What is your public elementary school discipine policy regarding

dreedreeOctober 16, 2009

My daughter is in the 3rd grade in our local public elementary school. Normally a happy, upbeat, communicative child, she had a radical change in personality a few weeks ago. We could not figure out what was wrong. Then, recently, while doing her homework, she cried and blurted out that "it was all my fault!"

She said that two weeks ago, I failed to initial her daily reading log as required by her teacher. This was true--I forgot to do so even though she told me she was done with it. The reason I knew about it was the next day, when the log came home, I noticed that instead of receiving a "check", she received a "minus." I told my daughter I was sorry, and assumed this was the consequence/penalty of what the teacher considered incomplete homework.

Well, it turns out that this wasn't the end of it. My DD told me that her name was called out in class as someone who had to stay in for recess. Okay, that's not going to make any schoolkid happy. But what freaked me out was that she said once in the "work room" (or "detention" but they don't use that word), she was asked by the proctor (not her reading teacher who sent her there) whether she was "doing minutes."

What's "doing minutes?" I asked. She told me that students who didn't do their homework, or didn't complete it, or have misbehaved in class, miss recess and have to sit on the carpet while being timed. She didn't know how minutes she owed...

Anyway, I guess this is all irrelevant. What i'm trying to find out is:

What is your school's policy on missing homework or not completing homework/classwork? Do they take away recess? Send notes home? Talk to the student? I am interested in any progressive discipline you have in your school as I'd like to propose less punitive and more instructive means at my mtg with the school.

THANKS in advance for any input.

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Wow Dree, I think that's a little extreme. My daughter is in second grade and if a student doesn't complete their homework the teacher simply sends it home again to be completed. If it recurs she would send a note home, or call, I'm sure. I've received phone calls from her teacher regarding good things, so I can't imagine her not communicating with me about the bad things. My daughter has reading logs too, and I have forgotten to initial them, but there have been no consequences.

In order for a child to miss recess at her school she would have to drop down from "green" to "yellow" to "red" and there would be many opportunities to move back up. I can't see a child being denied recess simply because her mother didn't sign a reading log, especially if it were the first time it happened.

And "doing minutes" for not completing homework prior to a note being sent home or some sort of corrective action being taken seems absurd. I can see having to stay in the classroom to finish homework rather than being allowed to go out and play... but to have to sit and do nothing? That seems more like a disciplinary action to me, one that should be given for misbehavior (quiet time to think, etc).

Are you sure there isn't more to this story?

    Bookmark   October 16, 2009 at 2:00PM
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Thanks for your reply! No, sadly there isn't more to the story...I already have spoken and emailed the teacher and she said these are her classroom rules. They just seem extreme to me... Other friends say their schools warn the students, then send a note home, then have a stern talk with the child. This type of progressive discipline makes more sense to me.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2009 at 11:05PM
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I'd be heading to the principle and eventually the superintendent and perhaps the board with that one. That teacher has a bit of a Napoleon complex....control at all costs and hasn't learned the difference between forgot to have mom check the box and habitually doesn't do the work.
That's wrong....kids don't learn anything but fear from that kind of disciplin.
When my daughter was in 3rd grade one teacher had a "policy" that every kid had to wear boots (in those days the boots were rain boots that usually fit over shoes) every day from October 1 to April 1...no exceptions for 80 degree sunny days and anyone who did not show up in boots had to sit on the floor in the hall in front of the principal's office.
One day I picked my daughter up at school and took her somewhere...she left her boots in the car and the next day my DH took that car, with the boots to work.
She went ballistic, insisted that he had to come home and bring her boots....even thought it was a bright and dry sunny fall day.
Eventually she told me why....and I called the school....
I talked to the principle and asked her if she didn't really think that was a senseless rule. By the time January rolled around the boots were often worn out other parents told me. That was the end of the "rule".
Teachers often make stupid rules because they can....good teachers teach, bad teachers make inflexible rules.
Linda C

    Bookmark   October 17, 2009 at 6:46PM
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I agree with Linda. Take this one up with the principal. Parents are busy busy busy. If your child didn't do her homework it's one thing, but if all that is missing is your signature... it's getting ridiculous.

Besides, children should be encouraged to learn and want to learn. This sounds like a lot of stress for a little girl, and unnecessary stress at that. I'd agree to my daughter having to sit in class during recess if she didn't finish her homework and it were a pattern, but kids need that outdoor "shake-it-off" time too, so unless there is a recurring issue with homework being incomplete I wouldn't agree with taking it away.

Last year my daughter had to sit in for one recess. When I asked her why she said it was for going to the bathroom during class. I was furious!! I went in to talk with the teacher and she explained that the students had many breaks in which to use the restroom, and when they kept utilizing class time instead she gave warnings, then they sat in. I considered having 20 students going to the bathroom all throughout the day, and it made sense. My daughter didn't have an issue with using the restroom on breaks ever again, because she wanted to play at recess! Of course they could go for an emergency, but there weren't little girls running to the bathroom to giggle all day anymore :)

    Bookmark   October 19, 2009 at 10:24AM
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Got my DD's homework back last night. I completely forgot to give her the practice test... MY BAD!!! AND I was supposed to sign in. One BIG BLANK page. LOL. All we got was a big red question mark in the middle of the page.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 11:35AM
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And if anyone carries a nail-clipper -- that's a weapon, you know -- they're expelled and sent to an "alternative" school. Nuts, nuts, nuts!

The "zero tolerance" thing has apparently caused everyone to lose their minds.

Yes, make an issue of it! Purported "security" and "discipline" and "compliance" has become a monumental case of CYA, IMHO. Whole lot of stupidness going on.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 8:37PM
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We just talked about it last weekend at my brothers! My niece's school does that. My niece was denied recess on several occassions for not completing some kind of assignments (she is well behaved nice girl, just didn't understand some assignments). My brother is planning on going to school and talking to a teacher, he tried to communicate via email to a teacher but wasn't succesful. My niece is also in 3rd grade. She was in a 1st and 2nd grade at the same school and her teachers were very reasonable, this one is weird.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2009 at 10:27PM
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it seems to me to be a teacher by teacher basis. In my kids school one kids teacher (my oldest) if homework wasnt done or an assignment not complete that was classwork they would miss out on recess to complete the assignment. That was perfectly fine with me. In another class my son was stashing homework assignments away for most of the first nine weeks and the teacher never said word one until we scheduled a conference with his teachers. Personally, not signing an agenda book (or whatever) is not a big enough deal to miss out on anything.... unless it is a reoccurring problem...but then I would be calling the parent to see what was up. Is the kid scamming the parent ... is the parent just working...

    Bookmark   October 21, 2009 at 12:10AM
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