Writer Pens Letter About Headland High SchoolLetter
Posted by: RStokes
Date: May 12 2012 1:26 PM
May 3, 2012
My son is an 11th grader at Headland High School. He plays trumpet and bass guitar in the Headland Marching Band, Jazz Band, and Concert Band. He has attended Headland since kindergarten and has always been well behaved. He is an honor student and has recently been inducted into the National Honor Society. During the first semester of school he was in the aviation class held at the Headland Airport. Students were to be at school by 7:20 a.m. to catch the bus to the airport. They were brought back when class was over.
My son came home one Friday afternoon and said he had to spend several days in the “time out” room; the entire day, not just a few hours. When asked why, he said, “Because I drove to the airport for class so I wouldn’t miss it.” Students are required to have a minimum amount of hours in order to pass the class. For every minute they were late they were docked 15 minutes. At the time, my husband and I were under the impression this was the first incident.
The assistant principal happened to be in the ticket booth that Friday night at the football game and I asked him what happened. He was helping with ticket sales and didn’t really have time, but took the time to talk to me and I am grateful for that; I did not want to go through the weekend upset. He informed me that there were three separate times that my son drove his own vehicle to the airport; I did not know about this. The first time he was late he drove to the airport because he missed the bus. Upon his return to school he was called to the office and warned. He said the second time my son had left from home and drove straight to the airport. The excuse he was given was because he “did not have any classes after aviation” and was “going to go home after class was over.” Again, he was called to the office and warned. The third time he drove to the airport, because he missed the bus again, he was called to the office and told beginning Monday he was to go to “the time out room” for several days; in other words, in school suspension. I asked him why I wasn’t called the first time it happened and he said he “assumed” that my son would have told me. I placed my hand on his shoulder and said in a joking manner, “what happens when we assume?” He laughed and apologized.
I had no problem with my son being sent to the time out room. What I did have a problem with, is that I was NEVER notified that this was happening, especially the first time. My son came home and told his father he had to go to time out for a couple of days, who in turn called me at work and said I needed to handle it or he would. Again, we thought this was the only time it happened.
First thing Monday morning I went to the school and met with the principal and assistant principal. I was informed by the assistant principal that he made the decision to send him to the time out room instead of “alternative school.” The principal said if it had come to him first he would have followed school policy and sent him to alternative school, not time out. I let the assistant principal know again (like I had Friday night at the football game) how much I appreciated the fact that he sent him to the time out room instead of alternative school. I asked how he was supposed to get to class if he missed the bus. I was told he would miss class and go to the gym for first period instead. I asked if I could sign a permission slip for him to drive his car to the airport if he missed the bus and was told I could not. I realized that would be like telling my son it was ok to be late and miss the bus; not a good idea.
I found out that the students at Abbeville High School were permitted to drive their vehicles if they missed the bus. I asked why they were permitted to drive when Headland students can’t. The principal advised that he was responsible for the students’ safety at Headland and didn’t want them driving off school campus, not knowing if they were going where they say they were going. He also said he couldn’t control what Abbeville’s principal did. I told him it should be the same for both schools, not just one, being they are both in the Henry County School District.
I did not go to the school to get my son out of trouble; he knows he was in the wrong. As a parent, I know I shouldn’t try to get my child out of something if they do wrong. He has to be responsible for his own actions. What kind of example would I be setting for my child if I tried getting him out of it? Yes, my son should have been on time to school so that he wouldn’t have missed the bus. If he had, there would have never been an issue. But the fact remains, the school never called me to tell me there was a problem; a simple phone call would have been nice.
On another note, being my son is in the band, I attend games to support the band and football team. I have watched these students grow over the years, some since they were five years old, and have learned which ones are respectful and which ones are not; Aaron Sanders is one of the respectful ones.