Teachers are used to hearing creative excuses for tardiness. But only at New York City's Manhattan School for Children might one hear such protestations as "I was up all night finishing some important paperwork for Trump," or "I had a late reservation at Joel Robuchon's new spot." Precocious students? Not quite. These wrenching explanations come from parents, who are required to serve a 20-minute detention if their children arrive late to school. Principal Susan Rappaport believes it's up to parents to "make the breakfast, get the children dressed, and get them to school on time." Does this aggressive approach work? Apparently. Some parents who were forced to serve time reportedly said "they felt humiliated and won't show up late again" (at least until the next transit strike). One imagines, however, that the program will become less effective when parents realize they don't actually have to follow the disciplinary demands of school administrators. "Sorry, but I can't do detention today--big presentation at the office. But I might squeeze you in for lunch next week."

"School gives detention to parents who get their kids to schools late," Associated Press, October 2, 2006

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