fights on or off school ground.

“I don’t think you should really get in trouble for something out of school,” says Dedham High School senior Annie Joy Abbott told CBS News. “You’re not even on school property.”

According to CBS News, The motion passed 6-1 last night during the school board meeting- ending months of debating.

Principals now have the most power to punish students who are caught with alcohol, or drugs.  And students can face up to a month's suspension.

Even though many parents agree that the new MOU is less harsh than the last, there are some, like mother of three Camilla Rush, who are still concerned.

"I think sometimes they need to let us parents be parents," Rush told CBS. "Let us punish the kids. I do like if you need help, you can go to someone for backup, but let us be parents too.”

steve September 06, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Typical dedham politics.more power to our dreaded school system overstepping parents and the law. If my child gets in trouble then is found not guilty of any crime then how do they get in trouble at school. Taking our basic legal rights away at a public school. I really think this should go out to a vote of the parents or do we not matter anymore. I really hope this backfires on the school in some sort of litigation in the future because I will definitely be looking into legal recourse because if my kid misses a prom or game or season because the communist school committee forgot about innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Avon Barksdale September 06, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Oh boy, here come the alarmists... seriously, way to blow this all out of proportion. And nice headline, Patch, good to see you've joined the world of internet tabloid revenue generation. At least read the MOU before you comment? Sheesh.
Dan O'Neil September 06, 2012 at 05:37 PM
I agree with Avon here. Kids were already losing games and such for things that happened outside school. There is also a lot of under parenting in this town. I see elementary and middle school aged kids out after dark in the East Dedham CVS's parking lot and in Oakdale square all the time. Where are the parents herewhen the kids are out late on a school night. Those kids should be in doing homework not loitering. There wouldn't be a need for a policy like this if more people actually did some parenting.
steve September 06, 2012 at 06:28 PM
So who's business is it what someone's kid does def not the school board. So now the all mighty dedham schools are the law. How about they concentrate on getting these kids good grades between 7 and 3, and we will worry about them at home this country is going down the toilet. What happens when my kid gets into a fight and defends himself both are getting in trouble. My kid would never get in trouble for that in my house. So who is going to fund all the new school police and detectives. If my kids get untroubled by a real police force then theonly court that will decide anything is a real court not some pathetic school board or principal
Avon Barksdale September 06, 2012 at 06:32 PM
Steve, your unfocused, lunatic ramblings are entertaining yet don't seem to advance the discussion. Here's the link to the MOU: http://www.dedham.k12.ma.us/MOU_Proposal_Policy_Sub_Committee_August_22_2012.pdf There doesn't seem to be any mention of any "new school police" needed to implement this, sorry.
steve September 06, 2012 at 06:57 PM
So after reading it says that everything is reported by police and principal vice versa. So they are judge and jury why can't I or my child have a lawyer present to dispute the charges. So we are changing to guilty until proven innocent. So they determine the punishment. The principal now has credentials of a judge. What would you say if your employer was going to moniter all your activities outside of work.
steve September 06, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Avon apparently you like your freedoms slowly taken away. I don't appreciate name calling I never said anything about your views I don't agree with anything your dumb ass says but I keep it to myself but if wanna act tough and hide by your fake name I would be more than happy to meet up for a cup of coffee and discuss our different views.
Avon Barksdale September 06, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Well, if steve wanted to dispel the notion that he does not produce unfocused, lunatic ramblings that do not advance discussion, he sure did a great job. Along with a veiled threat, nice.
steve September 06, 2012 at 07:21 PM
A cup of coffee and discussion is a threat??? Anyways it wasn't if it was and I was in a dedham.school I would have been suspended by now . What wrong Avon you don't like when someone talks back to you
Avon Barksdale September 06, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Like I said steve, you're very entertaining, just not very focused or well-informed. No need to get mad, feel free to direct that negative energy toward self-assessment.
Stephen Acosta September 08, 2012 at 02:43 PM
Mr. O'Neil, as a student I take offense that you believe people are underparented. Just because it is your opinion that someone shouldn't be somewhere at a certain time doesn't make it underparenting. With cell phones, parents can let their kids stay out a little later, especially in summer, because with a touch of a button and less than a minute, they can find out where their kid is. I'm not sure how that's underparenting, but I guess if you say it, it must be true. Just like when you wrote a letter to the Dedham Times about how your nephew didn't make the JV Basketball team, saying that you watched him out there and he was much better than every other player that made the team over him. You need to realize that just because you think something, doesn't make it what should be happening. Everyone's entitled to an opinion, and I applaud you for having yours, but your opinions do not make something right or wrong. Sincerely, Stephen Acosta DHS Class of 2016
Dan O'Neil September 10, 2012 at 05:02 PM
For Young Mr. Acosta, You should be very proud to have Mike Plansky there now to oversee what has been years of a network of favors in that sports program. What happened to my nephew won't happen to you if you go out for a sport. That man is trying to fix 25+ years of that garbage going on. By the way he lost his spot to a kid with two left feet and who's dad gave a $1000 donation to the program. Going back to the MOU. Young kids being out late in East Dedham has been going on since before you were born and payphones still existed. This isn't about losing freedoms it's about protecting children and teaching them a sense of right and wrong. There are families that have two parents and both of them don't make time for this because of there jobs, some families it's one parent trying to do two jobs to make ends meet. No matter what the situation there is a disconnect. Maybe your parents do instill those values. A lot of parents don't or don't realize or think they covered everything and left out some things thinking there child wouldn't do this. Everyone's situation is different. I find kids to be less respectful than other generations. I went into the guidance office last year for something with me nephew and those kids were dictating to the guidance people what class they were going to, not asking, telling. That behavior is unacceptable and I fully support the MOU.
Eileen Kelly September 11, 2012 at 12:31 AM
How about we give the kids of Dedham something to do like a rec center. The teens are not allowed to congregate anywhere. Socializing is a big part of teen life. I don't believe kids should be breaking the law but I think we need to help them find ways to socialize other that drinking, doing drugs and generally acting foolish. I don't agree with the schools MOU now or before it was recently defined. I think that as minors it is up to the parents to deal with their actions outside of school and if a child is not taken care of at home then it is up to the law and the school dept.
Jack September 11, 2012 at 12:25 PM
Most employers do monitor activities outside of work -- it's called a drug test (and that's not such a bad idea for students). Kevin Coughlin was right though, there needs to be more clarity with "in presence" because that could trap kids. Currently, it wouldn't exclude a younger sibling who's in middle school from punishment if an older sibling was caught at home throwing a party with alcohol/drugs.


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