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Author Topic: 6 Year Old Kicked Out Of School  (Read 15060 times)
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« Reply #15: October 14, 2009, 12:42:42 pm »

.  There's really no call for deeming an entire profession unintelligent just because a few representatives of said profession have done stupid things that happened to affect you personally and/or get news coverage.

That is the reason I said 'sometimes'. A lot of the teachers that I encountered as a child and that I deal with at my daughter's school were and are slaves to the rule book, forget that all children are different and the teachers really could use a bit of empathy and common sense to deal with them. I have just been to my daughters school to speak to her teacher as Elizabeth has developed a hearing problem. It took 25mins and 3 other people to get it through that Elizabeth could not hear the teacher properly and needs to be at the front of class right in front of the teacher so that she can hear what is going on. I am not saying that all teachers are unintelligent by any means as some are brilliant, but I am talking about the teachers that I have to deal with.

I don't know how things work over in the States, but if a child has problems, or are breaking the rules at 6 years old they need to be handled with care, empathy and some basic common sense! A 6 year old is only just beginning to develop a sense of right and wrong, and what is allowed or not. A zero tolerance policy is not a good idea at this stage.

I'm sorry if I upset you in any way, but it was a personal opinion, not something that everyone has to agree with. I was talking from personal experience and I don't expect anyone else to agree with me on this.

Sorry for the rant-I'm having a bad day with teachers and I really need to calm down a bit! Embarrassed
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« Reply #16: October 15, 2009, 04:28:16 am »

Two things: 

1.  In the US, if teachers stand firm on high standards they lose their jobs unless they are tenured.  School boards cave to whiny parents.  Also, schools are punished fiscally for holding students back.  So even if the teachers are tenured, they have to know that they would hurt the whole school for what might be good for one student.  The problem is not (for the most part) teachers.  It is the shitty system in which they are stuck.

2.  Most teachers are aware of educational research.  Most educational research is qualitative crap, so I can't see it would do them much good.

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Sorry I was having a crazy week and the article really upset me.
Most of the teachers I have known have ranged from good to fantastic. And quite frankly if I had to work with older kids I would last about a week.

We actually have had issues with the standard of students accepted into uni and turned out as teachers in Australia over the last few years. My concern is more with the teachers education and the systems behind them than the work they are trying to do. I have had friends who have graduated over the last few years and had oviously not been taught how to actually teach. They also complain that they are not taught nearly well enough how to deal with individual needs, discipline or the actual teaching theories.
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« Reply #17: October 15, 2009, 10:23:13 am »

They also complain that they are not taught nearly well enough how to deal with individual needs, discipline or the actual teaching theories.

This is very true, teachers   need to be  taught  how to  properly  address the  needs  of an individual child, instead  of lumping them all into  a grade and  age  group. I have  2 very  different  special needs  children in the same school and  not  ONE  teacher  or  administrator  knows  how to effectively deal with either  one of them. I have told them HOW to  do things I have written it all down on paper and  still EVERY   day I am getting a call  or a  note  home. Last year I caught  one teacher  literally screaming at the entire  class, each child   that was  on it's way out the door at the end of the day, I went to the  office and what I got was a phone call from that teacher  and told " I talk  loudly and if the  parents  don't  understand that too bad."  EXCUSE ME, this  teacher also had ME  backed  up against the wall screaming at ME about my  son, then after  5 minutes of that  she  asked  me  "OH you are *****  mother RIGHT?"  Shocked  Now how is this  teacher supposed to  teach a  classroom  full  of  8 and  9 year  olds social skills when it  is  evident she has NONE  herself?
This  year I had to ask my  daughter's  teacher if she could  read, and suggest to her to go read  my  daughter's  file. She is  ad/hd/odd/ocd/ mildly  mentally  retarded... "NO she can NOT tie  her shoes..... yes I understand she can  hold a pencil..... I choose pencil holding 101   over shoe tying  101 .... yes it was a tough choice but  a parent sometimes has to  make these tough choices  based on the  INDIVIDUALITY  of  the child. Yes I understand she's in grade  7 and  almost  13 years old and SHOULD  be able to tie  her  own shoes, BUT she CAN'T  so  just tie the dang shoes and  get on with  life." I also took  "Humor  as  a parenting tool 101"  it  makes dealing with all these  little  issues  my  children have more  fun  for ME.
As for the  zero tolerance rules I find them to  be an excuse for  teachers /administrators  to   favor  certain children  over   other  children they  don't really like,  it's  not  a fair  way to deal with  these  children at all. Most  children  have not  grasped the  concept  of  right  and wrong, most  don't until they are well into their  teens, and some do not  get this  concept at all ever. The  children  get  nothing out  of  these  zero  tolerance  rules except  a major blow to their  self esteem. Every  child should  be  dealt with according to their  individual  needs and  personality. Then again I am  only a parent  WHAT  do I know about   kids? 
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« Reply #18: October 15, 2009, 01:42:25 pm »

I think this is more of the paranoid bullshit that spoils things in this country.  This is the child equivalent of mandatory sentencing and the three strikes rule...  Bullshit!

As everyone else said, zero tolerance is a horrible policy. And 45 days suspended is total overkill.

However, this is also a great case of media manipulation and bias. He's a cute kid, so the general public will be quick to take this kid's side, oh, look, cute kid!! He must be an angel! There is no non-biased input on the behavior of this child, like the parents of his friends and classmates. He could be a total bully, and dangerous (to other children) with a wooden block, much less a pointy object.

It is perfectly reasonable for a 6 year old child to know better than to take his knife/tool to school. He should have been told what the rules for using the tool/knife were when it was given to him. According to the Cub Scouts a kid's not even supposed to have a knife until they're in 3rd grade. http://www.ewpack89.com/rules_of_conduct.htm#Use%20of%20Knives%20by%20Cub%20Scouts 

The ruling has been modified to a 5 day suspension. Which, depending on the child's typical classroom behavior, and all the other little details the media won't include, is probably fair.

Yay, media takes cute kid's case and gets overly harsh punishment toned down. Yay, media also fails to give full coverage and manipulates the public as usual.
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« Reply #19: October 15, 2009, 02:00:28 pm »

The ruling has been modified to a 5 day suspension. Which, depending on the child's typical classroom behavior, and all the other little details the media won't include, is probably fair.

Yay, media takes cute kid's case and gets overly harsh punishment toned down. Yay, media also fails to give full coverage and manipulates the public as usual.

I do agree that the media does love the cute (especially White and cute) kid story.  I still think a 5 day suspension is really harsh for a 6 year old.  Yes, it is possible that he knew he wasn't supposed to take his fork set to school but I cannot believe that he understood the consequences of his actions.  I look at my 5 year old, and I know he would have been totally clueless about the whole thing.  He would have just cried his eyes out because he wasn't allowed to attend school.  If this happened to me, we would be talking to a lawyer and potentially looking for a new school district.

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« Reply #20: October 15, 2009, 02:09:18 pm »



It is perfectly reasonable for a 6 year old child to know better than to take his knife/tool to school. He should have been told what the rules for using the tool/knife were when it was given to him. According to the Cub Scouts a kid's not even supposed to have a knife until they're in 3rd grade. http://www.ewpack89.com/rules_of_conduct.htm#Use%20of%20Knives%20by%20Cub%20Scouts 



we aren't talking about the type of knife that the cub scout rules cover, we're talking a camping knife/fork/spoon.  This is something my kids have had pretty much since we started collecting camping gear. This is an eating utensil.  The article was clear enough about that.  This is a continuation of similar stories from other schools where a child brought a knife to cut their food with and got in trouble.


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« Reply #21: October 15, 2009, 02:13:22 pm »

He must be an angel! There is no non-biased input on the behavior of this child, like the parents of his friends and classmates. He could be a total bully, and dangerous (to other children) with a wooden block, much less a pointy object.

I think nobody here actually said he's an angel, but even more important: if he IS a bully, he should be dealt with as such. Not on an anonymous 'he brought a pointy object to school'-catch all, but on a very specific problem that that particular boy should have. (And I am not making any assumptions about this kid at all because I don't know.)

There are children, and there even are 6-year-olds that really could be a danger and use something like this to hurt others. But in those cases it still should be dealt with because that particular kid hurts others, and not based on the object it is using.

Quote
It is perfectly reasonable for a 6 year old child to know better than to take his knife/tool to school.

I disagree. I myself have carried some stuff that is now frowned upon by airline security... without ever making the connection to anything dangerous at all. The tools-category sits in a completely different part of my brain from the weapons... And that surely will hold for children.

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The ruling has been modified to a 5 day suspension. Which, depending on the child's typical classroom behavior, and all the other little details the media won't include, is probably fair.
That seems a bit of an assumption to me...
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« Reply #22: October 15, 2009, 02:51:45 pm »

The  children  get  nothing out  of  these  zero  tolerance  rules except  a major blow to their  self esteem. Every  child should  be  dealt with according to their  individual  needs and  personality. Then again I am  only a parent  WHAT  do I know about   kids? 

I think parents know things about kids. But I think teachers also know things about kids - and that often, teachers and parents know *different* things about the same kids. And really, that's part of how it should be.

One thing I think parents can forget - especially when a child has some very specific needs - is that the teacher's dealing not just with their child, but with a lot of other children as well. I work, as I said earlier in the thread, as the teacher librarian in a private school. As an adult, how many people's preferences do you know at a high level of detail? (Enough to remember everything important about them without checking a written reminder.)

I work in a school which has a high tuition to keep class sizes small (our classes average 14.6 this year. In the city public schools, average class size is 30.) That means teachers here see at least 55-60 kids most days (plus homeroom, sports, or other activities they advise/coach). In the public schools, they might see 120 to 150 different students. We're also only about 5-6 weeks into the school year, so each class period has had maybe 25-30 hours of direct contact so far. (Numbers are obviously different for something like a younger grade or a special education program where the same teacher and students are together for longer periods of time.)

Think about how many people you, as an adult, know. Can you name the preferences of 50 people off the top of your head, without direct and clear reminders? Could you name their medical issues, allergies, things they don't care for in enough detail to avoid them reliably? I know I can't. I can do maybe 15-20 people I'm close to, see regularly, and know very well over a longer period of time (years!) before I have to start relying on notes (and checking them before *every* time something related to those issues comes up, like planning a dinner that avoids their food allergies.)

Now, obviously, responding to individual student needs is part of the teaching job - and I think teachers (and schools) need to work towards situations that support making that information as efficient and effective as possible in a way that supports students. But it's got to be a humane expectation. Teachers do not have memory chips embedded that remind us of every detail. And we get sick, have crises in our personal lives, and so on that also affect memory, intellectual function, or ability to juggle lots of different tasks at times, even if we're normally on top of them.

The same basic thing applies to discipline issues - a school with more flexibility in their student/staff ratios, or a school (like mine) that has a budget to hire people specifically to coordinate student needs issues is going to do a better job than a school where everyone's already working 50 or 60 hour weeks just to keep up with class management, teaching content, and grading. In the latter case, the only way to keep anyone's head above water is to standardise as much as possible - any exception, no matter how well-meant, is going to throw huge chaos into the system, and impact not only the staff, but also other students (because the people dealing with the exception won't have as much time for other things.) Now, the ideal is to standarise in meaningful chunks (so that first grade through fifth, for example, are held to the same rules, and older kids are expected to have a better understanding of certain things.) But sometimes that's foiled by district or even state requirements.

I don't like that. But it's a practical reality in too many places. (And as I said, it's a lot of why I work in an independent school: it is imperfect, and issues of diversity and support for people who don't come from the traditional private school population are a constant issue, but I love being able to be flexible to student needs and interests in a way that can only happen with stable and relatively abundant funding and staffing.)
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« Reply #23: October 15, 2009, 02:55:49 pm »



I disagree. I myself have carried some stuff that is now frowned upon by airline security... without ever making the connection to anything dangerous at all. The tools-category sits in a completely different part of my brain from the weapons... And that surely will hold for children.
 That seems a bit of an assumption to me...

I work for a company that fuel and repairs aircraft.  One of our avionics techs was headed out to another city to work on one of our regular airplanes.  He ALWAYS has those breakaway blade box cutters in his shirt pocket (for cutting whatever in the line of work) and walked right through security without anyone realizing they weren't pens.  He thinks of them as a tool and so didn't think to check them.  This doesn't make him a terrorist, just forgetful.
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« Reply #24: October 15, 2009, 06:27:00 pm »

I think parents know things about kids. But I think teachers also know things about kids - and that often, teachers and parents know *different* things about the same kids. And really, that's part of how it should be.

One thing I think parents can forget - especially when a child has some very specific needs - is that the teacher's dealing not just with their child, but with a lot of other children as well. I work, as I said earlier in the thread, as the teacher librarian in a private school. As an adult, how many people's preferences do you know at a high level of detail? (Enough to remember everything important about them without checking a written reminder.)

I  totally understand  and agree  that teachers and parents   know  different things about the same  child. I  don't expect that  my  children act the same at school as  they  do at  home, in fact I  know they  do not, I  spend enough time  over at the  school to  know  they are  completely  different  children at school. Yes I agree that that is  how it should be. What I have a problem with is  when the teacher (s)  call me and ask  me what they  can  do or  if there is a certain way to approach my  child  and I  basically write them cliff  notes and they still call me about things that are  in the cliff  notes!!! If  they are asking  me for this  information and I am  providing it to them  I personally think that the onus is then on the teacher to consult the  notes  provided to  resolve  conflicts  BEFORE  calling  home 4 times a day. Let's  face it that many  phone calls home a day not  only  frustrates  the  teacher  but the parent too!  I  go over and talk to my  children's  teacher  weekly, sometimes  more than once a week, I  make surprise  visits to the  classrooms  to make sure  my  children are  behaving and also to make sure they are  getting the  education they  deserve to be get.  Being a parent  of  2 special needs  kids  in  a public school system I  have learned  the  hard  way that that  sometimes I have to be NOT so nice and NOT  so understanding and  just  be a little on the demanding  side for  the  good of MY  children. Other  times I find  humor  works better than  being  demanding, it  just  depends on the situation. For the size  of the school my  children are  in and the number  of students in the  school, I really do NOT  see what is so hard about a teacher  knowing  her students and  knowing  the  needs of  the special needs children in his/her  classroom. Don't get me wrong  I have come across  teachers that  are  just  wonderful with  knowing  what to  do  and what not to do. Those are the  kinds of  teachers I wish  my  children  could get every year makes everyone's  life a  whole lot easier!

As far as suspensions go  the  school here  knows my take on  those, I don't allow them to send  my  kids home on a suspension anymore  unless  blood was exchanged. A suspension of any kind  for  bringing  an  eating utensil to school  is  ridiculous as well as  absurd, and to  do it  to a 6 year  old, you have to wonder who has the sick mind there the child  or the adults involved? A  6 year old is not going to put an  eating  utensil they  got at Scouts ( of all places),  in their  back pack and think  ""OHHH I'm gonna  take an eye out with  this  at  lunch time squeeeeeee"  .........



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« Reply #25: October 15, 2009, 08:30:38 pm »

A  6 year old is not going to put an  eating  utensil they  got at Scouts ( of all places),  in their  back pack and think  ""OHHH I'm gonna  take an eye out with  this  at  lunch time squeeeeeee"  .........

It is funny you bring that up because it was almost exactly the principle used as to why it was a good rule.  *rolls eyes*

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« Reply #26: October 15, 2009, 10:06:25 pm »

It is funny you bring that up because it was almost exactly the principle used as to why it was a good rule.  *rolls eyes*

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« Reply #27: October 15, 2009, 10:47:59 pm »

For the size  of the school my  children are  in and the number  of students in the  school, I really do NOT  see what is so hard about a teacher  knowing  her students and  knowing  the  needs of  the special needs children in his/her  classroom. Don't get me wrong  I have come across  teachers that  are  just  wonderful with  knowing  what to  do  and what not to do. Those are the  kinds of  teachers I wish  my  children  could get every year makes everyone's  life a  whole lot easier!

Honestly, it really is complicated for teachers. Complicated for parents, too.

I actually wonder - though, obviously, this is something that depends very much on your relationship with the school and teachers - if there might not be something else going on. The kinds of contacts you describe (multiple calls a day, weekly visits) are something that in the setting I'm in would be a really big sign of 'helicopter parent'. Not that parents shouldn't be actively involved in a child's well-being, but that there are also ways in which constant communication actually gets in the way of the teacher being able to act professionally. In other words, I'd be wondering, about the time I made the third call in a week, what it was that wasn't getting across clearly to the teacher in a way they were able to hear and internalise usefully.

(I'm speaking very generally here, because my experience is not with kids who have specific needs outside of some basic learning differences that can be adapted for in a college-prep school environment or things like food/medical issues that sometimes require a little bit of extra attention.)

Quote
A  6 year old is not going to put an  eating  utensil they  got at Scouts ( of all places),  in their  back pack and think  ""OHHH I'm gonna  take an eye out with  this  at  lunch time squeeeeeee"  .........

The thing that's scary, though, is that there have been cases where that's happened. And yes, with 6 year olds. Not with something from Scouts, but picking up something that really can do damge. Or kids bringing guns they find at home. Not often, and not in many schools - but it happens enough to make me realise that it's something schools have in the back of their heads, no matter how well-behaved and reliable their kids are normally. (And if you've got a district with some schools where that's unlikely, and some where it is, the district has to have rules that keep *all* the kids in the district safe.) It's the same way we do lock-down drills, and the way a part of my brain is always aware, whereever I am in the school, where the safest protected areas are, the nearest exits, and other such things - even though it's very unlikely we'd ever had a school shooting in our campus.

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« Reply #28: October 16, 2009, 01:11:33 am »



In other words, I'd be wondering, about the time I made the third call in a week, what it was that wasn't getting across clearly to the teacher in a way they were able to hear and internalise usefully.

I often wonder that  by the  second phone  call a day, what is  this  teacher/Principal NOT  understanding? Things that happen on a daily  basis, that they  call me about and get the  same  answer  every day. I know I get tired of it  and I am sure they  get tired  of calling  me about  the same things. Last  year  I would  get  phone calls from my  sons teacher  right  from the  classroom asking me to come  over there and make  my son sit at his desk, 3 or 4 times a day. I finally had to tell her  that SHE  had to get  control  over  him and STOP  letting him  be  in control. DO NOT  ask him to sit at his desk TELL him to sit at his desk, END OF STORY.  Once she finally got that threw her  head  that  problem stopped. Yes  teacher s like to  use  please and thank you when  dealing with  children  BUT  that does not  work with him, she  had to change  her approach with him and it worked, sure  it sounds mean BUT it  works. "SIT  down at your  desk NOW!" works  better than " please sit  down?" I was actually told  by  one  of  my  support workers to stop taking calls from  the  school  between 9 am and 3 30 pm.

The thing that's scary, though, is that there have been cases where that's happened. And yes, with 6 year olds. Not with something from Scouts, but picking up something that really can do damge. Or kids bringing guns they find at home. Not often, and not in many schools - but it happens enough to make me realise that it's something schools have in the back of their heads, no matter how well-behaved and reliable their kids are normally. (And if you've got a district with some schools where that's unlikely, and some where it is, the district has to have rules that keep *all* the kids in the district safe.) It's the same way we do lock-down drills, and the way a part of my brain is always aware, whereever I am in the school, where the safest protected areas are, the nearest exits, and other such things - even though it's very unlikely we'd ever had a school shooting in our campus.

That is  no way to  have to live   while  you are at work\school, no adult  or  child  should  be subjected to  lock down drills, and  having to scope out the  safest place in the room "just  in case" . Years ago  when  parents were still allowed to  give  little  Johnny/Susie a good  old  fashioned  butt  warming  this stuff  never  happened. We never crossed that  line when we were  kids, I know  for a fact  if I would have done  half  of  what the  kids today are allowed to  do my butt  would have   been sore  for a month, and I would have  learned  really  FAST  not to do that ever again, and to be honest I can count the  amount  of  spanking I got as a child  on one  hand because  they were made to count  for something back then.
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« Reply #29: October 16, 2009, 08:46:06 am »


 Years ago  when  parents were still allowed to  give  little  Johnny/Susie a good  old  fashioned  butt  warming  this stuff  never  happened. We never crossed that  line when we were  kids, I know  for a fact  if I would have done  half  of  what the  kids today are allowed to  do my butt  would have   been sore  for a month, and I would have  learned  really  FAST  not to do that ever again, and to be honest I can count the  amount  of  spanking I got as a child  on one  hand because  they were made to count  for something back then.

Oh bull hocky.  In those days, sexual harrassment of girls was ignored, kids weren't really better behaved, the rules were different.  My son wouldn't be in school, he'd have dropped out or they would have suggested that I keep him home.  Your kids wouldn't even be in school, if I understand you correctly.  Life was different, but much of it was because a good amount of the behavior was excused under boys will be boys, or it never made it beyond the school discipline and kids could actually drop out and find a decent job.  A whole lot of abuse was ignored.  Drugs have changed things since the 50's but not that much since the 70's, but alot of it is because the rules changed.

Life and kids behavior was always better way back when.  Yes, there were school shootings in the 1940's, and not just in Harlem, but every little paper didn't necessarily catch them.
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