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Parents are upset with a teacher's odd punishment

Posted by on May. 4, 2012 at 2:03 PM
  • 209 Replies

Parents' claws out after teachers' odd form of discipline

Updated 12:26 a.m., Friday, May 4, 2012

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  • Portrait of some of the Junction elementary school fifth grade students that were told to crawl down the school's track at Eagle Stadium and meow like cats Sheyenne Riojas, 11, (front row from left), Alicia Molina, 11, Lexi Rodriquez, 10, Julian Sauceda, 11, Daniel Hernandez, 10,  (back row from left) Madison Phillips, 11, Lilly Hickenbottom, 11, Ashlynn Pharris, 11, Sierra Carlile, 13, Simon Avila, 12, and Benny Sauceda, 11, Thursday May 3, 2012 in Junction, Tx. Photo: EDWARD A. ORNELAS, SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS / © SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS (NFS)

    Portrait of some of the Junction elementary school fifth grade students that were told to crawl down the school's track at Eagle Stadium and meow like cats Sheyenne Riojas, 11, (front row from left), Alicia Molina, 11, Lexi Rodriquez, 10, Julian Sauceda, 11, Daniel Hernandez, 10, (back row from left) Madison Phillips, 11, Lilly Hickenbottom, 11, Ashlynn Pharris, 11, Sierra Carlile, 13, Simon Avila, 12, and Benny Sauceda, 11, Thursday May 3, 2012 in Junction, Tx.

    Photo: EDWARD A. ORNELAS, SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS / © SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS (NFS)

 

About all that is certain regarding the bizarre situation with fifth-graders in Junction is that when the teacher tells you to hush, responding with meows isn't the brightest idea.

And maybe forcing the entire fifth-grade class to crawl down the school's track, meowing as they went along, wasn't a well-thought-out disciplinary response.

Junction, a quiet town of 2,700 about 120 miles west of San Antonio, is best known for its beautiful rivers and its annual ranch rodeo. But in the wake of the Wednesday showdown at the elementary school, it's getting a different sort of attention.

Upset Junction parents are venting on Facebook, the city police have opened an investigation and the school administration is in full emergency mode, taking complaints from parents and calls from out-of-town reporters.

And the Texas Rangers are being called in to sort it all out.

“There's really nothing I can tell you at this point except that we are doing a full investigation,” Superintendent Renee Schulze said.

Some parents, however, are very willing to talk.

“Our kids came home with scraped knees and hands. It was 90-something degrees and the track was hot, with a lot of rocks,” said Marybel Anguiano, whose son Francisco was involved and didn't go to school Thursday.

Another mother, Liz Molina, said her fifth-grade daughter, Alicia, won't be going back to school for the rest of the year.

“She's upset. She can't trust the teachers. I understand the teachers made a poor decision, but our kids trusted them,” she said.

Molina said she is also withdrawing her other three children from the public school district and will home-school them for the remainder of the school year.

“We're a pretty close-knit family and they're taking this very personally. I'm afraid they'll go to school and lash out,” she said.

According to the account given to Molina by her daughter and confirmed by other sources, some of the fifth-graders were being loud and rowdy in the halls Wednesday. In response to warnings from their teachers, some of the students responded by meowing, she said.

Molina said she understands four teachers and about 50 kids were involved. But what began as a plan to have the kids run a few laps on the school track to straighten them out apparently escalated into compulsory crawling and meowing, she said.

“They want to act like cats, they should be treated like cats, and meow,” was a remark she said her daughter attributed to one teacher. Afterward, she said, some kids visited the school nurse.

Lisa Carlile whose daughter Sierra aggravated a back problem by crawling, believes the teachers used bad judgment in punishing so many kids when only a few had been disrespectful.

“It's affecting everyone's lives, the teachers, the kids and the parents. I feel bad for them, because of whatever consequences it could lead to, but they shouldn't have done it,” she said of the teachers.

Junction Police Sgt. Edward House declined to comment beyond confirming police are looking into the matter. Attempts to contact the four teachers allegedly involved were not successful.

Molina, who visited with the superintendent Thursday morning, said Schulze appears to be taking the situation seriously.

“She's not defending the teachers. She said she was very sorry and she wasn't going to rest until it was completely taken care of,” Molina said.

by on May. 4, 2012 at 2:03 PM
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Replies (1-10):
thickmamaof2
by Member on May. 4, 2012 at 2:09 PM
10 moms liked this
well the parents should be mad that their children were disobeying so badly that the teachers had to resort to this. I would not be mad at the teachers if it was my kid. Id be mad at my kid.
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jehosoba84
by Jenn on May. 4, 2012 at 2:12 PM
4 moms liked this

 The kids' blatant disrespect could have been handled in far more creative and appropriate ways than making them crawl on a rough track in 90 degree weather. Especially since she made the innocent ones do it as well.

eema.gray
by on May. 4, 2012 at 2:12 PM
3 moms liked this

Same here.  I'd be ticked at my child for thinking he or she could behave like that at school.  I'd also be examing my own parenting techniques to see if there was something I needed to do or change.  Kids need to know that respect for authority figures, teachers included, is a necessary life skill.  

Discipline was poorly thought out and maybe not the best thing to do.  However, as a parent with kids not in school yet, it's also inappropriately funny.  Given the weather, maybe this kind of discipline should have been carried out indoors - in the gym or cafeteria, for example.

Quoting thickmamaof2:

well the parents should be mad that their children were disobeying so badly that the teachers had to resort to this. I would not be mad at the teachers if it was my kid. Id be mad at my kid.


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katzmeow726
by Platinum Member on May. 4, 2012 at 2:14 PM
2 moms liked this
Mad that they disciplined my child for disrespect? No.
But children that were not involved also were punished. How is that fair?
Mad that my child was injured because of a punishment? More like furious!
Like I said, if my child was in the wrong, I don't mind discipline. But this went way too far. If they resorted to this as a corrective measure, then they do not need to be teaching


Quoting thickmamaof2:

well the parents should be mad that their children were disobeying so badly that the teachers had to resort to this. I would not be mad at the teachers if it was my kid. Id be mad at my kid.
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JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on May. 4, 2012 at 2:20 PM
15 moms liked this
So...I guess I'm the only one who laughed?

IDK...I don't see what the big deal is. The parents act like the kids are going to be scarred for life or something. In 20 years this will be a story that these kids will retell while laughing their butts off.
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LilyofPhilly
by Gold Member on May. 4, 2012 at 2:21 PM
7 moms liked this

So much for all that training that teachers get in college that makes them so much better than us homeschooling parents!

Tanya93
by on May. 4, 2012 at 2:22 PM
5 moms liked this

I laughed too.


However, if this was me as a child, I would have also gotten in trouble at home instead of my mom pulling me out for the year.

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

So...I guess I'm the only one who laughed?

IDK...I don't see what the big deal is. The parents act like the kids are going to be scarred for life or something. In 20 years this will be a story that these kids will retell while laughing their butts off.


JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on May. 4, 2012 at 2:23 PM
1 mom liked this
No freakin' joke! It was made very clear to me that any trouble I got into at school would be a cake walk compared to what would await me at home!

Quoting Tanya93:

I laughed too.


However, if this was me as a child, I would have also gotten in trouble at home instead of my mom pulling me out for the year.


Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

So...I guess I'm the only one who laughed?



IDK...I don't see what the big deal is. The parents act like the kids are going to be scarred for life or something. In 20 years this will be a story that these kids will retell while laughing their butts off.


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LilyofPhilly
by Gold Member on May. 4, 2012 at 2:24 PM
1 mom liked this

BTW, I'm sure it doesn't help that the kids go to school in flip flops, t-shirts, and shorts. The teachers probably dress like this too. How are they supposed to know that it's not playtime, when they're wearing their play clothes?

JakeandEmmasMom
by Platinum Member on May. 4, 2012 at 2:24 PM
8 moms liked this
It also cracks me up that scraped knees are now an "injury". When did kids become so fragile?
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