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Topic : 07/03 School Discipline: Out of Control?

Number of Replies: 269
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Created on : Wednesday, November 26, 2008, 07:29:46 am
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 12/05/08) When you send your children to school, you expect them to be taught in a nurturing environment. But what should you do if you learn your child has experienced extreme discipline by those entrusted to teach him or her? Eva and Doug's autistic daughter, Isabel, was 8 years old when her teachers claimed her behavior became too difficult to handle, so they sent her to the time-out room. Cameras captured Isabel's time spent in isolation, which her parents say lasted for over three hours. Her parents say they had worked with the teachers regarding disciplining Isabel and were panicked and horrified when they saw the footage. Next, Martha says her 12-year-old daughter was in a classroom when $42 went missing. In an effort to find the money, a group of girls were strip-searched. You won't believe who reportedly ordered the investigation. Martha says her daughter is devastated and will never be the same. Then, when 5-year-old Gabriel constantly complained that his teacher was mean and yelled at him, his mom, Tabitha, sent him to school with a tape recorder in his pocket. Hear the audio recordings and find out the shocking information Tabitha discovered. Psychologist Ken Merrell, special education teacher Kathy Riley and civil litigation attorney Areva Martin weigh in on these cases. And, after years of being relentlessly bullied by fellow students, Jeremiah brought the torment to a tragic end. His father, Jeff, joins Dr. Phil and Jay McGraw to speak for the first time on television. Plus, if you're a teen and want to talk about what's happening at your school, join the Teen Talk message boards.

Find out what happened on the show.

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December 5, 2008, 7:23 am CST

One who's been there

I have been there!!  I was a spercial needs child and was treated bad by the teacher and bullied by the students.  I really struggles with my self asteem and even today i have a hard time.  Now i have a son who Autist and is facing school next year.  I would like to reach out to parents with my story one day!!
 
December 5, 2008, 7:52 am CST

12/05 School Discipline: Out of Control?

There is a problem in schools. I am from Michigan and had to move near Atlanta, GA for my husband's job. My kids only made it in the schools there for 3 weeks before I pulled them out. The teachers, principals, staff and even the administration not only treated my children terrible but they were also very rude to me. My kids cried every morning before school, they cried when they got home from school, and they cried themselves to sleep every night. I tried to talk to all of them and got no where. I ended up homeschooling while we were down there and moved back to Michigan as soon as I had the opportunity. Schools are of course not perfect but compared to those in GA......
 
December 5, 2008, 7:56 am CST

12/05 School Discipline: Out of Control?

My son also has Autism and around the age of 8 he had a very similar expeience with his teacher. He was locked in a room for hours because the teacher was overwhelmed with having no Autism experience and she felt that she needed to take extreme measures to make herself heard. When we first learned she would be our son's teacher we asked that she receive some Autism training because she had never taught a child with Autism. She took the courses willingly because they added to her resume but she make it her job to discredit my son's diagnosis because he did not fit into the 'typical' cases that she was learning about. She would let the other kids make fun of him, she would make fun of him, her and the other children in the classroom were throwing things at him. Every time he refused to do his work she would not help or let his aide help she would push him until he would break and then she would restrain him and throw him in the 'quiet' room and the aide would be instructed to hold the door closed (because there were no locks in the doors). One day she pushed him too far and he pushed back and he hit her. She promptly called her union rep and went off to the emergency room. She also encouraged the parent's of the other children in the classroom to contact the ppolice about my son's 'violent' behaviour. My husband and I started working with the school board behind the teacher's back and with the help of some of the other students and a voice recorder that my son wore we were able to finally have the teacher removed from the school as well as having her licence revoked. This was the only option we were willing to accept from the school board who had already had a heart to heart with our lawyer. She spent almost an the entire school year striping away what we had tried so hard to build in our son since the day he was born and it has been very slow progress getting him back to where he is coming back into his own. It has been two years and a number of children who were his classmates at the time are still seeking counseling for the things that they witnessed. I have thought many times of pressing charges against her in the past year and a half but I realize that is never going to make me feel better. She is a very pathetic woman and to know that at the age of 50 she cannot be employed in her chosen career gives me some comfort. I have to drive by her house a few times a week and each time I do it brings back the memories of her bullying my son and myself and the lying she did and the other things that she had no right to do but it also makes me happy to know that she is in a bad situation that she made completely for herself. I have the utmost respect for teachers and I have been lucky enough to have met some damn good teachers in the 11 years my kids have been in school but it only takes one (actually 2 because we had another bad one the year before) to shatter your trust in the entire system.

 
December 5, 2008, 8:01 am CST

I in no way condone this behavior of teachers...

In no way do I condone the behavior of these schools or the teachers involved, nothing can justify keeping a child isolated for 3-5 hours.  But please keep in mind, these teachers are dealing with 24-28 kids in their classrooms.  Mainstreaming may be helpful for integrating special ed. children, but a teacher can not put all her focus on one autistic child.  The teacher needs help.  Or if the child is severe, they should look into other routes of educating them.  The administration of each school needs to support teachers in creating good disciplinary procedures when kids act out.  If parents are having trouble keeping their own kids behavior in line at home, then just imagine a teacher trying to keep a whole classroom of students on task.  Teachers should NEVER ever degrade a child, no matter their actions.  But teachers are human, and not perfect saints.  They have bad days, regretable moments, just like any other person does.  Some "food for thought", ....  Anne from MI
 
December 5, 2008, 8:11 am CST

Similar Situation

When I was 5yrs and in kindergarten, one of my classmates defecated on the floor of the bathroom.  So, our teacher took each one of us into the bathroom and pulled our pants down checking for evidence of the deed.  Of course I complied as did the rest of the class because we were all raised to listen and obey the teacher.  But what gave her the right?  And what did she think she was going to find...really?  The effects only lasted a few weeks for me, but it's a terrible memory to think of and relive the anger, confusion and feelings of being violated at such a young age.
 
December 5, 2008, 8:15 am CST

Bullying


 

Dr. Phil,

 

As a formal educator, I have discovered that the bullying issue is at times falls on the teacher. Too many times the teacher's (they too target students) just give the bullying child a pat on the back of the hand by simply saying,"don't do it any more" then walks away. The administrators inform teachers to handle the situations if at all possible. Then again there are assistant administrators, who have covered the tracks of the bullying from the students and teachers because, they don't want anything to leak out and have the public feel that THEIR school isn't safe. To suspend a student (and far be it to suspend a teacher WITH  pay) only gives the bullier free time from attending school. He/she goes back to school, to do it  all over again. The teachers need to immediatly inform the parents of the bullying child and get to the issues, and TRY to their best ability to develop asolution to the bullying itself. The teacher also needs to properly tend to the child who IS and has been targeted and talk with those parents as well. Teachers also need to stop depending on the students to tell them "what happened",  simply the students themselves lie against someone they do not like. Schools are getting too dangerous to let this go unattended. I would like to add that the bullying is happening as early as pre-kindergarten. This is NOT a situation to be taken lightly. Each school has it's own administrators and they need to stop being slack on this so very serious issue and take the situation into their OWN hands instead of the hands of others.

 
December 5, 2008, 8:18 am CST

I can relate to these parents.........

I moved to the small town of Russia when my youngest son started the first grade. For the first year here my son kept complaning about being beat up by kids at recess - and it was really effecting him to the point where he would come home crying about it almost daily. I have on several occasions called and visited the school to report what my son has said to me and asking the school if they could keep a closer eye on him during the recess time. Well while at work one day I called home to see how school went for my kids - and my youngest son told me he got beat up again. He said "it's o.k. mom, I just petended to be like a rock" - You know this just severly tore at my heart - and got me a bit fired up. I was fed up with all this happening on a regular basis. So I went to the school and confronted his teacher - she was not helpful at all. Basically she didn't want to deal with it - and avised me that I would have to check in at the office before entering the school from that point on. There was one teacher that had stopped me prior to this incedent - and said she see's whats happening to my son and how the administration has been failing to deal with it - she also wanted me to know how in her class she has been working with her kids to "compliment and be nice to each other" - she said she gives rewards to the kindness they do give. I was very relieved to know that there was one teacher there that took this matter seriously and was not afraid to speak up to me. And was trying to make things better for the children. It got to the point where the school wanted to have someone from outside the school evaluate my son and his behaviour. Well this was agreed by me - and after he worked with this person for a period of time he came to his conclusion - me and my husband went to the school to discuss his evaluation of my son. Turns out he felt the issues my son had had nothing to do with him - that the issues were stemmed from the school. Another person saw what was happening - that was another sigh of relief for me. I did at one point look for help online - and sent copys of a sight I found that talked about bullying and how to deal with it to the school. We are finally leaving this school - and wish it had not taken so long - but when I first moved here I was a single mom - on a very fixed income. The idea to move just wouldn't fit within our budget - although I did keep my options open - always checking the paper for a nice home in another area. This past year with the school seems to be alot better - but I do wonder if the kids in the lower grades are also not being heard. I have no idea if the same person that was supervising the kids during recess is still doing so. She should be evaluated as far as I'm concerned. And removed from that position. Why do people allow children to beat on children and do nothing about it? The school does have a new principal at this time [I think they went through a few principals since my kids started] - and as far I am aware the new principal is doing a great job. Hopefully this is not happening anymore. I also feel if bullying goes on for too long the bullied become the bully.
 
December 5, 2008, 8:24 am CST

My son is being bullied

My 14 yr old son is being bullied by not only the students but by one of his teachers. He is 14 yrs old and a bit overweight honestly. We are trying to work on him losing weight but we are having a time of it because he is so depressed. I can't watch him 24 hours a day. Can't sit in school with him watch him. I am at my wits end honestly with trying to combat this issue. I have spoken to the Assistant Principal many times and have gone to the board of education to no avail. What can I do as a mother to help this stuff stop. My son is suffering with his grades because of it. He comes home upset every single day. Any suggestions for me to help my son?

 

thanks so much in advance.

 
December 5, 2008, 8:27 am CST

Bullying should be stopped

I moved to the small town of Russia when my youngest son started the first grade. For the first year here my son kept complaning about being beat up by kids at recess - and it was really effecting him to the point where he would come home crying about it almost daily. I have on several occasions called and visited the school to report what my son has said to me and asking the school if they could keep a closer eye on him during the recess time. Well while at work one day I called home to see how school went for my kids - and my youngest son told me he got beat up again. He said "it's o.k. mom, I just petended to be like a rock" - You know this just severly tore at my heart - and got me a bit fired up. I was fed up with all this happening on a regular basis. So I went to the school and confronted his teacher - she was not helpful at all. Basically she didn't want to deal with it - and avised me that I would have to check in at the office before entering the school from that point on. There was one teacher that had stopped me prior to this incedent - and said she see's whats happening to my son and how the administration has been failing to deal with it - she also wanted me to know how in her class she has been working with her kids to "compliment and be nice to each other" - she said she gives rewards to the kindness they do give. I was very relieved to know that there was one teacher there that took this matter seriously and was not afraid to speak up to me. And was trying to make things better for the children. It got to the point where the school wanted to have someone from outside the school evaluate my son and his behaviour. Well this was agreed by me - and after he worked with this person for a period of time he came to his conclusion - me and my husband went to the school to discuss his evaluation of my son. Turns out he felt the issues my son had had nothing to do with him - that the issues were stemmed from the school. Another person saw what was happening - that was another sigh of relief for me. I did at one point look for help online - and sent copys of a sight I found that talked about bullying and how to deal with it to the school. We are finally leaving this school - and wish it had not taken so long - but when I first moved here I was a single mom - on a very fixed income. The idea to move just wouldn't fit within our budget - although I did keep my options open - always checking the paper for a nice home in another area. This past year with the school seems to be alot better - but I do wonder if the kids in the lower grades are also not being heard. I have no idea if the same person that was supervising the kids during recess is still doing so. She should be evaluated as far as I'm concerned. And removed from that position. Why do people allow children to beat on children and do nothing about it? The school does have a new principal at this time [I think they went through a few principals since my kids started] - and as far I am aware - he is doing a great job. Hopefully this is not happening anymore.
 
December 5, 2008, 8:28 am CST

Out of Control Schools

My son is in the third grade now.  He started being bullied by two boys in kindergarten.  I had told the teachers, the principal and the bus driver that this was occuring.  The aids on the playground just tell him to "go play and don't bother me" when he tells them he is being bullied on the playground.  I have talked to the one child's parents (they live one street over from us).  The response from the parents was "That's my boy!  Way to go son!  You're a tough one!"  The bullying has continued for four years.  The school has an incident on tape from a bus ride home.  They also have a tape from the playground.  My son was pushed down by one boy. He was held down on the ground while the other boy hit and kicked him.  When my son hit back to get away from them the aid told him if he hit someone again he would be suspended.  I contacted the principal.  He asked the boys if they did it. (it is on tape but I am not allowed to view the tape because of privacy issues because of the other children shown on the tape). Their response was "Yeah, we did it".  He made my son shake their hands and promise that they would all be friends from now on.  The bullying continued.  I finally called the principal's boss and explained the situation.  She got the teacher and the counsler at the school involved. The principal was mad!  He called me and told me that my son was "playing me" and none of it ever happened.  I told him there were tapes (which he had seen), the other kids in school said it was happening, the kids themselves admitted to the principal that they did it and I have seen it myself over the summer (he lives one street over from us!).

Now his third grade teache is a new young teacher.  The principal has told her that we are making up the stories about him being bullied. She takes away recess from the whole class EVERYDAY if even one child talks out of turn in the class.  My son gets punished and gets rewards taken away from him because of  the behavior of someone else in the class.  I have e-mailed her, called her, written her and asked it she had ANY discipline problems with my child.  She always tells me there are none and he is a wonderful but quiet child.  Well, why does he keep getting punished in her classroom?  She denies everything that he tells me.  At conference she stated "Well, sometimes it is not easy to believe what he tells you because he is not always truthful so don't believe what he comes home and tells you".  The other children in the class agree with my son.  I am ready to send a recorder to school with my son like the mom on the show.  I totally believe these things go on.  My other two children had similiar problems at this school. 

I personally witnessed one teacher in a second grade child's face in the hallway right outside the office, finger in his face, screaming "You're stupid!  You do know that right?"  She was know for slamming doors and yelling all day long.  The principal knew it but said he had never witnessed it himself so it didn't happen.  He needs to retire!!!!!!!! Yes, these things DO go on in the schools and NO it is not always because the child does not get discipline at home!

 

 

 

 
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