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The incident was a classic teen Romeo caper: A Chester High School senior sneaked on a bus for a field trip he wasn’t supposed to take, all because he wanted a girl’s “digits” – her phone number.

He told administrators he expected to be suspended, the usual punishment for breaking the rules. But they had a surprise for him. Instead of getting booted out, he’d have to perform school service, whether helping out with maintenance, sorting books, organizing closets, even working events such as the senior girls’ tea.

“We used to be a place where, quite frankly, children were treated like criminals. It wasn’t just the norm, it was the expectation,” said Chester Upland Superintendent Gregory Shannon, who before taking the helm of the Delaware County district in 2013 was deputy chief of student discipline for the Philadelphia schools.

For more information, see Philly.com.

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