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Old 09-09-2014, 10:54 AM
 
Location: Colorado
9,834 posts, read 6,305,324 times
Reputation: 17730

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fern Rock View Post
Make sure you take him somewhere nice during the suspension.
I'm giving this the same amount of credence as I am the very snarky rep someone left me about "great, another lewd, sexist male who has watched too many disgusting movies"... Yeahhh...

Fern Rock, did you not see the posts where I described the fact that he's going to be working his behind off this week? He is NOT on vacation. He's in trouble.

And I am also not on board with the notion that any male who jokes around with the fellas has no actual respect for women. My husband makes no secret at all of the fact that I "outrank" him in our household. (Reality: We complement one anothers strengths and weaknesses very well. In many situations I'm in charge, but in others, he absolutely is.) But he is an Army guy, and I've seen how they act when the "mostly male" social dynamic takes over. And I can joke and hold my own in that setting too, without being constantly offended. I know when people are seriously disrespectful and when they are kidding. Being able to sling banter and wit is one of the social abilities that keeps many men from beating each other over the head. Humor is a valuable social skill, especially among competitive males, in my opinion.

But in the real world, there are definitely places and times where you have to NOT use that kind of humor, and respect those around you--there are times when it just isn't funny. Using humor in proper context is at least as important as being able to use it at all. So bottom line...I'm not trying to quash this expression entirely, and I don't think I need to, and I question if I even could if I did try. But he needs to understand how serious it is to have the maturity to judge time and place before he expresses himself in these ways...and the classroom just isn't ever the time or place.

As for the "disgusting movie," it was a comedy with some suggestive adult humor. Not pornography. For crying out loud. And in fact it had a cool female character who definitively put one of the more obnoxious males in his place, several times.

While I feel the need to "out" someone who leaves unsigned reps as a way to try and get the last word in a manner that one can't respond to, I really don't want to derail the topic. Let's just say that I don't find this kind of humor as threatening as some people seem to.
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Old 09-09-2014, 10:59 AM
 
12,932 posts, read 19,837,337 times
Reputation: 33995
I think you've handled it very well Sonic. Kudos.
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Old 09-09-2014, 11:17 AM
 
Location: CO
2,456 posts, read 2,444,998 times
Reputation: 5161
I think so too, Sonic. 13-year-olds = raging hormones, fitting in with friends, etc. These things happen, and as for the school's reaction - it's a different world nowadays.
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Old 09-09-2014, 11:50 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,172 posts, read 6,355,928 times
Reputation: 12761
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
He's about to turn 13 and he was making lewd gestures among a group of other boys, trying to get laughs and make friends (he's kind of socially awkward at this age, so if he's getting attention for something, he's gonna do it.) One of the kids ratted them out and it was interpreted that he was making these gestures "at" the female teacher in a sexual and innappropriate manner. I don't believe that he was, except in the sense of being an obnoxious little you-know-what for the attention of his peers. He's not generally a mean or nasty sort of kid and he tends to treat adults with respect.

Thing is I'm kind of blaming myself because I think he got it from a movie we watched not long ago, which was quite innappropriate, and I should have known better than to let him see it. I've been loosening the apron strings where it comes to "adult content" (mostly language and suggestive stuff, not seriously explicit scenes)...in the hopes that at nearly 13 (a couple weeks to go) he was getting to the point of maturity where he'd exercise a bit of discretion and not repeat things. It's a conversation we've had a million times in our household with him and his 15 year old brother...it's not that adult language, gestures, and so on are "bad" so much as it's disrespectful to use them in most situations. Grown adults know we can't go to work, school, or heck WALMART and use a stream of foul language and flash a middle finger or worse at people. You just don't do that. I finally got to the point where, knowing he is seeing and hearing it all from other kids in and after school, I'd rather he experience some of this language at home where I can make sure he's got some idea of what things mean and why they are offensive and caution him about the many scenarios where he shouldn't use them...

Well...I guess he was not as mature or wise about this as I had hoped. And again I feel like, knowing his attention-craving ways, I really should have known better.

He is now suspended for the rest of the week.

It's been a very facepalm-y sort of a day. *sigh*

EDIT: It's worth mentioning, and the administration did repeatedly, that he did not attempt to lie or make excuses for this, he apologized and felt bad about it and owned his actions. He was the only one (out of 5 or 6 boys) who was "told on" and got in trouble. He did not attempt to play the "but they were doing it" card, just said he was trying to be funny to impress other kids.
Happens to the best of them sometimes. Thirteen-year old boys aren't mature, most have the judgement of two year olds when it comes to peer pressure, handling their emotions, hormones, you name it. The very best of them, those with a sterling human being lurking underneath all that teenage angst, can slip sometimes.

I'd imagine that despite what happened, the school administration had to be impressed with your son's honesty and his willingness to take responsibility for his own actions- you don't see that very often these days, so you must be doing something right! I'd guess that with the 4 day suspension, he's gotten the automatic "zero tolerance" punishment for what happened, but I'm sure that will be the end of it.

Made me think of the incident with one of my daughter's friends when she was in middle school- this would have been in the late '90's. This girl was a straight A student, sweet, respectful, responsible, and as smart as they come- she was a pleasure to be around. As my daughter told the story, this girl wrote a message on a board during a lunch period, embellishing the message with calligraphy, fancy drawings around it, apparently it was pretty elaborate, and it said, "May your pubic hairs grow long and silky"... She had planned to erase the message before the teacher came in, but discovered when she tried to do so that she had used an indelible marker and it wasn't coming off! The teacher came back to this girl and some of her friends trying frantically to get this message off the board, but he saw it, and gave the "author" ( who admitted she had done it) a one day in-school suspension. I don't know why he did it, everyone who heard about what had happened laughed about the whole thing- and thought the idea of this great little girl getting suspended was especially ridiculous.
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:01 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,172 posts, read 6,355,928 times
Reputation: 12761
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
I think that the Dean of Students was prepared for me to challenge the sentence (which I didn't, even a little) when he said on our phone call that they "COULD HAVE" requested a longer suspension from the District for this incident. He also repeatedly stated (twice) on the phone that my son made a SEXUAL gesture at a FEMALE teacher. In my mind, it was a piece of disrespect regardless of who saw it, or the gender of the teacher! It would be completely unacceptable if the teacher had been male, too! Whatever. He had no prior behavior like this, although in previous years he's been called on the carpet for not following directions or talking in class once in a while. Nothing like this. He's got great grades across the board and is overachieving himself silly in Band and Orchestra (he's learning viola, alto sax, baritone sax, and guitar this year)... He made a mistake and he's dealing with the consequences. Good call on the apology letter and we're on that, too. He'll be writing one to be handed off by the end of the week. A big part of that is that he really feels awful about what his teacher might be thinking of him now, and wants to express how sorry he is and that he didn't mean to offend her. I hope she is understanding. It's not something he'll do again, I'm sure of that much.

Like I said it just irks me that they're using the same language for things like this, as they use for bosses who try to grope interns. Labels annoy me. I don't want such a label attached to my kid for something so stupid, wrong though it was
. Y'know?
Unfortunately, it seems that's the world we're living in these days. Zero tolerance, labeling with no thoughts as to extenuating circumstances, who's involved or the context. All or nothing, and certainly no common sense.

But it sounds like you have a great kid there and you've handled this incident superbly.
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:35 PM
Status: "We're all entitled to my own opinion." (set 8 hours ago)
 
Location: Suburb of Chicago
17,496 posts, read 8,589,362 times
Reputation: 18169
Kudos to you for not blaming the school. How refreshing in today's world!

If he's a little socially awkward and doing things to get attention, that may be the sign you need that he's not ready for certain movies, so you might want to reign that in a bit for now.

I survived raising two boys and can tell you that as long as you make it sound like it's not something you're taking lightly, lay the ground rules out ahead of time, follow through, and are consistent, you'll get through his teens just fine.

All the parents who want to be their kids friend are the ones who end up going to court during the high school years. You sound like you're doing all the right things, and I'm sure he'll learn from this experience.
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:00 PM
 
7,628 posts, read 8,995,655 times
Reputation: 12926
First, I want to say that I think you have handled this situation perfectly. Your son made a mistake and he's taking responsibility for it. I do believe the punishment seems excessive, but I gather schools are now giving excessive punishment for certain types of "crimes" now. As many others have said, he will learn from this and there won't be any long lasting effects, which is good.

That being said, I detect a little attitude and some blame attributed to the child that told on him. Reporting inappropriate behavior to a teacher or someone in a responsibility position is never wrong at that age.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
One of the kids ratted them out
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
who was "told on" and got in trouble.
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:02 PM
 
Location: Colorado
9,834 posts, read 6,305,324 times
Reputation: 17730
Definitely not blaming the school, MPowering1 !

Not even voicing my criticisms of the label and/or policy where my son can hear it. I don't want to complicate the message...what he did was definitely disrespectful and wrong. My position is now, let's learn what we can from this and move forward. Also, pull my weeds and vacuum the house because I don't do "paid administrative leave" for when you mess up!

For sure, understanding some of what led to this situation, it's not the same as condoning it. In case anyone thinks I am...I'm not.

And thanks to other posters for the positive feedback. Parenting is never really easy...they certainly don't come with a manual and every kid is different. I'm certainly not here to just fish for validation, and I'm interested to hear any other stories of what people are going through with school discipline, issues with young teens or boys, or what have you. I was never suspended from school despite being far from well behaved, and this is the first time one of my sons has been suspended. My husband however had it happen several times to him growing up. I didn't know quite what to make of it at first, I gotta say...
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Colorado
9,834 posts, read 6,305,324 times
Reputation: 17730
Quote:
Originally Posted by spencgr View Post
First, I want to say that I think you have handled this situation perfectly. Your son made a mistake and he's taking responsibility for it. I do believe the punishment seems excessive, but I gather schools are now giving excessive punishment for certain types of "crimes" now. As many others have said, he will learn from this and there won't be any long lasting effects, which is good.

That being said, I detect a little attitude and some blame attributed to the child that told on him. Reporting inappropriate behavior to a teacher or someone in a responsibility position is never wrong at that age.
I see what you mean and how that comes off.

Main reason I stated that is that I personally see a distinction between making a gesture at a woman who is looking at you (more of a harrassment act) and making it among a group of peers as a joke (still wrong, but more straight up immaturity and not as much harrassment) so the fact of her finding out because she was told differs in my understanding of the incident, from say if she witnessed it or it was done directly TO her.

If there is any bitterness over this at all, it's on account of the fact that the other boys at the table were all doing the same, or similar...and he was the only one reported, by another boy who was doing the same thing. Again, he isn't one of the "in-crowd"...he is bearing the sole punishment, and not once did he say to the disciplinary Powers That Be at the school, "But they were doing it too, it's not fair!" But this is nothing new in the world of public schools. A group of kids acting up, the least popular one taking the fall for all of them and the rest covering for one another. No adult saw what happened and punishment might not always be fairly distributed.

Still. We have maintained, and still do, that what others do and whether they get away with it is beside the point. Do what's right even when no one's looking. Not because you don't want to get caught doing wrong and get punished, but for the simple fact that something is the right thing to do. Just because others get away with something doesn't mean you should try.
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:25 PM
 
53 posts, read 43,473 times
Reputation: 78
While it's uncomfortable, it can be a win/win/win for you all. This is an exceptional teaching moment re: all the things you referenced. He may have heard you but not applied it - and now it's been applied in the form of punishment, which is not something he'll forget. Plus, he got suspended in front of his friends, and didn't rat them out, which may up his cool factor at school and lead to faster acceptance. Let him do his time, give him some "meaningful" punishment at home, as well, and teach/talk/explain all the lessons you see floating around this. Use it while it's there. These are just growing pains, but they contain valuable lessons.
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