Maize High students question fine for cursing

By: Parrish Alleman Email
By: Parrish Alleman Email

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Maize, Kan. -- Students at Maize High school are looking for a change in the way cursing is punished. District police say it's always been on the books that a curse word comes with a 50 dollar fine. The police chief says the high school now has its own student resource officer for the first time in a year and a half. The officer is now actually writing tickets.

"This is one more strategy in dealing with the behavior of a student," Maize School District Police Chief William Riddle said.

It's a citation issued by the USD 266 police department. Chief William Riddle says they're ticketing any language or behavior that causes an interruption in education.

"Well what we hope to teach students what behavior is acceptable in the school environments and that would lead onto later in life what is acceptable in public," Chief Riddle said.

He compares their school rule to the state law for disorderly conduct but it is a school policy and the 50 dollar fine goes back to the district. Chief Riddle says a ticket for cussing won't end up on a student's permanent record.

Maize senior Jordan Watkins says he thinks profanity deserves punishment but one without a fifty dollar price tag.

"I think a detention for somebody who is a disruption to school by the way they are talking is totally fair," Jordan Watkins said.

Watkins wrote an article for the school paper, hoping to spark conservation that might convince administrators to change the way profanity is punished.

"We think there's a better way to handle the issue and that's why we wanted to bring it to light so that people would recognize it and hopefully enough people would care that a change would be made," Watkins said.

We reached out to the Maize superintendent Doug Powers about if they would consider changing the policy and he sent this statement:

"I'm pleased that our students are weighing in on the conversation about this topic, and we'll certainly consider that input and perspective."

Since September, four citations for cursing have been issued at Maize High School.

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