My Child Has Been Expelled For Smoking Pot!

My Child Has Been Expelled For Smoking Pot!
If your child is caught smoking pot or drinking on her private school campus, the consequences will be severe.
We parents hold our breath as our children enter the teenage years. So many temptations. So much peer pressure. The difference between public and private school becomes very marked when it comes to handling the big issues such as substance abuse among other disciplinary matters. Here is what you can expect to find at most private schools.

Break The Rules. Face The Music.
Put another way, if your child gets caught smoking pot or drinking on a private school campus, she will almost certainly be asked to leave the school. (That's the polite way of saying "She will be expelled."

As if expulsion is not embarrassing enough, it creates a major blot on her academic records. Admissions officers at other schools will want to know what the reason was for her sudden departure from Exclusive Country Day School. You will also have to scramble to get her admitted to the local public school where she will be exposed to even more temptations and inappropriate influences.

Infractions of the rules at a public school will almost certainly lead to a similar conclusion. The big difference is that in public school there is something called due process. So the matter will drag on for weeks and months until resolved.That is because students have 'rights' under the Constitution. One is presumed innocent until proven guilty and so on.

Not so in private school. You signed away your child's rights when you signed that contract with the school. Read the fine print. If she commits an infraction, she can and will be disciplined according to a published set of disciplinary standards. Those standards run from minor such has having "lights on" after "lights out" to major ones such as smoking pot in the dorms or drinking outside the field house.

During orientation for all new students these rules are carefully explained. So are the consequences for infractions. The rules are published in the school handbook and discussed on a regular basis. It's not a matter of schools wanting to be strict disciplinarians. It's more a matter of teaching young people a very important life lesson: break the rules and you will face consequences. Teaching ethics and morality are not lessons just for the classroom. Students are expected to put them into practice in their daily life and interaction with the other members of the school community. As well, following the rules makes the school community a safer place for all its members.

Explain The Consequences.
What should you do? Be vigilant. Support the school and affirm the school's Code of Conduct. If you disagree with it, have that discussion with the school administrators. Not with your child.

Have serious talks with your children about the major issues such as drugs, booze, sex and politics. Watch some of the excellent shows on the subject together. Discuss the issues they raise. Tons of parental interaction and love and quality time are the proven antidote.

Most private schools have excellent awareness programs. They will not wait for their students to get into trouble. They offer seminars and discussion groups so that even the most sheltered child will understand the risks involved with substance abuse and sexual activity. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Additional Resources [+]
Codes of Conduct
Codes of Conduct
Preventing Teen Suicide
Preventing Teen Suicide
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