Discipline at School.

Updated on April 24, 2013
P.S. asks from Katy, TX
8 answers

I know my son was wrong and I certainly raised him better but he chose to do something impulsive and was caught. My son who is a freshman in a high school in a suburb of Houston, Tx tore up one piece of plain notebook paper into about 1 inch squares and dropped them on the floor in a common area and received a two hour detention. I did not believe his story when he first told me and I just felt that there must be more to the story for him to receive a two hour detention so I talked to his assistant principal and he confirmed my sons story. He told me that because my son was a good student and had never been in trouble he went easy on him. He said that he would have given him a 2 day, in school suspension if he had been in trouble before. I asked him why they did not just ask him to pick it up and give him a warning. He said it was too serious and a janitor had to clean it up. I asked him why they just did not have him help the janitor. The punishment should make sense. He said they don't do that. We went round and round. Personally I think their punishment was ridiculous. What do you think? He is a good kid. He won a district competition and while other students from his school were partying and drinking at the competition he stayed out of it. He is very involved in helping out in the community and he is a boy scout. When he went to serve his detention they cancelled it and he had to go back another day. They let the students go after an hour and 15 min. I told my son that his school is strict and he needs to watch every behavior because next time they will say I see you have been in trouble before

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answers from Austin on

Nope, school systems don't make sense. My kindergartner was asked to throw out a carrot on the ground at lunch and she picked it up and tossed it into the garbage can 4 feet away. For not walking to the can she had to sit alone at a table the next day at lunch. Really a 5 year old in the first 3 months of school???? Needless to say, I went and sat with her. My feeling is, the first time is a lesson on how ridiculous they are,the second time you fight it like no tomorrow.

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answers from Wausau on

I agree that it would make more sense for his consequence to be cleanup. I also understand schools have uniform policies for a reason.

I think you need to let it go. Your son is old enough to handle this matter on his own. Going around in circles arguing with the AP was really too much involvement. In your son's shoes, at that age, I would have been humiliated by your interference.

My 12 year old - also a good student and generally well behaved - handles the majority of his own school business now. If he comes home and tells me about a problem, we talk about how HE can go to school the next day and solve it. I only get personally involved when the issue is truly something beyond his capabilities or legally requires parent involvement.

My instinct, of course, is usually to rush in to protect him and bash some heads in. That isn't how to raise a capable adult though. I keep informed, I watch, and I guide. But rarely do I swoop in to save the day or argue for him.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Victoria on

I think you are on the right track with what the punishment should have been, but unfortunately the schools no longer punish children as they should. They punish children who need to run around more than others by making them sit longer, verses running, doing laps or being a helper. But if a child bullys not only a child, but the child's parents, the school only makes the bully write a note.

I hope that your son learned his lesson about making a mess on the floor, even if he did not have to clean it up (whether he would have done it on his own or not, who knows), which I believe all children and adults should learn how to clean up after themselves.



answers from College Station on

You are one of the few parents these days that 1. know what their kids are doing, 2 CARE what their kids are doing 3. will discipline them at home as well as school.
The school has to react this way because kids are not like we were. They don't care about authority, don't care if they get in trouble. THe consequences are just not there. So, the school has to be tough.



answers from Waco on

P., while I agree that the punishment should fit the crime, have you ever really spent time in a public school? Most days, it is damage control. They literally do not have the time or the resources to baby-sit your son while he cleans up the mess he made. I think schools do the best they can. Your son made a mistake and he was given a consequence. While the consequence was not what you would have chosen for him, it was still a consequence. In life, he will have consequences that do not necessarily fit like a perfect puzzle piece every single time. The question then becomes, are you going to teach him how to make excuses and argue his way out of his consequences OR are you going to teach him to accept responsibilities for his actions?



answers from San Francisco on

I think it's only a one hour detention. Your son will live. Let it go.



answers from Austin on

Please do not become one of those parents that questions every punishment. Hopefully you have not undermined the school by telling your son that the punishment was ridiculous. If you have, go back and tell your son that you have changed your mind and are glad that he was punished. Tell him that it was not acceptable behavior and diminishes the reputation he has worked hard to attain.

Just imagine being the assistant principal, having to decide what punishment to dole out for EVERY disobedient act that happens every hour of the day... Then picture the amount of time they have to spend with each student AND with the number of parents who come in and second guess it. You have had hours to think it over and decide the punishment while the asst. principal had to act at the moment.

Have him apologize to the asst. principal and the janitor. That will go a long way to get his good name back. They know kids mess up. But if you get in the way, it will tell them that their punishment will be ineffective and it will tell your son that you will go in and make excuses for every bad behavior.

Who cares WHAT the action was? The fact that he DID it should make you wonder if he was trying to get your attention or the attention of someone else. Is he tired of looking like the good kid? Unfortunately, the good kids are not considered cool in most schools. Don't assume that because he won a district competition that he doesn't need discipline. And don't ever bring that up as an excuse to be lenient on him.



answers from Houston on

Yes, you need to just let it go but I TOTALLY agree with you that the crime should meet the punishment. We are raising people who don't THINK for themselves (and I'm talking about the administration here) who just follow guidelines instead of being able to come up with LOGICAL solutions on their own. It's a very discouraging path this whole country is on. When my children would do something out of the ordinary for them, I would ask THEM what the discipline should be. Talk about creative (and usually harsher) punishments!!! But at least they had the opportunity to THINK about it (even if they hadn't BEFORE the incident). You're not going to change anything in the school system over one incident and you'll probably only drive yourself crazy trying.

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