‘It looks like they’re in jail’: TX students in detention wear orange shirts, clean windows

‘It looks like they’re in jail’: TX students in detention wear orange shirts, clean windows
The superintendent stopped the practice, saying staff didn’t get it approved by the district, and students will return to serving detention in a classroom setting. (Source: KXII/CNN)

ARDMORE, TX (KXII/CNN) - The superintendent of a Texas school district put a stop to a criticized detention practice that had students wearing orange shirts and cleaning windows, as seen in a photo shared to social media.

“It looks like they’re in jail,” said Ardmore, TX, resident Raymond Goldstein. “They’re not criminals, and they shouldn’t be treated like criminals, and they shouldn’t have it in their heads, their little brains, thinking that’s the way they were treated.”

Superintendent Kim Holland said he learned about a photo showing some Ardmore Middle School students in detention performing janitorial work when a parent called Thursday afternoon.

Holland said he immediately put a stop to the disciplinary action.

"We just didn't feel like it represented our kids well or our school,” Holland said.

The superintendent said he didn’t know which staff member created the practice, but no one will be punished for it.

“We have a general procedure that if you’re going to implement a new program the administration over here would like to know about it. That wasn’t done,” Holland said. “I think the administration there has learned the lesson - at least run it by us before you do it, so we can either support it or say let’s not do that.”

Students serving detention will continue to do so in a classroom setting, according to Holland. He said the shirts, which were donated to the middle school, have been removed from school grounds.

"If they put them in a classroom and help them out with their studies that day, that type of thing, I think that would probably be better than having them wear orange shirts and scrub windows,” Goldstein said.

Other residents of the town disagree, expressing approval of the since stopped practice.

"I think it’s great. They’re helping clean up their surroundings or where they’re going to school,” resident H.A. Pruitt said. “That way they won’t feel like they’re entitled - where they should be waited on. They need to kick in and help everybody else with the community, too.”

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