Pasco school officials warn of Saturday detention | News
Wesley Chapel, Florida - High school kids love to sleep in on a Saturday morning, but at one Bay area school, Saturday may be payday if they act up in class during the week.
Some Wiregrass High School students know what giving up their Saturday is like. Others would rather not find out. "I'd have to wake up early. I wake up early every [other] day. Saturday is supposed to be my chill day," says Matt Bellas, an 11th grader.
For a second year, school officials are planning to replace in-school suspensions with afterschool detention on Tuesday and Thursdays, and hold Saturday detention twice a month. Saturdays call for 2 and half hours of class time.
"Those kids that would have missed science, math, social studies -- they were in their class getting instruction and the consequences afterschool or on Saturday," says Ray Bonti, Principal at Wiregrass High School.
A Wiregrass teacher sits in the classroom watching. There's no chance to goof off. "They are in our school being supervised, using time wisely to make up homework, catching up on reading," says Bonti.
The detention program is paid using the school's SAC (School Advisory Committee) funds generated through grants and fund raisers.
School officials say the first year showed positive results. The number of student detentions dropped from 2,800 students in 2009-2010 school year to 1,700 last year.
Students say kids are behaving more too, and the rules are enforced. "Rules have improved a lot more. You can't be late and if you are disruptive, they will pull you out of class," says 12th grader Maria Diaz.
"I noticed a lot more maturity, even around my friends," says Matt.
The bottom line for students is Saturday is their day and they want to keep it that way.
The Pasco County School Board will vote tonight to extending Wiregrass High School's Saturday and afterschool detention.