Student Disciplinary Process
Discipline at Punahou is meant to be fair and enable students to develop sound judgment. Students who violate Punahou’s Code of Conduct, policies or expectations of citizenship will face consequences for their actions. Faculty and administration will enforce the school’s disciplinary process with students who demonstrate inappropriate behavior.
Disciplinary jurisdiction is normally restricted to the Punahou campus, its immediate environs and the location of any official school function (e.g., athletic contests, social events and extracurricular activities). Jurisdiction may be extended beyond the boundaries of the school and the school day when, in the judgment of the administration, student misbehavior puts other Punahou students or members of the Punahou community at risk.
Discipline by Grade Level
K – Grade 8
Children in the Junior School are expected to abide by Punahou’s citizenship values and act with courtesy, safety and respect for people and property. Expectations are clearly defined at the beginning of each school year, with increasing self-discipline expected as children grow and develop.
Discipline is handled in an age-appropriate manner with the intent to approach disciplinary situations as educational opportunities. If a student violates school rules or policies, an inquiry is conducted by a grade-level administrative dean to clarify the situation, understand context, consider extenuating circumstances and gather information from witnesses as applicable. Students are encouraged to be truthful and complete in their explanations at all times and in all circumstances. The grade-level administrative dean will review the information, meet with the student and contact parent(s) to share information gathered and provide the student and parent(s) an opportunity to ask questions and share other information. He/she may also consult with a team of administrative deans to determine what consequences, if any, will be assigned. If, through this process, it is determined that the student has committed a major citizenship infraction, the administrative dean(s) will meet with the student and parent(s) to provide recommendations for support and assign consequences.
Methods of dealing with major citizenship infractions may include, but are not limited to, counseling with students and parents, referral for professional counseling, restrictions to unsupervised time on campus, revoked eligibility for grade-level activities/events, citizenship probation and/or suspension, or being permanently disenrolled from school.
Academy students who commit an intentional or reckless act inconsistent with school values may receive disciplinary action.
A wide range of actions can be taken in response to undesirable behavior and breaches of trust, including, but not limited to: warnings, demerits, work assignments, withdrawn off-campus privileges, withdrawing eligibility for special events or extracurricular activities and expulsion.
When we learn that a student has acted in a manner inconsistent with the citizenship expectations, an inquiry will be conducted and a Discipline Board may be convened. The Board will review information, meet with the student and parent(s), and determine what consequences, if any, will be assigned. Students are expected to be truthful and complete in their explanations at all times and in all circumstances.
This process allows the Board to clarify the situation, understand context, consider extenuating circumstances and provide the student and parent(s) an opportunity to ask questions and share information with the Board.
If the investigation reveals that the student has acted in a manner inconsistent with our values, the Board will assign consequences which may include, but are not limited to: disenrollment, demerits, campus workdays, at-home suspension, revoked eligibility for athletics and activities or revoked eligibility for senior events, including Commencement.
Reporting Major Disciplinary Infractions to Colleges
Punahou seniors should know what constitutes ethical behavior and should demonstrate evidence of good character. We expect our seniors to be forthright in all of their responses on college applications, particularly in explaining the circumstances surrounding any serious school disciplinary action that might be reflected in a citizenship grade.
Punahou adheres to the Statement of Principles of Good Practice as outlined by the National Association of College Admission Counselors and, when appropriate, will respond to requests by colleges and universities for students and counselors to divulge information concerning disciplinary issues of a serious nature.
Predicting how a college or university will react to such information is difficult. Punahou can best advocate on a student’s behalf when the student accepts responsibility for the consequences of his or her actions, learns from the experience and demonstrates a renewed commitment to our shared values.
Although very rare, sometimes a pattern of behavior does not lend itself to the discipline process. Students whose pattern of conduct is determined to be troublesome to others and intractable may be dismissed at the end of the school year.
Grades 6 – 8
For a student in grades 6 – 8 whose progress does not meet grade-level expectations, a review of their status may be conducted at any point in time. The middle school Administrative Deans will conduct a review in consultation with our learning support coordinator, counselor and teachers. Parents will be invited to conference about the student’s progress, plans for further support and expectations for continued enrollment.
Students who refuse to comply with behavior expectations may be permanently dismissed from Punahou at any time.
In the Academy, a student whose grades regularly fall below 2.0 or a student who receives two or more semester failures (including citizenship), or who is deemed to be chronically underperforming, risks being disenrolled from school. The student’s academic status will be evaluated, and the student’s parents will be notified. Failure in a required subject may result in mandatory summer school attendance to ensure continued enrollment.
Students who stop attending classes or who refuse to comply with behavior expectations may be dismissed from Punahou at any time.
Note: Families of students who are enrolled in Punahou and are withdrawn or dismissed prior to the end of the year remain liable for payment of tuition and fees for the full academic year.
An appeal of serious disciplinary actions may be made to the principal and the president. This provision cautions, however, that disciplinary actions are generally upheld on appeal unless there is a showing of mitigating circumstances or evidence that was not presented to the school during the disciplinary process for good reason, and that the decision of the president is final.