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-   -   Duct taping the principal to a wall (http://www.mothering.com/forum/51-learning-school/1363904-duct-taping-principal-wall.html)

puddle 09-21-2012 08:39 AM

So I've just learned that as a fund raising incentive, our elementary school principal is going to let some of the children duct tape her to a wall.  The top seller gets to  tape her mouth shut.  Apparently she did this last year as well.

 

I know my opinions tend to diverge from the mainstream, but is this really something that most people find acceptable?  Am I totally off base in thinking that this is a wee bit inappropriate for 5-11 year old children?  Do other schools do this type of thing?


Bokonon 09-21-2012 08:52 AM

I think that's terrible.  Why does it have to be so extreme?  Last year my son's principal sang the school song from the roof of the school when they hit their fundraising goal.


rachelsmama 09-21-2012 09:08 AM

We used to have that in highschool.  It was great fun and seemed to help foster a sense of community instead of the us-vs-them dynamic that sometimes exists between students and administrators.  Then again, as a Canadian, duct-tape makes me think of  The Red Green Show.  I wonder if Americans are more likely to associate duct-tape with its more sinister uses?


whatsnextmom 09-21-2012 09:58 AM

You know, my school principals were always very aloof and separate from their students. We respected them. We feared them. We never really felt they knew us and what we were going through. If you weren't in trouble, then they were pretty irrelevant in your life. If you were struggling, you did your best for them not to ever find out.

 

Times have changed and for the better in my opinion. Both my kids have had remarkable relationships with their various school principals. These people KNEW who they were. Were approachable and really helped my kids when they needed it most (bully issues, recommendations, back-up with teacher issues, ect.) DS had a principal that told the kids if they raised a certain amount of money for a charity drive, he'd wear a dress to school. They did it and this 6'7" man paraded around at recess in this dress. We've had others that dress-up in funny costumes, sit in the dunk tank at carnivals, allow themselves to get a pie in the face, play with the kids at recess, sing in talent shows, and more. We haven't seen a dip in respect, just a more open relationship between the kids and the staff.

 

Of course, in our area, it's the vice-principals (middle and high schools) who are the "heavies." They deal with bulk of the behavioral issues. They tend not to do anything like this but then, it's not as interesting to the kids either.

 

Being duct-taped to the wall? Well, it's not my personal cup of tea but then, it's not me.


JollyGG 09-21-2012 11:07 AM

I'd suggest taping them to a column instead. We tried it at one of my schools fundraisers and all the tape in the world wasn't going to get that man to stick to a wall. A column lets you wrap tape around the principle and the column.


Tigerle 09-21-2012 12:40 PM

I think it's bizarre and I would worry about kids trying this at home, regardless of what they are told. The one thing that really bothers me is that someone gets to tape a person's mouth shut. That's an asphyxiation hazard and not something to do in front of kids and call it fun.


mamalisa 09-21-2012 12:47 PM

I'd suggest not taping the mouth shut, but taping the principal to the wall would be well received by our students :)

 

I'm more offended by children peddling cheap goods at a huge mark up and the school only getting 30% back.  


APToddlerMama 09-21-2012 12:47 PM

Straight up weird...

Geofizz 09-22-2012 05:30 AM

Schools need to give kids incentives at times. I like "principal embarrases him/herself" incentives as they are very low cost, everyone gets to "participate" or at least appreciate it, and it doesn't involve pizza or ice cream.

For 6000 trips taken to school by foot or by bike on Wednesdays this fall, the principal will dress up as a Thanksgiving turkey. It's just enough to affect change in people's habits.

tbone_kneegrabber 09-22-2012 05:45 AM

It's a bit weird but truly doesn't sound that different from a dunk tank (certainly cheaper than renting a dunk tank!)

When I was student teaching kids got to pie someone (it wasn't the principal but now I can't remember the person's role).

pek64 09-22-2012 06:53 AM

Dressing like a turkey sounds better than duct taping.

Tigerle 09-22-2012 12:49 PM

Why not just turning the principal into a loo paper mummy? Perfectly safe, probably much funnier for the kids.

 

I shudder to think what a group of unsupervised kindergartners (yes, it happens) might get up to with a roll of duct tape once inspired. A grown-up might, depending on the amount of tape used and the surface of the wall, break free easily. A kindergartner might not. And a child with its mouth taped up needs only to start crying for the nasal passages to swell up and cut off air supply altogether. Enough kidnapping victims have died that way.

 

I just fail to see why elementary school kids need to be introduced to duct tape bondage.


pek64 09-22-2012 12:56 PM

T.P. the principal! I love it! Best suggestion yet!!

elus0814 09-22-2012 06:50 PM

Taping their mouth shut is just weird and could be dangerous if try it themselves. In middle school our principal, vice principals, and several teachers dressed up in big sumo wrestler outfits and 'wrestled' each other. It was really fun for the kids. Another time the principal was pied in the face.


One_Girl 09-22-2012 07:30 PM

I think it sounds fun! I love the way my dd's principals have always made an effort to be fun and approachable. If you are worried about your kids doing this at home then talk to them about not doing so.

puddle 09-23-2012 11:37 AM

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.


JollyGG 09-23-2012 11:48 AM

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.

 

There's really only one solution to your concerns, discuss them with the principle and the school.

 

I'd personally skip the duct tape on the mouth, but have done the duct tape to the wall thing in an elementary school and we all had fun. But if it bothers you, my opinion of it doesn't really matter, nor does anyone else on this threads. The people who needs to hear your concerns is you child's school.


loveandgarbage 09-23-2012 11:53 AM

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


TCMoulton 09-23-2012 12:16 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by loveandgarbage View Post

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

I doubt this is what the kids will be thinking, especially since the principal is a man. Honestly, I never would have thought that either.

pek64 09-23-2012 03:31 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCMoulton View Post

I doubt this is what the kids will be thinking, especially since the principal is a man. Honestly, I never would have thought that either.
Quote:
Originally Posted by puddle View Post

So I've just learned that as a fund raising incentive, our elementary school principal is going to let some of the children duct tape her to a wall.  The top seller gets to  tape her mouth shut.  Apparently she did this last year as well.

I know my opinions tend to diverge from the mainstream, but is this really something that most people find acceptable?  Am I totally off base in thinking that this is a wee bit inappropriate for 5-11 year old children?  Do other schools do this type of thing?

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.

rachelsmama 09-23-2012 03:50 PM

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. 


TCMoulton 09-23-2012 04:42 PM

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.

One_Girl 09-23-2012 05:28 PM

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.

loveandgarbage 09-23-2012 07:10 PM

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.


Emaye 09-23-2012 09:18 PM

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.


rachelsmama 09-24-2012 04:16 AM

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. 


pek64 09-24-2012 04:23 AM

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.

rachelsmama 09-24-2012 04:45 AM

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.


ollyoxenfree 09-24-2012 06:49 AM

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. 


loveandgarbage 09-24-2012 07:20 AM

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!



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