Archive for the ‘School Rules’ Category

Teachers Should Not Become the Lunch Box Police

December 8, 2019



Reading, writing, mathematics, history and social studies. These are some of the disciplines teachers should concern themselves with.

Lunch box inspectors? Sorry. That’s none of our business.

And what’s more, whilst the method of lunchbox checking is intended to encourage healthy eating, it is more likely to lead to food-related anxiety.


Parents are clashing with teachers who police lunch boxes and shame children for bringing unhealthy food, new research shows.

University of Melbourne researchers interviewed 50 Victorian primary school ­parents and found some were anxious and upset about their school’s surveillance of lunch boxes.

In some cases, photos of children with “good” and “bad” lunch boxes were circulated around the school to teach others what to bring and what not to bring.

Young students were also singled out by teachers and given yard duties or penalty points for having the wrong food, the study found.

One girl buried a muesli bar in the playground because she was so embarrassed about having it in her lunch box and another had homemade cake returned with admonishment.

I ask one simple question. How would policymakers like having parents inspect their lunches? Because we all know that the hypocrites that enforce these policies are quite partial to a bit of Uber Eats.


Michael Grossman is the author of the hilarious new children’s book, My Favourite Comedian. You can download a free ebook copy by clicking here or buy a copy by clicking on this link.


Lawmakers Are Trying to Make School an Awful Experience for Kids

January 7, 2018

I cannot believe how stupid some policy makers are. Banning students from having best friends? Really?

I thought schools were supposed to prepare children for the real world.

Imagine if schools banned teachers from mixing with their favourite colleagues! Because don’t think for a second that teachers don’t operate in cliques just like their students do. Our students see double standards from a mile away, and any rule which prevents them from doing normal, everyday things that their teachers do, irks them no end.

The way to look after isolated and lonely students is not to save them by draconian laws that reduce the school experience for others. It is to invest as teachers in building their self-esteem and promoting them to the rest of the school community. You don’t need to impose bans to help these students. You just need to care enough about them to help them find their place in the school.


This idea sucks:

Members of the royal family aren’t often told what they can and can’t do. But just a few days into his first year of school, 4-year-old Prince George already faces a mandate: No best friends allowed.

Thomas’s Battersea, the school George attends, bans kids from having best friends, Marie Claire reports. Instead, teachers encourage all students to form bonds with one another to avoid creating feelings of exclusions among those without best friends.

Jane Moore, a parent whose child attends the school, explained the idea on a recent episode of the British talk show “Loose Women.” “There’s a policy,” she said, “that if your child is having a party — unless every child is invited — you don’t give out the invites in class.”

The trend of banning best friends has been growing for several years, and it’s spread beyond European borders to American schools as well.


Click on the link to read Classroom Toilet Rules Turns Schools Into Prisons

Click on the link to read Hands Up if You Don’t Like Putting Your Hands Up

Click on the link to read Every Good Teacher Should be Allowed to Make a Mistake

Click on the link to read Girls Banned From Running at Sporting Events

Classroom Toilet Rules Turns Schools Into Prisons

March 13, 2017

I have one rule when it comes to toilet use during class time.

If you need to go, you won’t be timed or denied access to the toilet. You don’t even have to raise your hand to ask. Just let a friend know where you are going.

I don’t care if they need to go multiple times in a day. I don’t care if they need to go just after recess. My bladder isn’t always as predictable as I’d hope, why should I subject my 11 year-old students to standards I can’t always live by?

My students do no exploit this rule. They do not take a long time to go and classes are not disturbed by my rule. In fact, the students love this rule because it treats them like responsible citizens rather than inmates.

I can’t stand toilet rules. That’s why I am not sympathetic to this school’s predicament:


Police were called when a protest erupted at a British school after students were limited to two toilet breaks a day.

Officers were forced to be called in after up to 40 students took to the playing fields on Friday morning protesting the controversial new rule at Bedale High School in North Yorkshire.

Parents have criticised the school after being informed the 580 pupils were only allowed a bathroom break between 11.05am and 11.25am, and 12.25pm and 12.45pm.

The decision was criticised as “breaching human rights”, but the 11-16 comprehensive school maintains the toilets are accessible on request and to those who held a ‘medical card’.

Parents first learned of the new policy by a letter in February, which ITV reported as saying: “There is no access to the main building (where the toilets are located) after 12.45pm.”

Lunch finishes at 1.10pm, adding to the outrage.

One parent, who posted anonymously on Facebook, said: “I believe that this is humiliating and undignified and is a breach of human rights to be denied access to toilets at any other time unless you have a medical need, and totally ridiculous to say that you cannot go to the toilet after you have had lunch.

“My daughter had stayed behind in her class to do extra work and then went to the toilet at 12.45pm but staff wouldn’t let her go.

“I wrote to the Head saying I felt this was a breach of human rights and she wrote back saying that those with medical issues would need to get a note from the doctor.

“It’s appalling, the fact that if they have got medical issues they have got to show a pass, they are making them a target for bullies, it’s just degrading.”

And Pupil Madelaine Anderson agreed, writing: “I find this unfair on everyone not only girls but also boys, not everyone needs to have a ‘medical note’ to be allowed to use the toilet.”

But a notice posted on Bedale High’s website defended the move, saying the new behavioural code was part of an overall action plan.

They said: “The code also includes tighter rules on uniform and on reducing the numbers of students outside of classrooms during lesson time. 

“As part of this the school has reminded students that toilets are freely accessible during specific periods at lunchtime and break time but that students who need the toilet during lessons, or need access for medical reasons, will always be given access on request. Toilets are therefore accessible at all times.”

A spokesman for North Yorkshire police confirmed they were called to a protest at the school but advised staff it was not a police matter.


Click on the link to read Hands Up if You Don’t Like Putting Your Hands Up

Click on the link to read Every Good Teacher Should be Allowed to Make a Mistake

Click on the link to read Girls Banned From Running at Sporting Events

Click on the link to read Schools Don’t Get Much More Scary Than This

Hands Up if You Don’t Like Putting Your Hands Up

June 4, 2015


So they are banning students from putting their hands up. Hmm….

I don’t have a major problem with it but I suspect that in some classes the ability for the more proficient learners to answer the teacher’s questions in remains one the only things keeping them awake:


Let’s call it the Hermione Granger Effect.

Every classroom has at least one Hermione, the pupil  who always raises their hand to prove they have the right answer. At the back of the class, kids are quickly switching off.

But some Victorian schools are banning students from putting their hands up in classrooms, as part of a progressive global experiment in changing how classes are run.

The Hermione Grainger effect: teachers are discouraging children from raising their hands Photo: Warners

Toorak College and Frankston High School are among Victorian schools taking up the no hands-up policy, along with other schools in Europe. Derinya Primary School is also considering the approach – the brainchild of renowned British education expert Professor Dylan William.

The theory is that the same minority of top students are raising their hands to answer teachers’ questions, and are getting smarter with each response, widening the gaps between the high and low performing students.

Having the smart kids answer every question can fool teachers into believing that the whole classroom – as opposed to those more vocal – are learning.



Click on the link to read Every Good Teacher Should be Allowed to Make a Mistake

Click on the link to read Girls Banned From Running at Sporting Events

Click on the link to read Schools Don’t Get Much More Scary Than This

Click on the link to read It is None of Our Business What Video Games Our Students Play

Every Good Teacher Should be Allowed to Make a Mistake

May 17, 2015



Firing a good teacher for one act of so-called “public humiliation” doesn’t seem particularly fair. It is very difficult to tame a student who is actively making the lives of other students unbearable. Whilst I wouldn’t have tackled the problem in that way, I hardly see it as a sackable offense:


A beloved Ohio elementary school teacher has been fired for ‘public humiliation’ after she said she asked a child to consider how his bullying was affecting his peers. 

Nicole LeMire approached the boy last month after she said she learned he was blowing mucus on other children, using inappropriate language and had pushed another boy to the ground.

LeMire said she merely asked the boy ‘Do you know how your actions and your words are hurting other students and your friends?’ she told NBC 4i.

She was placed on paid administrative leave at Glen Oak Elementary School, in Delaware County, just days later and was told she was under investigation for ‘publicly humiliating’ a student. 

LeMire was fired with a 3-1 vote on Thursday at an Olentangy Schools board meeting that was packed with her supporters.

The board’s official resolution claimed that LeMire had asked her class to take turns discussing how the student in question, referred to as ‘Student A’, had ‘acted badly, violated rules, or insulted them, and/or why Student A was annoying or had no friends’. 

‘Ms LeMire required Student A to listen to classmates’ complaints and refused to allow him to respond or defend himself against potentially embellished complaints’, the resolution said. 

During the three-hour board meeting a number of fellow teachers and students, past and present, spoke in defense of LeMire, who has been teaching for 14 years.

Marsha Seymour, LeMire’s friend and colleague, called her a ‘natural-born educator’.

‘She truly has the child’s best interest in mind, no matter what,’ she said. 

One student said LeMire was ‘the most impactful teacher that I’ve had’.  

After the vote was announced many students, and even parents, were left in tears. 

One father yelled at the board, ‘You are fired. Every one of you’, while a mother comforted her daughter with a kiss on the head. 

Another mother screamed at the board, ‘You won’t even support the good teachers, that’s disgusting. I’m embarrassed to live in this district.’ 

LeMire said she has hired a lawyer and plans to pursue legal action.  

Click on the link to read Girls Banned From Running at Sporting Events

Click on the link to read Schools Don’t Get Much More Scary Than This

Click on the link to read It is None of Our Business What Video Games Our Students Play

Girls Banned From Running at Sporting Events

April 23, 2015



If this report is true, the Principal should be banished from presiding over any school:


Girls at Al-Taqwa College have been banned from running at sporting events because the principal believes it may cause them to lose their virginity, former teachers claim.

The schools regulator, the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority, is investigating the allegations, which have been referred to the state and federal education ministers.

It follows revelations in The Age last month that the principal of the Islamic school, Omar Hallak, told students that Islamic State was a plot by Western countries.

n a letter sent to the education ministers this week, a former teacher said female students were being discriminated against at the Truganina school.

“The principal holds beliefs that if females run excessively, they may ‘lose their virginity’,” the letter said.

“The principal believes that there is scientific evidence to indicate that if girls injure themselves, such as break their leg while playing soccer, it could render them infertile.”

The former Al-Taqwa teacher said Mr Hallak prevented the female primary school cross country team from participating in a 2013 and 2014 district event.

They said Mr Hallak was unaware that female students had been training for the event and intervened when he realised they were set to compete.

The teacher said they had worked at another Islamic school where female students were encouraged to take part place in any sporting event.

“I look back on my time at Al-Taqwa with frustration and anger, which is how I felt most of the time while I was working there. I did my best to stay committed to the students however in the end, I was unable to provide the same opportunities to students that I was given when I was at primary school, more than 20 years ago.”

Concerned female students expressed their concerns in a handwritten letter to the principal, saying it was unfair that the cross country event had been cancelled.

“It was really shocking to find out it has been cancelled because of the excuse girls can’t run,” the students said.

“Just because we are girls doesn’t mean we can’t participate in running events. It also doesn’t say girls can’t run in the hadith (the sayings of Muhammad).”

The students said parents were annoyed by the decision and “think that girls and boys should both be allowed to participate equally.”

Another former Al-Taqwa College teacher backed the claims. “I was told the girls weren’t allowed to participate. The reason was they might over-exert themselves and lose their virginity or be rendered infertile.”



Click on the link to read Schools Don’t Get Much More Scary Than This

Click on the link to read It is None of Our Business What Video Games Our Students Play

Click on the link to read What the System Can Do to Great Teachers

Schools Don’t Get Much More Scary Than This

April 8, 2015



I’m all for good results, but not at the expense of teacher, student and parent satisfaction:


IT’S a school where children are reportedly praised for wetting themselves rather than taking a break and teachers work harder than Wall Street bankers.

This is the Success Academy, where failure is not an option.

The controversial New York school network has been criticised for its pressure-cooker environment. But its head says the intensive methods are giving poorer students the chance to compete with rich kids with expensive schools and private tutors.

The results-focused network is made up of charter schools, which are independent, but receive public funding. Success claims it encourages children to embrace the discipline and “joyful rigour” they’ll need to flourish.

Test scores are announced in class, displayed on coloured charts posted in hallways and published in a weekly newsletter, according to a New York Times profile.

Those who aren’t measuring up appear in the red zone. If their poor performance persists, they attend “effort academy” while their classmates get a treat. Suspension rates are far beyond those in most public schools.

One parent whose child attended Brooklyn’s Success Academy Cobble Hill wrote on a forum that the school was “strict, cold, and insensitive” to children’s needs.

“My son wet his pants for the first time since he was three years old because the school did not let him go to the bathroom when he asked,” wrote the parent. “The school was incapable of recognising that he had also developed anxiety around going down the hall to the bathroom.”

There is a high turnover of staff, with one former teacher telling the Times she used to cry herself to sleep at night because of the way she had to treat the children.

The newspaper also saw an internal email that said students who were falling behind should be made to feel “misery”. One teacher was told by a supervisor to respond more strongly to a child’s mistakes, by tearing up her work.

There are strict instructions on posture — backs straight, hands clasped and feet on the floor or legs crossed.



Click on the link to read It is None of Our Business What Video Games Our Students Play

Click on the link to read What the System Can Do to Great Teachers

Click on the link to read Teacher Bans the Word “Awesome” From His Class

It is None of Our Business What Video Games Our Students Play

March 31, 2015


Here’s the thing. There are teachers and there are parents. A teacher’s responsibility is to teach in a room called a classroom. A parents job is parent.

It is not the job of a teacher to parent children. They may approve or disapprove of a parent’s methods, but unless they are abusing their children in some way, it is not the business of a teacher to report the parent to authorities.

Of course young children should not be playing Grand Theft Auto. But it is completely wrong for teachers to have the authority to report parents whenever they feel the parent has made a bad call:


Parents are in danger of being reported to police by their children’s head teachers if they allow them to play video games for over 18s.

A letter sent by a group of schools in Cheshire raised concerns about the ‘levels of violence and sexual content’ young people are being exposed to by playing games such as Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto, which are renowned for their violent characters and have an 18 classification.

It warns that if teachers are made aware their pupils have been playing these video games they will contact police and social services.

The letter, sent by Nantwich Education Partnership, said allowing children to play these type of games on Xboxes and Playstations is deemed ‘neglectful’.

It comes amid fears children could be left more vulnerable to grooming and abuse by being exposed to early sexualised behaviour as well as extreme brutality, often seen in video games in the upper age classifications.

The letter says: ‘Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto, Dogs of War and other similar games, are all inappropriate for children and they should not have access to them. 

Inappropriate for children? I think girly mags, TV sitcoms and many Hollywood movies are inappropriate, but that does not give me the right to impose my views on others. Our system would be so much better if teachers concentrated on teaching and worked with the parents instead of against them.

Child Care Centres Sending Kids Home With Their Poo in Bags!

March 23, 2015


I am so tired of the ever increasing rules and regulations instituted in the name of health and safety. They claim to be all about safer work environments, but in reality, they not only fail to hold up to scrutiny but dismally fail the common sense test as well.

Take this stroke of genius new law that clearly made one parent quite upset:


Some childcare centres in Australia are sending kids home with their poo in labelled plastic bags.

Yes, you read that correctly. Take home turds.

Let me explain. Late last week a lady sent me a message on my Facebook page:

“Em — help me. You have the BEST answers! I am a young mum with kids at daycare. Today, I was greeted with a plastic bag with an entire poo wrapped in princess pink undies with ‘Ellie 16/03’ written on it. Yes my daughter is named Ellie but surely this isn’t her soiled undies packaged from three days prior after sitting in communal ‘turd’ bucket for all that time! Can I please ask, what would have you have done?”

What the what now?!

From what I could gather, at this particular childcare centre, when parents are collecting the stick figure drawings on scrap paper and the stale pasta collages, they also have to check the COMMUNAL S**T BUCKET to see if their child has made a deposit.


Initially I thought that perhaps this was just a one off occurrence and that this lady had made a poor choice in childcare. Until the comments started coming in under her post in their hundreds, confirming that this situation is indeed happening in childcare centres all across the country.

Why isn’t there national outrage? Why aren’t A Current Affair and 60 Minutes bashing down people’s doors? Are you all taking this in? Do you fully comprehend the situation we are dealing with here?

I don’t know about you but I had SO many questions. The most pressing being: WHY? For the sake of all that is good and true in this world, why are we giving harassed parents a bag of brown at pick up?

I did some “research” so none of you had to and the short answer is because apparently. if a kid stocks the lake with brown trout (in their undies), it’s a health and safety issue. There is a chance of cross-contamination in sinks and faecal matter flicking up into a worker’s eyes. So instead of putting it in the teeny tiny toilets, the childcare workers just bag the undies up log and all, name them and put them with the other packages of joy for the parents to deal with upon pick up.

Christ on a wheel!

I can categorically state this never happened at the child care centres my children attended. I can also categorically state that if it had happened, I would’ve promptly gone and placed the bag on the desk of the director of the centre and not moved until he/she assured me that it would NEVER happen again. Failing that, I would’ve hidden that bag of borry so deep in their office that the only way to remove the stench would be to light said office on fire.

I mean, doesn’t it go without saying that if a pair of undies is so badly assaulted and can’t be dealt with on the premises, those undies should be destroyed for all of time? I’m willing to let go of a pair of $4 My Little Pony jocks for the sake of NEVER having to be presented with a poo bag of terror. Aren’t you?

If you’re reading this and knowingly nodding your head because this situation is all too familiar, I am so sorry. No one should have to go through that kind of trauma.

Do these child care centres not give a s**t at all? Oh wait, they do …

We should also spare a thought for those who live in warmer climates. There would be some serious fermentation going on in those plastic bags.

Pro tip: If you find yourself the victim of crap bagging in the near future remember that Easter is just around the corner. And who doesn’t love those tiny little “organic” brown eggs?

So in summary no, all the no, just NO.

P.S. Obviously this isn’t happening in ALL childcare centres. I’ve heard of places that freshly wash and dry you kid’s clothes should they get dirty! I also in no way wish to diminish the awesome, difficult and hideously underpaid work childcare workers do across the country. You’re all bloody saints in my book, even the ones bagging and naming crap. I’m sure you’re just toeing the company line because this behaviour would not be anyone’s personal choice.


Click on the link to read What the System Can Do to Great Teachers

Click on the link to read Teacher Bans the Word “Awesome” From His Class

Click on the link to read Five-Year-Old Forced to Sign a Suicide Contract by School

Click on the link to read Guess Why this Girl Was Sent Home from Kindergarten

What the System Can Do to Great Teachers

February 23, 2015


The public school system, in particular, with their draconian rules and regulations, have no trouble letting go of great teachers for the most obscure reasons. This is but one example of my theory that some schools just don’t seem to deserve great teachers. If they did, they would be treated better than this:


Parents of preschoolers at a St Louis school say their kids have been heartbroken after losing one of their favorite teachers.

Kelly Hahn was put on leave from Wilkinson Early Childhood Center last December, just two weeks after being named the St Louis Public School district’s ‘Pre-K Teacher of the Year.’

Fox2Now reports that children were coming home in tears after learning their favorite teacher was gone, and a rumor spread that Hahn had been diagnosed with cancer.

‘She is one of those people that I would say is the glue that holds Wilkinson together,’ PTO President Dana Evans told KMOV

But sadness turned to anger after parents learned that Hahn had received a letter saying she’d been dismissed for child neglect and endangerment, which parents say stemmed from an incident over a diaper. 

A three-year-old had come to school one day in a pull-up diaper, which is against the rules at Wilkinson.

After Hahn discovered the diaper, she let the child keep it on instead of removing it, and simply notified the parents.

Another teacher notified Missouri Department of Family Services, which conducted an investigation that found no signs of neglect.

St Louis Public Schools Superintendent Kelvin Adams says that the district has separate standards of conduct, though he did not comment specifically on Hahn.

Click on the link to read Teacher Bans the Word “Awesome” From His Class

Click on the link to read Five-Year-Old Forced to Sign a Suicide Contract by School

Click on the link to read Guess Why this Girl Was Sent Home from Kindergarten

Click on the link to read The Disgraceful Decision to Fire a Teacher for Trying to Break Up a Fight

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