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Old 01-31-2008, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Raleigh
1 posts, read 3,376 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi there,

My son is in Kindergarten at Underwood. He is a very bright, active, loving, thoughtful, and, most of all, gentle child. He has been written up and sent to the office for "aggressive/bullying" behavior several times.

The truth about these incidences is that he simply touched another child in a playful way. Granted, one episode had to do with him and another boy tweaking each other's privates while walking down the hall from class to class, but this behavior is age-appropriate for five-year-olds and was actually instigated by the other boy. It just so happened that the teacher looked up at the right moment to catch my son. The other child received no reprimand.

Before kindergarten, my son was in a Christian preschool for four years. There he was encouraged to behaving lovingly toward his classmates--hug a sad friend, help up a classmate who fell, give a pat on the back for a job well-done. He has NEVER acted aggressively toward another child in word or deed.

My problem with this "Zero Tolerance" policy is that it does not take into account age, developmental stage, or intention. It does not allow for the school administrators to exercise compassion or common sense, nor does it require them to investigate the factors leading up to the incident.

Now when a new teacher or administrator looks at the file of my sweet emulator of St. Francis of Assisi, he has been branded a trouble-maker. Has anyone else had this problem in kindergarten or first grade?
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Wake Forest
2,834 posts, read 10,813,500 times
Reputation: 1051
Have you talked with the school counselor, teacher or principal???? If they are open to talking with you, they seem like the best place to start.

I know that my daughter's kindergarten class (also in wake county) talks a lot about "keeping hands to yourself" but kids are certainly able to give each other comfort if they are sad, etc. The challenge is that each teacher is different, and it seems, working closely with your child's teacher may be able to help the situation.

The school my daughter is in seems to take into consideration their age and the developmental levels of kindergarten students. That being said, it doesn't seem like any of the kids in her class are overly affectionate and touchy so maybe they just haven't had to deal with that situation, I don't know.

Leigh
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Wake Forest, NC
1,032 posts, read 3,044,978 times
Reputation: 226
go to wcpps.net there are a few articles about gender differences on the home page.
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Old 02-02-2008, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Boston
107 posts, read 388,541 times
Reputation: 75
Default write-ups may not be on a file that travels with your child

When I was in school I always feared that any trouble I got into would wind up on my "permanent record" which could somehow prevent me from getting into the college of my choice. Now that I am a teacher I realize how little information is actually on "permanent records." Most permanent record files I have seen as a public school employee (even in Durham) were limited to report cards and standardized test scores and school pictures. There are often other files kept in the school regarding discipline issues and IEP's but those weren't kept with the main files. In fact, often when students transfer schools, we only get their grades and attendance records and often we only learn if a student is identified as Special Ed if its mentioned by their parents and then we have to retest them.
I was shocked that the permanent record wasn't what I always thought it was. I think my teachers tricked us into behaving. I wanted to let you in on the secret.
I wouldn't worry too much. I also know of many times when "zero tolerance" policies have led to blowing small incidents out of proportion.
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Old 02-02-2008, 07:47 AM
 
210 posts, read 663,830 times
Reputation: 74
chemteacher is so right. If it bothers you, go in and ask to see his file, and ask that those write-ups be thrown away (take them with you when you leave). Tell the school you don't agree with them. Explain your situation and hold firm. Who knows - you may even be pleasantly surprised to find there is nothing in the file pertaining to any of this.

If a school sends home something for you to sign, which I'm assuming has happened, sign it if it is no big deal, but if it is something that you find a big deal, I certainly would not put my name on it. I would have a conference with his teacher, but I would not sign it.

If the office is calling you to tell you about this "bullying", I would be defending my son to no end if I felt like you did about your child and his actions.

The public schools do have a zero tollerance policy, but you have to also stand up for your child if you feel it is out of line.
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Old 02-02-2008, 08:34 AM
 
836 posts, read 3,095,038 times
Reputation: 427
Okay, I am going to be a lone naysayer, mainly because you are saying he was written up "several times". If you had said the incident you described was a lone incident, then I would have agreed with you, but it looks like it keeps happening. Have you talked to the teacher or the principal? What is their story? Have ya'll worked together at all to figure out how to address it? My daughter started being mean to her teacher (my DD was normally a sweet quiet girl at home and all previous preschools and classes...this was second grade. It came out of nowhere. But the teacher told me what she said and, well, I believed her...why would she lie?) So, she and I worked together to come up with a school/home stratedgy to address it and the issue was resolved and I have heard nothing since.

I find this post and the responses interesting after reading the columns in the N&O yesterday complaining that Wake County does not do enough to address bullying in schools. I am sorry, but if a kid in one of my kids kindergarten classes had been bullying other kids "several times" I would hope that the teacher did something about it. I guess my point is, if this was my kid, I would be worried less about what was in his file and more about how I can work with the teacher to address the issue with my kid and make the incidents stop. If the teacher has overreacted on each of these occasions, then that is something that you should be addressing with the principal. I understand that they are "just in kindergarten" but as the Mom of twin kindergarteners, I have seen lots of behavior that has shocked me in those classes and they are ones I am assuming that the parents and the teacher/principal are working together to address so that kindergartners who are simply adjusting to how to behave in school, will not turn into something else.

Just my two cents I am sure I will get flamed for this...............
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Old 02-02-2008, 10:15 AM
 
207 posts, read 985,695 times
Reputation: 187
Quote:
Originally Posted by VaNC View Post
Okay, I am going to be a lone naysayer, mainly because you are saying he was written up "several times". If you had said the incident you described was a lone incident, then I would have agreed with you, but it looks like it keeps happening. Have you talked to the teacher or the principal? What is their story? Have ya'll worked together at all to figure out how to address it? My daughter started being mean to her teacher (my DD was normally a sweet quiet girl at home and all previous preschools and classes...this was second grade. It came out of nowhere. But the teacher told me what she said and, well, I believed her...why would she lie?) So, she and I worked together to come up with a school/home stratedgy to address it and the issue was resolved and I have heard nothing since.

I find this post and the responses interesting after reading the columns in the N&O yesterday complaining that Wake County does not do enough to address bullying in schools. I am sorry, but if a kid in one of my kids kindergarten classes had been bullying other kids "several times" I would hope that the teacher did something about it. I guess my point is, if this was my kid, I would be worried less about what was in his file and more about how I can work with the teacher to address the issue with my kid and make the incidents stop. If the teacher has overreacted on each of these occasions, then that is something that you should be addressing with the principal. I understand that they are "just in kindergarten" but as the Mom of twin kindergarteners, I have seen lots of behavior that has shocked me in those classes and they are ones I am assuming that the parents and the teacher/principal are working together to address so that kindergartners who are simply adjusting to how to behave in school, will not turn into something else.

Just my two cents I am sure I will get flamed for this...............
I agree with the above. Even though you say you think your child hasn't done anything or his actions are being misinterpreted he needs to stop whatever he's doing. If he wasn't doing anything there would be nothing to report. I am still young enough to remember being five years old and I know my parents taught me to keep my hands to myself and I was mature enough to follow those guidelines. If the situation was reversed and your child complained to you that a classmate touched him and had touched other classmates in the past you'd be upset...
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Old 02-02-2008, 06:53 PM
 
49 posts, read 171,195 times
Reputation: 27
I am a teacher here in Wake County and the write ups that I have done stay in their file for the year (the file that I keep) but it does not go into their permanent school file. Unless they have an actual behavior plan that was worked through a school committee then it does not go in their file, at least not where I teach.
I would also have to say that from what I have seen so far, at least where I am, the article about not being strict enough is somewhat true. In the previous states that I have taught in the behaviors that I have seen would have had much harsher consequences.
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Old 02-02-2008, 10:43 PM
 
Location: Wake Forest, NC
1,032 posts, read 3,044,978 times
Reputation: 226
Quote:
Originally Posted by chemteacher View Post
When I was in school I always feared that any trouble I got into would wind up on my "permanent record" which could somehow prevent me from getting into the college of my choice. Now that I am a teacher I realize how little information is actually on "permanent records." Most permanent record files I have seen as a public school employee (even in Durham) were limited to report cards and standardized test scores and school pictures. There are often other files kept in the school regarding discipline issues and IEP's but those weren't kept with the main files. In fact, often when students transfer schools, we only get their grades and attendance records and often we only learn if a student is identified as Special Ed if its mentioned by their parents and then we have to retest them.
I was shocked that the permanent record wasn't what I always thought it was. I think my teachers tricked us into behaving. I wanted to let you in on the secret.
I wouldn't worry too much. I also know of many times when "zero tolerance" policies have led to blowing small incidents out of proportion.
Yes !!! I remember the whole "it will be on your permanent record thing." Scared the living dayslights out of us kids. (maybe it was true back then??) Both my husband and I have said this to dd... not even knowing exactly what is in "permanent records." As a side note, my husband has all his school report cards. dating back to the early 70's... back when it was Raleigh City Schools (before the county merger). I sure wish I had mine too !! It's simply amazing how much details the teachers wrote on the pupil's (remember that word) report cards. All the nitty gritty details, including details regarding behavioral issues, work habits, I could go on and on !!
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Old 02-03-2008, 04:56 AM
 
9,680 posts, read 23,492,142 times
Reputation: 4122
Just tell your kid that it better stop. Good it was caught early.

My daughter went to a school that mainstreamed problem kids into elementary classes with regular students. School (NYC) didn't control the bullies.

Upperclass kids had to beat the problem kids regularly to stop them from preying on the younger students.

Good to see WCPSS is addressing this stuff before the bullying becomes a permanent trend for the child.

Shouldn't be a permanent mark on the child's future, but do address it fast.
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