My instincts tell me that this wasn't the best handling of the situation. My 10 year old child is mercilessly teased, made fun of and tripped at school. We met with teachers at the school and they referred this matter to the school counselor. Counselor insisted that our child complete an "incident report". A few hours later, one of the children named in the "report" was asked to join my child in the counselors office, where that child was told to "apologize" to my child for teasing behavior. Now there are repercussions on the playground for this. How do I approach the school counselor to effectively question his motives without appearing overly critical of his method? I do feel that he should have realized that this would happen?
He should ave seen that this would happen. Any time a child is confronted by an adult about teasing another child..that other child gets teased or picked on even worse. He will be called a taddle tale and all sorts of mean things. You have every right to contact that counselor and tell him that what he did has only made matters worse and needs to come up with a different solution. You don't have to question his motives...just advise him that he needs to fix the situation. You as a parent have every right to make this demand for the safety of your child.
This was a well-intentioned but naive approach on the part of the school counselor. But what's done is done.
My question would be - what's being done on the playground? I'm always baffled by what I hear of school playgrounds these days. Where are the adults?? If things are happening on the playground, there should be adults or more adults present on the playground to stop these things from happening!
Parents need to speak up about this. The two teachers' unions in our country have been very powerful and in many schools, teachers are excused from playground duty and that duty instead is given to part-time aides who are paid a pittance to come in once a day and supervise recess. That system does not work in anybody's best interest. This teacher thinks that teachers need to be out on the playground. There is a great deal of learning that can take place on the playground and very important life skills can be learned on the playground if recess is taken seriously. Recess should not be seen as a time to 'turn children loose' - it's a time that offers lots of opportunity for learning very important social skills.
Another criticism I'd offer of recess is that when a child does something wrong, they are 'stood on the wall'. That teaches a child nothing. When children argue and fight, it's not a time to just 'stand them on the wall' - it's a time to counsel them. "Why are you fighting? What were you thinking when you did that? What did you think that would accomplish?" Children need to be helped to see why it was wrong and how to approach it differently.
And if children cannot play independently anymore, then recess needs to be more structured or at the least, recess needs to be staggered. If there are bullies picking on children at recess, then each class should out to recess separately and with their classroom teacher right there to watch over everybody.