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