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Forum -> Chinuch, Education & Schooling
What are your thoughts about this situation?



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amother
OP


 

Post Fri, Sep 22 2023, 12:42 pm
My child is in 8th grade. We live OOT and there is not other schooling option. That is the disclaimer.

Last year was a really really rough year in school. For the whole class, but also for my DC specifically. As parents, we did whatever we could. DC refused therapy, but we got an evaluation and meds and also sent DC for extracurricular things that they enjoy. The class dynamic was being dealt with but DC was definitely over the top and besides for that, there was a real personality clash with the principal. Although most of the time, we as parents felt that the school was workable and responsive to addressing the situation, there were definitely times that we felt DC was being singled out for doing things that other students did just because DC was "louder" about it. That's the background.

The most recent situation is leaving me feeling uncomfortable. I got a call from the principal who had been notified by the teachers that DC had etched their initials into the doorframe of the classroom and 1 other place. Principal said it's obviously not an acceptable thing to do and would like DC to figure out with the parents how to rectify and fix it (go buy paint, sand it down, repaint, etc) I looked at the picture that was sent and there was another childs initials there as well. I asked DC what happend and DC seemed confused "What do you mean? Everyone does that and has been doing that for years. Why is the principal only noticing it now? And why only mine?" I encouraged DC to speak to principal directly and I also relayed this conversation to the principal.

I got another call today from the principal who spoke with DC in school. He asked DC to show him the the other markings. DC showed him and I was sent some pictures. There were initials of several children on different areas, some full names of children who graduated a few years ago, etc. He then went on to tell me that he told DC that there is a difference when this kind of thing is done in an inconspicuous place vs the doorframe. And that DC needs to figure out how to fix it as mentioned above.

I was really taken aback. I understand that DC has been louder than others in the class, but I can not understand why DC is being singled out here to this degree. Especially when there is another childs initials from the class right under DCs. This behavior is not specific to DC, nor did it start with DC. Why is DC the only one being addressed here?

Am I wrong?
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Thisisnotmyreal




 
 
    
 

Post Fri, Sep 22 2023, 12:54 pm
The only thing I can think of is that principal sees this as a visual way for the child to see consequence?

Like he can physically repair and most scenarios don't have that?

I still agree it's strange.
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amother
OP


 

Post Fri, Sep 22 2023, 1:02 pm
But why only my DC and not the other children? I really don't understand.
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groovy1224




 
 
    
 

Post Fri, Sep 22 2023, 1:09 pm
I don't think you're wrong at all. It's fine if that's their policy but then it needs to apply to all students, not just the ones they're in the mood of making an example out of.
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AlwaysGrateful




 
 
    
 

Post Fri, Sep 22 2023, 1:27 pm
I view things like this as opportunities for chinuch. Even if I don't 100% agree with the school, I will tell my dc that your excuse for doing something wrong should never be "Well, other people do it." If other people do something wrong, it is still your job to think for yourself and not join in. As far as why other kids were not disciplined for this, that would be besides the point. The same way if one of my kids does something wrong and says "But [sibling] does it all the time!" I'll respond by saying that we're not talking about your sibling right now, we're talking about you. If I see your sibling doing it another time, I'll discuss it with them at that time. Right now, though, I"m talking to you about what just happened to you.

I have one child who has said things like "The teacher got upset at me for talking, but everyone was talking!" The thing is, he was talking louder. Or didn't stop the third time the teacher asked for quiet, using "that voice," whereas the other kids only didn't stop talking the first and second. Or there were three kids talking but the teacher only noticed him.

That's besides the point. Were you talking when you shouldn't have been? Did you ignore the teacher when you were asked to stop? Then the fact that other kids were talking too is irrelevant. You are only responsible for your own actions, regardless of what other people are doing.
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amother
Bluebell


 

Post Fri, Sep 22 2023, 1:32 pm
AlwaysGrateful wrote:
I view things like this as opportunities for chinuch. Even if I don't 100% agree with the school, I will tell my dc that your excuse for doing something wrong should never be "Well, other people do it." If other people do something wrong, it is still your job to think for yourself and not join in. As far as why other kids were not disciplined for this, that would be besides the point. The same way if one of my kids does something wrong and says "But [sibling] does it all the time!" I'll respond by saying that we're not talking about your sibling right now, we're talking about you. If I see your sibling doing it another time, I'll discuss it with them at that time. Right now, though, I"m talking to you about what just happened to you.

I have one child who has said things like "The teacher got upset at me for talking, but everyone was talking!" The thing is, he was talking louder. Or didn't stop the third time the teacher asked for quiet, using "that voice," whereas the other kids only didn't stop talking the first and second. Or there were three kids talking but the teacher only noticed him.

That's besides the point. Were you talking when you shouldn't have been? Did you ignore the teacher when you were asked to stop? Then the fact that other kids were talking too is irrelevant. You are only responsible for your own actions, regardless of what other people are doing.


I agree.

Even if you want to speak to the principal privately about a lack of equality, the student should know that there are consequences for his actions and that they are not okay.
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amother
OP


 

Post Fri, Sep 22 2023, 2:36 pm
I agree with all of this and that has been our approach up to date. However I really feel this is out of line of the school to make an example out of DC, especially considering the shaky history and relationship that DC has had with the school.
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sarahmalka




 
 
    
 

Post Fri, Sep 22 2023, 2:43 pm
amother OP wrote:
I agree with all of this and that has been our approach up to date. However I really feel this is out of line of the school to make an example out of DC, especially considering the shaky history and relationship that DC has had with the school.

I agree with you, OP. It's bizarre.
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mha3484




 
 
    
 

Post Fri, Sep 22 2023, 3:03 pm
I would not know what to do. I agree with AlwaysGrateful but also you cant have your kid feel like if they say I am so I will be. Also depending on gender do you need their help with the HS/Mesivta process?

If it were me, I would call one of the Rebbeim on my schools vaad ha chinuch. The handbook has a group of Rabbonim and phone numbers you can call to talk about any educational issue. If your school doesnt have that I would ask a rav or experienced mechanech how to handle it.
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amother
Eggshell


 

Post Fri, Sep 22 2023, 3:23 pm
I would tell the principal that you hear him, a doorframe is being considered differently. So if he can provide you with the contact info for the parents of the other child whose initials are on the door frame, you guys will work together to come up with how the kids will appropriately handle it, collaborating on getting the kids to take responsibility.

It is unfortunately a very true lesson that those who are more conspicuous about their actions will get caught and punished more often than those who do it quietly. But this way, it's about both kids who did the same thing, and you guve off the message of complying.
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amother
IndianRed


 

Post Fri, Sep 22 2023, 4:24 pm
I said this before schools don't care about yiras Shamokin they care about outside impressions only. We jews would be alot more colorful if that's the case. You sign that you don't have a smartphone. You get away with anything as long as it's done quiet . That's terrible chinuch Op. But you can't fight city hall. I like the above posters advice about asking for the other boys contact information. You kid will have to learn this is his last year be respectful and Hashemi will help he will get into a good high school
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amother
OP


 

Post Fri, Sep 22 2023, 4:36 pm
Thank you everyone! I got some great input
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behappy2




 
 
    
 

Post Fri, Sep 22 2023, 5:14 pm
amother Eggshell wrote:
I would tell the principal that you hear him, a doorframe is being considered differently. So if he can provide you with the contact info for the parents of the other child whose initials are on the door frame, you guys will work together to come up with how the kids will appropriately handle it, collaborating on getting the kids to take responsibility.

It is unfortunately a very true lesson that those who are more conspicuous about their actions will get caught and punished more often than those who do it quietly. But this way, it's about both kids who did the same thing, and you guve off the message of complying.


I really like this idea.

In school some things get noticed and other things don't. Some kids are really good at figuring out which things they can get away with and others not.

I would sympathize about it not being fair while at the same time working with her so it shouldn't happen again.
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notshanarishona




 
 
    
 

Post Fri, Sep 22 2023, 5:26 pm
I think an 8th grader should know better than to write on the walls, it doesn’t matter if others have done it. I don’t agree with the principal who is only punishing your child, I think both should be punished, but from your end , your job is to be mechanch your child, not worry about if its fair
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amother
Butterscotch


 

Post Fri, Sep 22 2023, 5:30 pm
I remember when we were in high school and a kid that was a head taller and a couple of inches broader than everyone else was singled out for having done something together w a group of 30 kids… she respectfully told the principal ’just cuz I’m a redhead that’s a head taller and a foot wider than everyone else you’re yelling at me’ to the principal’s credit she apologized and said you’re right - but - she wasn’t the loudest of the group…

It bothers me that there were 2 names in the same place - why was only one called… however, sometimes there are situations that a few kids are doing something (talking, laughing, etc. ) and one kid just doesn’t know when to stop…. While a min of laughter will be tolerated, 5 min won’t, and sometimes these kids feel targeted and don’t see the other side…
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