View Full Version : Should a teacher be doing this?


Serenitii
12-03-13, 12:20 PM
Alright, so I'm having an issue with my childs teacher and would like some opinions on the matter.

My child is in a grade 3/4 learning center for ADHD. The teachers have been trained on how to work with children as such however I'm very upset about a situation that recently took place.

My child had a very bad outburst the other week in which he was suspended for physical aggressions. (won't get into the details but I imagine some of you can relate) He was given work to do in the school but did not finish it. When he came into school monday the kids normally sit down to eat breakfast. They told him that he could not eat until he finished the work they had given him. He only had to write 3 words but the point I was trying to get across to the teacher is that he is being treated unfairly. How can you make one child have to "earn" the right to eat, and have all the other children come in and eat with no issues? This upset me a lot. I called the teacher about it and she defended her stance, saying they told him that was the requirement before he could do anything, and if they backtracked on that it would undermine their authority.

I don't understand how using food, which is a FEDERALLY funded program is allowed to be used as a tool to have a child finish work.

Am I overreacting about this? And if not, and the teacher refuses to work with me on this, who should I contact? I normally support the teacher in all her decisions but I just can't agree on this one.

someothertime
12-03-13, 01:31 PM
This is neither ethical nor productive.

1. Call a meeting with her and her supervisor and see if common sense will prevail. ( Make a palm card of your key points ... try to keep it sensible, highlighting how this can be detrimental )
2. If not write a letter to the school principle and deliver it ASAP ... outlining the issue and subsequent steps you've taken to resolve it. Request immediate action and outcome in writing.
3. Depending on the outcome of this you have a few options.

At all times, be mindful that it is not an adversarial pursuit. Teachers are partners in life. To get the best out of them, all discussions should attempt to build understanding and balance.

sarahsweets
12-03-13, 01:35 PM
No. A teacher does not have the right to deny food for missed work. A hungry belly never=better work.

Serenitii
12-03-13, 01:37 PM
This is neither ethical nor productive.

1. Call a meeting with her and her supervisor and see if common sense will prevail. ( Make a palm card of your key points ... try to keep it sensible, highlighting how this can be detrimental )
2. If not write a letter to the school principle and deliver it ASAP ... outlining the issue and subsequent steps you've taken to resolve it. Request immediate action and outcome in writing.
3. Depending on the outcome of this you have a few options.

At all times, be mindful that it is not an adversarial pursuit. Teachers are partners in life. To get the best out of them, all discussions should attempt to build understanding and balance.

That's exactly how I felt about it as well. I wasn't sure whether or not I should be involving the principle in this situation and whether or not I should be contacting her and her alone. I don't feel the teacher is willing to talk more about this, nor will she retract her stance. While talking with her on the phone all she did was interrupt me and defend herself. I wasn't placing blame, but I was trying to politely have her see my point in this situation to which she simply refused. I don't even think she truly understood what I was trying to say so I hesitate wanting to talk with her again.

addthree
12-03-13, 01:51 PM
She should be fired. Denying a child food is unethical and is probably illegal. Just like schools can not refuse a child the ability to use the restroom. Stand up for your child and do not back down. If the school refuses to do anything, Contact a lawyer. you do not need to sue them but a legal presence will persuade them more effectively.

Serenitii
12-03-13, 01:58 PM
This is neither ethical nor productive.

1. Call a meeting with her and her supervisor and see if common sense will prevail. ( Make a palm card of your key points ... try to keep it sensible, highlighting how this can be detrimental )
2. If not write a letter to the school principle and deliver it ASAP ... outlining the issue and subsequent steps you've taken to resolve it. Request immediate action and outcome in writing.
3. Depending on the outcome of this you have a few options.

At all times, be mindful that it is not an adversarial pursuit. Teachers are partners in life. To get the best out of them, all discussions should attempt to build understanding and balance.

She should be fired. Denying a child food is unethical and is probably illegal. Just like schools can not refuse a child the ability to use the restroom. Stand up for your child and do not back down. If the school refuses to do anything, Contact a lawyer. you do not need to sue them but a legal presence will persuade them more effectively.

I agree completely, at this point I want to try working with the school about this first, and though it seems the teacher is unresoposive at this time I am going to try and reach out to the principle about this matter. If she refuses to address the situation then I may have to pursue legal action. I too found it ridiculous. :(

TygerSan
12-03-13, 02:31 PM
If you can't get her to understand that denying food to a child who already has focus and impulse control issues won't solve the problem, you may have to watch her carefully in other domains as well, sad to say.

Is she an experienced teacher? If she's green, you may yet be able to get her to see the light, so to speak. It may be that her point was that she laid out a consequence that she thought was perfectly adequate and reasonable (ie write 3 words and you can eat breakfast) and was caught between a rock and a hard place when the ill-advised plan backfired.

With discipline, you're only supposed to ask a child to do what they can follow through with, and if they don't, the consequence that was threatened beforehand must be carried out. She may be thinking that because she outlined the consequence, your son has to live by it.

Problem is that the consequence was inappropriate. Maybe you and the rest of the team (he does have an IEP or a 504, right?) can come up with consequences that are appropriate, as well as things that will not be touched (breakfast and limiting recess time come to mind as nevers to me)

Tmoney
12-03-13, 02:35 PM
No, it is not okay. What happens if he continues to refuse, does he not eat breakfast for the rest of they year!

Here is my problem with behavioral reinforcement through negative consequences.

When your AD(H)D and you are told that if you don't do something there is going to be a consequence you start to convince yourself that the consequence is better than doing the required task. So we spend the majority of our time not following the rules and accepting negative consequences!

After awhile we just accept the fact that we cannot behave like the other kids and that we must be different, and so we begin to act differently and we start to misbehave as a sort of a revenge toward authority.

In other words we begin to go out of our way to aggravate the teacher and make her day as difficult as possible because she has become the enemy and the reason for our anger, anxiety and depression.

You cannot deny a child food as a consequence.
Tell them you would like to meet with the principal and the teacher and I bet you they will straighten that out right away.

In the words of Dr, Barkley, they only way to effectively treat AD(H)D is at the point of performance!

People with AD(H)D know what to do, but they can't do what they know! You have to restructure the environment to help show them what they know!

Serenitii
12-03-13, 02:56 PM
If you can't get her to understand that denying food to a child who already has focus and impulse control issues won't solve the problem, you may have to watch her carefully in other domains as well, sad to say.

Is she an experienced teacher? If she's green, you may yet be able to get her to see the light, so to speak. It may be that her point was that she laid out a consequence that she thought was perfectly adequate and reasonable (ie write 3 words and you can eat breakfast) and was caught between a rock and a hard place when the ill-advised plan backfired.

With discipline, you're only supposed to ask a child to do what they can follow through with, and if they don't, the consequence that was threatened beforehand must be carried out. She may be thinking that because she outlined the consequence, your son has to live by it.

Problem is that the consequence was inappropriate. Maybe you and the rest of the team (he does have an IEP or a 504, right?) can come up with consequences that are appropriate, as well as things that will not be touched (breakfast and limiting recess time come to mind as nevers to me)

Yes that is something she mentioned but I agree entirely with you. The conseuquence she outline was indeed very innappropriate! He does have an IEP but since being transferred to this school (he was in a previous school that handled grades K1 - 2) his IEP now remains within the school he is at, including his teacher. I had asked her politely as well while talking with her that perhaps she could find another way to discipline him but again she was unrelenting. You have some excellent points though and I appreciate them thoroughly!

Serenitii
12-05-13, 03:36 PM
I just wanted to update you all and thank you for your very helpful advice.

So it turns out after talking with the teacher, despite her unwillingness to compromise she did NOT try that tactic with my son again. So I think perhaps me talking to her made her think twice about her actions.

Regardless I feel the school principle should be made aware that such a situation HAS happened and that they should probably have a talk with all their teachers to ensure nothing like that happens again.

So thank you all again and I truly appreciate your time!