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2 Bumps

My son's new bully policy...and then some

In the last 3 years,our district has 2 children commit suicide due to bullying.
The schools frantically had to come up with new policies that addressed this issue
That being said,in my opinion,this has created a new issue
We have the usual,"see something,do something,say something".
The school has a new program where they can get "Panther Points" for being seen doing something good towards another student (greeting,helping carrying something,holding doors,etc)
They are also highly encouraged to not leave anyone out of activities or conversations. No one is to be excluded
What i'm now concerned about is that they will start pretending to be nice to people to get these points,which are redeemable for stuff in the school store.
My son has become one of these "targets"
You'd swear he was the most popular kid in school. They come up,greet him,and stand there with this dumb look on their faces like they want a pat on the head. Even his teacher is to the point where she tells them to move on.
So,my question is,do you think that the policy should find a middle ground where they shouldn't go out of their way to exclude people,but not one where they are almost forced to associate with people they otherwise would not?
I'm imagining the kid that isn't so extroverted realizing he's being talked to so the others can get points


Asked by butterflyblue19 at 9:02 AM on Sep. 6, 2013 in General Parenting

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This question is closed.
Answers (13)
  • If program is brand new, maybe the newness will wear off
    And the award point thing should be less as time goes by
    Some kids will learn a life lesson from it, some will not learn and just do it as a game

    Sorry it must fell like your kid is a factor in a game

    Answer by fiatpax at 9:47 AM on Sep. 6, 2013

  • Well, I think maybe the "practice" will actually have a learning aspect to it too. If the kids have to start "Thinking" about doing the right thing then maybe eventually it will become a habit that they no longer think about & like Paxy said, it's new & a novelty right now & will most likely level off in about a month I bet. May turn out to be a good thing.

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 9:57 AM on Sep. 6, 2013

  • Honestly, what I think is that punishment for bad behavior and bullying isn't strict enough. Everyone is a victim and unfortunately what that ultimately means is that the real victim is further victimized. If the bully comes from a home where both parents work and they qualify for aid, the bulky gets to keep going to school (not to mention that funding for attendance makes suspension or expulsion undesirable to the schools). The victim is given the choice to change their habits so as to avoid their bully, but in the mean time, noting changes for the shithead that caused the whole thing.

    Bully policies mean nothing when administration refuses to enforce the policies.


    Answer by QuinnMae at 10:37 AM on Sep. 6, 2013

  • I can see where you would feel like your son is one of those special treasure coins you get extra lives for finding in a video game or something. I'm all for rewarding good behavior, but giving kids points for saying hello to someone seems a bit much to me. Hopefully as others have said, the novelty will wear off and the ones who mean well will keep on being nice, just because. Having grown up with a disability, I can easily imagine how the fake nicey-nice thing would have gotten to me. Then again, I was verbal enough and bitchy enough that I would probably have started answering, "Two points!" instead of, "Hi."

    Answer by Ballad at 10:42 AM on Sep. 6, 2013

  • Our elementary school had a "secret agent" patrol watching for kids to do nice things, but the trick was you never knew which staffers were the secret agents until the end of the month when they'd do a little skit wearing black trench coats and fedoras at the Friday assembly and then honor some kids. The reward was always some kind of free kids meal at a local restaurant.

    In your shoes, I'd certainly voice my concerns to the administrators.

    Answer by gdiamante at 10:44 AM on Sep. 6, 2013

  • Oh, and my kid's school has the same type of policy, but it has to be genuine and not planned. DS and DD don't like bullying and still really enjoy positive reinforcement (probably because they still care about pleasing the adults they are around). I figure as they get a little older they won't care so much about what the adults in their lives think about them. I'm so not looking forward to puberty.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 10:46 AM on Sep. 6, 2013

  • The elementary school where my daughter has started has a positive reinforcement policy, but the reward is simply getting to wear a blue or purple sticker for the day, depending on what the good deed was. Blue for most things, purple for knocking it out of the park. My daughter got blue one day, and you would have thought she came home with the Congressional Medal of Honor. I don't know how it would work for older kids, or kids who are already hardened beyond caring what the adults think, or kids whose parents wouldn't notice or acknowledge the stickers--and most bullies would fit into at least one of those categories.

    Answer by Ballad at 10:54 AM on Sep. 6, 2013

  • I think the school has good intentions with their plan, but they need to find a different way to implement it, because it's not fair to the kids, like your son, who are now getting treated differently all in hopes of getting rewarded. Yours on, and kids like him, deserve to be talked to, helped, and liked for who they are. As others have said, maybe the novelty will wear off, but if not, maybe someone should suggest to the school that they make some changes. Maybe a statement that not EVERY incident of kindness will be rewarded, but that you won't know when one will - so you be kind to be kind, and if you get a reward, great, and if not, at least you were still nice and you didn't look stupid or make someone else feel stupid. Or, even better, you will not be rewarded immediately nor will you be told which specific incident you are being rewarded for.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 11:02 AM on Sep. 6, 2013

  • You'd think that by middle school you wouldn't have to go this route to get them to be decent to each other,but I guess it's a different time.

    You would, but that requires parents that actually not only teach their kids to be kind, but also show them how to do it. I see so many people who are incredibly rude to others, and so are their kids. It really bugs me, though, when they get mad at their kids for being rude, especially when they yell at them with something like, "Did I raise you to be like that?" or "Why would you think that's acceptable?" I always want to be like, "HELLO? Have you looked in a mirror lately?"

    Answer by wendythewriter at 3:44 PM on Sep. 6, 2013

  • I think they see as an easy way to get the points due to his autism.
    How would you feel if someone who never spoke to you before all of a sudden is speaking to you daily in front of the staff?

    Comment by butterflyblue19 (original poster) at 9:53 AM on Sep. 6, 2013