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momcubed
momcubed asks:
Q:

What should I do about unfair punishment at school?

Two boys were talking in line.  They would not be quiet.  The teacher is now making the entire 2nd grade class write the sentence "I will not talk in line" 25 times as punishment.

My son was not talking.  I have verification from another student that it was just the two boys.  Writing a sentence 25 times seems like a huge waste of time when my son did nothing wrong and could be studying for a test tomorrow.

What should I do?  I really don't think he should do this punishment.

If my son had done something wrong, I would probably give him more punishment on top of what he got at school.
In Topics: Working with my child's teacher(s), My Relationship with my child's school
> 60 days ago

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Expert

lkauffman
Dec 9, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Dear momcubed,

It is understandable that you are frustrated that your son was punished for a transgression that he did not commit. It sounds like your teacher has a different philosophy about misbehavior and punishment than you do. I imagine she is hoping that students who misbehave are expected to feel especially "bad" because they have caused difficulty for their peers, too. Maybe, she is hoping that the rest of the class can also help the misbehaving students to stay in line?

Regardless, you disagree about the approach, and I encourage you to speak with your son's teacher. Call or email her and ask for a short meeting. Share your concerns about the punishment and let her know that you are uncomfortable with your son being punished for behaviors that he did not commit. Remain positive and open to collaborating on a solution that can work in her classroom and benefit your son, as well.

If she is not agreeable to changing her approach, it may be best to watch the situation carefully and document any future incidents. You can then take that information to the school administration (e.g., school principal). I recommend this as a last resort, however.

Good luck.


Warm regards,

Laura Kauffman, Ph.D.
Licensed Psychologist
Education.com JustAsk Expert
http://www.drlaurakauffman.com/

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Additional Answers (2)

momosan1
momosan1 writes:
Hmmm....sound like military. If one soldier messes up in training, often times the whole squad has to face the consequence.

Is there a reason you only got verification from another student and not the teacher directly?
Why did the kids not write the sentences during school hours??

Seems like there might be a little more to the story. It would be best to take your concerns directly to the teacher.
> 60 days ago

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momcubed
momcubed writes:
Thank  you both for the replies.

I do disagree with punishing an entire class for something only a few did wrong.  When I contacted the teacher, she said that the whole class was talking.  

I am more inclined to believe my son because he doesn't lie and is not good at it.  Also, his feelings were very hurt and he was crying about not being believed.  He's pretty sensitive.

He has gotten in trouble at school before and always accepts the punishment and learns from it.  I just don't see that there is anything to learn from this type of punishment.

Hopefully, there will not be any further incidents like this.  She is a nice and decent teacher, I just disagree with this particular method.
> 60 days ago

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