This week my children returned to school.
When they came home their backpacks were filled with tons of papers to fill out and directions to follow, and so, the routine begins.
The third morning, I was in the kitchen packing lunches, as usual.
I handed my son his lunch and a water bottle for school and he said, “I can’t take a water bottle or I will be suspended.”
The same situation presented itself in his first year of middle school.
I asked why, and he said that the principal had spelled out the rules and indicated that kids were putting other substances in their water bottles.
So I guess that instead of doing their jobs and locating the child committing the trespass, we just punish everyone ahead of time.
Works for me … not!
Think about it.
If your neighbor doesn’t pay their taxes, we simply put a lien against all houses in that neighborhood ahead of time, just in case!
Two years ago, our family went through a particularly difficult time financially, like many families did and many still are doing.
One morning my son asked to buy his lunch, which was the famed pizza. I scraped together the few dollars and sent him off.
When I asked later how his lunch was, expecting a rousing “great!” I was met with silence.
He said he got to lunch at the last minute and the last slice he got was cold and dried out. I told him to be more careful with his time and to get to lunch earlier.
He told me that a few individuals in his math class were talking and the teacher had everyone come back for a lunch detention.
I immediately asked if he was in violation of this crime. He said absolutely not. I told him to ask the teacher the next day what he could have done to avoid the consequences since he was not at fault.
Seemed like a reasonable thing to ask.
When he arrived home, I asked about his conversation with the math teacher.
My son said the math teacher at first ignored him and when pressed said, “Don’t worry about it.”
So I concurred and said then don’t worry about it and I told my son, “If it happens again, you have my permission to skip the detention.”
The next day I went to the cafeteria and asked for my $2.85 back and explained the situation, suggesting they charge the teacher for the meal.
The lunchroom lady was in hysterics and was completely in agreement. I would love to have seen that teacher’s face.
Accountability – it is for everyone.
But there is a second part to this teacher’s ineffective classroom management. He used peer pressure to get everyone to cooperate. In the inner city, that kind of technique will get a kid killed on their way to and from school.
Haven’t we learned anything? Aren’t we supposed to be warning our kids against peer pressure?
I have a suggestion that will follow suit with the water bottle insanity.
Since there could be weapons in backpacks and in various pockets of clothing, all children should have to report to school completely naked with books held together with bungee chords.
There, that should do it.
Now the Management Assistants can have their second cup of coffee, kick back and grab a magazine to pass the time of day instead of having to actually look after the children.
Personally, I think it’s great if kids bring stuff in their water bottles.
They will get suspended and their parents will have to pay close attention to them now, instead of when the police slap the cuffs on when they commit other more serious offenses.
And the teacher-student ratio at my son’s school would improve.
While you’re relaxing, wrap your bathwater around that one!