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Honour Roll/Potential Suspension - same kid, same day *sigh*

post #1 of 107
Thread Starter 

So, yesterday was report card day at ds1's school. He came home late (had rehearsal for the school musical after school, until 9:00 or something like that) with his report card. He's got almost all As and is on the honour roll. There were lots of comments about his hard work, etc. It was his usual good report card. He was also the gymnastics team captain (season just ended) and voted "Gymnast of the Year" by his teammates. He's been busting his butt for the musical - they're doing Litlte Shop of Horrors, and he's the puppeteer - for months. He's had a lot going on...

 

Anyway, after we looked over his report card, he said (more or less - can't remember the exact words) "mom - what do you do when you've screwed up really badly and done damage to someone else?' I said it really depended on what kind of screw up it was, and what kind of damage you did, but that the first step is to own up to it, and try to make amends, and asked what happened.

 

Without trying to describe the exact spot (not sure if it's the one I'm thinking of, anyway)...ds1 does a lot of Parkour/freerunning type stuff. He tried something inside the school, and landed successfully, but the platform he landed on was only drywall. He went right through it, into a room that he didn't even know was there. So, he scratched himself up and also put a big hole in the ceiling.

 

And, now, he's facing a suspension (but not until after the musical, which opens next Wednesday). I was a total juvenile delinquent, but I managed to avoid ever damaging school property. This is just so...weird...

post #2 of 107

Even good kids make mistakes.  He didn't intentionally hurt the drywall, and while he shouldn't have been doing the moves IN school, kids do silly things.  Impulse control and all that.  I just don't know that I could even come down too hard on my kid if they were otherwise an excellent kid - as your son is.  I think I'd go in with him, offer to pay for the repairs (and have DS do so - whether through working at home to pay you back, or doing jobs around the neighborhood to earn the money) and if the school still insists he serve the suspension, accept it and move on.

 

Your poor DS - I bet he was so shocked when that happened.  I can only imagine what he was thinking.....

post #3 of 107
Thread Starter 

We're meeting with them tomorrow morning. I don't agree with the suspension at all. He's already willing to pay the repairs (he has a part-time job, and this will probably eat several weeks/months wages out of his savings), and he got hurt, himself, so it's not as if he hasn't learned a lesson already, yk? We're going to suggest financial reparations, plus some kind of around the school service (volunteer at the affiliated Boys and Girls Club, garbage detail, whatever). Suspension just makes no sense to me.

 

ETA: Honestly, after the initial "you did what??" reaction, I had to laugh. I can only imagine his face as he went through. One of his best frinds saw it, and I feel sorry for her, because she apparently freaked out - thought he'd died or something. (I can relate - he was warming up on the rings the provincial gymnastics finals last year, and one of them came loose while he was upside down, and he plummeted to the mat. I've never been so scared in my life.)

post #4 of 107

I think a suspension IS warranted since it is destruction of school property - whether it was intentional or not.  "Good kids" screw up just as much as "bad kids" do.  When they get caught they should do the same punishment as a "bad kid" would.

 

Now it doesn't mean it has to be an out of school suspension.  I work in a middle school & Out of School's are for the more serious things or repeat offenders of (the same)minor things.  

 

They do alot of In School Suspensions.  There were 6 kids(out of 450ish) put on in schools this morning alone.  3 i know of were for not having work finished.   There is probably a couple of more now(quite a bit of stuff happens during the lunch hour).

 

In schools are typically 1 day.  Out of Schools typically are 3 days though they can be less or more depending on the act.

 

IE, in Feb we had 14 girls caught drinking either at the school dance or before the school dance and showed up drunk.  2 of them were suspended that night.  The other 12 would have gotten off with nothing if their friends hadn't been discussing it within the vicinity of teacher's ears.  The ones who were caught drinking at the dance or found out after that they were drinking at the dance had 5 day out of schools.  The others had 3 day out of schools.  About half of them were up for honor, distinction & merit awards the week they were suspended.  They staff discussed it & since those were based on grades & behaviour in the first 2 terms that those kids would still receive their awards.

post #5 of 107

I would push for an in school suspension, and you guys pay for the repairs.  (if it's not too costly)

 

All kids do dumb things.  He's owning up to it, and he's obviously a good and responsible kid.  Hopefully they are looking for loopholes to keep him in school.  (hence the "after the play" idea)

 

 

This is the kind of dumb stunt that ends up being brought up 30 years later at the reunion, or written about in the yearbook.  In the end, this will be fine, and it will be funny in a few years.

 

post #6 of 107

Stuff like this is so dumb.  No, I don't think he should be suspended.  I think the main issue here is intent.  Did he INTEND to hurt the property?  Nope, so the punishment should not be as severe.  It's still a life lesson.  He should have to pay to fix it, but I think that's about all. 

 

Why punish somebody for an accident?  And the last time I checked, kids were always running, jumping, etc in the school.  We did... Pbff, we used to have track practice in the hallways on rainy days.

post #7 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarrieMF View Post

I think a suspension IS warranted since it is destruction of school property - whether it was intentional or not.  "Good kids" screw up just as much as "bad kids" do.  When they get caught they should do the same punishment as a "bad kid" would.

 

Now it doesn't mean it has to be an out of school suspension.  I work in a middle school & Out of School's are for the more serious things or repeat offenders of (the same)minor things.  

 

They do alot of In School Suspensions.  There were 6 kids(out of 450ish) put on in schools this morning alone.  3 i know of were for not having work finished.   There is probably a couple of more now(quite a bit of stuff happens during the lunch hour).

 

In schools are typically 1 day.  Out of Schools typically are 3 days though they can be less or more depending on the act.

 

I think suspensions are mostly stupid, serve very little purpose, and are neither natural nor logical consequences. It makes no difference to me if they're in school or out of school, except that I'll enjoy ds1's company if he gets an out of schooll...and he can catch up on his sleep.

 

 

IE, in Feb we had 14 girls caught drinking either at the school dance or before the school dance and showed up drunk.  2 of them were suspended that night.  The other 12 would have gotten off with nothing if their friends hadn't been discussing it within the vicinity of teacher's ears.  The ones who were caught drinking at the dance or found out after that they were drinking at the dance had 5 day out of schools.  The others had 3 day out of schools.  

 

I'm not following this one very well. Which "other ones" got the 3 day suspensions?

 

About half of them were up for honor, distinction & merit awards the week they were suspended.  They staff discussed it & since those were based on grades & behaviour in the first 2 terms that those kids would still receive their awards.

 

Honour roll isn't dependent on behaviour here. It's strictly marks-based. He'll still get the honour roll, regardless of whether or not the stupid suspension goes through. And, I completely disagree that it's warranted. I wouldn't think it was warranted if it were a "bad" kid in the same situation, either. It was an accident (unlike drinking at a dance), not a deliberate violation of the rules.

 

(I was a "bad" kid, and I got a suspension once. I'm not sure what message they were trying to send me, but the message I got was "if you do things we don'tlike, we let you have a break from this hell-hole". Most of the "bad" kids I knew loved getting suspensions, unless they had parents who were going to beat the crap out of them for it. I've never understood suspensions.) 



ETA: I guess I just don't see the point in imposing a totally artificial, random consequence on something that already carried both a natural (hurting himself) and a logical (having to pay for the repairs) consequence. Suspenion has nothing to do with anything that happened.

post #8 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post

I would push for an in school suspension, and you guys pay for the repairs.  (if it's not too costly)

 

DS1 is going to pay for the repairs - out of his own pocket, with money he's earned at work. If he doesn't have enough, we'll cover the balance, and work out his repayment schedule.

 

All kids do dumb things.  He's owning up to it, and he's obviously a good and responsible kid.  Hopefully they are looking for loopholes to keep him in school.  (hence the "after the play" idea)

 

They're not looking for a loophole. They're pissed at him for taking risks before the play. They just want to be able to hold their musical, and they can't do it without him, because nobody else is trained to use the puppet (and ds1 is exhausted after every rehearsal and is probably the strongest kid in the cast - I'm not sure they could even get anyone else). I'm not impressed by the attitude of the drama/choir staff, but that way predates this incident.

 

This is the kind of dumb stunt that ends up being brought up 30 years later at the reunion, or written about in the yearbook.  In the end, this will be fine, and it will be funny in a few years.

 

It's already funny, except for the damage. I just hope he's learned to check on materials before he does his jumps and leaps. If this had been one of his outdoor ones, it could have been really ugly. He's really upset about the ceiling, though.

 



 

post #9 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just1More View Post

Stuff like this is so dumb.  No, I don't think he should be suspended.  I think the main issue here is intent.  Did he INTEND to hurt the property?  Nope, so the punishment should not be as severe.  It's still a life lesson.  He should have to pay to fix it, but I think that's about all. 

 

Why punish somebody for an accident?  And the last time I checked, kids were always running, jumping, etc in the school.  We did... Pbff, we used to have track practice in the hallways on rainy days.



This. DS1 does take it to extremes, because he takes the running and jumping to extremes, in general. This was a very normal thing for him to do.

 

The band teacher was more worked up about him taking such a risk a week before the musical than she was about the property damage, though. (I'm not sure she understands how little risk the jump itself involved - ds1 is an exceptionally good judge of his own capabilities in this area. He's just not a great judge of structural integrity, apparently.) The principal is more concerned about the property, I think.

post #10 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just1More View Post

Stuff like this is so dumb.  No, I don't think he should be suspended.  I think the main issue here is intent.  Did he INTEND to hurt the property?  Nope, so the punishment should not be as severe.  It's still a life lesson.  He should have to pay to fix it, but I think that's about all. 

 

Why punish somebody for an accident?  And the last time I checked, kids were always running, jumping, etc in the school.  We did... Pbff, we used to have track practice in the hallways on rainy days.


I totally agree with this. Aside from the fact that suspension is an inherently flawed punitive measure (I mean really...to punish a kid by telling them they can't go to class accomplishes what exactly?) your son did not intend to "damage school property". It's not like he was spray painting lewd phrases on the gym walls. I would also argue that there is an issue of lax supervision going on on the part of the school. The fact is that your son hurt himself on school property...they should be glad that you are not looking to sue them and leave it at that (I realize that you are in Canada, but here in the US that school would be crapping themselves).

I hope that you can come to a reasonable compromise with them that does not include suspension. If they do insist on suspending him they are being hugely hypocritical by not having him miss school until after the school musical. Sorry, but if they truly believe suspension to be a just punishment it doesn't make sense to reward your son by allowing his continued participation in the musical but insist that he miss out on his educational opportunities.
post #11 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Just1More View Post

Stuff like this is so dumb.  No, I don't think he should be suspended.  I think the main issue here is intent.  Did he INTEND to hurt the property?  Nope, so the punishment should not be as severe.  It's still a life lesson.  He should have to pay to fix it, but I think that's about all. 

 

Why punish somebody for an accident?  And the last time I checked, kids were always running, jumping, etc in the school.  We did... Pbff, we used to have track practice in the hallways on rainy days.



I totally agree with this. Aside from the fact that suspension is an inherently flawed punitive measure (I mean really...to punish a kid by telling them they can't go to class accomplishes what exactly?) your son did not intend to "damage school property". It's not like he was spray painting lewd phrases on the gym walls. I would also argue that there is an issue of lax supervision going on on the part of the school. The fact is that your son hurt himself on school property...they should be glad that you are not looking to sue them and leave it at that (I realize that you are in Canada, but here in the US that school would be crapping themselves).

 

I think suspension falls under that "when the only tool you have is a hammer, ever problem looks like a nail" category.

 

The band teacher called me last night and the first thing she asked, was "is he okay?". DH says I should have told them he was badly hurt and needed to go to ER. I'm not upset about the lack of supervision,  honestly - the kids were on a break from rehearsal, and I really can't blame the teacher for not thinking "oh - we better watch them, or somebody might start freerunning". This particular group of kids isn't at all prone to drinking, necking in corners or anything like that, yk?

I hope that you can come to a reasonable compromise with them that does not include suspension. If they do insist on suspending him they are being hugely hypocritical by not having him miss school until after the school musical. Sorry, but if they truly believe suspension to be a just punishment it doesn't make sense to reward your son by allowing his continued participation in the musical but insist that he miss out on his educational opportunities.

 

The musical's not about him, though. It's about the musical. I'm annoyed, but I kind of get their thinking. The musical really can't be held without him at this point, and a lot of people have put a lot of work into it.



 

post #12 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Storm Bride View Post

We're meeting with them tomorrow morning. I don't agree with the suspension at all. He's already willing to pay the repairs (he has a part-time job, and this will probably eat several weeks/months wages out of his savings), and he got hurt, himself, so it's not as if he hasn't learned a lesson already, yk? We're going to suggest financial reparations, plus some kind of around the school service (volunteer at the affiliated Boys and Girls Club, garbage detail, whatever). Suspension just makes no sense to me.

 

ETA: Honestly, after the initial "you did what??" reaction, I had to laugh. I can only imagine his face as he went through. One of his best frinds saw it, and I feel sorry for her, because she apparently freaked out - thought he'd died or something. (I can relate - he was warming up on the rings the provincial gymnastics finals last year, and one of them came loose while he was upside down, and he plummeted to the mat. I've never been so scared in my life.)

 

I don't really agree with the suspension either, I guess I didn't phrase my response well enough.  I think the school should let him pay for it and move on.  He didn't mean to destroy anything.  I think intent should count for a lot.

 

Re: the bolded....after I read it, I laughed.  I can imagine that if one of my kids did the same thing, after the initial, "What the heck were you thinking?!" that I would retire to my room and laugh for awhile.  And then call my sister and laugh with her over it.

 

Hope the meeting with the school tomorrow goes well!
 

 

post #13 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chamomile Girl View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by Just1More View Post

Stuff like this is so dumb.  No, I don't think he should be suspended.  I think the main issue here is intent.  Did he INTEND to hurt the property?  Nope, so the punishment should not be as severe.  It's still a life lesson.  He should have to pay to fix it, but I think that's about all. 

 

Why punish somebody for an accident?  And the last time I checked, kids were always running, jumping, etc in the school.  We did... Pbff, we used to have track practice in the hallways on rainy days.




I totally agree with this. Aside from the fact that suspension is an inherently flawed punitive measure (I mean really...to punish a kid by telling them they can't go to class accomplishes what exactly?) your son did not intend to "damage school property". It's not like he was spray painting lewd phrases on the gym walls. I would also argue that there is an issue of lax supervision going on on the part of the school. The fact is that your son hurt himself on school property...they should be glad that you are not looking to sue them and leave it at that (I realize that you are in Canada, but here in the US that school would be crapping themselves).

I hope that you can come to a reasonable compromise with them that does not include suspension. If they do insist on suspending him they are being hugely hypocritical by not having him miss school until after the school musical. Sorry, but if they truly believe suspension to be a just punishment it doesn't make sense to reward your son by allowing his continued participation in the musical but insist that he miss out on his educational opportunities.

And there's how you play hardball with them. They insist on the suspension, your ds doesn't do the play.

 

And don't "compromise" on an in school suspension either, unless you know it'll have educational merit. I've heard of schools where the in school suspension is doing a ton of busy work and then it gets thrown away--sort of the mental equivalent of the sort of hard labor old-time prisons had.

 

 

Mind you, I hope it doesn't come to that. Having him pay for the repairs, and doing some volunteer time makes soooo much more sense.

post #14 of 107

 

 

Quote:
I think suspension falls under that "when the only tool you have is a hammer, ever problem looks like a nail" category

That's really the problem.  It isn't the school or the teacher, or the administrator.  It's the fact that every other possible consequence has been taken away from the school.  In past years, kids could help clean up the school grounds as a repayment.  But, now things they might come in contact with are more dangerous.  Plus, parents have had so many fits about little precious having to work, that the only thing left is suspension.  

 

There's a "no tolerance, no exception" rule now.  The teachers can't see a kid with a Tylenol in their backpack without it being an automatic suspension.    Because the administration and teachers are no longer allowed to use common sense.  It's just one sweeping punishment.  If you bring a Motrin, or bag of Oxycontin.  The punishment is all the same.  If a kid defends himself, and there are tapes to prove the kid was defending himself, both kids are still suspended.  Nobody uses common sense anymore because they aren't allowed to.

 

The teacher is mad because he risked hurting himself before a big show.  She's put most of the semester into this, and all the students have worked hard on this... so, of course she's upset that he would do something to hurt himself before the program.  I don't blame her.  

 

You can say "he knows his limits".  But, the next kid doesn't.  So, if he's allowed to jump through walls, the next kid will try to jump through a brick wall, because teenagers don't THINK.  They just don't.  There is scientific proof that they don't think.  There are hours and hours of Youtube to prove they don't think.  There are ENTIRE websites full of videos that prove teenagers don't think ahead.  So, just because YOUR teenager can think ahead, there are 900 students in his school who can't.

post #15 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nextcommercial View Post

 

 

That's really the problem.  It isn't the school or the teacher, or the administrator.  It's the fact that every other possible consequence has been taken away from the school.  In past years, kids could help clean up the school grounds as a repayment.  But, now things they might come in contact with are more dangerous.  Plus, parents have had so many fits about little precious having to work, that the only thing left is suspension.  

 

Kids here to cleanup detail, but it's usually for being late or absent (that makes no sense to me, either, but I'm used to that).

 

There's a "no tolerance, no exception" rule now.  The teachers can't see a kid with a Tylenol in their backpack without it being an automatic suspension.    Because the administration and teachers are no longer allowed to use common sense.  It's just one sweeping punishment.  If you bring a Motrin, or bag of Oxycontin.  The punishment is all the same.  If a kid defends himself, and there are tapes to prove the kid was defending himself, both kids are still suspended.  Nobody uses common sense anymore because they aren't allowed to.

 

I don't think we have very many "no tolerance" policies at ds1's school...maybe drugs (although I've seen drunk kids at school events, and the principal had her eye on at least one of them, who wasn't suspended or anything).

 

The teacher is mad because he risked hurting himself before a big show.  She's put most of the semester into this, and all the students have worked hard on this... so, of course she's upset that he would do something to hurt himself before the program.  I don't blame her.  

 

First of all, my issues with the teachers involved with the musical go back to before this incident. They seem to think that wanting to be in the musical means you're not allowed to have any other life...right down to one kid getting flack for requesting that she be allowed to skip rehearsal to go to a loved one's funeral. Another was refused permission to skip rehearsal to go home and say goodbye to a pet that was being put down. They lack perspective in a big way.

 

Secondly...ds1 wasn't taking a risk, any more than a kid who steps into a puddle and discovers that the puddle was hiding a super deep pothole. He took what was, for him, a big jump. That's it. The only reason there was an issue was because he didn't know it was drywall, not wood. If it had been a solid surface, he'd have landed, jumped down, and that would have been that. If they're that serious about risk, then they should be just as angry at a member of the cast who jumps two stairs on their way home, because they could break an ankle if they land badly. DS1 is a super fit, competitive gymnast and he knows his capabilities down to a pretty fine margin.

 

You can say "he knows his limits".  But, the next kid doesn't.  So, if he's allowed to jump through walls, the next kid will try to jump through a brick wall, because teenagers don't THINK.  They just don't.  There is scientific proof that they don't think.  There are hours and hours of Youtube to prove they don't think.  There are ENTIRE websites full of videos that prove teenagers don't think ahead.  So, just because YOUR teenager can think ahead, there are 900 students in his school who can't.

 

Allowed to jump through walls? What are you talking about? He's not allowed to jump through walls...hence the imminent outlay of several hundred dollars (at a guess) and potential school service. If you think that watching him get a few days off school is going to dissuade future daredevils, you're very mistaken. In addition, if a kid doesn't think, they don't think. DS1's jump isn't going to change that, one way or another. However, this is all moot, as he wasn't trying to jump through a freaking wall. He was trying to (and did) land on a ceiling.

 

Adults think of a suspension as a punishment. Kids, ime, don't tend to. (I only ever got one, and I very much enjoyed the two days off school, even though I was also grounded.) DS1 will be pissed off that he can't see his friends for a few days, more convinced than ever that the school doesn't have a clue (they've been trying hard to convince us for the last couple of years), and...yeah - that's about it. He already feels like crap about the ceiling. He's already got bloody scratches up the underside of both arms. He's already going to be laying out cold hard cash that he's been conscientiously working for and saving since September. The suspension is just irritating nonsense...and the whole "Mr. H (Vice-Principal) has been instructed to stay right by him on today's field trip" thing is just...wow...I have no words.

 



 

post #16 of 107
Quote:
Originally Posted by Just1More View Post

Stuff like this is so dumb.  No, I don't think he should be suspended.  I think the main issue here is intent.  Did he INTEND to hurt the property?  Nope, so the punishment should not be as severe.  It's still a life lesson.  He should have to pay to fix it, but I think that's about all. 

 

Why punish somebody for an accident?  And the last time I checked, kids were always running, jumping, etc in the school.  We did... Pbff, we used to have track practice in the hallways on rainy days.


I totally agree. 
 

 

post #17 of 107
Yep, I had to laugh too. I wish I could see his face as he was going through the wall. orngbiggrin.gif Glad he's ok, and hope that the school administration comes to their senses and rescinds the suspension.
post #18 of 107

If anything will keep other kids from trying to jump on a ceiling at school, it'll be your ds paying money--not any suspension.

post #19 of 107
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post

If anything will keep other kids from trying to jump on a ceiling at school, it'll be your ds paying money--not any suspension.



That's my feeling, too. The money is going to hit him where it hurts. He's put a lot of time and effort into earning it (and lost more than a little sleep), and he's also made huge efforts to save it up to a certain level. Added to the fact that he booked off for three weeks, to accommodate the increased rehearsal schedule and multiple performances (four evening, plus two matinees, for elementary students), so he hasn't made any money for the last little while, and this is going to be a nasty, nasty bite.

post #20 of 107
Thread Starter 

Oh - not that it matters much, but my anal retentive nature is niggling at me. He didn't go through a wall. He went through a ceiling. From what he described, he landed on both feet, and went right though, which would explain the scratches on his arms (I'd guess he had them raised) and his abdomen. Then, he fell to the floor of the room to which the ceiling belonged.

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