By Graham Armknecht ’18
The Disciplinary Review Board is often shrouded by secrecy to protect students’ privacy.
“Any behavior that calls into question that the student should remain at the school is a reason that the board would be called,” said Dean Mr. Pat Higgins. “Some of those would be theft, fighting, drug and alcohol, insubordination, etc.”
Mr. Higgins added that the Board is called out of necessity for the students, and that it’s not planned.
“The board is used as needed,” Mr. Higgins said. “Its called regularly, but not frequently. It’s not something that is scheduled because it’s based on the students. The main function of it is to recommend a course of action to the principal. He makes the final decision.”
Principal Mr. Bob Ryan said that he always takes caring for the school and caring for the person into the board’s recommendations.
“Every time we meet to talk about a student’s status, we consider two things: cure personalis –care for the person– and cure apostolica –care for the work,” Mr. Ryan said. “We proceed in a way that is best for this individual and in a way that’s best for the school. A lot of times, the answer to benefit both is the same. Ultimately, I have to come down on the side of what’s best for the school when those two things don’t meet.”
Mr. Ryan said that the way that teachers are put on the Disciplinary Board is a staggered rotation of two teachers a year and teachers are nominated by faculty, students and himself.
“Every year, there is variation of who is on the Disciplinary Board,” Mr. Ryan said. “The faculty nominate two members, we have student government nominate someone and Mr. Higgins and I round it out with a captain’s pick. We want a lot of different backgrounds. On the board, it’s always me and Mr. Higgins, but this year it’s Mrs. Dorothy Dunnion, Mr. Ian Aston, Mr. Andy Mazzolini and Mr. James Grindey.”
Mr. Ryan said that the Board proceeds by hearing the student and an advocate in the form of a teacher, then they hear the parents and they break for the school day to think about what happened. After this, the Board will meet again and discuss a course of action before handing a recommendation to him, and he chooses what to do from there.