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

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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, 8:44 am CST

fond memories

Quote From: imbobbi

Children are suppose to have fond memories of school and the truth is, not every child will have them . I remember a grammar school teacher of mine that despised me. She took every opportunity to scold me, embarrass me,  or make me stand in the corner in front of the classroom because I was talking in class. I remember  one day being my last day of school for a couple of weeks because I was going into the hospital for an operation and I stayed after school to wait for my sister to pick me up and I remember wanting her to like me so bad so I told her I was having this operation and she responded in such a horrible way to me. She made me feel like a nothing and all I wanted was to be liked. My Mother went to the school and tried to  have me taken out of her class and was told that I wasn't there to socialize, I was there to learn. I will never forget Mrs Von Cannon and I wished I could have told her years later just what her meanness did to my self worth for so many years. No child should ever be treated this way especially coming from a role model.  I have always wanted to share my story and thank you for giving me the chance.

     fond memories are what kids should have but  not often the case. I remenber when my son was in the first grade he was running outside with a stick ( which believe me when I say he was always told by me not to do... hello you'll poke your eye out ) and there was another child chasing him he looked behide him and ran over a child in front of him falling on him and stabbing the child in the leg with the stick.. It was an accident he wasn't even looking at the child he hurt.  I was called to the school at which time the principal acted like my son had wielded a weapon and when  I said that i would not stand for that that i was sorry that the child was  hurt however it was an accident the teacher decided that she would give her own brand of disipine by never allowing him a turn at first in line allways skipping him when it came to extra activities that all the other children were allowed to have. I went to the school,called school officials,had meetings with the teacher,and principal. Nothing in the classroom ever changed. My son is now 16 yrs old and to this day he remembers how that teacher glared at him that day with the stick. MY son has succeded in his school years because  of his mother standing by him encouraging him and stressing how inportant school is to his life but more so for him who has excelled despite the nasty teacher he still remembers. This isn't the only bad experance he has had but it is the one that comes easy to his mind. My son has been bullied and he has been accused of bulling. I think that we give our teachers too much credit  not all are good teachers and they dont deserve the pay we do give them.  We also give schools too much credit they also often dont deserve the money that we vote to give them. When my son was bullied they told him to just ignore it or another good one is dont tattle. I think that when schools say they dont know its happening they either are liars or they ned to come out of the break room. I think that if children are not learning like they should its because the teacher has not done their job and maybe we should pay them on how well their kids do on their tests and  how well they can handle their classrooms without resorting to being a bully themselves. Not just oh you are a  teacher how great and wonderful  heres your money!!!!
 
December 5, 2008, 9:00 am CST

my teacher

 In the 7th or 8th grade I had a S.S. teacher named Matt Kelsh ,one day he took the class outside put us in a circle with him in the middle of the circle.he then told us to say things about him and when ever a person said something bad/or nasty he riped a peace of the paper off when we were done he had just a small peace of the paper left...and he told us "that's what you do to each other "you riped apart people till there nothing left of them..when  you bully or be mean to each other..so be nice to each other!!!!!!!!

this was one of the best things I learned in school(I was a little bit of a bully and was bullied) I wish I could find that teacher(have tried)and tell him what a great teacher he was...thanks Mr. kelsh..it's sad that the  school the boy who killed him self in the bathroom didn't have a teacher like mr kelsh..

 
December 5, 2008, 9:10 am CST

When will it end?

As a mother, my basic instinct is to protect my children. I have taught my children to respect their elders, but to respect themselves more. It is very disheartening to hear of the stories that could potentially shatter the lives of our precious children. The adults in the educational field do need more training and support for out of control children so they do not cross over into an abusive situation as did the ones on the show.

 

That being said, I feel the need to share my children's experiences. My oldest son was called gay by his teacher (in front of the entire class) after he was caught talking to another boy. This was when he was in seventh grade and the school felt the teacher handled himself appropriately. The same year, my younger son (in the same school) was assaulted by another student by having his locker door slammed on his hand. The school principal saw his hand, gave him an ice pack and sent him back to class. When my son got off of the bus 3 1/2 hours later, his hand was so swollen, it would not fit through the elastic wristband of his coat. I took him directly to the ER and all four bones in his hand were broken. I called the principal the next day, and he admitted that he thought it was broken too, but did not feel he needed to call me or to send my son to the nurse. This resulted in no disciplinary action for the child or the principal even after speaking with the superintendent of schools, and seeking legal council. The child had an IEP for behavioral problems so he could not be punished. And since he had the IEP, the only recourse I had was to sue his financially strapped single father for the bills to be paid (which I could not morally do). The law in Ohio states that schools and/or staff at the schools can not be held liable for the actions of the students and since my son was given an icepack, he was treated for his injuries, which protected the school staff. I was forced to put my children in home schooling until we found a home out of the school district.

 

Most recently, my youngest daughter (11 years old) was being mistreated by her cheer-leading coach. My daughter and her daughter are not friends, so the couch continuously belittled my daughter in front of the squad. The coach had a "no parents at the practice" policy that I broke when I found out about the behavior of the coach. I started attending all of the practices where I witnessed the verbal abuse. My daughter did not want to stop going to practice so I coached my daughter on how to mentally handle this situation. My final straw was when the Homecoming Parade float was decorated by the squad displaying the names of the cheerleaders. The coach pulled my daughters name off and told me that we should just "suck it up and put my daughter on the float." I was so shocked by her behavior that I took my daughter home and made it my mission to report this situation to her superiors. Imagine my surprise when I found out she reports to nobody. The program is community based, supporting the schools, but she has no boss? Since the coach works at my daughters school as an aid, she then targeted my daughter at school. I then talked with the school principal about the situation, and she assured me that it would stop that day. It did, thankfully. Unfortunately, my daughter is not the only child that has suffered by the coaches verbal abuse. There are only going to be about half of the original squad returning next year because, you guessed it, she will be returning as the coach.

 
December 5, 2008, 9:40 am CST

Educating EVERY child

 I sympathize with people on this board who have had difficult situations with schools, but as a school employee I've also been on the side where a child is saying something to their parent that I KNOW is not true. This is also very frustrating when you get a phone call and are totally baffled by what the parent is saying. I've been in situtions where 2 students are upset with each other and the staff member is trying to get to the bottom of it. If the 2 children are telling totally different stories it's really hard to discipline one of them! My kids go to one of these schools on the show today and they don't have ANY of these experiences. They enjoy school. When the story first came out in the paper I was shocked until someone who worked for the state told me that the school was absolutely NOT in the wrong but they are not allowed to respond to any of the allegations! Much of what people see is one sided and the parents were in constant contact with each step of the discipline plan and gave their consent to every step. The family stated in the paper that they were not in this for any money, then several months later slapped a civil lawsuit on the school district asking for just what they said they didn't want - MONEY!!!
I realize that there are bad teachers, but I look at all of these stories and wonder what the other side is. Especially since I know what my school is like and it ends up being one of these on the show! Outrageous!
 
December 5, 2008, 10:24 am CST

12/05 School Discipline: Out of Control?

Quote From: mommypersonny

 In the 7th or 8th grade I had a S.S. teacher named Matt Kelsh ,one day he took the class outside put us in a circle with him in the middle of the circle.he then told us to say things about him and when ever a person said something bad/or nasty he riped a peace of the paper off when we were done he had just a small peace of the paper left...and he told us "that's what you do to each other "you riped apart people till there nothing left of them..when  you bully or be mean to each other..so be nice to each other!!!!!!!!

this was one of the best things I learned in school(I was a little bit of a bully and was bullied) I wish I could find that teacher(have tried)and tell him what a great teacher he was...thanks Mr. kelsh..it's sad that the  school the boy who killed him self in the bathroom didn't have a teacher like mr kelsh..

 Thank God that for every horrible teacher, there are 100 good ones like your Mr. Kelsh!

 

Mine was my wonderful 4th grade teacher whose name I still remember 56 years later...Mrs. Brugie...who took the time each afternoon after school to work with me with flash cards to help me learn math. If not for her, I probably would have flunked that subject and would have been held back. (They didn't push kids through back then like they do now....if you failed a subject,  you failed the grade...period! Schools now do a grave injustice to kids when they shove them through and pass them even if they can't read or add two and two. Unfortunately,  It's now all about getting that Federal money rather than making sure each child actually learns the subjects.  

 

The school systems suck, but the teachers are trying really hard to make a difference...with the exception of a few bad apples.   

 
December 5, 2008, 10:32 am CST

12/05 School Discipline: Out of Control?

Quote From: brendakay

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!

 

 

 

I think sending a digital tape recorder with your son to school is a good idea....do it!

 

Kids lie and exaggerate to get sympathy,....teachers lie and minimize to cover their behinds...you need irrefutable evidence.

 
December 5, 2008, 10:38 am CST

bullying at school

I tried desperately to get  help for my daughter all through high school.. she was called sl**, ho, pushed into lockers, chased through town when driving alone.  The more I pushed the principal, counseler, etc. to help it only seemed to make matters for her worse.  She finally begged me to stop talking to them.  She started cutting, she would come home in tears in the middle of the day and refuse to go back.  This was a child that was enrolled in Advance classes, on the honor roll, a member of the honor society, first chair in band, an athlete, a beautiful young women when she entered high school.. when she finally graduated.. she was on anti-depressants, in counseling for the cutting, paranoid to go alone anywhere due to the girl gangs harrassing her.  It was awful.. I posted a big list in her bathroom on why kids bully, I didn't know how else to help her.... jealousy, etc.  Her father had been a physician in this small town for over 20 years so we were able to get her some help..we made it a point not to give our kids fancy cars or any car they could call their own, cell phones were bought and paid for by them,  etc. to keep kids from judging them that way.... it didn't work....  I prayed every night she would get out of here in time before she hurt herself permanently.  She is now in college, she still has self esteem issues, but is a little better with each passing year.. she comes home for vacations but tends to leave early as she bumps into someone here in town that takes  her back to her feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness and she starts to feel she is suffocating again.. so off she goes.. I miss her terribly but if she can't handle being here and never comes back  I am okay with it.  I don't know  what the answer to stopping it is... it seems to be getting worse..I just thank God everyday  for helping her  to hang on for those 4 years of hell. 

 

 Thank goodness she was able to get into college.. her grades slipped terribly but she scored extremely high on her ACT's and that was a huge boost for her applications.  Perhaps a bully support group or club  that met after school would help... a place they could go and feel accepted....... I don't know..  I am just sooo glad those days are behind me.  Today my daughter is involved in Soup Kitchens, interested in Paying it Forward groups, traveled on Medical missions to Nicaragua with her father, etc..  but I can see that she still struggles with believing that she is a beautiful young  talented women.. she is now starting to suffer from panic attacks in certain situations.......it makes me sad that I don't know how to help her.  I long for the day she can run into any of those kids and see that she is as good or better than them rather than have her heart start beating fast,  and turn and run.......I wish nothing but the best to those kids being bullied now.. I will pray for them... I don't blame the teachers these kids are sneaky thats why I think we need some sort of anti-bully army in the schools, consisting of  their peers.

 
December 5, 2008, 10:44 am CST

My Battered 11 yr old son

I have an 11 yr old son in the NC public school system that is BED (Behavior and Emotionally disabled)  He was diagnosed with BiPolar and severe anxiety.  He came home from school 4 weeks ago extremely beaten by the teacher in a time-out room with no cameras.  i have pictures to back up my son's allogations.  Yet the teacher is still employed by the system and no action has taken place and now the system tells me if i do not return my son to the same school in which battered him i will face legal actions.  My son is terrified.  he had massive rug burns all over his face and broken blood vessels on his cheeks, nose and neck, pinched nerves protruding in his arms, bruises and burns on his back.  This is not a "Therapeutic" environment and i am tired of the schools blaming my son for all the problems when they are medical issues.  I think the people working with our children need to be professional enough to handle the situations or they are in the wrong career.  Now the school system is blaming my "child advocacy center" for over advocating.  Is that possible?  My advocacy center can clearly see that the school system is hiding a very large secret and has now threaten future relations if they don't step back.  I am currently fighting to keep my son in a safe environment, yet they have the legal right to take me to jail.  The system needs to change drastically.  We should have to bury our children for this to happen.  i think it should be a law to have cameras in a room whenever physical contact is involved.
 
December 5, 2008, 11:07 am CST

12/05 School Discipline: Out of Control?

Quote From: m2mmy3

 I sympathize with people on this board who have had difficult situations with schools, but as a school employee I've also been on the side where a child is saying something to their parent that I KNOW is not true. This is also very frustrating when you get a phone call and are totally baffled by what the parent is saying. I've been in situtions where 2 students are upset with each other and the staff member is trying to get to the bottom of it. If the 2 children are telling totally different stories it's really hard to discipline one of them! My kids go to one of these schools on the show today and they don't have ANY of these experiences. They enjoy school. When the story first came out in the paper I was shocked until someone who worked for the state told me that the school was absolutely NOT in the wrong but they are not allowed to respond to any of the allegations! Much of what people see is one sided and the parents were in constant contact with each step of the discipline plan and gave their consent to every step. The family stated in the paper that they were not in this for any money, then several months later slapped a civil lawsuit on the school district asking for just what they said they didn't want - MONEY!!!
I realize that there are bad teachers, but I look at all of these stories and wonder what the other side is. Especially since I know what my school is like and it ends up being one of these on the show! Outrageous!
In 1997, a film called FREEDOM'S WRITER, based on a true-gripping story of inner city kids raised on drive by shootings and hard-core attitude - and the teacher who gives them the one thing they need most: A VOICE OF THEIR OWN.  Dropped into the free-fire zone of a school torn by violence and racial tension, teacher Erin Gruwell battles an uncaring system in a fight to make the classroom matter in her students lives.  Now, telling their own stories, and hearing the stories of others, a group of supposedly "Unteachable-Disruptive" teens will discover the power of tolerance, reclaim their shattered lives, and change the world.
 
If you noticed the word, power of tolerance, which was taught by their teacher, Erin Gruwell.  Most educators today are faced with the academic pressures but missing out on the social issues.  To solve a problem in a classroom requires the skill of education and socialization and, the gift of teaching.  To try and solve a problem with a problem equals PROBLEM.  To send a talkative student to the back of the class for a time out is a control tactic that places fear in them which demeanors, humiliates and demoralizes the  student in front of peers which still presents a problem.  Demoralization = dishearten heart = lack of morals & character = failed program.  With this type of program, you may see a change in your classroom due to fear, but the community will eventually suffer due to learned behavior.   To have positive success in this program is to involve the "so call" disruptive or talkative child/ren  in the lesson and try to relate to them. 
 
Furthermore, in life, anyone can educated a student (if a student put their mind to it)...but not all can be an effective teacher.  Teaching is a gift from God given to those who are chosen. Teaching comes from within your heart and not everyone have the power to  teach patience, love, peace, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, joy, goodness, care and tolerance.  Mixed all of that with education, relationship and allow teens to be a voice in the lesson..... you've got yourself a solution to any program implemented.
 
December 5, 2008, 11:09 am CST

Be A Part of theSolution

In 1997, a film called FREEDOM'S WRITER, based on a true-gripping story of inner city kids raised on drive by shootings and hard-core attitude - and the teacher who gives them the one thing they need most: A VOICE OF THEIR OWN.  Dropped into the free-fire zone of a school torn by violence and racial tension, teacher Erin Gruwell battles an uncaring system in a fight to make the classroom matter in her students lives.  Now, telling their own stories, and hearing the stories of others, a group of supposedly "Unteachable-Disruptive" teens will discover the power of tolerance, reclaim their shattered lives, and change the world.
 
If you noticed the word, power of tolerance, which was taught by their teacher, Erin Gruwell.  Most educators today are faced with the academic pressures but missing out on the social issues.  To solve a problem in a classroom requires the skill of education and socialization and, the gift of teaching.  To try and solve a problem with a problem equals PROBLEM.  To send a talkative student to the back of the class for a time out is a control tactic that places fear in them which demeanors, humiliates and demoralizes the  student in front of peers which still presents a problem.  Demoralization = dishearten heart = lack of morals & character = failed program.  With this type of program, you may see a change in your classroom due to fear, but the community will eventually suffer due to learned behavior.   To have positive success in this program is to involve the "so call" disruptive or talkative child/ren  in the lesson and try to relate to them. 
 
Furthermore, in life, anyone can educated a student (if a student put their mind to it)...but not all can be an effective teacher.  Teaching is a gift from God given to those who are chosen. Teaching comes from within your heart and not everyone have the power to  teach patience, love, peace, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, joy, goodness, care and tolerance.  Mixed all of that with education, relationship and allow teens to be a voice in the lesson..... you've got yourself a solution to any program implemented.
 
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