Was this teacher out of line?

[deleted account] ( 212 moms have responded )

http://miami.cbslocal.com/2011/03/07/dis...

Basically, the 7 year-old boy acted up *again* in class and the teacher, unsure about whether his mother was getting any of the disciplinary notes she had sent home, stapled the note to the child's shirt.

The mother is furious, saying her son was publicly humiliated (because the note was where people could see it - the teacher says she had him put on his sweatshirt, but he says she didn't... No real way of telling if she did or not).

Thoughts? Opinions?

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212 Comments

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Bonnie - posted on 03/14/2011

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The mother is over reacting. If this is the only way the mother is sure to receive the note than obviously it was needed.

Lesa - posted on 03/14/2011

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I don't know if she did or didn't, but stapling a note to his shirt implies that she "tried" to get in contact with his mother before and had no reply. It seems like a last resort to me. Perhaps CPS had been contacted and nothing was done. It is a lonely place to be, a teacher trying to teach a class with one (or more) acting up and no support. It has happened to the best of us and we do the best we can with what resources we have. I still do not think the teacher intentionally tried to humiliate the child, just the opposite, I think she was trying to get him some help.

Brandi - posted on 03/14/2011

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No, I don't think she should have forgotten about it. I did mention earlier that if she wasn't doing whatt she should as a parent then the school (principal, board of education) should get dfcs involved. That is what they do here. If my child is late to school 8 times they get dfcs involved. I am sure that if she had to deal with them one time that she would be more involved, and she couldn't argue with them. That is if in fact the teacher HAD already tried to call, but like I said before, there was NO mention of a phone call in the article. So, I am not sure she actually did everything that she could.

Lesa - posted on 03/14/2011

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As a teacher, I am guessing that this teacher had already tried all avenues to get the parents attention. Like I said earlier some parents do not answer their phone, or perhaps they don't have one. Who knows. This seems like a last attempt to have contact with a parent that seemed to be MIA. Punishing the child for the parents actions does not seem fair and if he has learning disabilties then the school principal or the resource teacher should have been involved and I don't hear of any mention of these teachers. Like I said, this teacher is getting a lot of flack for caring about contacting his parents. Maybe she should have just forgot about it. eh?

Brandi - posted on 03/14/2011

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OR maybe like H.L.H. said, maybe he has a learning disability, and NEEDS to have a conference with the teacher and parent to get help for it. If notes aren't working, MAKE A SIMPLE PHONE CALL.

Brandi - posted on 03/14/2011

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yes, Jodi I did. But we don't know if she has been disciplining him or not. If she has then maybe the school needs to discipline, like I said. Maybe he needs a week suspension.

Jodi - posted on 03/14/2011

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Brandi, she does know to be looking for them, because she REQUESTED progress and behavioural reports in the first place......she also said she had received them. She just has done nothing about it. Did you watch the video?

Brandi - posted on 03/14/2011

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True, Sarah. Here, they include the good, too though. And they send the artwork and projects home in it. If he had a great day, they tell me.. If he had a not so good day, they tell me what happened and we work on it.

Brandi - posted on 03/14/2011

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Well what I am trying to say is that, no she may not be getting those notes because she doesnt know to be looking for them. If the school had this policy in place then she would know to expect something everyday whether good or bad. My childs school involves the department of children services if they cant get in touch with the parent, and if she truly is a bad parent then maybe that needs to be done anyway. But, I agree with everything H.L.H. Said. Plus, we really dont know what kind of parent she really is, we are all just speculating and people are just assuming she hasnt been doing anything about her childs behavior, when she really may have been. Alot of children still act out at school even after being punished. Or like H.L.H. Said maybe the child has a learning disability that needs to be addressed.

[deleted account]

even my son has an "Agenda" in kindy they literally tell you how many breaths he took that day and you have to read it...well no its more verbally told to you so you really don't have a choice and you HAVE to sign something saying you've heard about every breath your child has had every step he has taken every wee every poo every word uttered...i know here its a legal requirement but im more worried about if he had enough food did he have a sleep was he playing nice and where are the paintings/ other little things he's done

Jodi - posted on 03/14/2011

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An Agenda IS a good idea. My daughter has a reading diary I have to write in every night, and it is a good way of communicating with the teacher. And my son has a diary I have to sign at the end of every week (he is high school), as well as contracts for each subject that I have copies of so I know about his hoemwork requirements.



HOWEVER, I am a parent who pays attention and complies with these things. But like others have said, not every parent is like this. If this woman is getting notes home and not responding, do you really think and Agenda would make a difference? You can't force a parent to look at it.

Lesa - posted on 03/14/2011

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We have an agenda in our school as well as homework books that are "supposed" to be signed. Not all are. We cannot force a parent to look at these things if they choose not to. You seem like a great parent that enjoys seeing this book come home, but sadly, that is not the case for all children. Some parents just don't care about their child's education and feel like school is just a babysitter.

Brandi - posted on 03/14/2011

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First, I would never leave my child at a bus stop alone. Ever. And when I rode the bus, there wasnt a bus stop, they picked you up from your house, so I was saying to bypass the house. It may be more difficult to do in ya'lls area, but here it is not. Here, the kids would have never seen the child get bypassed. So, now you all can comment about the agenda, which is the best choice(and I even said I thought that was the best choice, but yet no one had anything to say about that) and how do u know the parent hasnt been disciplining the child already? It may not be her fault. If that is the case, then the school DOES need to punish the child with a suspension.

Lesa - posted on 03/14/2011

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In Canada, we do not get paid overtime. We are on salary. I have spent more than 12 hours at work and I get paid the same as if I spent 8. You are right that we don't know the whole story. I was speaking from my own experiences as a teacher. Some parents are very hard to get in contact with. Most children would laugh at paper being stapled to their shirt. Especially a 2nd grader. They do it to themselves all the time. They also tape their faces in funny ways to get the other kids to laugh at them. In no way do I think this was humiliating to him. Not many students can read handwriting at that age, so they probably had no idea what the note said. This teacher sounds like she was at her wits end, trying to get the boy help by contacting home. Most would have given up by now. In any case she was damned if she did and damned if she didn't. That about sums up the teaching profession.

H.J - posted on 03/14/2011

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At the end of the day the teacher did the wrong thing. There are more effective ways of disciplining a child than making a child feel like they are less of a person than the rest of the class because they were talking in class.

Obviously this child is disruptive how about getting to the route of the problem rather than taking the easy option.

I am a qualified Children's Service Educator (have been so for 10years) and am studying to be a teacher, never once in my text books have I read anything or in my training have seen anything about pinning a note to a child's clothing to get the note to the parent, fastening the note to the handle on the child's bag maybe but never to their clothes children get hot and take their jumper off through the course of the day so this is no excuse especially if the child forgot the note was even there. E-mail, phone calls and home visit's are the most effective ways of communicating with parents if you do not know the notes are getting home. There is such thing as paid overtime for the teacher to utilise if they need to do a parent meeting after hours.

This teacher obviously over stepped their boundaries. Yes the children in the class have the right to learn and so does this child. Maybe this child has learning problems? Did you know that high functioning Autistic children need to talk to themselves in order to learn? Maybe this child is not intentionally being disruptive maybe the are unable to control their impulses.

At the end of the day we don't know what happened in that class room or what the child's home life is like, so we are only speculating.

Lesa - posted on 03/14/2011

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I never thought of stapling a note to a child's shirt but I have definitely been in situations where I sent note after note home with no reply and have called and called with no answer. These parents have caller ID and won't answer the phone when they see the school number. I have also used the charts which also come back unsigned. When a teacher feels that the parent is not getting her message is a frustrating place to be. The note was not meant to be humiliating but another attempt to get a message to the parent. Apparently it worked. In my district, the school is responsible for the students to and from school, so not "allowing" him on the bus is illegal. It is his right to be educated and it is the school's responsibility to make sure he gets there to get it. When all other ways to contact the parent have failed, what does a teacher do?? Teacher's have the responsibility of educating 30 kids and none of them get their education because of 1 child who acts up constantly is frustrating. As a parent, I would be more furious about this, not a stapled letter.

[deleted account]

yes and no...if it were my son's teacher i would of laughed actually and wrote back telling her she has a wicked sense of humor. but in all honesty maybe put the letter in an envelope and then stappling it to him?? or simply calling her and requesting an interview to work out behavioural stratgies...maybe even seeking medically help...you never know ADD and ADHD and even Autism can cause behvioural issues and sometimes its best to rule them out (or in) before maybe management...its more than likely this mother didn't care for the notes and probably doesn't care what her son gets up to in class so long as he;s not annoying her

Jenn - posted on 03/13/2011

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Again - if a teacher is to NEVER put their hands on a student - if a student gets knocked down or falls down, should a teacher not help them up? And if you're really going to flip your lid over a tiny little staple, what about things being pinned on your child? When I was a child buttons and pins were popular and sometimes we'd get a button from the police or the dental hygienist who would visit the school and we'd pin it to our clothes. Maybe my Mum should have made the police officer lose his job? Come on people - stop making every little thing in the world an issue.

Carolyn - posted on 03/13/2011

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exactly Christine,

When we were that age, our bus stop was on the corner of the block and our mums didnt bring us and wait with us for the bus to come and get us.

This childs mom could have easily already gone to work, or taking another child to daycare. So this kid is left by himself to either , be kidnapped, molested by then neighboorhood pedophile and all those wonderful things because he was refused to be picked up on the bus. Or he has to return to an empty house, locked outside possibly.

We also waited in groups. So imagine everyone else waiting at the stop is permitted on the bus but this child is refused and doesnt understand why > yeah thats not humiliating at all.

And then.. theres the poor bus driver, who could probably lose their job if anything bad happened to that kid because he/she refused them to ride the bus.

Now lets also go into , hey mom doesnt have a car. So has to take the city bus for 2 hours and is later for work by 2 hours and hmm maybe gets fired ?


The consequences of such a thoughtless and dangerous suggestion could be so far reaching and devastating.

But hey leave the kid stranded on the side of the road but god forbid you pin a note to their shirt and cover it with a fucking sweater...

Vegemite - posted on 03/13/2011

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good idea brandi leave the child stranded to get kidnapped or God knows what. The school would be up the proverbial creek if that was done to my child. A note puts them in no danger but leaving them alone with no way to get to school puts them in all kinds of danger.

[deleted account]

Oh, and if my daughter came home with a note stapled to her shirt I would make HER apologise to her teacher AND all her classmates for being disruptive to the point that that measure had to be taken...

[deleted account]

Oh wait, the child's bus not picking him up (and we all know how school gossip goes, so everyone would have known about it) and having his (most likely) pissed of fmother bring him in is better than a little note stapled to his shirt? I really honestly fail to see the logic in that...

Also, do you even KNOW how humiliating and hurtful it is to have your bus just pass you by without stopping? I do. My bus driver when I was in elementary school did that all the time to me (because she didn't like me - you know, she didn't like the only quiet kid... go figure) and it really made me cry every time she would pass me without a backward glance.

So, Brandi (and yes, you specifically because these are your suggestions. I'm not trying to attack, but I feel the need to address them), punishing the CHILD to get to the mother is the way you'd rather go?
You said, “Then, if nothing was done about it, then they could have suspended the CHILD as punishment to get the parent's attention."
THAT makes no sense to me whatsoever... I would MUCH rather my child come home with a note stapled to her shirt than having her suspended just to get my attention...

Anyway, if the teacher had gone to any of those extreme measures you suggested (and yes, I feel they ARE extreme) then I can GUARANTEE you the mother would have gone to the media about THAT. "Oh, my child's bus didn't pick him up on purpose..." or "My child was suspended for just talking in calss...".

Bottom line, the mother is a complainer who doesn't want to admit she *may* have some fault in all this.

Desiree - posted on 03/13/2011

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Maybe this was the last resort... Please we spend so much time worrying about so much rubbish. If its not human rights, its animal rights, or womens rights or childrens rights or watching every word we say or thing we do just in case we don't offend anybody. It is officially out of hand. To be politically correct all the time is officially stunting our thought process, Common sense no longer reins because more often than not you will offend someone so that person runs off to the media or the police or ever to the closest lawyer. What is it with people and law suits. and Our cops have better things to do than deal with imagined slights. We are not teaching the children anything,except maybe its just to easy to blame someone else.



Jodi and Chritine you are not the only ones with that reaction and in my case my kids know that the punishment would have matched the crime and definatly not worth it. I am a strict mom, its the way I was bought up and I am not any worse for wear over it. I most certainly will not molly coddle any of my children if they have done something wrong. I don't tolerate it from anyone, my children are no longer babies who need to be spoon feed anymore either and 7 year old most definatly knows when he has pushed the boundries to far.

Brandi - posted on 03/13/2011

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Well, in Georgia (in my county at least) our children do have behavior charts sent home, They put notes and homework in the agenda. The children get colors Green-good Yellow-warning red-bad Orange-Excellent. We have to initial that everyday. If my child gets on yellow or red there is a note stating why. Also, if my child gets in trouble at school, he gets written up. Once written up 3 times, he gets a suspension. I think this is a great idea, and it has worked wonderfully. There have been days when he came home with yellow or red, and he was talked to a disciplined. I would encourage all schools to start this.

Jodi - posted on 03/13/2011

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Don't worry Christine, that would have been similar to my response :) If that makes me a mean mummy, so be it.

Vegemite - posted on 03/13/2011

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I must be the harshest mother. If this was my kid my response would have been. " Oh darling were you embarrassed? Good stop talking in class. If you don't like being embarrassed don't do it to your teacher."

Jodi - posted on 03/13/2011

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Well, unfortunately, a school can't control a parent, and I don't think they can impose "consequences" on a child for a parent who is not involved. I see your point, but I just can't see that it is necessarily feasible if a parent doesn't want to be involved.

Brandi - posted on 03/13/2011

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I also said that if he was a car rider someone could talk to her when she dropped him off. If someone else dropped him off they could have asked that person to have her call the school. Or given them a note in an envelope to give to her. Then, that way it is an adult giving the letter to the parent, not a child.



Why not comment about the agenda??

Jodi - posted on 03/13/2011

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Of course, none of the other kids would have noticed him standing at the bus stop and the bus just driving past.......

Besides, how do you know he caught a bus to school?

Brandi - posted on 03/13/2011

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she may have been more pissed, but also it would have gotten her attention and the other children wouldn't have known what was going on, so he wouldn't have gotten laughed at.

But, I think a really good idea is to make the agenda home everyday. Make it part of school policy. Tell parents when they register their children for school about the agenda and that it is a MUST. Tell them it is sent home daily and is expected to be signed everyday. Then, also tell them there is consequence if not done. I think this is a simple fix. Should the lady be acting like a B? No. But, I do think that they need to put some new policies in place, and all the parent wants is an apology... so give it to her, then explain to her that she must be more involved in her child's school and if not, there will be consequences.

Krista - posted on 03/13/2011

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I think the parent would have been even more pissed about the bus not showing up than about the stapled note! I'm pretty sure if I tried to do that at my school there's no way I'd get admin to agree to that. And when a parent is difficult to reach by a note and won't respond to notes, they'll be much harder to pin down a conference time with.

We do conferences twice a year, and I always have two or three families who don't show up, every year. They're usually also the families who don't respond to notes sent home in their child's agendas, and they're also usually the families who you wish you could speak with the most because there are academic or behavioral issues with the children.

It seems to me that the teacher did not set out to humiliate at all (and I really don't believe the child was humiliated, regardless of her intent) and that she used the stapled note as a last resort to reach an unreachable mother.

I think it's shameful that the mother took such a trivial issue to the media, and I really cannot believe that there are mothers on here advocating for the teacher's dismissal!

Brandi - posted on 03/13/2011

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No problem, Laura.

And Desiree, I do think she needs to be a parent. BUT, there was a better way to get her attention. And, I think talking to the parent verbally is always better. Like I said before, they could have set up a conference. If she refused to answer the phone, the office or principal could have gotten the bus to not pick the child up, which then she would have to bring the child to school. She would be upset about this and they then would have an opportunity to talk to her about why the child was not picked up for school.

Desiree - posted on 03/13/2011

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Has anyone thought that maybe the mom might have been ignoring the notes? The onouse is not just on the school and even if the school has teacher/parent conferrenses doesn't mean that she would pitch us. It is a common piece of knowledge that the parents the teachers actually need to see are the ones that never seem to pitch up, who never answer the teachers call or any notes that they may write in a diary or note they send. It is always the usual suspects that pitch up.Exactly when do we as parents stop pointing fingers, get off our backsides and do something to help instead of critise.

Isobel - posted on 03/13/2011

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that's why I apologized for mis-reading...I though at first you said tell the bus driver not to pick the child up (to go home) I realize now that you meant for the parent to miss an important meeting at work and the child to be late for school.

my apologies.

Brandi - posted on 03/13/2011

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how is that holding him hostage? It isn't. It would get the attention of the parent, and they would be able to have a parent/ teacher/child conference, which is what obviously is needed.

Isobel - posted on 03/13/2011

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holding the kid hostage would be LESS humiliating than a note???



sorry I read that wrong...but still...you feel that YOUR solution would end in LESS turmoil for the child than a pinned note that was covered up by a sweater?

Brandi - posted on 03/13/2011

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Eventually they would have to have a conference with her anyway... so why not go ahead and do it? Schools are supposed to do that. I have never heard of a school that did not give conferences.

Brandi - posted on 03/13/2011

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how is this having to "go visit"? It is simple. Tell the office, not to have the child picked up at the bus stop.. that simple. Then the lady would have had to bring the child to school, and since he would be late, she would have to sign him in, and she would be mad and they could explain everything to her. This is not hard.

Isobel - posted on 03/13/2011

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so we're back to asking for a couple of hours overtime for the teacher to track down the owners of all of these children rather than pinning a note.

Who knows how many of these children she needs to "go visit" after work for free

Brandi - posted on 03/13/2011

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and in that case, someone has to bring the child to school, so tell them then... or if it is a bus rider, have the bus not pick the child up from the bus stop, then the parent would have to bring the child in.

Isobel - posted on 03/13/2011

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who says she didn't try to make a phone call and the mother wasn't available?

Isobel - posted on 03/13/2011

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my teachers were REALLY good at putting notes on without touching me...society has gone absolutely beyond batshit crazy

Brandi - posted on 03/13/2011

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No! If this teacher is being paid to teach, then she needs to make every effort to do just that. If she feels that the notes aren't reaching the mother, then she needs to talk to her verbally. It is NEVER ok to put your hands on a student. And, it is not ok for you to staple something onto my child's clothing that I BOUGHT. Phone call. Plain and simple. If she was too lazy to do that, then she doesn't deserve to be a teacher.

Isobel - posted on 03/13/2011

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it didn't bother me, it's a TINY thing...If I am narrow minded...certain others have gone off the wall on the sensitive end of things...at some point we all need to suck it up.

Brandi - posted on 03/13/2011

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so you don't think there is a better way?? You just feel like this was the ONLY WAY? I think that is narrow minded...

Isobel - posted on 03/13/2011

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"belittling" IS VERY FAR AWAY from "humiliating" and like I've said...I had one pinned to my shirt almost every day of my life...if the kid feels a LITTLE embarrassed about not being able to get a note home, then so be it.

Brandi - posted on 03/13/2011

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It could have been done more maturely. The school should have into place the behavior chart being sent home like my children have. Then the parents would automatically KNOW to expect to see it everyday and since it has to be signed the parent would have known what was going on.

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