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Duct taping the principal to a wall - Page 2

post #21 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by loveandgarbage View Post

This would make me uncomfortable because it is mocking a woman getting tortured.

 

I'm confused.  Are you saying the reason you're concerned is because the vollunteer is a woman?  Are we women not allowed to decide for ourselves whether to participate in ridiculous pranks?  Or would it be okay to mock torture if it was a man?  I can respect many of the concerns, especially the ones about the youngest kids copycatting, but I'm having a difficult time interpretting the above comment as anything other than sexism. 

post #22 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

As you can see, the principal *is* a woman!
I agree with loveandgarbage, and all who are expressing concern. There must be a better way to raise money.
Edited to remove double printing of a quote.

My mistake - I misread the original post. Regardless, I still doubt that any child will be thinking that it is mocking a woman being tortured.
post #23 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by puddle View Post

I'm actually really shocked to find out both how widespread this practice is and how many people think there's no cause for concern. I searched online about it and saw that lots of schools do engage in this practice, although usually with older kids.  I also read that one principal overheated and passed out, and doctors said it could have been fatal.  So, for those of you that think it's awesome, my concerns are:
1) These are really young kids, 5-11 years old.  If it's made out to be fun and exciting, they might want to recreate that fun and excitement with a friend or sibling or pet.  Duct tape is not gas permeable.  If someone accidentally sticks a piece of duct tape over a young child's mouth, like they're doing to the principal, it could easily cover the child's nose as well.  Young children could suffer skin injuries, overheating, or suffocation.  And as far as telling my kids not to do it at home--I'm not worried about my kids doing this.  My kids are really cautious and not likely to engage in this kind of thing.  But there are a lot of kids at that school.  And not all the parents read the newsletter thoroughly.  The parents I mentioned this to had no idea it was planned.  So a lot of kids aren't going to have their parents carefully explaining the dangers of duct tape to them because they have absolutely no idea it's going on and it's just not a routine conversation between parents and kids.
2) Like I mentioned, one principal who did this overheated and could have died.  I don't want my kids to engage in or witness a principal being injured for fun.
3) I don't feel like it fosters a respectful relationship between students and the school authority figures.  I think pies in the face or water balloons or a lot of other things can be silly and all in good fun, but I think incapacitating someone with duct tape moves into abusive and creepy territory.  To me, it's the equivalent of them earning the right to give her spankings.  And the image of a woman duct taped to a wall is just not something I'm thrilled with being normalized for young children. 

Basically, the responses to this thread have been pretty mixed, with some people thinking it's awful and some thinking it's great.  And I expect that the feelings of the people in my community are probably equally mixed.  And my personal feeling is that something this controversial is probably best avoided by a public school.



I seriously doubt the kids are going to jump to the bdsm idea you seem to be picturing but if you are worried you should email your concerns to the principal or talk to her in person.
post #24 of 63

Well, I certainly wouldn't want to be accused of sexism, so I'll try to elaborate I guess. First of all of course the kids aren't going to make the connection between the duct taping and bdsm or anything of that nature. But it still seems violent to me, the principal being a man or a woman, and I'd personally be more comfortable with a good pie-ing or something that's more "silly". That said, I fully support women to make their own choices, involve themselves in pranks, bdsm, whatever! However there is a different connotation when you see a woman vs. a man being duct taped, mouth covered, etc. This isn't necessarily about the woman's choice (although it should be! in a perfect world!) because men and women are not on equal footing in this world when it comes to violence. I'm sure I don't have to list the numerous ways in which women are greater victims of violence than men-- and many of them involve taping/tying/gagging/etc. I feel like I'm going to start talking in a circle-- but I guess I wish I didn't have negative thoughts when thinking about a prank involving duct taping a woman that are triggering, as women present for the duct taping might have, too, but that is the reality of our world. It could even be seen as sexist (as in not sensitive to women's abuse issues) to go through with it just like it could be seen as sexist that I have an issue with it but wouldn't have as much of an issue with it if it was a man, you know?  I'm so sorry if that made no sense.

post #25 of 63

Duct taping the mouth would worry me.  What if she couldn't breath through her nose for some reason! Noses get stuffed up randomly and this could happen while her mouth is duct taped.

post #26 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by loveandgarbage View Post

Well, I certainly wouldn't want to be accused of sexism, so I'll try to elaborate I guess. First of all of course the kids aren't going to make the connection between the duct taping and bdsm or anything of that nature. But it still seems violent to me, the principal being a man or a woman, and I'd personally be more comfortable with a good pie-ing or something that's more "silly". That said, I fully support women to make their own choices, involve themselves in pranks, bdsm, whatever! However there is a different connotation when you see a woman vs. a man being duct taped, mouth covered, etc. This isn't necessarily about the woman's choice (although it should be! in a perfect world!) because men and women are not on equal footing in this world when it comes to violence. I'm sure I don't have to list the numerous ways in which women are greater victims of violence than men-- and many of them involve taping/tying/gagging/etc. I feel like I'm going to start talking in a circle-- but I guess I wish I didn't have negative thoughts when thinking about a prank involving duct taping a woman that are triggering, as women present for the duct taping might have, too, but that is the reality of our world. It could even be seen as sexist (as in not sensitive to women's abuse issues) to go through with it just like it could be seen as sexist that I have an issue with it but wouldn't have as much of an issue with it if it was a man, you know?  I'm so sorry if that made no sense.

 

The whole thing is clearly triggering to you, and that's valid.  Just to elaborate why it wouldn't bother me, I've seen bullying that involved taping someone to a floor, and I've seen a school administrator volluntarily taped to a wall, and while there were similarities in the method, the two acts were vastly different in so many ways that it would be difficult to confuse the two.  (The bullying incident preceded the fundraising, so no, the fundraising didn't give the bullies the idea in this case)  Interestingly, the bullying victim was male, and I suspect the vice principal who witnessed the act would have stopped it a lot sooner if the victim was female.  I know women are the victims of a disturbing amount of violence, but everybody needs to be protected from violence, and I strongly suspect that perpetuating the idea that violence against women and violence against men is different isn't really helping matters.  Assault is wrong, regarless of who the victim is.  I understand why it might be more triggering for you to see a woman taped up than a man, but in terms of activisim and trying to bring about the changes we need, I think it's more productive to oppose violence, and put less emphasis on the genders of the victims and perpetrators. 

post #27 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by rachelsmama View Post

The whole thing is clearly triggering to you, and that's valid.  Just to elaborate why it wouldn't bother me, I've seen bullying that involved taping someone to a floor, and I've seen a school administrator volluntarily taped to a wall, and while there were similarities in the method, the two acts were vastly different in so many ways that it would be difficult to confuse the two.  (The bullying incident preceded the fundraising, so no, the fundraising didn't give the bullies the idea in this case)  Interestingly, the bullying victim was male, and I suspect the vice principal who witnessed the act would have stopped it a lot sooner if the victim was female.  I know women are the victims of a disturbing amount of violence, but everybody needs to be protected from violence, and I strongly suspect that perpetuating the idea that violence against women and violence against men is different isn't really helping matters.  Assault is wrong, regarless of who the victim is.  I understand why it might be more triggering for you to see a woman taped up than a man, but in terms of activisim and trying to bring about the changes we need, I think it's more productive to oppose violence, and put less emphasis on the genders of the victims and perpetrators. 

Can you be sure the two incidents would look the same to a 5 year old? They don't see things the same way adults see them.

OP-- if you are concerned, speak up. There are other ideas mentioned here that you can offer instead.
post #28 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post


Can you be sure the two incidents would look the same to a 5 year old? They don't see things the same way adults see them.
OP-- if you are concerned, speak up. There are other ideas mentioned here that you can offer instead.


No, I can't guarantee anything when it comes to 5 year olds, but because they see things differently than adults do, they wouldn't be likely to be disturbed for the reasons some of the posters on here would be.  I think a 5 year old would be just as likely to think of the pricipal as a fly caught in a spiderweb as anything else.

 

I agree, if the OP is concerned she should speak up.

post #29 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by loveandgarbage View Post

But it still seems violent to me, the principal being a man or a woman, and I'd personally be more comfortable with a good pie-ing or something that's more "silly". 

 

When I first read the OP, I also thought of similar fundraisers like pie-throwing or a dunk tank. Someone also mentioned a male principal cross-dressing.

 

And every single one of those pranks will raise someone's hackles.

 

Pie-throwing really bothers me because I dislike that kind of waste of food. (FTR, I can't tolerate watching food eating contests, I think they are an abomination when so many in the world go hungry). It's also violent - getting hit with a pie is still getting hit. Assault by funny object is still an assault. The dunk tank will distress people worried about drowning - they'll be concerned that children will mimic it when they are playing in a pool or other water and get carried away. My DD attends a high school with a higher-than-average number of "out" LGBT students, probably a good number who aren't out, and a very active and aware student body about LGBT issues. Based on other incidents at the school, I'm pretty sure someone would consider the cross-dressing, in the form of a "punishment for losing a bet" as an insult, even though others would think it hilarious - simply because there is no consensus even within an identity group and everyone has their own opinion.

 

The duct-tape thing reminded me of the stunts with people wearing velcro suits to jump onto a velcro wall and hang suspended. It didn't really raise my hackles - not as much as a dunk tank (I have issues about deep water and get a little anxious when I see someone in a precarious position near water) or pie-throwing, Just sayin'. 

 

I also agree that the OP should raise her concerns with the school and the organizing committee. 

post #30 of 63

Just for the record, I'm against the duct taping first and foremost because it's violent-- be it a male or female pranked victim. I guess this is where I diverge, though, as I disagree with the idea that gender should be taken out of consideration in activism work against violence. I don't want to completely derail the thread, but as a feminist who has taken part in activism, recognizing differences in gender (meaning how societies react to/treat different genders) is crucially important to a lot of causes.

 

ollyoxenfree, you make a great point. Everything is going to offend someone!

post #31 of 63

I wrote a blog post about this a while back:

 

http://kidfriendlyschools.blogspot.com/2011/12/stupid-principal-tricks.html

 

This is such a bad idea in so many ways.  I don't think we should encourage young children to think that it's fun to humiliate another person, with or without that person's consent. 

 

Is there a mother in the world who says to her child, "if you clean your room I'll let you throw a pie in my face?"  Of course not.  Who would do such a crazy thing?

post #32 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by FedUpMom View Post

I wrote a blog post about this a while back:

 

http://kidfriendlyschools.blogspot.com/2011/12/stupid-principal-tricks.html

 

This is such a bad idea in so many ways.  I don't think we should encourage young children to think that it's fun to humiliate another person, with or without that person's consent. 

 

Is there a mother in the world who says to her child, "if you clean your room I'll let you throw a pie in my face?"  Of course not.  Who would do such a crazy thing?

 

So, no clowning period? Inconsistency is fun. When my kids were babies, they would laugh if I put a pillow on my head or wore a Rudolph nose. They've loved when we've dressed up in costumes for Halloween. My DS has an overactive gag reflex which made eating new foods incredibly scary to him as a younger child. We did all sort of crazy things to make an otherwise terrifying dinner a positive environment that encouraged him to try new foods... it worked AND is a fun family memory. Didn't you ever wake up with crazy hair and laugh, maybe call in your kids to see what the night had done to you? My teen did a play earlier in the year which involved her getting pied in the face every night (though it was actually shaving cream... easier to clean up lol.) It was fantastic fun for her and the audience. Part of being human is laughing at ourselves and own situations in life. It's FUN to embarrass yourself a little... especially when it's for a good cause! I'm not a fan of the duct tape prank personally because it's difficult to remove and will hurt if has contact with the skin. However, a person who can laugh at themselves, who doesn't mind looking silly and giving others some fun is someone I generally trust and appreciate. Humiliation is a personal threshold and it's far different from having fun with yourself and with those around you.

post #33 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by FedUpMom View Post

I wrote a blog post about this a while back:

 

http://kidfriendlyschools.blogspot.com/2011/12/stupid-principal-tricks.html

 

This is such a bad idea in so many ways.  I don't think we should encourage young children to think that it's fun to humiliate another person, with or without that person's consent. 

 

Is there a mother in the world who says to her child, "if you clean your room I'll let you throw a pie in my face?"  Of course not.  Who would do such a crazy thing?

 

Well - maybe not "if you clean your room I'll let you throw a pie in my face"....but when DD was small, she loved to create crazy hairstyles for DH using her hair clips and bows and ribbons. Sometimes she'd dress him up a little with scarves and other accessories. She knew she was making him look silly, but humiliating? We never felt it was humiliating. I let her use my make up on me and often ended up with a clown face. The kids and DH love to spray each other with the hose and throw soapy sponges when they wash the car (I don't but I don't really like that kind of horseplay, so they leave me out of it). The kids played magician and would create elaborate scenarios where you had to escape their "handcuffs" and ties. We've changed roles for a day...Lord of Misrule and all that (without the drunken revelry). These are the kinds of games that date back through antiquity. Not that it's appropriate just because it's an ancient practice, but it does explain the tradition and the appeal. 

post #34 of 63

The line here is that the principal is agreeing that this is something she's comfortable with.  She's not doing this against her will.  If a principal is terrified of water, the principal shouldn't be agreeing to sit in a dunk tank.
 

post #35 of 63
Thread Starter 

OP here.  Update for those interested:

I e-mailed the principal my concerns, and she was receptive.  She said that although she has done this a couple of years now, she's never thought of the possibility of kids mimicking this behavior.  She's going through with it this year because she's already said she would and wants to honor that, but implied that she'll probably do something different in the future.

post #36 of 63

I am glad that you were able to voice your concerns and the principal appeared receptive, not dismissive.

 

I'd like to comment on the controversy, having positioned myself so far one one side of the debate already:

 

I think it is too easy to just say "whatever she does, it is going to offend someone!"

There are some criteria I should consider to be objective for this kind of prank or stunt to be staged in an elementary school:

It should not be an act that invokes violence or would be actually dangerous if imitated by kids unless it were under extremely controlled circumstances. Duct tape bondage, including taping the mouth shut (I actually think the principal should step back from that commitment even now, citing major safety concerns) would be an extremely violent and degrading act if performed on someone without their consent, and of course life-threatening. And while I am sure the kindergartners would not recognize the sub-cultural allusion to BDSM, you can bet some of the 6th graders will - BDSM literature's been all over the media recently!

 

Dunking - haven't seen this done, but it would probably bother me too, depending on how much control the dunkee shows they're having - it was a very widepread medieval torture method and has recently been refined as waterboarding. I even think pie-ing is somewhat violent. Both would, however, be probably ruled out by my second criterion: the stunt should be something the principal does herself - there is a difference between making an ass of yourself and submitting voluntarily to a (normally humiliating) act done to you by others. She could get herself in a water bomb or shaving cream contest (of course you might say this invokes violence, but no more than a lot of competitive sports), dress up silly like others have suggested, sing silly songs...

 

And I am sure there are silly dress up ideas which do not offend anyone, or any sane person! is there a national association for the protection of turkeys, or fictional reindeers?

 

Should a principal have to consider the lessons her actions are teaching to elementary kids that exhaustively?

Yes! It's her profession!

post #37 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

 

Well - maybe not "if you clean your room I'll let you throw a pie in my face"....but when DD was small, she loved to create crazy hairstyles for DH using her hair clips and bows and ribbons. Sometimes she'd dress him up a little with scarves and other accessories. She knew she was making him look silly, but humiliating? We never felt it was humiliating. I let her use my make up on me and often ended up with a clown face. The kids and DH love to spray each other with the hose and throw soapy sponges when they wash the car (I don't but I don't really like that kind of horseplay, so they leave me out of it). The kids played magician and would create elaborate scenarios where you had to escape their "handcuffs" and ties. We've changed roles for a day...Lord of Misrule and all that (without the drunken revelry). These are the kinds of games that date back through antiquity. Not that it's appropriate just because it's an ancient practice, but it does explain the tradition and the appeal. 


But this is all in the family - nothing here being done to a parent to make a whole elementary school laught at them - i am sure you wouldn't have allowed your kids to do that!

post #38 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigerle View Post


But this is all in the family - nothing here being done to a parent to make a whole elementary school laught at them - i am sure you wouldn't have allowed your kids to do that!

 

Yes, it's all in the family. Um, that was the point. I was responding to FedUpMom's question about whether we would allow such "humiliation" within the family home, rather than at school: 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by FedUpMom View Post
Is there a mother in the world who says to her child, "if you clean your room I'll let you throw a pie in my face?"  Of course not.  Who would do such a crazy thing?

 

 

 

As for letting a whole elementary school laugh at the family - you don't know my husband. A bit of a clown.....  He wouldn't hesitate to sign up to sit in the dunk tank or take a pie in the face or whatever. I admit that I'm a little (lot) more reserved. 

 

 

OP, sounds like it's a good thing that you spoke up and it's going to all work out. There are lots of other ideas.....karaoke comes to mind. The principal could sing something selected by the students. Personally, I'd find it a lot more humiliating to have to stand up and sing before a crowd.  And I'm pretty sure lots of people would consider my singing offensive!! orngbiggrin.gif

post #39 of 63

i shared this with a 7, 8 and 10 year old and when i told them this was bad, the children looked at me and said - you are old fashioned. they loved the idea.

 

i dont find it offensive either. would a 5 year old try to duct tape their mouth? would they be even able to tear the duct tape? or cut it with scissors without messing it up? 

 

i wish our principal would do something like this. but she steps out of the vogue and hardly connects with the kids. 

 

now if you had to bring up why 50 shades of grey is so popular THAT is a whole different story. 

post #40 of 63
Sometimes a parent has to be viewed as old fashioned in order to be the best parent he/she can be. I wouldn't ask a 7 year old for help in making my parenting decisions. I don't feel a principal needs to be the students' pal to be effective.
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