Print Story You've got to be kidding me!
By Mrs FlightTest (Thu Nov 29, 2007 at 09:32:25 PM EST) (all tags)
When did things in high school get so out of hand?

Update [2007-12-1 3:47:38 by Mrs FlightTest]:

I got a call Friday 30th November from the Principal in response to my email detention appeal.

This morning I was late getting my ass out of bed. Henceforth, my wonderful $new daughter was late to school, by a mere 5 minutes, 10 tops.
I dutifully write a note for her explaining how it is ALL my fault so she should be excused. I assure her she won't get detention as this is such a small infraction, AND she has said note, everything will be fine.


Me: "Hello"
Daughter: "I got detention mom!"
Me: "Excuse me, WHAT??!!"

Yes, that's right folks, for a first offense with a note she got 30 minutes detention! This is school policy!! She wasn't even 5 minutes late!!! I so hate this school.

I had a chat with the VP and was told that this is a district wide policy and the school has to enforce it; so I contacted the Foster Youth Person at the County Board of Education to verify this. I was referred to the Child Welfare and Attendance Office where I was informed that no, it is not a district wide policy to assign detention for the first tardy, each school determines their own course of action for infractions of the district rules.

The silly VP also informed me that car trouble is NOT a valid excuse. Only funerals, doctor/dental appointments or actual illness are valid excuses. Alrighty then, the next time I am late getting up, I will simply keep my daughter home all day and the school won't get any moneies for her for that day. Man, if we could afford it I would so put her in private school.

Enough ranting. Before I go to bed I must email the principal of the school to appeal the detention and to inform them that if my daughter has to serve detention for something that was beyond her control and is my fault, I will be right there with her serving detention Monday afternoon.

G'night All.

Update [2007-12-1 3:47:38 by Mrs FlightTest]:

Everything got ironed out and I even got it in writing!

Hello Mrs. FlightTest,

This is a follow up response to our morning conversation. I am granting your appeal to remove the detention and unexcused tardy from your daughter's attendance record. As you are aware, our attendance policy which is compliant to the State Education Code does not excuse “oversleeping” as an excused absence or tardy. Since you indicated that the “oversleeping” incident did not involve the student and was the fault of the parent, I have decided to excuse the period 1 tardy as personal. As per our discussion, any future incidents of oversleeping will be assigned a detention and the student will be issued a detention. If you have questions regarding school policies in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Dr. Dumass, Principal
Gestapo High School

It was so nice to pick up my daughter from school today and inform her that she doesn't have to serve detention on Monday after all.
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You've got to be kidding me! | 41 comments (41 topical, 0 hidden)
Start being a pain in the arse by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #1 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 12:29:57 AM EST
Basically, get the VP in a position where he is dreading picking up the phone to you.  Then next time you have to talk to him, he'll be a little more amenable to you, just to get you off the phone before you make more unreasonable (yet legitimate) demands on his time.

The problem with schools these days by Dr H0ffm4n (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 01:17:22 AM EST
Parents are not supportive of a school's decisions. They seem to think they have to protect their kids from unfair treatment.

[ Parent ]
That, surely by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #4 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 01:50:11 AM EST
Is perhaps the job of a parent?

[ Parent ]
i would agree to a point. by clock (4.00 / 4) #10 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 04:35:24 AM EST
something this idiotic MUST be questioned.  i'm not sure that i would question a judgment call on the part of a teacher who assigned a detention for a behavior issue because i wasn't there.  but as soon as they say to me it's "policy" and i've verified that it is not policy, they've lied to me and my faith begins to wane. 

and at that point it becomes more of an object lesson to the child: question moronic decisions/policies/rules/laws.  if more people did, we might not be where we are in some regards.

they go to school to learn, right?

I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
Thank you by Mrs FlightTest (4.00 / 2) #29 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 08:36:04 PM EST
for your support. I hope by the time your little one is in High School, the school administrators have gotten their heads out of the nether regions.

I agree with you on not questioning the teacher's judgment call on a case by case basis. I am pretty good at reading people and know from first hand experience that some teachers are just out and out bullies. This is not the first run-in we've had with this school.

I do fully agree that if my daughter did something to deserve detention, I would make sure she did her time for her crime. However, in this particular case the punishment is far too harsh for the perceived crime.

Don`t be an ID-10-T

[ Parent ]
It will only get worse... by 606 (4.00 / 1) #39 Sat Dec 01, 2007 at 12:41:48 PM EST
at least according to Mr. John Taylor Gatto. Most of the rules and punishments in school are arbitrary, as with most of the lessons and tests.

I just finished reading Dumbing Us Down and I have to say it resonated strongly with me.

imagine dancing banana here

[ Parent ]
except by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #6 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 02:03:15 AM EST
Hope the VP isn't anything like me as I thrive on that kind of game with customers.

[ Parent ]
I already am by Mrs FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #28 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 08:27:50 PM EST
a thorn in the side of this school.Don`t be an ID-10-T

[ Parent ]
keep at it by Breaker (2.00 / 1) #40 Sat Dec 01, 2007 at 01:49:00 PM EST
Sadly, it's the only language they understand...

[ Parent ]
What's detention like in the US? by komet (2.00 / 0) #3 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 01:36:48 AM EST
I really quite enjoyed my detention in high school.

<ni> komet: You are functionally illiterate as regards trashy erotica.
You've heard about Guantanamo, right? -nt by chuckles (2.00 / 0) #5 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 01:56:35 AM EST

"The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin [...] would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities"
[ Parent ]
Teacher needs to see me by Breaker (4.00 / 2) #8 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 02:32:01 AM EST
Dunno by Mrs FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #30 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 08:38:34 PM EST
I was a goodie two shoes and never did anything worthy of detention. However, I did get suspended for three days once because another girl wanted to fight me and chased me through the lunch area into the counselors office. (I was seeking refuge).

I was told it was for my own good and would not appear on my permanent record.

Don`t be an ID-10-T

[ Parent ]
:) by kwsNI (4.00 / 1) #7 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 02:23:19 AM EST
Kick their asses.  :) 

Workin' oN iT!! by Mrs FlightTest (4.00 / 2) #31 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 08:43:26 PM EST
Don`t be an ID-10-T

[ Parent ]
WIPO: Off the top of my head . . . by slozo (2.00 / 0) #9 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 04:09:21 AM EST
. . . I'd have gone right over to the school (being pissed about it) and taken my daughter out of detention - school staff be damned. If it happened again, I'd be right there after school, demanding to drive her home.

Not sure how that would work, though. Terribly funny poll, btw.

You could be arrested for trespassing. by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #17 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 07:45:53 AM EST
Really? by mrgoat (4.00 / 1) #19 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 08:18:56 AM EST
Can schools legally detain children against the wishes of the parents? How far does that go - can they abduct the kid to serve saturday detention?

--top hat--
[ Parent ]
No by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #26 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 10:03:02 AM EST
They can't detain the children, but the can have the parents arrested for trespassing.
The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.
[ Parent ]
Fortunately for her by Mrs FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #32 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 08:46:24 PM EST
she didn't have to serve that day. I explained that someone else was scheduled to pick her up for a visit with a sibling. Since no teacher wants to stay after school to supervise detention on Friday afternoon, she was scheduled to serve her time on Monday 3rd December. This gave me ample time to appeal.

Don`t be an ID-10-T

[ Parent ]
Contrary opinion by R Mutt (2.00 / 0) #11 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 04:51:33 AM EST
Other people have commented about this not being fair. It seems to me though, that if this rule applies to the whole school (even if not the district), then it is fair by definition. Asking for special treatment is what's unfair.

I don't think it's that bad a lesson: being late for something can have adverse consequences, even if it's not your fault.

Being on time isn't an unreasonable requirement, even if you think the punishment is excessive. So what kind of messages are you sending if you contest it? "Rules don't apply to us?"

However by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #20 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 08:31:52 AM EST
It seems unfair to punish the kid for the parent's mistake. I'd at least expect some sort of first-time warning if it obviously wasn't the kid's doing.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
It is not only unfair, by vorheesleatherface (2.50 / 2) #21 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 09:10:57 AM EST
it is a clear voilation of parental rights. Legal guardians control where their kids are and when. Period. No one has the right to tell a parent that their kids will be punished for doing what the parents say (within legal boundaries). If and when public schools ever get more legal right over their students than the parents, we're all fucked.

[ Parent ]
Is that true? by R Mutt (2.00 / 0) #22 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 09:36:08 AM EST
I believe you have truancy laws in some US states at least. That suggests to me that the obligation to send your child to school takes precedence over parental rights.

[ Parent ]
The term by vorheesleatherface (2.00 / 0) #25 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 10:01:12 AM EST
truancy typically refers to absences caused by students of their own free will. If the parents are the reason, it isn't truancy from what I understand.

[ Parent ]
Yup by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #27 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 12:40:48 PM EST
My wife is constantly complaining about parents who remove their kids from school for really valid reasons like "the family is going to Disneyland" and expect her to create the appropriate off-site assignments.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
So okay, by Mrs FlightTest (4.00 / 2) #33 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 09:10:10 PM EST
Maybe being on time isn't an unreasonable requirement. However, circumstances beyond your control should not be cause for detention. The VP informed me that car problems, traffic, and over sleeping are not excusable. Well if that is the case it should apply to the teachers as well. Her PE teacher (which is her first class of the day) has been late himself. Not only that but one time the substitute didn't show up at all until class was 1/2 over. Many times the locker room is not unlocked. If the school expects their students to be on time or be punished regardless of whose fault it is, then I DEMAND that the teachers suffer the same consequences as the students for the same crime.

The excuse the VP gave me was that many parents are late everyday and would give a note to the kid everyday. OK, fine, that may be, but I'm sure you could keep track of tardies with parental notes vs. tardies without notes so that after a certain number of notes, you get detention. But on a first offense to go straight to detention without warning is a bit harsh in my book.

Believe me, my daughter already knows just how unfair life can be. She doesn't require any more lessons in that area. My daughter did not learn from this that rules don't apply to us, she learned that you should be willing to fight for what you believe in. She further learned that you don't just "take it" from those in authority if you feel strongly that something is unjust. And she learned just how awesome of a mom she has! I told her I was going to serve detention with her since it was entirely my fault. I also sent her an "I'm sorry" e-card and text message on her phone.

Don`t be an ID-10-T

[ Parent ]
Schools these days... by Lady Jane (4.00 / 1) #12 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 05:17:53 AM EST
I'm not a parent, but I play one on TV...

Parents these days have gotten the stereotype of letting kids off too easy, giving in too much, and letting their kids get away with murder (in some cases, literally).  Whether it is that they want their kids to feel supported, want their kids to like them, or are too put out by having to make accommodations in their schedule to pick up their kids from detention.  Having worked in the school, I can tell you that it seems almost commonplace not to trust the parents -- they'll say anything to get their kids off the hook.  You see parents going to bat for their kids to the extreme to get them out of punishment that the kid genuinely deserves so frequently that you fall into the trap of assuming most parents aren't holding their kids accountable for anything.  And those parents are out there.  They are the parents the schools hear from most often, so it seems like there are more of them than there are.

Which sucks for the majority of good parents who do raise their kids with strong morals, and teach them the significance of owning up to your actions.  What is completely asinine in this case is that the school has policies in place, in my armchair opinion, to deal with the type of parents summarized above, which ends up screwing the rest of the kids and holding them accountable for someone else's actions.  Some might argue that school is preparing kids for the future "real world" where sometimes you are held accountable for others' actions, but this, especially as a first offense, is really bogus.

I think you are exactly right in your decision.  You are arguing with the school on their unfair policy.  If you don't win this one, then by attending the detention with your daughter she learns the unfair lesson of paying for the mistakes of others, but at the same time she sees you serving the detention and therefore paying for your mistake, not to mention your support of her in going to the school in her defense.  The school should see you as a responsible parent and hold you in higher esteem should you have difficulties with them in the future without too much of a rift being built.

OTOH, if you raise holy hell, which is what seems to make more sense and what I would want to do, you run the risk that the school's behavior towards your daughter may change.  As an extreme example, my mother fought the school district at every turn with my older siblings and the result was that by the time I was old enough to go to school my family was thought of with such contempt among the teachers at the public school that my parents had to send me to private school.  The result of my mother’s actions was that my siblings knew their mother supported them, but the school went out of their way to make life difficult for them.

"Buttons aren't toys" -- Trillian

Truth be told by Mrs FlightTest (4.00 / 1) #34 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 09:43:11 PM EST
the school already hates us. We have been a thorn in their side since we enrolled our daughter.

The real problem is they want parental involvement, but only on their terms. I am so glad we have her social worker on our side who has given us some insight on the laws that are in place to protect our daughter (being in the system has one advantage).

We had an incident with the gym clothes they issued her.

As for repercussions due to our fighting with the school, yes our daughter's social worker has warned us of that as she has some experience with just that sort of thing with her own daughter.

Don`t be an ID-10-T

[ Parent ]
Christ, over a decade ago... by Dr Thrustgood (4.00 / 1) #13 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 06:34:37 AM EST
I was 14/15, it was a Sunday morning, and I was pissed off about having to pop into school for a church service. Through some strange miracle I had a music scholarship, and this meant that I was forced into the choir, which in turn meant getting there an hour earlier than everyone else.


Anyway, being a crappy teenager, I'd forgotten to tell my mum about church that morning, and she was having her annual lie-in.

Did I mention that two years before I had decided religion was a load of arse? Yay for Church of England schools.

Anyway, we eventually get our act together, she drives like a loon, and I get in, 45 minutes late.  In the rehearsal room, the music director gave me a proper bollocking in front of 40-odd people. I wasn't aware that you were allowed to swear in a church, but the chaplain didn't say anything.

Apparently, even if the car had broken down and I was left in a Sussex ditch with a broken leg, that would be all my fault; I should have found a way to get in on time myself.

Later on, I realised that it was a good lesson, albeit harsh. Didn't stop me making his life a misery for the rest of my time there, though.

Fairness by hulver (4.00 / 1) #14 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 06:40:54 AM EST
Doesn't seem particually fair, but it's a rule. If they enforce it across the board I'd have to respect that.

Yes it's not your daughters fault, but I bet she won't be letting you stay in bed too late again ;)

Appologise to her for your tardiness. Make it up to her in some way.

If you find out later that the school is not consistent in applying their rules, THEN raise a stink about it.
Cheese is not a hat. - clock

Done, Done & Done by Mrs FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #35 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 09:54:05 PM EST
    I apologized many times over in various forms.
    I got her Pooh/Tigger lights for her bedroom window.
    Inconsistency is their middle name!

Don`t be an ID-10-T

[ Parent ]
run for the school board by discordia (4.00 / 1) #15 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 06:46:16 AM EST
win, and get the VP fired.

That is the problem with public schools by Linus Trollvalds (2.00 / 0) #16 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 07:01:20 AM EST
and private schools are very different. My son gets a tardy at the private school he goes to and they give him a number on his weekly report. Too many numbers and he might get a detention, or a note from the teacher telling parents to get our child to school on time. Then again the private school gives him a number for popping a plastic bag at lunch as well. It is up to us parents to discipline our children, and the private school only reports using a number system to the parents each week.

Each private school may very by the rules.

But notice that most of the bullying, harassment, and school shootings have been done with public schools and not private schools. That is because public schools have major problems and aren't managed very well. Mostly brain-dead MBAs like that VP manage the public schools like some prison system and then act shocked when a student shoots up the school, despite there being warning signs and all.

I like your school! (-: by Mrs FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #36 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 10:01:52 PM EST
Her school has 3 or 4 VP's! One of them reminds me of a used car salesman, another of the local neighborhood bully.

A friend of mine told me that her son attends a different High School because her daughter attended the same school my daughter attends!

We may look into transferring her for next year.

Don`t be an ID-10-T

[ Parent ]
Tell her she will not serving it... by haplopeart (4.00 / 1) #18 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 08:02:18 AM EST
Tell her to leave at the proper appointed time at the end of the school day.  if the school make a stink tell them why and she will not be serving.  After that point if they insist no keeping her, if possible pick her up from school every day for an "appointment" 5 minutes before school ends until they get the point.  You are her legal guardian, they can't stop you.

Problem with that is: by Mrs FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #37 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 10:20:00 PM EST
If she doesn't serve an assigned detention she will wind up suspended and possibly even expelled. They have a "ZERO TOLERANCE" policy, when what they really need is a no <insert expletive of choice here> policy.

Don`t be an ID-10-T

[ Parent ]
who cares? its 30 freaking minutes. by garlic (4.00 / 1) #23 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 09:57:40 AM EST
Only goodie two shoes never got detention in highschool. Fuck -- I was valedictorian and I got detention in high school.

I got plenty by haplopeart (2.00 / 0) #41 Wed Dec 19, 2007 at 10:56:39 AM EST
Served NONE!

[ Parent ]
Public "servants" by Herring (2.00 / 0) #24 Fri Nov 30, 2007 at 09:58:00 AM EST
Since the pay is shite, people would become teachers, firemen, policemen etc. for one of 3 reasons:
  1. A genuine desire to be of use to society
  2. Because they like ordering people around and enforcing rules makes them feel like a Big Man
  3. They are some sort of pervert

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

That's odd. by Horatio Hellpop (4.00 / 1) #38 Sat Dec 01, 2007 at 12:30:22 PM EST
You'd think that someone in the Doctor's position would have considered a name change earlier in his career.

"You can't really know something until you ruin it for everyone." -some guy who used to have an account here

You've got to be kidding me! | 41 comments (41 topical, 0 hidden)