Detention: the ‘dreaded’ eighth period

March 26, 2019 — by Shama Gupta

When sophomore Juan Vintimilla sees campus supervisor opening the door to ones of his classes, he tightens a little, hoping his tardies haven’t added up into a detention yet again.

Since he lives in the Santa Cruz Mountains, a 30-minute car ride from the school, he often finds himself running late to his first-period class.

Detention is held on Blue Days and Fridays from 2:20 to 3:20 p.m., sometimes becoming an eighth period as students must attend two detentions a week once given a detention.

History teacher Todd Dwyer, who often oversees detentions, said his room is usually quite full. Naturally, the number of students increases as the semester goes along and students’ tardies or cuts start to accumulate to the maximum of five; usually 35 to 40 people attend each detention.

During this time, there is no talking, no eating, no sleeping and no usage of phones. With nothing left to do, students use the one hour of time to focus on schoolwork. In fact, some students find that the time they spend at detention becomes valuable for productivity.

Dwyer said that “it’s kind of odd that at the end of detention, the students thank me. Only in Saratoga do students in detention thank you for an hour of productive time.”

With homework and sports practices after school, Vintimilla uses the one hour in a distraction-free environment as best as he can. From his perspective, it’s one of the few opportunities to have an hour of time to study or get something done.

“Detention is sometimes very beneficial,” Vintimilla admitted. “It’s a good way to just organize yourself when you have a lot to do but not enough time to do it.”

But it certainly isn’t something that Vintimilla looks forward to. Already having seven periods in his schedule, he is used to having to stay at school after most people have gone home. But along with track practices at 4 p.m., he admits it becomes difficult to attend detentions right after school on Blue Days, and right before his practices.

Detention is sometimes thought of as one of the most dreaded punishments on campus, but, nevertheless, can be useful to the students having to attend them.

Even so, Vintimilla said, “There are times when detention feels like the longest hour of my life."