Friday, February 1, 2008

When Is Enough Too Much?

Lil Man goes to a private school. He goes to a private school because his Mom and Dad believe in hugs and swats. In public school anymore, teachers can no more hug a child than they can discipline them. His school has very clear cut discipline practices. There are warnings and there are displinary marks. There are also good marks given. Enough bad marks warrant a trip to the principal's office. There, the child will either be assigned scripture lines to copy (maximum of 10 times per scripture per specific offense) or, if warranted, swats will be administered.

Lil Man has written more scripture this year than I think I knew at his age. So far, the only swats he has received have been administered outside of school by his mom and, once, by me.

I picked him up yesterday afternoon. He told me that he had gotten one warning and two good marks. For such a reasonably good day, he seemed awfully crestfallen. I asked him what was wrong and he said he had lines to write. I asked him why, if he had no bad marks, he had lines to write. He said it was from a warning the day before. I asked him what kind of lines and he said he had to write 100 lines. 100 lines? 100 lines.

I asked him who had given him 100 lines. He said Mrs. H. Mrs. H is his teacher and we love her and she has been absent all week with a sick child. I asked if she was back and he said that no she wasn't and Mrs. B, the substitute said that Mrs. H said.

Now, if you have ever had a conversation with an 8 year old who thinks he is in trouble, the above conversation did not go smoothly nor swiftly. I got more and more frustrated and finally said, "fine" because the whole thing made no sense to me. Lines come from the office. They have never come from the classroom.

We got to my house and Lil Man did his homework. He had 10 sentences to write for spelling and then 11 pages to read in his reading book. I then had him start on his punishment until his mom got off work and we could discuss it.

Julie, and I give her credit for this, is not one to automatically take her child's side over those in authority. She has never, that I know of, gone to the school to complain that they were too hard on her baby. She has gotten on the child for being disrespectful of and disobedient to those in authority.

We talked it over and decided that Lil Man had obviously done something to merit punishment.

We talked it over and decided that Lil Man obviously was not going to be able to write
100 times before his 8:30 bedtime. We (Julie and I) had once given Lil Man's sister 100 lines to write but she was 12. Her sentence was also shorter and grammatically correct.

He got it written 34 times.

His school starts at 8 but the kids can be there at 7:45. His mom starts work at 8. I offered, and she accepted my offer, to go in and talk to Mrs. or Dr. M.

Mrs. M agreed that 100 sentences was a bit much for 2nd graders. She told me that the administration was unaware of the punishment until after school was over. She told me that she was unsure what the outcome would be but that they would be looking into it and that Lil Man would not get in trouble for not finishing his punishment.

We shall see.


Christine said...

I remember being quite chatty in 3rd grade, and writing lines, once it was 300, but I was given a week to get it done. I agree having a 2nd grader myself, I couldn't see Josh doing 100, it definetly is a bit much.

Anonymous said...

I think that is a little much for someone his age. And, I second your kudos to Julie for not always taking his side. I do my best in that arena, but I admit, it's hard.

Karmyn R said...

100 lines seems like a bit much to me. I'd say whoever administered the punishment was a bit overzealous.

Catwoman said...

I once had to write 100 lines, given by my mother, but I was 10 or 11 at the time.

It is a little much for a 2nd grader.

Keep us posted on what happens!

Mama Drama Jenny, the Bloggess said...

100 sentences seems really excessive.

Crown Princess said...

Thanks for taking him, i apprecaite and even though they dont know it, i am sure the school appreciates it too.

Alison said...

sounds like the teacher was a bit frustrated when she gave out the punishment!

Kudos to you and Julie for not always taking his side!!

Thanks for your very kind meant alot to me!!

Beckie said...

That seems like a lot - especially for such a long sentence. Then again- last weekend I made my 8 year old write "I will not run in the house" 100 times.

We must go to a really huggy public school because every teacher that my kids have had have been generous with the hugs.

laurie said...

that sounds like a rather stiff punishment for a small child--especially a small squirmy boy child.

a hundred? what were they thinking?

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