By Curt Yeomans
After-school detentions that were announced by Clayton County Public Schools Superintendent Edmond Heatley earlier this week will only be dolled out to high school students who violate the district's uniform-dress policy, School System Spokesperson Charles White said in a written statement issued Wednesday afternoon.
The statement was sent to clarify the district's plans for trying to prevent a possible, second protest of the dress code in the span of a month. On Monday, Heatley announced during an address to the board of education that uniform-dress violators would be given after-school detentions. During that presentation, however, he never said the punishment would be given to high school students only.
"Clayton County Public Schools' announced response to students who choose to be in violation of board policy, regarding uniform dress on Friday, Dec. 18, applies only to high school students," White said.
In his statement, White said high school students are being targeted for the punishment because 1,500 high school students participated in a Nov. 20 protest of the district's uniform-dress policy by showing up at school inappropriately dressed.
"The superintendent took this action specific to high schools, in response to the decision of a group of high school students who participated in a deliberate attempt to interrupt the school routine on Nov. 20," White said.
Clayton County's nine high schools are scheduled for early release at 11:40 a.m., on Friday, White said. The detention will last until 3:05 p.m., but school buses will not carry the youths home. Students assigned to serve detention can only leave school before the end of their punishment by being released into the custody of a parent, or guardian, Heatley said on Monday.
"It will be the responsibility of parents [or] guardians to ensure that the students on detention get home," said White. "Parents [or] guardians can sign their detained student(s) out any time after the rest of the students are dismissed at 11:40 a.m."