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I got a phone call from the school today... Advice needed Update!

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 So this afternoon I got a phone call from the principal at my 16 year old's high school. He called to tell me my son walked out of detention. I asked why he was in detention and was told his last period class had detention because something went missing from the teacher's desk during that class and none of the students would admit to taking it. The principal also informed me that there will be a meeting Monday morning with him, my son and I.

When I got home from work I asked my son what happened. He said his teacher didn't tell them that they had to stay after class until the last 5 minutes of class. He told them teacher that he couldn't stay because he had to go pick up his little brother from school. The teacher told him that he didn't care and that he was staying. So he asked if he could at least call me so I could go get my youngest. He told him no so my son got up and left so he could go pick up his brother. He babysits his brothers before and after school, he walks them to school and then walks them home. My youngest is in kindergarten and all kindergartners needs to be signed in and out of the class for security purposes. Other than the parents there is only 2 others on the "safe list", which is my mom and my 16 year old.

I agree with the principal that he shouldn't of just left like he did but the teacher should have let him call me so I could have left work to get my youngest. So now we have a meeting with the principal and I'm not really sure what to do. If you were in this situation what would you do?


 Before we went to the meeting I called the school to ask for the teacher to be at the meeting. The principal said he would be their. I then called my younger kids' school to see what would happen if someone was late picking their child up. They said they would wait 20 minutes after the bell then try to get a hold of the parents. If they couldn't get hold of the parents the would call whoever is listed on the "safe list" and the emergency contacts. If nobody answers after that the call the police and the police will either bring them to the station or to CPS. At the meeting we found out that the detention was 20 minutes long and it is about an 8 minute walk to the other school so if I wasn't available the police would have been called.

 I also asked why my son was not allowed to call me and the teacher told me he said no because the office was already going to call all of the parents. But when he told my son no he didn't mention that. If he did my son wouldn't of left like he did. The principal said normally a student would get 1 day of an in school suspension for leaving detention but in this case there was lack of communication from the teacher so he is going to let it go but if it happens again he will have to serve the ISS. I also told the principal even if I get a call about the same day detention he won't be able to stay just in case I am busy at work and not near the phone and that I will need to know at least 24 hours in advance so I can make other arrangements or let my boss know I need to leave work early so I could go get my youngest. He agreed so hopefully that will happen next time.

by on Nov. 4, 2011 at 10:07 PM
Replies (181-190):
by on Nov. 5, 2011 at 7:28 PM

I think your son did the right thing and I would be raising "Cain" about how the teacher handled this situation. Your 16 year old sounds very responsible. At the very least, your son should have been allowed to call you to let you know that other arrangements would need to be made to pick up your 5 year old. This is unacceptable. Also, I would certainly let the principal know that your son is willing to serve the detention if necessary.

by Member on Nov. 5, 2011 at 7:28 PM
Your son did the right thing. Safety first. Sounds like a very loving and responsible young man.
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by on Nov. 5, 2011 at 7:29 PM

I agree with everyone else's input. As a teacher I understand the frustration and violation that one feels when someone has taken something off their desk. It's happened to me and I wasd a little upset (to understate my reaction) HOWEVER....I also know that many of my students, and yes I do teach high school, have other responsibilities outside of my classroom and that it is not responsible of me either to insist they stay after on my whim without knowing what their after school situation is. In your case, it is a safety issue with your youngest. I would be mad if I were you. If your 16 year old hadn't shown up to get your youngest, his school would have called you causing you to worry needlessly thinking something may have happened to your oldest son. the teacher's inflexibility at letting your oldest make a phone call could have cause a great deal of stress and needless worry for you and your family. 

by on Nov. 5, 2011 at 7:30 PM

I'm not sure if it applies in HS but at my children's elementary school the detention is sent home with the specific date and time that it will be served, therefore notifying you, the parent, that your child will be detained after school that day. The teacher had every right to give each student a detention until/unless someone came forward or the item was found. However, even at HS age where some "kids" could possibly be 18, the parents still need notification in the event they will be detained. Yes, they are older and held more responsible, but did the school do with 30-ish phone calls that their child had not come home yet? or the parent was waiting outside to pickup their child with no reasoning as to why it was taking so long?

by on Nov. 5, 2011 at 7:32 PM

AliSingleMom4, I'd had been the teachers face for starters.. Your son was concern minded that his Lil Brother was going to be 1st.. I totally agree w/this.. No one is going to admit to anything as far as the teacher missing something.. Lost cause there.. Kudos for 'Big Brother'.. I wouldn't put any hardships on him for doing a brave thing making sure he showed up for his brother so he wouldn't be scared of what happened he didn't show up.. Take Care, Donna....

by on Nov. 5, 2011 at 7:35 PM
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I'm a teacher and mom. For security purposes parents should notified 24 hours before a detention to secure transportation no matter what age. As a teacher class detentions should be avoided because good students are being punished for bad students' behaviors. Since your son was not proven to steal anything from his teacher he shouldn't be punished any way. Your son's teacher was wrong to give that type of puniahment out. He should've reported what was stolen to the principal and then the principal should have searched all the students for that missing item(s).
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by on Nov. 5, 2011 at 7:36 PM

Sorry but the school not letting him call was down right in the wrong. I would explain to the teacher that your son showed a lot of maturity to do the right thing and take care of his brother like he was supposed to.

by on Nov. 5, 2011 at 7:37 PM
Your son was absolutely right! I taught for 8 yrs. Granted with younger kids but still. I am amazed the principlal was not furious with the teacher. The teacher was inflexible. Your son was being responsible. Tell the principal that you will take it to the superintendant if you need to.
by on Nov. 5, 2011 at 7:37 PM
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Unfortunately, in those instances you are correct.  :-(  Some schools are like those you mentioned and some schools are different.  Also, each individual circumstance is different.  I was able to be informed about when they would be teaching about evolution, but not able to have them send him to another room during that teaching.  But being informed about it, I was able to have already taught him what we believe before it was shared in school.  My boys went to a small-town school, so I think that made a difference, aslo.  Now that we are in a city I will homeschool our children because I don't hand that kind of authority over to anyone other than DH.  I think that the OP's son had the right to at least call his mother to let her know about the change of plans, but since that was denied, he followed mom's instructions.  The teacher seems unreasonable here.  :-/

BTW....I've been getting newsletters and updates from for quite some's amazing the amount of authority that schools and government are slowly taking away from the parents worldwide, not just here.  :-(

Quoting BooksnBoys:

Actually, according to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in its 2005 case Fields v. Palmdale the court held that the parents’ fundamental rights “does not exist beyond the threshold of the school door.”

In Palmdale, the issue was a graphic sex-ed curriculum. In Fairfax (near where I live), it was interrogating students without notifying parents. But whatever the issue (detention for instance), “once parents make the choice as to which school their children will attend, their fundamental right to control the education of their children is, at the least, substantially diminished." (Fields v. Palmdale)

For more information please visit

Quoting TreasureOfFaith:

Sounds like you have raised a responsible young man.  You should be proud!

I always told my boys' schools that my parental authority supercedes their scholastic authority if my sons need to make a choice. JMHO

by on Nov. 5, 2011 at 7:38 PM

Teachers give out detentions like candy these days, which is dumb. I agree with Snowl. :)

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