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A plea to transform JUG to be more beneficial to the community

A plea to transform JUG to be more beneficial to the community

JUG, better known as Judgment under God, is the punishment system that teachers resort to when a situation goes beyond their classroom jurisdiction. JUG is used as a punishment for minor misdemeanors in behavior or attitude. In most cases, JUG punishes small instances on the same level of upper-level offensive behavior.  As it currently stands, JUG is a room where students sit in quiet for a time of which the office of student services determines. Depending on the day (and the number of students within JUG), students may have to stay for up to 45 minutes after dismissal. These lengthy punishments often punish the smallest of wrongdoings, such as students with repeat dress code violations, and repeat tardiness to classes. 

The hope is that after serving a JUG a student won’t want to repeat the same offense. However, punishing the collective in JUG is going beyond the needed level of punishment for most students. As it is now, JUG does not benefit the students in any way.  In fact, students who do end up in JUG are often regular visitors. In its current state, JUG does not provide enough punishment to repeat offenders while also punishing lower-end offenders with group punishment. JUG’s system of one size fits all punishment is ineffective in properly punishing students. 

The Question students were asked in the survey, and the percentage of people who felt JUG should or should not be reformed

I surveyed 20 seniors asking for their opinion on JUG. The vast majority of students believe that JUG does not benefit students; instead, it only inconveniences those who have schedule conflicts, such as missing the Metro or practice.  Most students as a result of JUG miss the metro at their station or practice for their sport which goes beyond the level of needed punishment. In this poll, students felt that JUG was not a reasonable punishment for minor infractions. They were open to the idea of a different system that would both benefit offenders and help stop repeat visits.  The system could still be called JUG, but it should be run differently to benefit both students and faculty better. 

Punishment is not the answer, at least when the goal is to stop students from repeating their same mistakes. I understand that breaking the rules should result in punishment as an institute must maintain order. However, I feel that JUG could be modified to punish student behaviors and help students overall. A study performed by Northwestern College based out of Iowa provides evidence that repeat detention (in our case, Jugged students) has a profound implication of consequences that will affect the child for the rest of their life if detention (aka JUG for us) happens to become a pattern. However, in systems where the goal is to rehabilitate/improve student nature, that results in a more positive effect for the student. 

It’s undeniable that actions should have consequences. However, it would be more beneficial to the entire community to transform JUG into required service hours or tutoring sessions that would not only help our overall community but help students live Gonzaga’s motto of being “A Man for Others.” It’s a win-win in my eyes by forcing students into serving the community while subsequently punishing them for their actions. This shift would transform the punishment that these students do receive into actions that positively impact the greater Gonzaga community.

JUG is simply not good enough for Gonzaga College High School and should be replaced with a disciplinary program that can better ALL community members.

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