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#1 of 63 Old 02-20-2004, 10:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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?
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#2 of 63 Old 02-20-2004, 11:49 AM
 
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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!!!
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#3 of 63 Old 02-20-2004, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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!
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#4 of 63 Old 02-20-2004, 03:14 PM
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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....

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#5 of 63 Old 02-20-2004, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#6 of 63 Old 02-20-2004, 03:50 PM
 
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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.
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#7 of 63 Old 02-20-2004, 03:59 PM
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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

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#8 of 63 Old 02-20-2004, 04:11 PM
 
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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!"
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#9 of 63 Old 02-20-2004, 04:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#10 of 63 Old 02-20-2004, 05:49 PM
 
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Personally, I wouldn't have a problem with it.
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#11 of 63 Old 02-20-2004, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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?
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#12 of 63 Old 02-20-2004, 06:10 PM
 
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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.
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#13 of 63 Old 02-20-2004, 09:47 PM
 
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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.
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#14 of 63 Old 02-20-2004, 09:58 PM
 
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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.
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#15 of 63 Old 02-20-2004, 10:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#16 of 63 Old 02-20-2004, 10:30 PM
 
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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.
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#17 of 63 Old 02-20-2004, 10:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#18 of 63 Old 02-20-2004, 10:41 PM
 
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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.
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#19 of 63 Old 02-20-2004, 10:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.
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#20 of 63 Old 02-20-2004, 11:03 PM
 
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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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#21 of 63 Old 02-20-2004, 11:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally posted by EFmom
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.
ITA, but why in this way? Isn't there a better way? I don't really know, I'm trying to do some reading on this. It just doesn't feel right to me.
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#22 of 63 Old 02-21-2004, 12:11 AM
 
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Here is one link to a "what is positive discipline?" article that might be helpful. I'm going to look for more.

http://www.positivediscipline.com/Wh...PD_Article.pdf

 
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#23 of 63 Old 02-21-2004, 12:19 AM
 
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My dh doesn't humiliate students. When he hears students talking in class, he looks at them and asks in a friendly manner if they have a question. He says he wants to first believe they were talking about the class. If they don't have any questions, they usually stay quiet for the remainder of the class. He doesn't have to punish them.

In other schools I have gone to, the disruptive child is asked to leave the room. There are probably better ways, but that sounds better than "I'm going to put your name on the bad list," which sounds petty and immature.
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#24 of 63 Old 02-21-2004, 12:21 AM
 
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My opinion is that using shame with younger children, say under 9th grade, is inappropriate. By the time they are in high school, and they realize the full consequences of their misbehavior or fooling around, most kids can probably "take it" if their name is written on a board; not only that, but they have other ways of feeling good about themselves even if they are in trouble. Furhter it might even be "cool" to be one of the 'bad ones' whose name is on the board---all depending on the child. But when they are young I think the shaming is too much to bear in the classroom.

I usually shoot for natural or logical consquences--A more logical outcome of spilling water would have been for her to clean it up! If she really was goofing around and 'making her teacher's job harder' she might have been asked to also help the teacher with something after class to then 'make the teacher's job easier.'

I think I would speak to the teacher directly about it if it upset your daughter so much. I am learning from other moms around me that we do have to choose our battles, but we also can't get walked on. If you present yourself intelligently as someone who has thought this out, and is not just giving them a "knee jerk" reaction, it seems you should be heard.

Try the positive discipline link above; it is in Adobe, so I hope you can open it!

 
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#25 of 63 Old 02-21-2004, 12:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks! I actually downloaded that earlier and read it. :LOL

I don't think I could talk to the teacher. I have a really bad memory problem and I wouldn't even remember half of what I wanted to say. I could have my dh do it, but I don't know how well that would work. I will do more reading though and maybe even print a few things out to show her if need be.

Thanks for all the replies! I really appreciate everyone sharing their opinion with me.

BTW, I understand what you mean about older kids being able to take it better. My daughter is only 9 and is very sensitive.
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#26 of 63 Old 02-21-2004, 12:37 PM
 
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I don't have a problem with it either. while a lesson is being presented children need to behave appropriately. there is a time to be silly and a time to be serious and concentrate on the lesson. if you , as the child, choose to be silly, then an action is called for. It sounds like this teacher is using this name on the board thing to manage her classroom.


I write childrens' name on the board myself. It is just my way of maintaining control over 27 1st graders. Its is funny, but kids don't want their name on the board. It is a big deal to them.
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#27 of 63 Old 02-22-2004, 10:04 PM
 
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As a teacher myself, I would suggest that you call the teacher and speak to her in person. I would suggest telling her that the name on the board thing really embarrasses your child and then suggest something that you know will work. Many times teachers are willing to accomodate IF there is another suggestion given.
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#28 of 63 Old 02-22-2004, 10:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by camprunner
As a teacher myself, I would suggest that you call the teacher and speak to her in person. I would suggest telling her that the name on the board thing really embarrasses your child and then suggest something that you know will work. Many times teachers are willing to accomodate IF there is another suggestion given.
As a former teacher, I'd say ditto to this reply. Just give the teacher a call and talk about what happened, why you and your child were upset, and what could be done instead in the future.
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#29 of 63 Old 02-22-2004, 11:31 PM
 
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I'm not an elementary school teacher, so my opinion is given from a slightly different perspective.

It seems like a lot of people have misconceptions about what it is like to keep a crowd of children under control and on task so they can learn. People think we have time for 20 private conversations with students during the day for misbehavior. While that may be ideal, the truth is, we do not. This is the system we work under. If there is a problem with the system, railing against the teachers does nothing productive -- they're just doing the best they can given the circumstances. Blaming teachers for the ills of the school system is ridiculous. Are there bad teacher out there? Some. But the vast majority of people are teachers because they love it and because they really care about kids.

The goal of writing a student's name on the board is not to shame them, although it may make them feel bad. (Which is sometimes desirable, as it gets someone to stop a misbehavior.) The goal is to let the student know their behavior is inappropriate without disrupting the rest of the students' learning.

For example, let's pretend the class is busy discussing the merits of our two-party government. We're discussing, we're discussing, and I notice Junior in the back jokingly hitting Marsha (and yes, high schoolers hit each other). We keep talking, we're talking, and I move to stand next to Junior to let him know that I don't like his behavior. He stops what he's doing because I'm next to him. We continue our discussion, and I move back to where I can see the whole class. I notice Junior has now turned on his CD player and put the headphones on. I then say, "Now, what about other countries? Do they have two party systems? What do you think, Junior?" Junior has to become focused on the class again, but I have not disrupted the learning of the other students. He mumbles an answer and we continue our discussion. I then notice Junior hitting Marsha again and I continue talking, not disrupting the lesson, and write Junior's name on the board. He now knows he has moved up to the next level of consequences for inappropriate behavior. He knows that the next step is a conference with his parents. He realizes he doesn't want that and stops what he's doing. (BTW, students are made aware on the first day of class what the consequences are for inappropriate behavior.)

Now, it hardly ever gets that far in my class because I have a good relationship with the vast majority of my students. However, there are students who have been so absolutely disrespectful and out of line to me or another student that the immediate escalation of consequences is necessary.

What is important is that one student hell-bent on causing trouble not be able to disrupt the learning of the 32 other students in my class who want to learn.

I realize this is not directly applicable to your small child and the water/not finishing work on time, but I am trying to give an example of how names on the board are used and are appropriate.

Do not send in discipline handouts to the teacher. It will do nothing but irk her. She will not change her discipline methods. (And BTW, most schools do have a written discipline plan.) If you're concerned, make it only about your child. Give her a call or write her an email.
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#30 of 63 Old 02-22-2004, 11:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I don't blame the teacher for the name/board thing. It's a school policy. If my daughter was telling the truth about the whole situation then the teacher was out of line, and for that I do blame her.

At this point I don't know if I should even say or do anything about this. I'm thinking that maybe I should pick my battles. :
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