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Old 09-10-2014, 03:28 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
32,131 posts, read 39,225,649 times
Reputation: 40590

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
The gesture was not directed at the teacher, it was more an implication that he did not care about the assignment given. And no, staff (the teacher) did not see it, it was reported by another student. My son believes it was another of the boys in the group who reported it, in an effort to hang the nerdy kid out to dry before the whole group got in trouble. But the teacher definitely did not see it happen. The main reason I'm not fighting the actual suspension is that with my son specifically, when adults hand down consequences, they must be allowed to stand firm. He is notorious for attempts at negotiation, and while this may help him as an adult, I don't want to undermine the authority of his school personnel (to him) by trying to get him off the hook. I did tell him that I'm proud of him for owning the situation and taking responsibility, and that's why he is allowed to shoot hoops or ride his bike in the evenings IF he doesn't slack off during the day.

However, we have a meeting with the Dean of Students scheduled for Monday morning. My husband and I will both be present, along with my son. I intend to ask my son to leave the room at some point, and discuss with the Dean how troubled I am at the label of sexual harrassment that is on the paperwork, and how I feel that while this was a punishable offense and everything, and he has been firmly disciplined, I don't feel that it's entirely proper for something like this to go into his record.



Yes, it is precisely that. And I would not consider it a big deal except for the fact that we have been over, and over, and over the fact that such forms of communication (also including language, etc) are absolutely situational and NOT to be used in school. Long story short, he knows better. He was just exercising poor judgment. Leniency at home has been dialed back significantly in light of this.



I don't know that I want to go so far as to getting lawyers involved. I'm not really wanting to be antagonistic to the school at this point. The apology letter is intended to express to the teacher that it was not his intent to be offensive to her and that his immature behavior was a bad choice in trying to impress other boys, and he feels sincerely bad about it. Remember, he still has a whole school year where he's got to look this teacher in the face and be in her class. He is hoping she will forgive him so that they can move on. He has no further interest in friendship with these other boys, and feels that they bring out the worst in him. As for admission of guilt, he already signed the suspension form, he had signed off on a "confession" basically before parents were ever involved. He didn't deny WHAT he did, nor do I care to, I simply object to what they are calling it. I want to know that in any place where that label exists, there will at LEAST be a detailed and accurate description of the incident, including the fact that he was not making this gesture directly AT anyone--female or otherwise!

See my post about things like sexual harassment and bullying are whatever the aggrieved party says it is. The magic words run along the line of, "It made me feel uncomfortable."

Quote:
Originally Posted by deltasweet1992 View Post
punishing both at school & at home seems harsh. just my 2 cents.
The punishment has to be spread between the two. If a kid gets in trouble at school (for anything) and knows the only punishment will be school based, ISS or a couple day vacation known as out of school suspension, then he has absolutely no reason to not mess around and get into trouble there.

That's what really meant by "parents need to be involved". If your kid gets into trouble at school, legitimately, then back us up at home. Don't give him a Get Out Of Jail Free card.
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Old 09-10-2014, 03:38 PM
 
Location: Colorado
9,783 posts, read 6,282,029 times
Reputation: 17607
Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
Doesn't matter what you think. Tell your legislator, both State and Federal ones, your opinion because that's where the laws defining sexual harassment and detailing the actions to be taken came from. All the schools can do is follow what we're told we legally have to do. It's not teachers, it's not administrators making stuff up, it's the laws we have to follow.




Maybe. But the guidelines are so nebulous that sexual harassment (and bullying for that matter) can be anything the aggrieved party says it is.

How do I know that?
Several years ago I was talking with a female teacher (she and I have been friends for the better part of 30 years) and she was telling me an off-color (ok, really dirty joke. Which was hilarious.) and another female teacher happened to walk nearby at the punch line. We both got reported for making that other teacher "uncomfortable". We both had to have sexual harassment reduction counseling. As a note, we were in the hallway, no students were present and the reporting teacher walked behind us so closely that she ran into me.
You know, I had not thought about this but... I have been assuming this whole time that the massive level of outrage and sensationalism given to this incident came from the administration. I had assumed, and I still hope, that it wasn't a case of the teacher actually feeling harrassed by this. But what if I'm wrong? What if she shares the attitude of some few of the posters here that my son might as well have been assaulting her or something, and wanted to see him burn over this, what if she really in fact did feel threatened? It's the nature of human bias to, by default, see things from one's own perspective, and it had not even occurred to me that she might really feel violated by this...simply because I would not have. But I have no idea what sort of person she is, I haven't even met her.

Should I make an effort to speak to her, do you think?? Or just ask that she be there for the conference Monday morning?

And how on earth are we supposed to get through the entire rest of the school year with this hanging over the student-parent-teacher relationship, for crying out loud?

Wow, thank you for illuminating my blind spot. Seriously. I feel pretty dull for not thinking of this sooner. Too busy trying to figure out how best to deal with my kid, I suppose.
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Old 09-10-2014, 04:50 PM
 
2,181 posts, read 2,037,836 times
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Seems like a ridiculous punishment for the crime. I did far worse things at 13, this is nothing, don't worry about it. I hit a teacher with a water balloon in high school (accidentally, long story) and wasn't punished, the dean of students visited my dorm room to have a chat though(went to boarding school). She knew I was one of the good kids and that it was obviously not intentional. Me and a buddy got supervised study hall freshman year because our grades dipped below some threshold, and we figured out that the sign in sheet was left in the empty room beforehand, so we would show up early and check our names off. Got away with it for like a month before being caught, had to go in front of the disciplinary committee and ended up getting some community service hours and put on probation for a term. Never suspended though.

13 year olds are trouble, even the best ones. I'd be worried if my kid wasn't getting into some form of mischief around that age, just as long as it wasn't really bad like hard drugs/run ins with the law.

Last edited by tofur; 09-10-2014 at 05:01 PM..
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Old 09-10-2014, 04:57 PM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
32,131 posts, read 39,225,649 times
Reputation: 40590
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
You know, I had not thought about this but... I have been assuming this whole time that the massive level of outrage and sensationalism given to this incident came from the administration. I had assumed, and I still hope, that it wasn't a case of the teacher actually feeling harrassed by this. But what if I'm wrong? What if she shares the attitude of some few of the posters here that my son might as well have been assaulting her or something, and wanted to see him burn over this, what if she really in fact did feel threatened? It's the nature of human bias to, by default, see things from one's own perspective, and it had not even occurred to me that she might really feel violated by this...simply because I would not have. But I have no idea what sort of person she is, I haven't even met her.

Should I make an effort to speak to her, do you think?? Or just ask that she be there for the conference Monday morning?

And how on earth are we supposed to get through the entire rest of the school year with this hanging over the student-parent-teacher relationship, for crying out loud?

Wow, thank you for illuminating my blind spot. Seriously. I feel pretty dull for not thinking of this sooner. Too busy trying to figure out how best to deal with my kid, I suppose.
My guess, knowing most teachers, is that she isn't real upset about this. Now, I could be wrong not knowing her.

That's the problem, with an audience, especially if there was another staff member there, is that she may have felt pushed into a reporting mode. Most of us, myself included, would usually pull the kid into a shady spot and have a firm and frank discussion.

You're welcome, by the way. It's a common mistake that people think that we make up these things as we go. We don't and if we're found not enforcing them our punishment can range up to and including termination and certificate revocation.
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Old 09-10-2014, 05:50 PM
 
Location: Texas
598 posts, read 476,256 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post
You know, I had not thought about this but... I have been assuming this whole time that the massive level of outrage and sensationalism given to this incident came from the administration. I had assumed, and I still hope, that it wasn't a case of the teacher actually feeling harrassed by this. But what if I'm wrong? What if she shares the attitude of some few of the posters here that my son might as well have been assaulting her or something, and wanted to see him burn over this, what if she really in fact did feel threatened? It's the nature of human bias to, by default, see things from one's own perspective, and it had not even occurred to me that she might really feel violated by this...simply because I would not have. But I have no idea what sort of person she is, I haven't even met her.

Should I make an effort to speak to her, do you think?? Or just ask that she be there for the conference Monday morning?

And how on earth are we supposed to get through the entire rest of the school year with this hanging over the student-parent-teacher relationship, for crying out loud?

Wow, thank you for illuminating my blind spot. Seriously. I feel pretty dull for not thinking of this sooner. Too busy trying to figure out how best to deal with my kid, I suppose.
Honestly, as a teacher, your son should either write an apology or apologize in person. Anything more just seems too much. I understand that this teacher might be more sensitive but seriously, she teaches middle school.

Like I said earlier, the punishment was too harsh IMO.
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Old 09-10-2014, 06:04 PM
 
Location: Way Up North
225 posts, read 215,888 times
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Sometimes I agree that schools are going way overboard these days...for instance when a kindergartner brings a GI Joe toy to school in his pocket and gets suspended. However, in this case, I think you and your son both learned a lesson. It's one thing to loosen the apron strings a tiny bit by maybe allowing him to stay up later or go places with friends that you wouldn't allow before. However, showing your son an inappropriate video and thinking he can handle it was over-the-top. PG-13 rating means (parents strongly cautioned). It does not mean that it is highly recommended for 13 year olds.

Your son is just entering puberty, and the hormones are just starting to rage. Most middle school boys act silly and do stupid things when they are with pals. Schools need to be strict with middle school children so that they learn to act appropriately as they mature.
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Old 09-10-2014, 06:04 PM
 
5,185 posts, read 3,003,441 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonic_Spork View Post

/Should I make an effort to speak to her, do you think?? Or just ask that she be there for the conference Monday morning?/

And how on earth are we supposed to get through the entire rest of the school year with this hanging over the student-parent-teacher relationship, for crying out loud?
You could ask her to be there and I'd let her take the lead in speaking on this one. That'll give you a read on where she stands, perhaps.

In the meantime I wouldn't awfulize it too much. It's entirely possible that this is a gaggle of young girls who are the subject of empowerment efforts and have figured out a way to use it to get the boys in trouble. Kids that age are like that sometimes.

I remember well from that age that it was all about getting noticed and that could mean anything from making each other mad to those early attempt to bat eyelashes.

Or it could be the girl is truly terrified, has taken the sexual harassment thing to extremes and has issues.
Or as someone says upthread, there is missing information.

Time will either make this a non-issue or will reveal more to you. You have my confidence that you will manage it all with intelligence and grace. Cuz it sounds like you're just that kinda mom.
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Old 09-10-2014, 06:49 PM
 
2,181 posts, read 2,037,836 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Classy Sassy View Post
Sometimes I agree that schools are going way overboard these days...for instance when a kindergartner brings a GI Joe toy to school in his pocket and gets suspended. However, in this case, I think you and your son both learned a lesson. It's one thing to loosen the apron strings a tiny bit by maybe allowing him to stay up later or go places with friends that you wouldn't allow before. However, showing your son an inappropriate video and thinking he can handle it was over-the-top. PG-13 rating means (parents strongly cautioned). It does not mean that it is highly recommended for 13 year olds.

Your son is just entering puberty, and the hormones are just starting to rage. Most middle school boys act silly and do stupid things when they are with pals. Schools need to be strict with middle school children so that they learn to act appropriately as they mature.
13 year olds are freshmen in high school. I am 25 so my youth is still fresh in mind, and I can tell you that pg-13 movies are a joke to 13 year olds nowadays. I had already seen my first rated R movie by then, well before then actually. It was saving private ryan. Also watched the Exorcist, that was a terrible idea.

School punishments don't teach kids how to behave, they are more likely to have the opposite affect then anything(rebellion and more acting out), most likely they have no affect at all.
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:11 PM
 
12,922 posts, read 19,809,103 times
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As per the OP, her son "is about to turn13". It's highly doubtful he's in high school.

School + parents have an obligation to impose consequences. If it's done as a united front, it will make an impression.
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Old 09-10-2014, 07:30 PM
 
4,581 posts, read 6,148,795 times
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Something else of concern is from my understanding your son signed something without you input? How can a 13 year old legally sign anything binding? Just because someone tells another to do something doesn't make it right or binding especially if they are a minor.

At this point the suspension is a done deal but as mentioned it's what's on paper. This is 2014.
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