In what has arguably been one of the worst examples of a private school inappropriately singling out students publicly, a school in Chicago received a lot of attention for their controversial way of handling late tuition payments.
The Chicago Tribune reported the details in the following story.
What started as an uneventful first day of a new quarter at Marian Catholic High School soon turned to mass confusion as an unprecedented 300 students with outstanding tuition bills were pulled from classes.
The students—whose parents owed between $750 and $5,000—lined up outside the school office Monday morning as their accounts were sorted out.
By lunchtime, about 100 students were sent home—some confused, some embarrassed and a few angry.
It was a sign of economic hard times at the Chicago Heights school, which was made even worse because of a technology glitch. The school’s telephone and Internet service were down because of storms Sunday, making it impossible for parents to make online payments or for the school to check whether a payment had been made. The problems continued into Monday.
In a time of economic hardship where many parents are facing difficulties in meeting their children’s private school tuition payments, publicly singling out students is a controversial move.
It is the opinion of many that students should never be held publicly accountable for their parent’s financial difficulties and schools who choose such a method risk alienating students and families both now, and in the future.
The need for tuition payments that are contractually obligated is obvious and understandable, but many families in the private school community agree that it should have been handled differently.