Like many readers, I was fortunate to attend Chaminade High School, which is a short walk from the Nassau County Seat in Mineola. Chaminade provided an excellent education and prepared us for life in college and beyond by, among other things, implementing countless rules of behavior. For example, talking was not permitted in study hall, no rhythmic clapping was allowed at school assemblies, and one could not proceed up the “down staircase” or down the “up staircase” (this was well before the pandemic!). The dress code required that all students wear a jacket, a tie, and have their top button affixed. Dungarees and docksiders were not permitted, but corduroys were allowed and an athletic sweater could be worn in place of a jacket.
All of these rules were contained in one place, The Chaminade Handbook. At 2:40 P.M., when the school day ended, those who violated the rules and received a “green slip” lined up in front of the Dean’s office. There was no backlog there as Brother David Bruner rapidly dispensed justice on a daily basis by issuing demerits and detentions. The queue outside his office, which was usually 20 to 30 deep, had disappeared by 3:00 p.m. because there was rarely a basis for argument. Brother Bruner was, if nothing else, equitable and almost all of the rules he enforced were clearly stated in The Chaminade Handbook. This system of justice allowed a school of over 1,200 teenage boys to function in an orderly and effective fashion and fostered a fantastic environment for learning.