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Writing names on the board for discipline.

post #1 of 63
Thread Starter 
How do you all feel about teachers making kids write their name on the board when they've done something wrong? I don't like it and I think it's humiliating. Am I overreacting about this?

I've complained about this in the past, but was told it was school policy. It is in my older daughter's IEP not to do this (It was done once because she didn't finish her work in the amount of time the teacher wanted it done.), and I didn't think it would ever be an issue with my other daughter because she's usually well behaved in school, and doesn't have trouble with her school work, but apparently I was wrong. She came home yesterday and told me that she accidentally spilled her water at snack and the teacher thought she was fooling around so she told her to go put her name up on the board. On her way up to the board the teacher asked her if she was laughing and my daughter said no and the teacher said, "Excuse me." My daughter was pretty upset and was crying. Of course, I know that's her story and I haven't heard the other side, but even if she were fooling around and that's how it spilled I still don't like the teacher having her write her name on the board. I thought about writing a letter, but I think if I did it would be helpful to have some suggestions for alternatives. Any ideas?

So, let me have it, am I totally overreacting or what?
post #2 of 63
I think it is HORRIBLE! I would pull my child out of something like that. Its 100% shame based, all about the teacher maintaining control, and not at all relevent to learning true discipline. Poor kiddo! Over spilled water????? OMG!!!
post #3 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by mamaduck
I think it is HORRIBLE! I would pull my child out of something like that. Its 100% shame based, all about the teacher maintaining control, and not at all relevent to learning true discipline. Poor kiddo! Over spilled water????? OMG!!!
Unfortunately I don't have a choice but to use this school. I was afraid I was overreacting, but I guess not. Any ideas on what I should write to this teacher?

Thanks!
post #4 of 63
How old is your daughter?

JMO but it sounds like your daughter may have been goofing off.... I would get the whole story first before I complained. I can't imagine why the teacher would have a need to even say "Excuse me?" unless the child said something first. Maybe I missed something in your original post..... I still disagree with names on the board though.

I HATE the name on the board thing! It is very rude and totally meant to call attention to children in a negative way. My main problem is that my kids are pretty well behaved at school and I personally feel like some days they need the teacher to cut them some slack. YKWIM? If ds if having a bad day and goofs off, his teacher knows what a great student and friend he is, I think she can give him a break. Of course, on the flip side, what if he doesn't stop?

HTH....
post #5 of 63
Thread Starter 
I can see her teacher saying excuse me....as in excuse me, that's not what happened. She's a very strict teacher. She could have been goofing off, but I'd like to write her about the name/board thing. Like I told my daughter, I wasn't there, I don't know the whole story. I was OK with letting that part of it go because I'm pretty sure there is more to the story than that, but I still don't like her having to be humiliated as discipline. I don't know how to approach the teacher about this though.

BTW, I have always gotten the other side of the story when dealing with the school. I haven't had good responses with that, so that's why I'm unsure on what to do with this issue because no matter what the other side is I still don't think that's a proper form of discipline. I know whatever I do say will not go over well.
post #6 of 63
If the disciplinary strategy is school policy, then you probably won't get anywhere asking the teacher to change it. I'm not sure -- but other channels probably be more productive.
post #7 of 63
There was another thread a while ago about water in the class room and the OP just brought in facts about kids and hydration. She worked on having the entire school changed its policy on water in class and I believe she was pretty successful. Maybe you can approach the teacher from that perspective.

Give her some facts regarding positive discipline that produces results. Take in some printed material (or send in) that gives alternatives to writing names on the board. I would probably write a very humble letter (without addressing the specific problem you just had) thanking her for the great job she is doing this year, give specifics on how your child is improving because of her BLAH BLAH BLAH and then sneak in the discipline ideas kind of as a "YOu know....... what would be really great would be for you to do this ...... because .......... " and then have material attached referencing all the research you know have to do...

Good Luck

We matter in the public school system, we matter in the public school system we matter in the public school system we matter we matter wematterinthepublicschoolsystem
post #8 of 63
Dh is getting a teaching license, and all his education textbooks say that humiliation of students should never be used as discipline.

How did the policy get enacted? I've learned that when a school says it's the policy, often what it means is that it's just what everyone at the school has always done, and there is no written policy in place. Ask to see proof of such a policy.

You could also tell your dd that she doesn't have to write her name on the board. Write a note to the teacher saying you will not support this "policy" and your dd doesn't have to do it. Of course, that won't stop the teacher from just writing it herself, but at least your dd will know she doesn't have to humiliate herself because some adult tells her to.

They did this when I was in school, too. That and the "bad kids' table." All the classrooms and the lunchroom had the table and whoever was "bad" had to sit there while all the other kids stared at them. It's all about ostracizing one from peers - one of the most effective (for authoritarian discipline, anyway: ) methods of punishment. It's used by religious cults.

And wouldn't you know, having to sit at the table and write my name on the board didn't stop me from "acting up!"
post #9 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by lab

Give her some facts regarding positive discipline that produces results. Take in some printed material (or send in) that gives alternatives to writing names on the board.
That's exactly what I was thinking. Does anyone have any links for me? I'll see what I can find too.

Greaseball ~ Yes, I could do that, and have with other things, but I don't think my daughter would listen to me. I've always told her to go to the bathroom even if the teacher says no if she really has to go and this was an issue last year and she peed her pants instead of walking out of the classroom and going to the bathroom. I think she fears what will happen if she goes against them.

This school has this big thing about respect, but where is the respect for the kids? Or the parents for that matter. These are my kids, the PS works for us, our taxes pay them, but we have no say in what happens during the day? I don't think so! Unfortunately, they do.

Maybe I need to show some facts to the school superintendent? I already have a letter that will be going to him because of a letter the principal sent me telling me I'm neglecting my son because he's been out of school a lot. : They know the issues behind that, and say they understand and it's OK, blah blah blah, but that they have to send those letters out to everyone ("policy"). Ugh! So I don't really want to have to go to the super with another issue. It's always something with this school. : I wish I could still homeschool.
post #10 of 63
Personally, I wouldn't have a problem with it.
post #11 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by EFmom
Personally, I wouldn't have a problem with it.
Can you elaborate on that? Do you not feel it's humiliating the child in order to get them to behave, or is it that you don't have a problem with teachers using humiliation, or something else? Can there be a good outcome from teachers using this technique?
post #12 of 63
If an issue at work was resolved by the boss writing my name up on the bulletin board where the names of the "bad" workers go, or putting it in the company newsletter, I would not stay at that job. Why should a child have to put up with it?

Conflicts at work are often handled in a respectful manner - boss and employee meet in the privacy of an office and talk about what happened like normal people. If there is a written warning, it is private, not something for the whole office to see. I think children should be treated with the same amount of respect.
post #13 of 63
When I taught middle school I wrote names on the board routinely and I don't think it's a problem at all. I'd be teaching a class and kids would be fooling around. After a verbal warning that it was time to settle down, if the note-passing/teasing/magazine-reading/sneaker taking-off/cd liner notes-examining/candy-eating /nail polish-applying/or whatever it was continued, I would just quietly write a name on t he board. I didn't have to interrupt what I was saying or doing, I didn't have to call the kid's name out. It was a way for me to say, "Look, what you're doing is not cool. It needs to stop." As the class went on, if the kid settled down and participated, I would simply erase the name. It worked.

I don't know how many of you are teachers, but I can guarantee that there are FAR more humiliating ways of dealing with disruptive kids than writing their names on the board. I know no one wants to think of their child as "disruptive" (And for the record, I don't think the OP's dd was), but many kids are. Very much so. And it makes teaching very difficult. Yes, it would be nice to be able to take each kid aside one on one and discuss things, and that works sometimes. But when you've got 37 kids in a classroom and a class to teach, you do what works in the moment, and if it's a more long-standing behaviour problem, you do the one-on-one and the parent calling later.
post #14 of 63
It could be a part of a whole policy, I know that schools that use Assertive Discipline can use it, but it is balanced by names of children behaving well on the board too. The aim is not to end up with anyone's name there except well behaving children's. There should be clear rules and if you break them, you are given a warning, then a consequence. It's a series of consequences that get more severe if the child continues the bad behaviour. Most teachers use a book for keeping notes of names, though, not the board, which is too public. The consequences work in sequence, and at the end of the day or session, you start again, so it's a fresh start.

I am not a big fan of Assertive Discipline as although it seems logical, and in a sense it 'works', it relies too much on rewards and systems, not on natural respect for one another. It is only a useful tool if the teacher has good discipline in the first place, and if the curriculum is stimulating enough that the children don't need to mess around. In which case, the Assertive Discipline just about becomes worthless. However it is really, really useful for new and less experienced teachers, or for difficult classes with challenging children. I've known schools where they follow it, and most teachers never, ever give out a consequence.

You do need to get the whole picture first.

As for it being humiliating, I don't think it's necessary, but that doesnt mean that it's the big deal you see it as. It depends how it is used, how often, and how the children feel about it. Without knowing the whole story, or what the teacher is dealing with, its' difficult to comment. IN an ideal world, no teacher would need to resort to such a measure. But in reality, teachers come in all shapes and sizes, and like parents, none are perfect.

Except me of course.
post #15 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Britishmum

As for it being humiliating, I don't think it's necessary, but that doesnt mean that it's the big deal you see it as. It depends how it is used, how often, and how the children feel about it. Without knowing the whole story, or what the teacher is dealing with, its' difficult to comment.
Obviously my daughter felt humiliated because she started crying in front of the whole class. So yeah, I do see that as a big deal. I remember how it felt as a kid getting up in front of the class, never mind getting up and having to write my name on the board for something I felt I didn't even do, AND have the teacher be sarcastic to me on top of it all. I don't need the whole story to not like this practice. They don't just do it for discipline, they also do it when work isn't done in the time the teacher wants it done. That happened to my older daughter once before she got her special education in place. She couldn't do the work, she wasn't fooling around, and she was punished for it. She was so embarrassed that she didn't want to go back to school. This isn't a balanced practice, they don't put your name up if you are good, only if you are doing something they don't like or don't do your work in the time they give.

I would rather leave the incident out of it if I write to her because it's going to come down to either believing her or my daughter so I don't think I'll get anywhere there anyway.
post #16 of 63
Teachers are frequently disruptive to childrens' lives and plans, yet how often do the children get to "punish" them? Humiliating a teacher is often grounds for suspension. For some kids, passing notes and doing their nails are just more important than what is being done in class. Maybe the teacher or the parents don't see it as more important, but the children do.

There are more humiliating ways of dealing with disruptive children, but there are also ways that are not humiliating at all. It's a shame that teachers choose to use the humiliating ways in the presence of other alternatives.

Teaching is not supposed to be an easy task. It's probably the hardest one there is, aside from parenting. Kids should not have the job of making teachers' lives easier.

That's a good point; they don't write your name if you are being good. It's only the "bad kids" they single out. Yet when kids publish websites to single out the "bad teachers," the school interferes.: Whose feelings are more important here?

And yes, it's up to the child to decide whether it's a big deal.
post #17 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Greaseball

And yes, it's up to the child to decide whether it's a big deal.
My daughter came home that day and asked me to write her teacher a note. That leads me to believe that she may be telling the truth about the whole thing. If she had lied to the teacher I would expect her to not bring it up to me at all.
post #18 of 63
I don't think this is something children would lie about. School humiliations stay with them for a long time; I still remember mine. Even as a young child I knew there was some other way the teacher could have "reached" me. I also knew I wasn't really doing anything wrong; that many rules were arbitrarily made which benefited no one if they were obeyed and harmed no one if they were disobeyed.
post #19 of 63
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally posted by Greaseball
I don't think this is something children would lie about.
I meant the whole water spill thing that happened before the board/name thing.
post #20 of 63
Quote:
Can you elaborate on that?
zinemama pretty much said what I mean, better than I would say it. When my kid is disruptive, I want her to be called on it.

I absolutely could see my sweet first grader lying to me about it.
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