The punishment for the student walkout was 20 demerit points, and a letter home to the parents which had to be signed and returned, and which would be placed in the student's "file".
The demerit points are fairly meaningless.. nothing bad happens until you reach 50. Son said he had never before, in 3 years at that school, received ANY points. He is more worried about the contents of his "file" and whether colleges look at it. I told him that one transgression wouldn't make a difference, and just not to do it twice a week.
I was actually rather annoyed that the consequences were so minor.. and then I got a phone call.. from an irate parent, who had been given my name by a mutual acquaintance. She began ranting and raving about the punishment being too severe, at least until I told her I was "just another parent". Well, almost true, I am on the "Governing Board" of the school (fancy name for combined parent-teacher/administration committee but it does have some steering functions) at least for another week, until reelections. I don't know what she thought I could do for her but I heard her out.
She felt that the kids had valid gripes (they do, sorta) and were perfectly within their rights to "strike". How else could they make their voices heard? I reminded her that the target of their wrath had to be the government, against which the teachers were protesting, and that having students walk out and play in traffic (which they did) was not going to make too much of an impression in Quebec City.
Plus, it put the Principal in an untenable position. Not only does he have the teachers and their union to deal with, but hormonally-challenged students, and now aggravated parents who might think he's totally lost control. All of this through no doing of his own. If a student had been injured (or worse) as a result of the walkout, I don't even want to THINK about the ramifications.
This mother was to meet with the poor Principal today.. I suppose I'll hear all about his week from hell in due time. I guess parents like this one are the reason he didn't come down harder on the kids.