I shared this question on Facebook today and I’d love for you to share and chime in with your thoughts.
Your child’s teacher sends notices home for you to sign as a warning to your child for his/her unacceptable behavior. You receive them for reasons, you as the parent do not feel are punishable. Do you discipline our child even though you think the teacher is being nit-picky?
The school has a warning system in place for unacceptable behavior. They each have a ‘card’. Their card starts on green. When a child does something the teacher feels is inappropriate, she will ask the child to move his/her card to the next color level. The next level is yellow, followed by orange and finally, red. We are specifically speaking of 2nd graders within this example, so figure on average, a 7 year old. Teacher discovers your child drew a little drawing on his homework paper, nothing bad, just some stairs and a guy climbing the stairs, or your daughter is walking to the lunch room and her lunch box isn’t at her side. Suddenly, your child has come home with a “yellow” paper that requires your signature. When you ask your child about the warning system, you find out that in first grade, their teacher gave them three strikes and if you reached that third strike, you moved your card to yellow. Then it was felt by the teacher that you should be aware of what he/she was doing. Not bad, you can deal with that. However, in second grade, this particular teacher is sending kids home with yellow slips of paper, left and right…for reasons that just seem ridiculous to the average parent. Leaving them outraged and confused. Perhaps thinking, my child has never come home with a yellow slip, and now he/she has come home with two or three… or more, for reasons that are just absurd.
How can you as the parent, reprimand your child for the normal way they walk? I could see if they posed a threat to another student or was harming them in any way, but for walking without your lunch box immediately at their side…or a drawing on the back of their homework paper, these are things our children have to worry about at 7 years old? This is coming from the same school that cut a very important reading program, and is billion dollars in debt! We are focused on how children walk, instead of how they learn? I’m getting derailed here, so back on track…
Would you discipline your child as a result of the yellow slip, even if you do not believe it is a justifiable cause for discipline? Would you speak to the teacher, the principal, the school board…how far would you take it if you kept receiving these yellow pieces of paper (that have now become more of an annoyance than anything else).