To or Not To?

It's finally happened.  My son has been paddled at school.  The principal did call to get my permission first.  He explained the whole situation and it was deserved.

I was flabbergasted at the subject matter.  It took place at lunch time and was apparently a conversation among 10 and 11 year olds.  The subject?  Virginity.  OH! EM! GEE!  They are fifth graders!!!

This isn't the first time that he has gotten in trouble at school, but definitely more serious than any other offense.  I mean, while I was volunteering with the Book Fair his teacher sent him to see me because he called another boy a "turd muncher".  While admittedly stupid, not a serious offense.  However when I asked him why he had done that, he told me who the boy was and that the boy had called him a "faggot".  When I asked if he had told the teacher this he said "yes, but they said they didn't believe me".  Unfortunately this is not the first time this same boy has called him this name as well as others or called him "weird" or the first time that he has told someone about the name calling and he wasn't believed or taken seriously.  And guess who was participating in the virginity conversation at lunch?  Same boy.  Obviously my son is no saint.  He reciprocated the bad behavior.  It seems to me though that every time my son gets called down for acting out, the same few people are involved.  I'm not privy to what the other kids punishment is (if any since no one ever seems to take my son's complaints seriously), but wouldn't it seem logical to separate these students as opposed to continue letting them verbally bully another student?  Which in turn makes him retaliate by doing the same damn thing!

After my husband was home from work and all homework was done, we sat down with him to discuss the whole situation.  I was again blown away when he began to cry and say that he "has no friends because I'm just a bad kid".  I looked at my husband, looked back at my son, then asked him where he had heard that.  He said, "Ms. M******* told me that I didn't have friends because I was just a bad kid."  Um... excuse me?  No teacher has the right to tell a child this.  Even if he is a "bad" kid!!  I have no doubt that if I go to the school or contact the teacher that nothing will come of this.

A leader teach is able to help this student wi...Image via Wikipedia
I'm struggling with what I should do.  After getting off the phone with the principal I sat and cried.  I don't know why really.  Disappointment?  Both of my children have mentioned several times in the past that they wished for me to home school them.  I've never wanted to pull them out of school.  I've never seen a real need too.  They are smart kids.  Always made good grades. (Except for this year...)  My biggest fears have always been them having/making friends (because we don't live in town, but in the country), athletics (because both enjoy playing sports), music (son is already in the band and daughter wants to join) and my inability to teach them properly or keep them engaged.  Mainly I worry that they just won't sit and listen to me.  I don't want them to fall behind.

I need advice here.  What would you do?  Do you home school or know someone who does?  Was your husband on board with it (because I haven't even discussed this with mine yet...)?  Advantages or disadvantages?  Websites, sources?  HELP!!

7 comments

  1. Omg. Ms. M. has NO right to tell a child something like that!!! I have no advice on home schooling (not a parent) but I'd definitely be paying a visit to the school and request a session with Ms. M and the principal, and demand a separation between your son and the other boy.

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  2. Thanks Layla! I'm still debating what to do. It's definitely going to take some time, discussion, and serious decision making.

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  3. My heart is with ya! The one suggestion I have is to find blogs written by home schooling Moms to get their knowledge and take on their home schooling experience. Hopefully that will help. That is where I would star if it was me. One Mom I could suggest is Amy whose blog is Earnest Parenting. She's got two set of twin boys and home schools all four of them.

    Furthermore there is an online public school program you could look into as well.

    I can feel your pain from you Motherly heart. What that teacher said was terrible and please don't let her get away with it. If it were me I'd be in her face and have a good one on one talk. That chat would result in her apologizing to your son. Comments such as that really affect a child more than the person saying it understands.

    What really caught my attention too is that a school is paddling children this day in age. My boys are well behaved due to consistent descipline which includes a paddle, but it's not something I broadcast due to the controversy over spanking. I applaud the school that continues strong discipline this day in age but to be honest that type of discipline should be done by the parent. That's just my opinion and please don't take it the wrong way.

    My hear is with you on your decision. I personally don't care for homeschooling, because I don't think I could do my kids justice either, but if my boys would struggle socially which would keep them from learning then I would do what I need to so they got a good education.

    Please con act me if you wanna chat. My ears r open and my heart is ready to help.

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  4. Thank you for the support Sherry!

    We did have a p/t conference yesterday, but his homeroom teacher was out sick. Ironic... We did get to speak with his other teachers and the principal and it went well.

    I'm with you on the not doing the kids justice. That is one of my main concerns with teaching them at home, but with all the available resources I think I would have plenty of help. It's still just a "possibility" though.

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  5. I'm flabbergasted that a mother would willingly allow her child to endure the humiliation of corporal punishment at public school.

    I'm sorry, but this school seems like it's his personal hell where he has NO say and is being tormented by not only other classmates but by his teacher AND the principal? He's forced to endure bullying. Every. single. day. That's not okay. Is home schooling the answer? I'm not sure but where he's at now sounds like a breeding ground of a host of psychological issues. You need to be up at the school being your child's ADVOCATE. Not sitting back and passively allowing him to be beat by the principal.

    Also, he's in 5th grade and I fail to see how discussing virginity is a "paddling" offense (the very idea of paddling a child is more offensive to me). They're getting to that age, there's normal curiosities and questions. Rather than stifle them and act like the subject of sex is something dirty and to be avoided, why not have a very honest discussion with him?

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  6. First of all, tonkelu, YOU DO NOT KNOW ME.

    Second of all, YOU DO NOT KNOW THE ENTIRE CONVERSATION THAT TOOK PLACE. They were not just "discussing virginity". Nor do you realize that we, my husband and I, have been in conversations with the board of education, the principal of the school, as well as all of his teachers.

    How dare you accuse me of "sitting back and passively allowing him to be beat by the principal"?!?! One swipe from the principal that left no mark whatsoever on his rear is far from being beaten. Not to mention that he's NEVER been paddled at school before.

    A "breeding ground" for "psychological issues"??? Seriously???? I know DOZENS of people who were paddled in school and NONE OF THEM have psychological issues. What they do have is respect for authority and their elders.

    Your comment is not appreciated. Furthermore, if you see fit to judge my parenting skills maybe you should have done so in a personal email.

    I was hoping for advice from fellow parents, not to be degraded for my choices as a parent. I would have emailed you with my reply, but it's not listed. Nor is it listed on your blog either.

    Any further comments from you will not be published as it is obvious that you are in NO WAY being kind, courteous, or helpful.

    Love & Light!

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  7. Even if nothing happened, I wouldn't sit there and not say anything. I'd request a conference with the teacher and principal. That's ridiculous.

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