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FNL Members and Supporters Challenge Administration, Will Protest on Friday

The club and supporters will gather at the Board of Education on Friday afternoon

have reacted with dismay and skepticism to punishments meted out and to a district statement. The group has a protest planned for Friday, 1:30 p.m., at the Board of Education building on Academy Street.

A number of members of the sketch comedy club have received detentions, according to both students and parents. At least two students, say club members, also find their prom privileges revoked. The Columbia High School prom is Monday night. Some students say that they don't know exactly where they stepped over the line.

A junior, who faces a day-long Saturday detention, explains, that she requested a meeting with a Columbia High School dean after she received a phone call at home informing her of the “Super Saturday” detention. She had not, said the junior, been informed of what rule she had broken. “At this meeting,” explains the student, “[the dean] told me that I was in violation of article 1b on page 24 of the Columbia Student Handbook that cites ‘Open defiance of authority of any teacher or person having authority over him’.”

The same student asked who issued the punishments. She was told “that the order for my detention was issued by ‘administration’ and then wasn’t able to provide me with any names or contact info of the ‘administration’ who has punished me.”

A second FNL member noted the challenge of learning who in the school or district administration cancelled the Saturday performance.

He charges, “Besides our advisors, who approved the sketch, no administrator was present at any of the performances, or at any practice. Secondly, no administrators, nor any of the offended parties, read the script for the sketch that caused this debacle.  So, I don't know how they could have firsthand knowledge of what we said or did in the sketch, without seeing it for themselves.”

The district is prevented from discussing the specifics consequences of specific student behavior. The earlier this week.

Patch will continue to follow this story.

Lori Abrams June 15, 2012 at 03:16 PM
Prohobiting the kids from being a part of the prom--the culmination of their final year in the Maplewood-South Orange school system along with all of their friends--is a horrific way to end their educational experience. They happen to be terrific kids who had no idea why these belated punishments were being thrust upon them. My hope is that all of the parties involved can get into a room together for a meaningful discussion with the purpose of clarifying and resolving, and that the Board and School can admit that they've gone too far-- and that internal school communication among faculty and administrators is the real issue. No one is in a good position here--not the advisor nor the principal--but there is time to rectify it. The time, however, is growing short. The lack of clarity and the silence from our school system is frightening. That speculation and rumor are rampant about what truly transpired because our administration has been so elusive and uncommunicative, and will not meet with our kids, is unacceptable. Hopefully, today will bring positive results that will begin to reinstate confidence in our educational leadership. Our kids deserve it.

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