Administration introduces new approach to discipline

Park pride tasks implemented to give back to community

GLC+DJ+Singer+patrols+outside+of+the+high+school+building+during+3rd+lunch+Sept.+27.+As+of+the+2020-2021+school+year%2C+it+is+likely+seniors+will+no+longer+have+an++open+campus+during+lunch.+
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Administration introduces new approach to discipline

GLC DJ Singer patrols outside of the high school building during 3rd lunch Sept. 27. As of the 2020-2021 school year, it is likely seniors will no longer have an  open campus during lunch.

GLC DJ Singer patrols outside of the high school building during 3rd lunch Sept. 27. As of the 2020-2021 school year, it is likely seniors will no longer have an open campus during lunch.

Kaia Myers

GLC DJ Singer patrols outside of the high school building during 3rd lunch Sept. 27. As of the 2020-2021 school year, it is likely seniors will no longer have an open campus during lunch.

Kaia Myers

Kaia Myers

GLC DJ Singer patrols outside of the high school building during 3rd lunch Sept. 27. As of the 2020-2021 school year, it is likely seniors will no longer have an open campus during lunch.

Isabel Kjaer and Marta Hill

With the new policies rolling into action, assistant Principal Jessica Busse said Park pride tasks are meant to restore the damage done by students when they perform simple infractions, such as leaving the lunchroom.

“Students will be assigned to Park pride tasks to give back to the community when they leave campus or when there’s something going on that they shouldn’t be doing,” Busse said. “Students will repair the harm that might have been done.”

According to junior Evan Nelson, Park pride tasks do not appear to be a productive system.

“I think they are kind of pointless. I don’t really see a reason why they should give us a task if we mess up on something or do something bad,” Nelson said. “We should get rid of them.”

According to Nelson, despite this, he appreciates that Park pride tasks can benefit students’ relationships with staff members and each other.

“For some (tasks) you have to help out your teacher which is nice because they could use some extra help, or you have to pick up garbage or something. It’s little things like that that can help the school and our relationships,” Nelson said.

Principal Scott Meyers said a list of possible Park pride tasks has been made by teachers. Tasks typically correspond to the problem caused and are meant to repair any damage done to a room or relationship.

“You had an issue in this class, this teacher needs this help. So we’re going to have you help this teacher so they can repair the relationship while the task has been completed,” Meyers said.

Most importantly, we want to focus on the idea of ubuntu, which our district is using as a theme coming into the year. We want to make sure that it’s clear what it means to be at St. Louis Park High School so we can learn and succeed together.”

— Scott Meyers

According to Meyers, the goal is not to highlight flaws, but rather to make an attempt at restoring and repairing any damage done to the community. 

“We’re trying to positively frame and say, not you’re irresponsible, but here’s what it looks like to be dependable. Here’s what it looks like to show excellence. Then when things happen that we don’t want, how can we repair that,” Meyers said.

Nelson said while he doesn’t enjoy the idea of Park pride tasks, he acknowledges they can help the community.

“I think they will help the school a little. For example, I got a Park pride task that was I had to make new friends and learn something about them, and I gained a new friend out of that,” Nelson said.

Meyers said Park pride tasks are a first step toward teaching students that there are always consequences for negative behaviors, regardless of where the problem occurred.

“There’s always consequences for behavior. Whether it be a consequence here in school or laws in the community, letting down your parents, there’s always consequences and disappointing people,” Meyers said.

Nelson said overall, he is conflicted about the new system, as he sees both the benefits to the school, and some of the downsides for students.

“I don’t really think (Park pride tasks) are a fitting punishment because I don’t see how it can help us, but also I do,” Nelson said. “I like it, but I also don’t like it.”

Meyers said the administration is also hoping to use the idea of “ubuntu,” meaning “I am because we are” as a guideline for the district’s mindset and approach to new policies.

“Most importantly, we want to focus on the idea of ubuntu, which our district is using as a theme coming into the year,” Meyers said. “We want to make sure that it’s clear what it means to be at St. Louis Park High School so we can learn and succeed together.”

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