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Parents are upset with a teacher's odd punishment

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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
Replies (21-30):
arpazia
by on May. 4, 2012 at 2:38 PM
1 mom liked this
I think it was around the same time we started codling them more and society fell...
How do you spell codling?!



Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

It also cracks me up that scraped knees are now an "injury". When did kids become so fragile?

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Euphoric
by Bazinga! on May. 4, 2012 at 2:39 PM

rolling on floor 

katzmeow726
by Platinum Member on May. 4, 2012 at 2:41 PM

It's no the injury itself that would bug me.  Kids get scraped knees all the time.  My twins are both sporting mickey and Minnie bandaids right now as proof of that.

But any form of discipline should not leave a mark, that is what I have always believed. Any injury that results from a teacher's disciplinary method, however minor, is unacceptable IMO.


Now...injured or not, you can bet my kids wouldn't be off the hook when they got home.

Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

It also cracks me up that scraped knees are now an "injury". When did kids become so fragile?


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Thelmama
by Bronze Member on May. 4, 2012 at 2:41 PM
1 mom liked this

They could have and should have handled this differently. That child's knees look swollen and bruised and torn up. I don't mind you meting out fair discipline. But crawling on a race track in 90 degree weather in the beating son? That is not fair discipline. And if my child was not one that did the infraction and had to carry out this discipline...I would be beyond livid.  Yes kids need to learn respect. But discipline that leaves injuries is ABUSE.

Thelmama
by Bronze Member on May. 4, 2012 at 2:42 PM
1 mom liked this

Oh and if a parent did this they would be brought up on child abuse charges.  It isn't about that it is a "scraped knee" but it is about that discipline should not leave marks are bruises or scrapes of any kind. THAT by the definition in the LAW is ABUSE.

eema.gray
by on May. 4, 2012 at 2:43 PM
2 moms liked this

You know . . . . when I was in high school (early mid 90's), we were often told that if certain members of the class couldn't get themselves in line, the entire class would be disciplined.  The result was that most of the time, we could police ourselves pretty well.  Same thing at home:  If one of us acted up and the other three of us were present and not saying anything, we ALL got disciplined.  We self regulated our behavior pretty well in that setting too.  Maybe that's the sort of thing these teachers had in mind?  If the innocent members of the class can't muster the leadership to get everybody behaving well, then the entire group receives the consequences.  I can stand by that.  If my child is willing to stand by and not say anything to a classmate acting out, then my child is just as guilty as the ones who were actively being disrespectful.

Thelmama
by Bronze Member on May. 4, 2012 at 2:44 PM

Any discipline that leaves injury or scrapes is not discipline.

Quoting arpazia:

I think it was around the same time we started codling them more and society fell...
How do you spell codling?!



Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

It also cracks me up that scraped knees are now an "injury". When did kids become so fragile?


katzmeow726
by Platinum Member on May. 4, 2012 at 2:45 PM

Coddling. And just because someone does not like their kids getting injured, even minor injuries, as a result of punishment does not mean we are coddling them.

I do NOT coddle my children.  Heck, they almost never cry when they are hurt, even at age 3, because I let them learn to decide for themselves if they really hurt.  I don't jump up at the first sign of an "owie."

But I don't think it's appropriate to have them crawling on their knees on a hot track like that.  I've been on a track like that.  They get extremely hot during the day, and are very rough.  Now, had they done this in the gym, or cafeteria, it would have been fine by me.  And if they had only punished the ones being rude.  it's not fair to the students who were following the rules.  It sends the message of "why bother behaving, if I"m just going to get lumped in with the bad kids anyway." 

Quoting arpazia:

I think it was around the same time we started codling them more and society fell...
How do you spell codling?!



Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

It also cracks me up that scraped knees are now an "injury". When did kids become so fragile?


Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Third Birthday tickers

Lilypie - Personal pictureLilypie Third Birthday tickers

Daisypath - Personal pictureDaisypath Anniversary tickers
fatcat0908
by Bronze Member on May. 4, 2012 at 2:46 PM
If my child EVER acted with such disrespect, crawling down a track would be a luxury, because she would be outside! Let me tell you, other than school, that child would be staring at the four walls of their bedroom for quite some time.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
eema.gray
by on May. 4, 2012 at 2:48 PM

To me, it's a (poorly executed) attempt to teach leadership by making everybody responsible for the actions of a few.  Perhaps next time, the innocent students will remember this and exercise leadership in getting their misbehaving classmates to knock off the disrespectful behavior.  I'm pretty sure that was the logic of the teachers involved although it's impossible to know for certain.

Quoting katzmeow726:

Coddling. And just because someone does not like their kids getting injured, even minor injuries, as a result of punishment does not mean we are coddling them.

I do NOT coddle my children.  Heck, they almost never cry when they are hurt, even at age 3, because I let them learn to decide for themselves if they really hurt.  I don't jump up at the first sign of an "owie."

But I don't think it's appropriate to have them crawling on their knees on a hot track like that.  I've been on a track like that.  They get extremely hot during the day, and are very rough.  Now, had they done this in the gym, or cafeteria, it would have been fine by me.  And if they had only punished the ones being rude.  it's not fair to the students who were following the rules.  It sends the message of "why bother behaving, if I"m just going to get lumped in with the bad kids anyway." 

Quoting arpazia:

I think it was around the same time we started codling them more and society fell...
How do you spell codling?!



Quoting JakeandEmmasMom:

It also cracks me up that scraped knees are now an "injury". When did kids become so fragile?



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"People no longer trust that their government is working for them. They see the revolving door between Capitol Hill and K Street, the influence-peddling, the backroom deals, and the crony capitalism. 

http://jon2012.com/issues


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