What do I do when the school gives my daughter an unfair punishment?
1 month ago my daughter wrote on her friends facebook wall that she wants to kill a teacher. Today is january 11th and the school contacted me saying she is suspended until april 26th for what she wrote on facebook. My daughter is in 10th grade and she is a pretty little girl that weighs about 90 lbs. Clearly she is not going to try killing anyone. Is this punishment unfair? What can I do to help her?
I'm sure that it is upsetting to you that your daughter is suspended. Unfortunately one's looks (she's pretty) and weight (only 90 pounds) are not by any means a guarantee that a teen is not capable of violence. In addition, by 10th grade, it is VERY important for a teen to know that anything they put in the public domain is accessible to anyone--not only in high school, but when they apply to college or for a job. Such a statement could easily be a deterrent for a college admissions department.
I therefore don't think that the punishment is unfair. In fact, I think your daughter should view it as a fairly safe lesson learned (it wasn't a rejection from college or a firing from a job).
The best way to help her is to discuss with her--as often as possible--the consequences of her behavior. I'm sure she didn't intend this consequence, but if you hold her accountable, it will teach her to be more so in the future. This is vitally important 'growing up' advice. Should you take her side and react angrily to the administration, she will not learn this lesson and this will impact her negatively well into the future. I hope this helps you and her!
Good Wishes and Great Parenting,
Dr Susan Bartell
JustAsk Expert www.drsusanbartell.com
NEW book “The Top 50 Questions Kids Ask”
I would schedule a meeting with your daughter's teacher and principal to discuss the issue. Face Book threats have become a serriouse issue in the past few years and educators have to take them serriously. Your Daugter needs to know that you should Never put you random thoughts in writing, especialy on line where people can read them without your consent.
If this is the 1st time for your daughter to mention such a thing, then you must find out from her why she hates her teacher so much. The problem might be in that relationship. You can also discuss the issue with the school counselor and principale. Keeping your daughter out of school for such a long time will only increase the anger. If this is not the 1st time for such behavior, then a guidence councellor needs to be asked. But I personaly feel that the school overreacted; how many times do we adults use the figure of speech:"I could have killed ...."?
First, why does a 10th grader have a facebook page? I've included some sites that teach internet safety. Second, that was a threatening statement for obviously a violent child. You should speak with your child to find out what troubles her and why she feels compelled to display such anger and violence and you need to seek professional help before this spirals out of control and she harms herself or someone else. I am surprised that the school has not permanently banned her although I'm sure you are aware that with a suspension that long, she has failed the 10th grade, so I would search for a private school so that she may continue her education and not be held back. Good luck!