Dr. Wallace: My geometry teacher is very strict. Yesterday, I was five seconds late to her class, and she locked the door so I couldn’t get in. In fact, she slammed the door in my face. I knocked on the door, but she wouldn’t let me in. Rather than sit on the floor outside of her room, I went home because this was my last class of the day.

Now I’m in more hot water because she turned me in for ditching her class. My friend, who is in the same class, said that five minutes before the period ended, she unlocked the door and peeked out into the hall looking for me.

Now I’ve got four hours of Saturday detention for cutting a class I really didn’t cut.

This is the first time I’ve ever had to serve a detention for any reason. I feel ripped off. Please give me your thoughts. I am aware that you are a former high school principal.

Nameless, Philadelphia

Nameless: If what you emailed me is 100 percent factual, the teacher could have handled your five-second tardy in a more prudent fashion. Locking you out of class wasn’t, in my opinion, a learning situation. Students do not learn geometry sitting in the hall.

Instead of going home, you should have gone to an administrator’s or counselor’s office and asked what you should do. Talk with your counselor about what you consider an unfair discipline. It’s possible the detention could be shortened since it is your first offense. If not, serve your detention, and don’t be late to class again.

Write to Dr. Wallace
at rwallace@galesburg.net