Detention doesn’t deter

February 12, 2019 — by Justin Guo

Detention is traditionally perceived as a punishment — a means of discouraging students from showing up late to class, talking back to teachers or engaging in any other inappropriate conduct.

But what a lot of students fail to realize about detention is that it actually provides a very good working environment — something that students might not have at home.

The biggest reason that detention offers a positive working environment is the absence of distractions. More obvious disturbances such as cell phones, laptops and gaming consoles are banned, fostering a focused environment. Detention also eliminates the less obvious distractions such as food or the potential of chatting with friends.

In detention, students can either do homework and study, or they can try to find another way to pass the time. The majority of the time, they opt for productivity.

Most students in detention aren’t there because they are imbeciles or rebels; they just happened to be late to class a few too many times (six tardies to be precise), and now have to serve an hour in detention, twice a week. Most students are not willing to waste an hour of their time doing nothing; if they’re going to be stuck in a room for an hour, they may as well make a dent on their homework.

By the end of that hour, it's not uncommon for a lot of students to come out of detention with a few completed assignments and a sense of accomplishment.

Contrast this situation with their home environment. Netflix, YouTube and Instagram are mere keystrokes away. A “quick” snack break can easily turn into a glorious 30-minute bingefest of chips and ice cream.

It takes a lot of self-restraint for students to focus on homework and ignore all possible distractions. But if that urge was just removed altogether, students are able to efficiently work on their homework and get through productive hours of their day.

So perhaps it's time to look at detention differently. Regular attendees see how useful detention can be, and they don’t really care about getting issued detention because they use that time to be productive.

Students should use their detention sessions as a learning opportunity. It’s one thing for students to go through detention and realize the effectiveness of a tech-free study session and another for students to actually implement those values into their own daily lives.

Students can create their own form of detention by putting their phone or laptop in another room and focus on their work for a hour or so. This way, students will see an increase in their productivity and be able to develop a disciplined work ethic — all without having the privilege of earning yet another detention.

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