OUR SAY: Balance not yet struck
EDUCATION has come a long way from the day of the cane, but it appears schools still struggle balancing the use of the stick and the carrot.
This issue has flared up this week with the story of Yazmin Hannay, who was excluded from her graduation ceremony because she hadn't attended enough days at school.
On the face of it, it seems one of the less controversial rules schools could enforce - students are required to attend certain days and if they fail to meet those requirements they have consequences to face, in this case not being able to be seen graduating in front of their peers.
However, life is always so much messier than that and there is some debate over whether Ms Hannay had made a reasonable attempt to contact the school about her non-attendance in the lead-up to graduation.
Regardless of whether the school was right in excluding Ms Hannay from the graduation ceremony, the method of exclusion was, to say the least, clumsy. To pull anyone out of line and sit them aside as they are preparing to go on stage is going to be humiliating, particularly so for a teenager. Consequences are one thing, public humiliation is something else entirely.
There have also been references to students being excluded from Year 12 formals because of issues with the payment of school fees.
Again, schools obviously have to pursue this, but doing it by embarrassing students for something they're unlikely to be able to control and cutting them off from what, for many, has become one of the rites of passage into adulthood seems unfair and excessive.