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School Discipline needs to be reevaluated Angela Davis has suggested that “when children attend schools that place a greater value on discipline and security than on knowledge and intellectual development, they are attending prep schools for prison.”
by DawnW
 School Punishment too extreme
Jan 25, 2011 | 2128 views | 39 39 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
School the " new Prison"
School the " new Prison"
slideshow
This might be your child one day
This might be your child one day
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I only recently have become aware of a growing problem within our school systems. The problem has been brought to my attention by personal experience, and I write this blog to inform parents of a very real threat in our schools. It is not the gangs, weapons, drugs, or violence that already afflicts our kids; it is the school officials themselves.  Remember the good ol days, when you got in trouble at school, got swatted, and then the real punishment came when you got home. Today's schools write tickets, have kids arrested, or simply decide what punishment they want to inflict, and they will not listen to any input from the parents. We have read the big news stories, like a kindergarten student takes a toy gun to school teacher sees it in kids backpack and kid is arrested. We as parents read those type of stories shake our heads and say do what?  It makes me wonder who exactly teaches our kids if they believe it to be a threat. The kid did not point the gun and say he was going to kill someone, in fact in his 5 young years I am sure that never crossed his mind. Most likely his thinking was he would bring a toy to school. My youngest in second grade and his friends find sticks on the playground and play star wars, cops and robbers, and shoot em up games. It is a real concern of mine when schools worry more about them acting like the sticks are guns and they arrest children over it, than the real threat they could fall and put an eye out with the stick. It is just out of hand and I hope through this blog you will educate yourself a little better about the Texas Public school systems.  Here is my story: My daughter Katie is a typical 16 year old girl, she loves music, hanging out with friends, shopping, and boys. She is a good student, and has never had behavior problems. She has been tardy and skipped school, but got caught and was dealt with, it's a typical teenage thing but that’s the worst of it. Well we all know how teenage girl drama can be especially over a boy, and that is what has landed her in this current mess. The three (boy, girl, and my daughter) texted crap back and forth, things were said that should not of been. My daughter confronts girl at school, they are arguing, boy steps in the middle, makes situation worse, he grabs and shakes my daughter, my daughter slaps girl, boy pushes my daughter. My daughter is in the wrong; she should not have slapped the girl. Boy is in the wrong he should not lay hands and push my daughter. School suspends my daughter pending a DAEP hearing and court charges. Nothing happens to boy. The same day two boys are in a fist fight at school, they get ISS and a ticket. I ask school to review video where it shows boy shaking and pushing my daughter, they said the saw him make contact but decided not to do anything to boy. I feel DAEP would be too extreme for a child that has never been in trouble before; I file a level one complaint. On the day of the the scheduled DAEP hearing principle says he received my complaint and instead of having a DAEP hearing he would handle the complaint and we would resolve this. I thought all would work out, the principle was not happy that I had filed the complaint and got very angry during the meeting. He did not like it when I said that had the boy not involved himself in the situation my daughter would not have slapped the girl. He blurted out he condoned the boy's behavior and that Katie would go to DAEP starting tomorrow, I told him I would file level II. I knew at this point he had just placed my daughter in DAEP without a DAEP hearing and that this was the last day for him to hold a hearing under policy and law. The next morning I had phone messages from him saying he found out he had to have a DAEP hearing and that he would do so today. I called him and told him he could not I even faxed him the policy in writing. He held hearing that afternoon, even though I in writing told him it was illegal and that I would not attend and I did not want Katie there. He made her be there anyway, but she refused to participate. I file level II, superintendant rules in favor of principle. I am now filing level III with the school board, and if they do not reverse the DAEP, then I will file an appeal with TEA. TEA is the ones that informed me that the principle broke state law when he held the DAEP hearing on the 4th day and that I am to not back down and fight it all the way, and if the school board does not rule in my favor than to appeal to them, because he broke the law. Did my kid do wrong? Yes!!! Should she be punished? Yes!!! Does she belong in DAEP with really problem kids? NO! Oh I forgot to mention she is graduating a year ahead of her class, instead of a junior she is a senior. Does that sound like a problem kid, or one that just made a simple mistake slapped someone, has apologized to the girl for slapping her and the girl apologized for what was said. Had she actually hit the girl and not slapped her, she would of got ISS. How messed up is that? Oh the little girl that was slapped had been slapped two months before by another student for her mouth, and the student who slapped her only got ISS then. So why has my child been treated differently? That's a question the school has been unable to answer as to yet. I will be adding to this blog as we go, and I will also be giving parents tools to help them if they find themselves in similar situations. Until then I am eager to hear from you readers.

 

 

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DawnW
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February 09, 2011
I found the following article today in a valley's news paper

http://www.themonitor.com/articles/discipline-46968-students-reform.html

YEAH!!!!
DawnW
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February 07, 2011
The school board meeting did not go as we had hoped. I must think the board members because I do feel they took a long time to consider the case but in the end they felt they had to side with the school. There were some flat lies told and I just can not believe the principle would do this just to cover his butt. Then again this whole thing and the way it was handled truly took me by surprise. They lied about our level one meeting. The only mention of DAEP, was my saying at the beginning that I filed the complaint because I did not feel the DAEP hearing and possible DAEP was fair when no other students suffered this. The school lied and said DAEP was discussed. The only DAEP words out of the principles mouth was after being angry shouting she would go to DAEP and that was that. No discussion took place on the length of DAEP, or Why. Yet later the school lied and said those things were discussed. Then came the lie that on the 4th day when he scheduled the DAEP hearing that it was just a continuation of the hearing he was having the day before. If that is true why do I have a voice mail on my phone from him saying he was not aware he had to have a hearing and now needed to hold one ASAP. They also lied and said their hands were tied and they had to send her to DAEP because the charge was assault and any student with such a charge had to go. Hello...two weeks earlier another student did the same thing and slapped the same girl, for the exact same reason. She also had the exact same charges filed against her, and she was not placed in DAEP she got ISS. So, either the principle failed to do his job and went against state law when he did not put the other girl in DAEP, or like I have claimed all along the principle was unfair in placing Katie in DAEP when he showed favoritism to other students. The principles only excuse was it was a different yet was unable to explain to me why it was different. Yet he backed tracked when it came to Katie at the board meeting and said he had to because it was an assault charge, which makes him look rather foolish because the other girl has the exact same charge. If indeed the principle had no discretion in the matter, than he also failed in his job because under the TEC code, for a assault charge you do not have a DAEP hearing for the student when the charge is assault they immediately at the time of the incident removed from school and placed in DAEP, no OSS, and no hearing. I really think the principle needs to spend some time reading chapter 37 of the TEC code, and perhaps get tested on his knowledge. Under the code the only time a student will have this done is an assault charge that results in severe bodily injury...guess what a red mark on your face for little bit, is not severe bodily injury therefore his hands were not tied but he put her in DAEP out of spite, because during my very first phone call with him when I asked about the DAEP hearing and said I did not believe Katie belonged there, he said that it is only a hearing to consider DAEP, but that it did not mean she would go there. Later he changes that to she had to go there. Then there is the letter I sent saying I did not want my daughter in the illegal DAEP hearing. He said he did not get it until after the hearing..Lie Lie Lie, Katie saw it on his desk during the hearing, and was skimming over it because she did not know I had sent anything. So we have a wishy washy principle that apparently has no true understanding of the codes the state mandates. One who will say what ever to cover his butt, what kind of message does that send to our kids? I hope the principle is one of the readers of this blog, because he can twist and lie all he wants but GOD knows the truth and most of us see through the smug arrogant power trip you have going and I hope more parents in the future question your decisions, and your abilities. As for me I continue this journey now with the next step, which is appealing a school board hearing through TEA. I am aware that Katie will probably have served her sentence in DAEP by the time it is all said and done, but I hopefully no other kids will have to go through what Katie has at that school. The school needs to know they can not just do what ever they want and get away with it. Parents, do not just allow the school to steam roll over your kids. STAND UP for them!
DawnW
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January 31, 2011
You readers know the situation my daughter got mixed up in, and yes she was wrong and deserved a form of punishment, but not DAEP and the manner in which the school handled the matter really makes one lower their head and shake it.

1. My daughter was assaulted prior to and after she slapped the girl by the boy

2. The campus officer violated her civil rights when she went to the police station to file assault charges against the boy who assaulted her

3. The campus officer verbally threatened and bullied her

4. The principle placed her in DAEP without a DAEP hearing

5. Then when he realized he had to have a hearing he scheduled one after he had sentenced her.

6. The DAEP hearing was not held within the Texas Education Code timeframe and by holding it after the allotted 3 days he violated policy and broke state law.

7. In writing I told him I would not attend the illegal DAEP hearing and I did not want my daughter to either. He made her attend.

8. The superintendent was told by the principle he did not get my letter until after the meeting. Yet at the meeting to my daughter the principle acknowledged that he knew I did not want her to participate, and my daughter also saw the letter on his desk from me during the illegal DAEP conference.

Read more: mySouTex.com - Breaking news, classifieds, businesses in South Texas.
DawnW
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January 27, 2011
I want to thank the teachers and staff that have quiety supported Katie. I understand the position you are in, and that if you were to speak out that you fear repercussions from the district. It's a sad and unfair place to be in and I know you would like to help if you could, just knowing that you agree things were handled poorly and her punishment was unfair is a comfort. Thank you for your encouragement, advice, and support.
DawnW
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January 27, 2011
oh on another note one of these individuals were in DAEP with my daughter, in fact on a previous note I posted where my daughter was saying that she say an individual get arrested out of DAEP, well this was the same one that made the news.

http://www.mysoutex.com/view/full_story_progress/11133707/article-Grand-jury-returns-18-indictments?instance=progress_news_secondary_stories

DawnW
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January 27, 2011
Texas looses 1 out of every 3 students. That is a lot of kids, and the numbers are growing. A good number of those students are grouped into a new phrase called “push out kids” what it means is the schools discipline approach is literally crushing these kids until they give up and drop out. In schools there seems to be no second chances. It goes straight to court, do not pass go do not collect 200 just pay out $200 . What message is that sending to the youth, instead of teaching valued lessons and giving the kids a chance to rise above their mistakes, which are going to happen regardless of who you are. Schools are smacking them down for little things. I tell you this form of punishment is far crueler and damaging than any paddle could ever be. Just wait parents those of you who have trouble seeing my point of view, I assure you it will not be long before your perfect angel ends up on the wrong side of a court bench, and you are shaking your head, because your kid did nothing more than chew gum in class. Do some research on your own if you do not believe this is going on. As parents it is our job to protect kids, a lot of times we are busy protecting them from themselves, but sometimes we have to stand up and be their voice and protect them from the very people we entrust our kids to daily. We alone are the ones who can change this. For some the answer is private or charter schools, for others it is home school, and for others it is parents uniting and as the old song goes tell them “ we ain’t going to take it”… “anymore”.

I am not trying to say schools should not have the right to discipline, trust me, my kids need a good attitude adjustment now and again. I just want to make sure the attitude adjustment is done by a certified mechanics that knows how to tune them for optimal performance and not take a reliable good running vehicle needing only an oil change and scrape it out for parts.

On a personal note everyone say a prayer for Katie, we go before the school board Wednesday for the level III.
DawnW
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January 25, 2011
Schools need to adapt a common sense approach:

It makes me wonder who exactly we employ in our schools these days.

If a kid takes a loaded gun to school

common sense tells us we do not want this individual at school and you remove them and prosecute them.

If a kid finds a loaded gun in the wood chips on the playground and gives it to a teacher. Common sense is that you reward the child for being a good citizen.

If a kid brings a switch blade to school. You remove the kid and prosecute them.

If a kid brings a plastic butter knife to school in his lunch box along with peanut butter, jelly and bread. You let the kid make a sandwich for his lunch.

If a kid is selling illegal drugs, you remove them and prosecute them.

If a kid is sharing his Halloween candy at school, you would think what a considerate kid they are.

Yet in each of the above situations the kids are treated the same. They are arrested, ticketed, or removed from school, or put in DAEP. So the kid with the candy mine as well of been giving out crack as far as the schools are concerned. Do you see what is wrong with this picture now?

A kid that shoots a rubber band in class is treated the same as a kid who fires a gun in class. Now I am not saying that the kid shooting the rubber band should not face discipline, but I think common sense would tell me that an afternoon witting I will not shoot rubber bands in class, would be more fitting than for the rest of his life having to check the box on college applications and job applications as having been convicted of a felony. Oh are you rereading that part? Yes these kids are being given criminal records that will follow them through life for minor incidents such as foul language, school yard fights, slapping or pushing a kid, shooting rubber bands, pulling fire alarms, or kissing in the halls. Since when does schools become more inflexible than society? If the kid was at the burger joint and kissed, or shot a rubber, band or even used a cuss word they wouldn't be given a second glance. Even if a push or slap or a small fight occurred chances are it would just be broke up and the kids would leave. No harm done, yet on school grounds our kids are being treated harsher than rapist and murders, we all know the legal system usually gives them at lest a chance or two before really locking them away. The schools do no such thing, they are not using a tier form of discipline, its the most severe right off the bat. Another thing to consider, let’s say a 12 year old at the mall on Saturday shops lifts a pair of earrings, she is caught. If the school finds out they will also punish her by removing her from school. So in addition to the punishment she will receive, the school will punish her as well even though the incident has nothing to do with school. Lets face it kids are not adults, they are still learning right from wrong. When yours was a toddler you might tell them a hundred times do not touch the stove, but until they actually got burned they didn't listen. I bet they never touched the stove again, because they learned. The same with teenagers they learn by mistakes and that is why it is important to have punishment that teaches a lesson, not ruins their life. Again I am not talking about in extreme situations that deserve criminal punishment. I am talking about the growing pains of normal teenagers, the mistakes we all have made. How long would your rap sheet be if schools were like they are now? I shot spit wads, rubber bands, paper airplanes, played shoot them games with our hands on the playground, sword fought with sticks, said a few cuss words, threatened to kick someone’s butt if they didn't stop talking smack. I even punched a boy on the bus after years of him picking on me; he threw my school books out the window. He had a nice black eye and got so much ribbing for a girl beating him up. I was given a good set down and told it was not the correct response, and I got to miss a couple days recess and I got my butt busted at home because my parents were made to go up to the school. The bus driver told the boy...I told you son that one of these days that little girl was going to get fed up with you and whump you one! I ran into the boy who now is a grown man a few years ago, and we got a good laugh about the whole thing. It was a learning lesson for us both, for him it taught him to respect others cause if not he just might just get whumpped! It taught me that although it might of been what I thought he deserved, that there would of been a better way to handle it. I could go on all day about other little mistakes and lessons I learned growing up, and I am sure you are thinking about ones you might have made as well. The point is had any of this occurred now a days, I would of had a wrap sheet a mile long, for honestly nothing and trust me my attitude at that age would of been, well if I am going to get punished like this I mine as well do something to deserve the punishment and I probably would of started following the wrong path and getting into trouble for real. Not a mature attitude I know now but how many kids do you know think things through or are mature at that age? That’s why its called growing up, this is the time to learn how to become productive social adults. They make a mistake and build from it, like building blocks. Yet the schools are not allowing them to overcome these blocks, instead they are dropping a whole dang building on them, what do you think is going to happen to these kids, when the schools make it impossible for them to crawl out from under such actions. I don’t know about you but the typical response from a typical kid is probably just to say the heck with it and give up.

smartdude
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January 25, 2011
So many parents do not make their kids mind at home.If mine did not they got a taste of my belt.No Dr. Spock at my house.Why don't the state school board do their job and pass rules that will deal with the kids that disrupt the education of kids that want to learn.The way we are going we might be speaking Chinese in a few years.Nothing wrong with a kid getting licks.Spare the rod spoil the child.
Saltpork
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January 24, 2011
The Porks been too busy working overtime so he can pay extra taxes to take care of all the little illigitmate babies born the last several weeks.

I'm gonna have to double up on jobs and work overtime on both as these kids are dropping them faster than us taxpayers can support them.

DawnW
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January 24, 2011
I just got word from the super regarding the email I sent the school about her incomplete labs, they said arrangements should of been made for her to have virtual labs, and that he sent word to the high school to make sure they were getting her the assignments. So that is good news!
DawnW
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January 24, 2011
On another side note I thought this was interesting the school board met for the monthly meeting on Jan. 19TH, below is the link of the agenda they discussed. Big surprise to see that the talk centered around the level III involving my daughter. It is a surprise because I had not filed any level III paperwork as of that day, in fact the paperwork I filed was filed after the monthly meeting on Jan. 21st. Yet in addition to their normal events they met with the school lawyers in a closed door meeting to discuss us.

http://www.gwisd.esc2.net/admin/board/minutes.htm

DawnW
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January 24, 2011
I hope everyone had a great weekend. FYI, my daughter is receiving incompletes in her school work, because she is unable to participate in labs, which count as the bulk of her grade. The teacher has tried to get her out of DAEP to participate in the weekly labs so she would not fail the class, but was told she could not do that. SO although my daughter is completing the class work and homework in the subject, she still will not pass the class because she can not do the labs.

I am going to continue today providing a more info on zero tolerance and how it affects our schools. Remember zero tolerance was enacted to take violence such as school shootings out of our schools. It was never meant to have our school officials throw kids into our legal system for minor infractions because the school has decided instead of administrators handling minor problems such as chewing gum they rather give them a ticket because the money from the fine goes to the school. Schools have stepped out of bounds and their is no watch dog keeping them in line. Here is some more info, you can find the complete report on the link posted on the bottom. Regardless this needs to stop!

Of the three million students suspended or expelled from schools each year, ―[o]nly about 3% of these punishments are due to major offenses. The remainder of suspensions or expulsions ‗result[s] from a student‘s violation of minor offenses, such as smoking, ―tardiness, truancy, and dress code violation[s].‖‘‖112 This policy of suspending or expelling students for minor infractions has had ridiculous outcomes.113 Students across the country are ―kicked out of school for possession of Midol, Tylenol, Alka Seltzer, cough drops, and Scope mouthwash . . . [and] expelled for Halloween costumes that included paper swords and fake spiked knuckles, as well as for possessing rubber bands, slingshots, and toy guns . . . .‖114

Texas schools using ZT policies have strayed from enforcing punishments that fit the crime.115 Studies have shown that schools in Texas excessively punish one out of every three students.116 In other words, Texas schools suspend or expel over 10,000 students for nonviolent acts every year.117 Thus, ZT policies in Texas have led to a system in which schools do not differentiate between unruly students who need to be severely punished and good students who just make mistakes.118 As a result, many good students are often treated as repeat offenders because they receive the maximum punishment for a minor transgression.119

A high school student was arrested and charged with second degree breach of peace for a shouting argument with his girlfriend. [This student was one of] 140 students [that] were arrested during the first six weeks of the school year. . . . A 14-year-old girl was arrested and charged with battery for pouring a carton of chocolate milk on the head of a classmate. . . . [And an] 8-year-old elementary school student was charged with felony assault when he hit and kicked his teacher as she attempted to remove him from the classroom for misbehaving.

School districts have also more frequently issued criminal citations to students ―for routine disciplinary violations that are not otherwise criminal offenses.‖139 In Texas, the issuance of class C misdemeanors has become common in many schools.140 As a result, reports of police ticketing students for actions like chewing gum in class have also become common.141 While a class C misdemeanor is the equivalent of a traffic ticket and only carries a fine of up to $500, schools are now sending matters before criminal judges rather than sending students to detention halls.142 Some officials contend that issuing citations to first- and second-time offenders for minor misconduct will cut back on arresting students for the same offenses; however, these officials fail to address the fact that the citations place children into the criminal justice system.143 In the era of ZT policies, this move solidifies the idea that schools do not allow students to make mistakes without the states‘ criminal judges marking them as delinquents.144

http://www.texaszerotolerance.com/data/MolsbeeTexasTechLawReview__1_.pdf

HellFire
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January 22, 2011
What I am wondering is why salt pork has not weighed in on this subject.

History tells us he likes to swim in that stream.

IMPEACH THE ILLEGAL ALIEN MUSLIM IN THE WHITE HOUSE!!!!
DawnW
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January 21, 2011
I hope you all have a great weekend. I will be out of pocket until Monday. Here is an email my daughter sent to me regarding her DAEP stay.

I don't like being in here. Most of the kids I attend school with everyday have at least one felony under their belts, some have two or three. I saw a kid get arrested in here yesterday. And this other boy in here, he only has to stay in here until he gets a job, how stupid? I have a job, but I cant leave.

DawnW
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January 21, 2011
I have no problem with corporal punishment if it is effective. I actually sign papers at the beginning of the school year with corporal punishment checked yes. Once my son was being a bratty kid hyper in class acting like a clown. The school calls me wanting to take his recess time away and the teacher tells me she has trouble sometimes with him staying in his seat and clowning around. I told them to paddle his butt. There was literally a gasp on the phone, followed by a stutter saying, they do not administer that form of punishment. I told them I signed a paper saying they can each school year, but if it would help matters I would be glad to take off work and come up there and spank him myself. Next thing I know the teacher could not get off the phone with me fast enough saying he would just miss recess that day. My son got his butt whipped when he got home and had to write an apology to the teacher for acting up in class. He was in 3rd grade and for him it worked well. He is now in 10th grade, and I know that would not work as punishment. Now, what would work is to take his phone away, I honestly think he would rather have me cut off an arm than loose his phone. Where another son, could care less if he lost his phone. It is sad that there are so many parents out there that have lost touch with their kids, that they have become their best friends and room mates instead of parents, and that they excuse their children’s behavior. I also think it is wrong to have try outs where everyone who tries out makes the team, or their is no "losers" only winners concept. Those are important learning times in life. It is when you realize you are not always going to get what you want, that sometimes even when you try your best you don't come in first, and that in order to get something you must give something, work hard for it and earn it. It prepares one for life! These kids today have been given everything, never held accountable for their actions, and never learn what it means to truly work for something. As adults these kids are going to be helpless, clueless, and not be able to hold a job, and society will make allowances for them. The handful of ones out there that actually make it, will I will almost guarantee all come from homes where the parents were strict on punishment, and their kids were taught life is not free the harder you work the farther you will get. Had the school consultated me and asked me what I would do for discipline instead of DAEP, my suggestion would of been a time in ISS, and fine, but instead of payment of the fine in money the fine would be paid by her working it off in the form of volunteer work at a nursing home, or outreach type program. I would of also expected her to own her actions by addressing her peers with public apology and encourage them to think before they act. Her being placed in DAEP, only has taught her that had she known it would be DAEP, then she would of at lest done something that warrants that punishment. She has also learned that school officials really don't know what they are doing, and that when they are wrong, instead of learning from their mistakes they try to justify them. That they expect to punish however they want, yet when they actually break the law in doing so, that they expect you to let it slide and not hold them accountable. Parents I tell you now do not blindly allow the schools to dictate to you. It is your tax dollars that pay for that education and their salary. Do not go into the school with your child and allow the principles to talk down to you. They owe you respect and courtesy you are equal to them, they are your peers. Too often the school officials try to speak to you like you are the students, they want to control the conversation and go on a power trip. Do not allow that. They should treat you like they would any adult, and if they are not, call them on it, let them know you are not one of their students and that they will not talk down to you. Many times I don't think the principles really realize they are doing it since they are use to only dealing with kids. Parent’s it is your job to remind the schools that it is your child you are entrusting them with. It is you who pay the taxes, and that it is you that should have input into their education. You realize that they have a tough job and that is why it is so important for you to work together and not against one another. It is past time for parents to wake up and realize we need to step up and monitor the schools for the sake of our children.