Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I am that type of parent

Forget dreams of lovely clothing and lovely kitchens (just for a minute!) as I fill you in on a crazy story.

The tickets at school. The dreaded punishment. They sit in your file indefinitely, they can keep you excluded from assemblies or parties as you lament your bad behavior. And my son came home with one.

He came in a fit of tears, with a slammed door, and red checks. He quickly proclaimed it wasn't fair (his usual battle cry) and threw his ticket to the ground. Then what he said made my blood boil...
"I got a ticket for not wearing my coat."

Here he is, WITH his coat, on a day that actually needs a coat


He is a big kid. He was wearing a sweater over a shirt, and was hot. He had already been out earlier and took off his jacket, so to save time he just didn't take it next recess.

School Tech " You need a coat on." Son: "No, I'm not cold."
Tech: "Well I want you to get a coat on. Go to your room and get it" Son: "But I'm not cold. I am wearing a sweater and my room is locked"
Tech "I think you need a coat" Son:(I am sure, he is angry at this point) "But I have on a sweater. And all of those kids (he points to the playground, where some hundred children play without jackets in the first sunny day in a month) are out without coats on. "
Tech:"I will take care of them later. We are talking about you" son: "But I am wearing a SWEATER!"
Tech looks at his sweater, unsatisfied. "Push your sleeves down " (they were gathered at his elbow) Son angrily pushes his sleeves down to his wrists and throws his hands up in the air, obviously mocking this ridiculous request.
Tech: "You just got a ticket." Then....as she writes the ticket she says "It's kids like you that make me hate this job."
(I have paraphrased what he paraphrased, so you will get the idea)

I am the mom on the phone. I have e-mailed the principal. For follow-up Daddy Bear also visited the school. We have applauded our son for standing up for himself- yes, we have talked about doing it respectfully, but if he is out with children who do not want a coat who is she to decide that for him? If she had ignored the coat issue, the whole exchange would have never happened. And she sited him for 'disrespect' while stating out of her own mouth how she hates her job. Wow. Hypocrisy.

Apparently there have been similar complaints from other parents, and this tech has been warned, but it just makes me wonder...how many kids has she belittled who don't dare speak up? Or whose parents don't care, or don't have the time to worry? This ticket has since been removed. We did find out he was playing ball against the wall and warned to move, which he and his friends were kind of ignoring.

So we have discussed respect. We have discussed listening to teachers, but we also have discussed rights. He can wear his sleeves any way he wants.

I am that kind of parent. And I am proud of my son.

Last time I checked....this was a free country


Kristina P. said...

Wow, that is crazy! Good for him. And you.

Sara A Broers said...

I would be more upset not knowing that a ticket would be issued for this. Wow...Sometimes I think our schools take discipline a little too far. Kudos to your son for standing up for himself.

Jeanna said...

I heard about this and immediately said "if i were ramona, i'd fight it." then the girls proceeded to tell me they all took off their jackets in support of him. this same duty lady has threatened to give JD tickets for being on the ground... she's a clumsy girl... and has also belittled her. if she hates her job so much, she should leave.
props to you. i would have done the exact same thing.

ramsam said...

We have been blessed with amazing teachers, I have to say, I have loved them year after year, but it does kind of get you going when someone tells your kid they are the reason they hate their job! I mean, really, be the grown up and keep those thoughts to your self.
I know 6th grade boys are not the best group to deal with, but it is amazing how when you are friendly and respectful to them (I worked 3 years at a school) they seem to always return the favor.

Lynnae said...

Way to go. Sometimes it's an adult whose doing the bullying at school, even in subtle ways. Anyone who hates working with kids should not be allowed to work with kids.
Sometimes you just gotta put on your mommy badge and stand up for the kids.

Mina said...

Well done, Ramona. Geez, my blood is boiling just reading this post. Some people have absolutely NO business being in education.

Monica said...

When I was in first grade I often refused to wear a coat to recess. I was, and still am, often hot when others think it is cold. My teacher called my mom to ask what she should do (luckily no threats of a ticket). My mom said "if she is cold, she will probably put on a coat". Genius!

Jon said...

That is soooo irritating for so many reasons.
First of all, where in the school's list of responsibilities does "make kids wear a coat" show up? Don't they have bigger fish to fry?
Second, if the kid doesn't wear a coat, so what? What's the harm to the school? Getting sick? Last I heard, microbes don't multiply extra when it is cold. And even so, what business is it of the school's and this playground Nazi who is clearly frustrated by the lack of control she has in other areas of her own life.

You think you're living in a free country - until you try to buy a car or showerhead or a lightbulb or a toilet that you want - or until you want to go without a coat.

Calvin said...

Thoughts from a teacher: I have never understood why people who hate being with children decide to work at a school, every kid is different, but at some point they are all going to act like a child.. hello!

Second: Glad you are covering the respect thing, sometimes kids do have to follow rules even when they don't really seem to apply, anarchy does not create a great learning environment.

Third: It's called picking your battles people. Sleeves? Really lady? She has obviously never been trained to do her job.

Fourth: I was in a training not too long ago and we were all listing ways that we create a bad classroom atmosphere by accident, number one is hating your job or your students and letting them know about it.

Fifth... well I really don't have a fifth....