06-13-14: District upholds decision regarding Rogers High School seniors
06-13-14: District upholds decision regarding Rogers High School seniors
Posted on 06/13/2014

Students alleged to have come to Rogers High School campus under the influence of alcohol will participate in commencement exercises on Saturday, June 14, 2014.  Each of the 6 students has been suspended this week while investigations have taken place.  Each student has met with school and district administration while progressive disciplinary actions have been determined.

Puyallup school board policy states that students caught in violation of drug or alcohol policy are given a 90-day suspension that can be reduced to short term with completion of drug alcohol assessment and parental involvement.  Our job as a school and district is to mitigate the offense in such a manner to encourage long range treatment and lifelong health.


Actions taken by staff in dealing with student use of alcohol will have as their first concern the welfare of the student involved and the other students in the school. Although a helping relationship rather than an investigative and punitive approach will be emphasized, necessary and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken when laws or school regulations are violated.


If a student appears at school or at a school-sponsored function demonstrating behavior which indicates that he/she may be under the influence or in possession of an illegal or harmful substance and/or admits to an administrator or staff member that he/she is under the influence or in possession of an illegal or harmful substances, the school will take the following action:


  1. The parents will be notified to arrange for appropriate action.
  2. If the student's use or possession of an illegal or harmful substance is confirmed, the school administration may request the assistance of a law enforcement official in investigating.
  3. Appropriate school disciplinary action will be taken regardless of law enforcement action.


Each year we have unfortunate incidents involving members of our graduation class. Each time students make these poor decisions we are left to decide what actions to take.  Because graduation ceremonies mark the hard work of 13 years of education, and signify that seniors have met all graduation requirements, it has been decided that the 6 students currently suspended from school for this week's behavior have earned the honor of recognition for thirteen years of academic achievement.


The Puyallup School District is made up of 32 schools serving over 20,000 students this year. During the course of any year we not only educate children, but we serve as an extension for both the community and the families we serve.


Each year thousands of our students and staff are involved in activities and academic endeavors that make our community proud. Each year we also must face the reality that not every child, especially those beginning the journey into adulthood, will make the best decisions. It is during these moments that we must consider our district's core mission and values and the responsibilities we have to each individual student. 


There are times when the Puyallup School District leadership team is called upon to work through issues and determine the most appropriate consequence for poor decisions made by individual students. We look at evidence, talk to students, look at past discipline history, consult school board policy around infractions, and work with each parent to determine what is appropriate.


We understand that decisions made may be viewed by some as convoluted at this time of year, but our primary concern is for the future of these students and their families. Families and students have the right to due process and appeal, and some are still in the process of completing the appeals process.


While we often speak of doing what is right for students we also must face the reality that what is right for each student is often complicated and sometimes less than popular.  There are some members of the high school staff and Puyallup community who may not agree with decisions which have been made. However, the Puyallup School District fully supports the staff at Rogers High School in that they want the best for Puyallup students, and we deeply appreciate their efforts to provide for student needs every day.


The Puyallup School District's administrative team stands with our district in saying these students made a bad choice and deserve appropriate consequences. We also believe that both consequences and graduation are something they have earned.