Education

Connecticut School Fines Students Who Curse $103

| by Mark Berman Opposing Views

Cursing at a school in Connecticut will no longer cost students a figurative slap on the wrist -- it will cost them $103, from a literal police ticket.

Officials at Windsor High School were fed up with the foul language they were hearing on campus. So in a letter to parents, principal Russell Sills said police would be enforcing a town ordinance -- creating a public disturbance -- that comes with the hefty fine:

"Students who use profanity directed toward a teacher, toward another student in class or during a verbal altercation in the hallway or cafeteria will be ticketed."

Sills broke the good news to students at an assembly last week. "I told the kids we all know all these words. The reality is you make a conscious choice not to use those words here. We're hoping we don't have to hand out a lot of tickets."

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The ticketing policy received mixed reviews from students. Senior Justin Borawski said the amount of the fine was reasonable "especially when it comes to swearing at teachers."

But Tyshawn Hicks said, "I don't have $103. That's too much. We've got enough problems already. I can't even afford lunch."

"I just hope that teachers and security guards and administrators who do this are able to have discretion when they're doing this," student Hung Do said, "because there are times when people, you know, stub their toe.

Windsor High School actually did this six years ago, and the program was successful in reducing swearing. Other Connecticut schools have similar fines.

An existing rule calling for a five-day suspension for swearing at a teacher still applies to all students.