Referral in 9th Grade

Jay___228

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Jul 23, 2017
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I got one referral in 9th grade for I think destruction of school property. I plan on that being my only one of my highschool career. What happened was:

During first period I gave my "friend" a textbook but I tossed it to him not hard just a soft toss. I guess it hit him because he started calling me names and making fun of my weight. I called him names back the next thing I know he hits me in the back with a textbook. I was pissed off so I went over to his desk took his iPad (our school provides us with iPads, which is where the destruction of school property comes into account) and smashed it over my knee. I never started the whole fight but I got it all blamed on my as I got a referral (no detention) and he got nothing.

Will this referral effect my application to the academies and should I try to ask my guidance counselor to remove it as it was not my fault or is it nothing to worry about?
 

Cerberi

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Nov 22, 2015
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Not sure, but if asked to explain don't whine about it and what if any punishment your friend did or didn't get

You did it and thus earned the punishment. Suck it up, take the hit and if asked admit what you did and what you learned
 

TechFlier7

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Apr 29, 2017
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First I believe there is a space to put it in the application when you do. I don't know if it asks about referrals, but it does ask about suspension/expulsion. Write it in. Only time you'll have to explain it is during your BGO interview. I do not know what grade you are currently in, but work really hard to make every other part of your WPS (whole person score) strong. Make sure academics, leadership, physical, make sure it's all there. Cause in the end of the day at the Admissions board you do not want this referral to be the tipping point for you. Where you and someone else are neck and neck, but they have a spotless record and you, a referral for the destruction of property. Work very hard, and beef up the rest of your application. During your BGO interview, give an explanation and make sure its a good one. Your BGO will have the chance to speak about said referral so make sure in the end this doesn't hurt you. Hope this helps.
 

USMCGrunt

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Jay: you ask
Will this referral effect my application to the academies

If you were told "yes" would you choose not to apply to the academies?

Control what you can control. Get good grades, achieve leadership roles in extracurriculars, put together a good application and represent yourself well in interviews. When you have done the best you can do put the applications in and see what happens.
 

Maplerock

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I got one referral in 9th grade for I think destruction of school property. I plan on that being my only one of my highschool career. What happened was:

During first period I gave my "friend" a textbook but I tossed it to him not hard just a soft toss. I guess it hit him because he started calling me names and making fun of my weight. I called him names back the next thing I know he hits me in the back with a textbook. I was pissed off so I went over to his desk took his iPad (our school provides us with iPads, which is where the destruction of school property comes into account) and smashed it over my knee. I never started the whole fight but I got it all blamed on my as I got a referral (no detention) and he got nothing.

Will this referral effect my application to the academies and should I try to ask my guidance counselor to remove it as it was not my fault or is it nothing to worry about?

Not your fault? No detention, only referral? Your school is very generous. You are in charge of your behavior. No excuses.
 

trackandfield08

USCGA 2014
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Sep 18, 2008
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Will this referral effect my application to the academies and should I try to ask my guidance counselor to remove it as it was not my fault or is it nothing to worry about?

I agree with Maplerock. You are responsible for your own actions and your decision to damage school property was your fault. Your "friend" did not force the iPad into your hand and then force you to break it. Was he at fault as well? Yes. Should he have been punished alongside you? Most likely. Is it fair that he wasn't? No, but that's life and this won't be the last time that you're placed in an unfair situation. Learn to control your temper. You are not a child anymore and you shouldn't be defaulting to physical acts even when someone else starts it unless you absolutely need to defend yourself. If you truly desire to go to USNA or any other Service Academy, you need to (1) learn to walk away from unnecessary conflict and (2) learn to take responsibility for your actions.

To answer your question, be honest when the question about the referral comes up, admit that you were wrong, and be prepared to discuss what lessons you've learned from the incident.
 
Last edited:

Old Navy BGO

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1) I am not sure what a "Referral" is,..and don't know if the application calls for disclosure -- read the application closely, and then answer is accurately. I recommend that you err on the side of reporting.

2) +1 on the comments about accepting responsibility for your actions. Way too many "weasel words" in your story !
 

AROTC-dad

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1) I am not sure what a "Referral" is,..and don't know if the application calls for disclosure -- read the application closely, and then answer is accurately. I recommend that you err on the side of reporting.

A "referral" is a term used in education when a student is "referred" to the counselor or principal or other administrator for evaluation for discipline or other additional attention.

I agree to err on the side of reporting, especially given that it is on your academic file.
 

nolamomma

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Jan 23, 2017
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I agree with all the above to be good practice but I offer just a slight right turn. I am always for full disclosure however, not in providing information if not asked to do so. A referral in most schools is like a warning ticket for a traffic stop. It means you did a wrong thing and we want to discuss it with you further. We are gonna keep this "referral" in your file and should this happen again, we now have a problem. If it does not, we simply just file it away and it served its purpose. HS have these specific names for discipline for this very reason. Young adults make dumb mistakes and not all should cause further harm. The value is the lesson learned.
So, ask your guidance counselor if they will be reporting the referral when they write your letter of rec. If not, then neither should you unless the question states specifically written referral, suspension or expulsion.
Would anyone here suggest reporting a traffic stop which only received a written warning? Just a thought. Again, I agree that ownership of this one time incident is important but not sure it is worthy of a full blow inquiry if in fact it was a one time occurrence and school treated it as such.
 

Old Navy BGO

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I am always for full disclosure however, not in providing information if not asked to do so.

Read the application closely, and then answer it accurately

Don't disagree with you...its easy if the question on the application is clearly drafted, but suspect there may be some ambiguity in this situation. In that case, its better to disclose and be proactive in explaining rather than trying to explain after the failure to disclose has been uncovered.
 

LineInTheSand

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"I got mad and broke a $150 tablet paid for with tax dollars.... I'd like to drive your $13,000,000,000 ship... also paid for with tax dollars (or the promise of future tax dollars)."
 

Dadof2

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Apr 7, 2016
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I was pissed off so I went over to his desk took his iPad
and smashed it over my knee
I got it all blamed on my
as it was not my fault

Agree with previous responses - Making excuses, not acknowledging mistakes and not taking ownership for your mistakes is not a good way to demonstrate that you are a good candidate for any leadership position, military or civilian.
 

nolamomma

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Jan 23, 2017
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137
Wow tough group here. Please keep this in perspective. This is a young man who made a mistake. Hopefully for him it was one time and the counseling he received helped him see that and he has grown. This is blimp on the radar hopefully and it would be a darn shame to keep out a qualified candidate for something that happened when he was 15.
Also, just to put into perspective- the criminal background check that applicants are asked to report on is somewhat of farce as well. Yes,honesty it the right option no question, but if this young man had been given a citation or ticket by a police officer in Anne Arundel County it would not be reported on his background paper. Anne Arundel County, Maryland, where the NA is located, will not fill out that paper. Yes, it is your duty to report it however, they refuse to report any criminal activity that happened prior to being 18. So my point is, IF this were the only issue and he is otherwise a great person since this happened, he has matured and has learned his lesson from this one time occurrence ................... put down the pitchforks folks.
 

Dadof2

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Apr 7, 2016
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So my point is, IF this were the only issue and he is otherwise a great person since this happened, he has matured and has learned his lesson from this one time occurrence ................... put down the pitchforks folks.

I would agree that this does not have to be a big issue. Lots of people make one (or more) bad decisions, especially when young. What struck me, and I am guessing some of those who responded similarly, is not so much what he did but the lack of responsibility OP takes for his actions in his post.

So, I would agree with what you said - IF this were the only issue and he is otherwise a great person since this happened - no big deal. What I didn't see in his post is the part about maturing and learning his lesson from this one time occurrence. If OP said "I made this really stupid mistake by overreacting and I really regret it" or "I handled that badly and here is what I learned and how I would approach the situation if it happened again" I think the responses would have been different.

I also think the responses were meant to help the OP. If this incident happens to come up in an interview and the OP responds the way he did in his post I don't think it will go over well. On the other hand, if he responds in a way that demonstrates that he takes responsibility for his actions and shows what he has learned from the experience, as some responses have suggested, it could be no big issue at all.

Now, where did I put that pitchfork? - I've got hay to get in the barn...
 
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