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Have you ever gotten a strange feeling that you can't really put into words?

DS was chosen as star student last week. It used to be they just picked someone because it was their turn, but DS said his teacher was picking kids that had exhibited strengths (maybe that's all BS to make them all feel good, whatever - this really isn't relevant). His teacher sent an email saying that he had shown leadership in class and around the school and said that he would be 'celebrated' with the other star students at their Friday pep rally (this rally stuff happens every Friday morning). They say the Pledge of Allegiance and the Texas Pledge and stand in front of the whole school. DH and I went because they made it sound like a big deal (not saying it isn't, just wasn't as big of a deal as they made it out to be). I figured I hadn't been to this thing before because I figured they have to hustle off to class right after that and I didn't want to be a distraction to them.  

Anyhow, while there, I couldn't help to feel really strange about what I was watching.  Even DH was a little weird-ed out.  It felt sort of like, IDK, cult-ish.  Of course they stress the fund raising activities and really get the kids pumped up about spirit night and what to tell their parents to get them to take them to dinner.  They are also getting ready for their annual fun run and were reminding them to get lots of pledges and money from family and neighbors.  It felt like they were pimping my kids.  I found it un-nerving.  Then to top it all off, with the pledges (to the flag and state), and then they play their school song music and the kids all get up and have to do a dance and sing the song.  It was just weird.  

It's a good school, I like the teachers and the staff.  Everyone is nice and it seems to be very little drama compared to some other schools we have been to.  It just seemed reminiscent of those old Hitler kid films where the kids were all sort of indoctrinated.  

Have you ever gotten a weird feeling like that?  I can overcome this, as I know it's really not that big of a deal.  I guess because I hadn't seen it before it just seemed so alien to me.  When I was growing up I would leave campus and go home for lunch.  Not a whole lot of emphasis was placed on raising money for the school.  We had books and necessities and if we needed other stuff we brought it from home.  Middle school didn't have a playground, just a big field with a couple of baseball diamonds and eventually a running track.  I just feel that at some point the priorities have gone way off track with education.  

(going to put this in general parenting because I'm not sure there is really a debate here)


Asked by QuinnMae at 7:16 PM on Oct. 7, 2013 in General Parenting

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Answers (8)
  • Seems normal to me. You don't put how old your child is, but I'm willing to guess he's in elementary school?

    If your kid(s) are anything like mine, notices and flyers sent home from the classroom don't always get to the parents. By reminding them every week at an assembly, the school is hoping that notices have a better chance of getting home. Or, if parent come to the assembly, they hear it directly.

    As for the extra emphasis on the fundraisers, too much of the education budgets across the nation have been cut. The schools NEED those fundraisers to function anymore.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 7:23 PM on Oct. 7, 2013

  • LOL, I agree with Prissy. It sounds very much like a Texas thing. I have friends who have told me stories of pep rallies and assemblies they attended. The ones around here are nothing like that. I got fliers and stuff sent home but they didn't really hype the kids up on any of it.

    Answer by kmath at 7:51 PM on Oct. 7, 2013

  • In a way schools do indoctrinate children, that is kind of what they are there for in a way. Without it they would have a lot more issues. It is easier to control a bunch of children who at least somewhat think the same(excited about xyz etc) then a bunch of "free thinkers".

    I get what you mean, but I also get when you say it isn't a huge deal either.

    Our school recently sent home the flyer about buying pizza at the local place no a certain night to raise money...luckily my child is only 5 so he didn't really care lol

    Answer by tntmom1027 at 9:06 PM on Oct. 7, 2013

  • Reminds me of Pink Floyd, The Wall.

    Answer by Ballad at 9:27 PM on Oct. 7, 2013

  • They are in the same school. Third and Fifth grades. I'm no stranger to the fundraiser efforts. Staff pumping kids up for Spirit night has always sort of bothered me. I will participate when my schedule and menu allows, but it's really irritating when my kids both get in the car and literally beg me to take them to chick-fil-a or the burger place. And they put this big ol' sticker on their shirts to remind me that I need to buy chicken nuggets to support the school. I would rather give them a donation and skip all of the pimping.

    Our fundraiser now is to pay for a sunshade over the playground equipment. Last year they bought an iPad classroom.


    Comment by QuinnMae (original poster) at 7:33 PM on Oct. 7, 2013

  • Maybe a little odd but things are a LOT different now than when WE were in school.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 7:46 PM on Oct. 7, 2013

  • It could be a Texas thing. I didn't grow up here. Although our first school just south of Houston didn't have this many assemblies, they still did pump up the spirit night stuff and fundraisers.  

    In fact, one of the most irritating things about this whole thing IMO is the fact that they use so much instructional time every single week for this stuff.  When we were walking out some of the other parents were commenting on how it was nice that it was only half an hour that day instead of some of the longer assemblies they have had, sometimes going longer than an hour.  That's an hour of time kids could be getting instruction that they need.  Just so much of it seemed unnecessary.  JMO.


    Comment by QuinnMae (original poster) at 8:06 PM on Oct. 7, 2013

  • I've never really listened to that song, so I don't really know what parallels to draw.

    I did tell DS that I sort of resented that the school uses him and his sister to squeeze us for more money. LOL. He agreed, but he's always up for spirit night. LOL.

    I just think when they place such emphasis on grades and test scores, wouldn't that time be better spent on actual education? Weekly just seems excessive. Once a month seems more appropriate.


    Comment by QuinnMae (original poster) at 9:54 PM on Oct. 7, 2013