Photo of Oklahoma students serving detention causing controversy

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ARDMORE, Okla. – A photo of middle school students serving detention is causing controversy, and has caused the school to stop the disciplinary action.

The photo features students in Ardmore Middle School wearing orange shirts and cleaning a window.

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

Some say they don’t see a problem with the punishment.

“I think it’s great,” H. A. Pruitt said. “They’re helping clean up their surroundings or where they’re going to school.”

The photo has been shared hundreds of times, and made its way to Superintendent Kim Holland, who said he learned about the disciplinary action last week after receiving a call from a parent.

“We just didn’t feel like it represented our kids well or our school,” Holland said. “It’s just something we wanted to stop immediately.”

He says he does not know who started the practice yet, and that 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, that doesn’t represent Ardmore City Schools.”

The shirts, which were donated, have been removed from the school.

Holland says students who have to serve in-school detention will continue serve it in a classroom.

“I think if they put them in a classroom and help them out with their studies that day, I think that would probably be better than having them wear orange shirts and scrub windows,” Goldstein says.

“Time will tell, that way they won’t feel like they’re entitled, where they should be waited on, they need to kick in and help everyone else with the community too,” Pruitt said.

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