Posts Tagged ‘School Rules’

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

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Five-Year-Old Forced to Sign a Suicide Contract by School

October 12, 2014

 

I know there is a great deal of sensitivity about guys and schools but have US school administrators completely lost their minds? How does a 5-year-old with a mild, natural interest in guns constitute a suicide risk?

 

One mother is furious after her 5-year-old daughter was reportedly forced to sign a “suicide contract” at school.

The mother, named Rebecca, told Alabama outlet WPMI-TV that the incident occurred after her kindergarten daughter drew a picture that resembled a gun and pointed a crayon at another student and said “pew pew.” Authorities at E.R. Dixon Elementary school made the child sign a contract stating she would not kill herself or harm anyone else.

Rebecca said that while she was in the lobby waiting to pick up her child, “they had my 5-year-old sign a contract about suicide and homicide … There should be a different way to handle this situation. If this is protocol it needs to be looked at again.” Rebecca added that she did not think her daughter knew what the words in the contract even meant.

Mobile County school system superintendent Martha Peek told the Alabama Media Group that staff at the elementary school used the district wide procedure for when “a student indicates they may be considering any actions such as hurting themselves or hurting someone else.” However, she noted that the incident will be evaluated and that the policy “will be reworked.”

“I think if we had stepped back and looked at the situation and that others could have been involved — if the principal had known about it — we could have probably had some additional guidance,” Peek told the outlet.

Peek told The Huffington Post that she has not been in touch with the mother since hearing about the incident, but she intends to meet with her and “reassure mom that everything is fine and her child is going to be well taken care of.”

Recently, schools around the country have taken a tough approach to children who play with fake guns or draw fake guns. A young student was famously suspended in 2013 after chewing a pop tart into the shape of a gun.

 

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

Click on the link to read One of the Greatest Teacher Pranks Ever Recorded

Click on the link to read Don’t Fire Caring Teachers

Click on the link to read Should Teachers Allow Students to Call Them by Their Christian Names?

Click on the link to read Let’s See if you Can Work Out Why This Teacher was Suspended

The Disgraceful Decision to Fire a Teacher for Trying to Break Up a Fight

May 7, 2014

 

The teacher in this video was unfortunately fired for her attempted intervention. I find this to be an outrageous overreaction to what was a most challenging situation.

 

I have the following points to make:

1. How many of us teachers were ever trained on what to do to break up a fight between students. Do you try to intervene? Do you simply wait for security? Do you take a proactive approach or a passive one?

2. This is not your average student fight. This is ultra violent and extremely serious. When the teacher chose to intervene, it was at a point when the child on the bottom looked like he was about to have a serious concussion.

3. I’ve heard people argue that she should have called for security and left it at that. Really? Can’t you see what is going on? What if one of the students involved got a blow to the head which left him brain damaged? How would we view the teacher if all she did was send a child out to alert security?

4. A television reporter suggested she should have physically restrained the fighters. Are you serious? We are teachers not bouncers! She was brave enough to do what she did. Getting in the middle of the fight wouldn’t have been wise. In fact, it would have been suicide.

5. I’ve heard comments made about the unacceptability of hitting students with a broom. This very argument was made by one of the students at the school:

Bernard Barton III, a 19-year-old senior at the school, said the teacher went too far.

“The lady she should have never grabbed the broom. She could have just grabbed the security guard,” Barton said. “He could have got hurt from her hitting him with the broom like that and she should have gotten charged for it.”

Firstly, do you honestly think this teacher goes around hitting her students with brooms? This was an absolutely exceptional case that required a response that goes against the natural character of the teacher involved. Secondly, she didn’t use inappropriate force, she used the bristles for goodness sakes!

6. By firing the teacher they again make the teacher the focal point. This is quite disturbing. Surely the fighting students must be the story here, not the desperate teacher.

7. I want the people that fired her to not only explain why they fired her but to explain what they would have done in such a situation.

Fire this teacher? I would have given her support and guidance, offered her counseling and considered a raise!

 

Click on the link to read One of the Greatest Teacher Pranks Ever Recorded

Click on the link to read Don’t Fire Caring Teachers

Click on the link to read Should Teachers Allow Students to Call Them by Their Christian Names?

Click on the link to read Let’s See if you Can Work Out Why This Teacher was Suspended

Click on the link to read Why Healthy Eating Laws in Schools Don’t Work

Click on the link to read You Can’t Have Your Lunch and Eat it Too

One of the Greatest Teacher Pranks Ever Recorded

April 7, 2014

 

 

I can understand the frustration this teacher must have had with being constantly interrupted by students leaving their mobile phones on in class. The rule he imposed forcing students to answer their phones on speaker was probably a bit of overkill, something he realises upon overhearing the following phone call.

 

 

Click on the link to read Don’t Fire Caring Teachers

Click on the link to read Should Teachers Allow Students to Call Them by Their Christian Names?

Click on the link to read Let’s See if you Can Work Out Why This Teacher was Suspended

Click on the link to read Why Healthy Eating Laws in Schools Don’t Work

Click on the link to read You Can’t Have Your Lunch and Eat it Too

Click on the link to read How Many Teachers Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb? (Part 1)

Let’s See if you Can Work Out Why This Teacher was Suspended

February 25, 2014

 

kelly mascio

A teacher is suspended after she found two 5-year-old students in the bathroom naked claiming that they were “having sex” with one another.

What did the teacher do wrong you may ask.

Did she fail to alert the Principal?

No. She did that straight away.

Well then, what did she get suspended for?

Your guess is as good as mine:

A kindergarten teacher has been suspended from her job after two of her students were found ‘having sex’ while naked in her classroom’s bathroom.

Kelly Mascio, who has been teaching for more than 15 years in Mullica Township, New Jersey, has been suspended with pay since the incident on September 30.

According to a police report, Mascio found the two five-year-olds – a boy and girl – naked in her in-classroom bathroom. They told her they were ‘having sex.’

Mascio immediately reported the incident to Principal Matthew Mazzoni, who in turn advised the Police Department and the state Department of Youth and Family Services.The teacher was immediately suspended, while police investigated the case.

 

Click on the link to read Why Healthy Eating Laws in Schools Don’t Work

Click on the link to read You Can’t Have Your Lunch and Eat it Too

Click on the link to read How Many Teachers Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb? (Part 1)

Click on the link to read Girl Faces Expulsion for Being a Victim of Bullying

Click on the link to read Cancer Sufferer Claims she was Banned from Daughter’s School Because of her “Smell”

Why Healthy Eating Laws in Schools Don’t Work

February 10, 2014

 

health

The late great Dale Carnegie wrote:

There is only one way under high heaven to get anybody to do anything … Yes, just one way. And that is by making the other person want to do it.

It’s a shame that policy makers and school administrators don’t seem to have read any of Carnegie’s work because had they absorbed the quote above, perhaps they may have come up with something better to offer students.

People think that school represents the perfect place to undo parenting errors. They think that by bringing in a new school rule or program, that children will be set for life. Some of the rules and regulations in a school near you include:

– Anti-bullying programs

– Sex Ed programs

– Junk Food policies

– Playground no hugging rules

– Toilet rules

– Drug programs

– Anti-gambling programs.

 

And it goes on and on ….

 

Is this really a bad thing? What’s wrong with scrapping junk food from school?

Of course nothing is wrong with instilling healthy eating habits, teaching children about what constitutes bullying and how important it is to avoid drugs.  But to be successful you’re going to need more than a worthy cause.

The problem with schools taking on these issues is that schools already have a stigma for most children. Whether we like to admit it or not, most kids hate school and they hate what they are taught at school. So whether it’s a math or science lesson or its a discussion about the dangers or excess sugar consumption, the chances of breaking through are difficult. It requires a positive and creative approach.

And let’s face it, the programs eluded to above often look and feel like schoolwork. They often consist of worksheets and paired activities and feature mini-quizzes. Why do the people who put together these programs think that if they put an animal mascot on the front of the pack and crossword on page five that kids will warm to the content? No child has ever been fooled by such a gimmick.

And inflexible rules are worse. Sure, it’s not ideal for kids to be eating chips or popcorn at school, but taking away their treats is yet another way of reinforcing the stigma that schools are overbearing, ruthless and prison like. I just read that Brussels want to ban yogurts and cheese from school lunches. If I was a school kid in Brussels I would want to go home and douse myself in cheese just out of spite!

It is such a breath of fresh air when a great anti-bullying initiative or healthy eating idea surfaces. One that captures the students’ imagination and encourages rather than bans, nurtures rather than smothers.

If you want children to listen they must want to listen. Don’t shove draconian rules and anti-bullying packs down their throats. Give them something that doesn’t look or feel like school work.

 

Click on the link to read You Can’t Have Your Lunch and Eat it Too

Click on the link to read How Many Teachers Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb? (Part 1)

Click on the link to read Girl Faces Expulsion for Being a Victim of Bullying

Click on the link to read Cancer Sufferer Claims she was Banned from Daughter’s School Because of her “Smell”

Click on the link to read Top 10 Most Unusual School Bans

6 Year Old Suspended for 4 Days Because of Cheese in his Lunchbox

February 2, 2014

 

cheese

Lunchbox laws cause friction between schools and parents and achieve a great deal less than intended. I am all for healthy eating, but the answer is not to suspend a 6 year old for what is in his lunchbox.

Ultimately, as much as educators want to feel they can change the world in all instances, the job of parenting should rest solely with … parents. It is not the business for schools to suspend children for cheddar cheese bags.

There are far better methods for dealing with unhealthy lunches than dictatorial rules. These include:

1. Having a quiet word to parent offenders.

2. Complimenting children with healthy lunches.

3. Having a fruit and vegetable party in the classroom to celebrate a class achievement. This has proven particularly successful in my classroom.

4. Sending a list of healthy food options for lunchboxes to parents. Parents hate to be preached at but often welcome tips and advice.

 

I am sure my wonderful readers can recommend other positive ways to get parents to include more healthy items in their kids’ lunchboxes. As a teacher and parent I would love to read them.

 

Click on the link to read Invaluable Rules for Getting Kids to Heat Healthy Food

Click on the link to read Tips to get Children to Eat Better and Exercise More Often

Click on the link to read 10 Tips for Promoting Kids’ Healthy Eating

Click on the link to read my post on Tips For Parents on Packing a Healthy Lunch Box

Click on the link to read my post on Getting Kids to Eat Healthy Food

How Many Teachers Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb? (Part 2)

January 28, 2014

 

light bulb

Earlier today I posted a very comical answer to the famous light bulb joke. I recommend you read it, as it is extremely funny and perceptive.

Part 2 is devoted to the actual answer. How many teachers does it take to change a light bulb?

None of course. We are not allowed to:

A REFRIGERATOR lightbulb retailing for about $3 at a hardware store ended up costing a far north Queensland state school almost $500 after Queensland’s Public Works Department sent an electrician to install it in a teacher’s government-owned home.

Doomadgee State School, on the Gulf of Carpentaria, was billed $200 for labour alone after the teacher was told workplace health and safety regulations prevented any staff member from buying and replacing the bulb themselves, The Australian understands.

Don’t even get me started!

 

Click on the link to read How Many Teachers Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb? (Part 1)

 

School Makes Children Pay to Use the Toilet

January 19, 2014

 

pay

What is it with obsessing over the learning time lost due to toilet breaks? Either these breaks are legitimate in which case it is our duty to ensure that our students have access to the toilet, or it is an excuse the child makes in order to get out of the classroom. If it is the latter, the teacher should see it not as an abuse of trust, but rather as constructive feedback. The child is clearly telling the teacher that the lesson is boring. Teachers that successfully engage their students don’t have an issue with needless toilet interruptions.

For those schools considering toilet policies such as making students forfeit class money or privileges in order to get a toilet break, I wish to remind them of the following:

1. Teachers should not play games about something as serious as a child needing to go to the toilet.

2. Children should never be made to feel guilty for frequent trips to the bathroom.

3. Surely there are bigger fish to fry than time wasted on toilet breaks.

4. How would teachers like it if they were charged for toilet breaks during staff meetings?

5. Schools share too many similarities to prisons as it is, yet you don’t hear of prisoners having to give up privileges in order to go to the toilet.

 

I am glad that a class rule obligating students to part with their fake class money in order to claim a toilet break was scrapped. What disappoints me is how that crazy rule was allowed to be enacted in the first place:

An Oregon elementary school came under fire this week after one parent objected to a policy requiring students in some classrooms to “pay” to use the bathroom during class. (The policy has since been revoked.)

Melissa Dalebout, the mother of first-grader Lily, told local news outlet KATU that her daughter had an accident recently at Cascades Elementary School because she didn’t want to use her “Super Pro” bucks to go the bathroom.

The bucks were a form of fake money that children at the Lebanon, Ore., school earned for good behavior. Bucks that weren’t spent on bathroom breaks were redeemable for toys at the school store.

“I just feel my children should not be punished for having to use the bathroom,” Dalebout told KATU.

Mommyish blogger Maria Guido wondered if this type of policy might send the wrong message to kids.

“I don’t want my child to develop strange bathroom habits because teachers have him on a bathroom rewards program,” Guido wrote. “Not okay. I understand rewarding good behavior, but this bathroom break policy does not sit well with me. If my child wet his pants because of this, I would be pissed.”

Cascades Principal Tami Volz told KATU that the Super Pro payment plan, as well as strategies where excessive bathroom users lost part of their recess time, were imperative for classroom management.

 

Click on the link to read When Standing Up for Your Students Gets You Fired

Click on the link to read Girl Faces Expulsion for Being a Victim of Bullying

Click on the link to read Cancer Sufferer Claims she was Banned from Daughter’s School Because of her “Smell”

Click on the link to read Top 10 Most Unusual School Bans

Click on the link to read Rules that Restrict the Teacher and Enslave the Student

When Standing Up for Your Students Gets You Fired

January 11, 2014

 

prin

If this Principal got fired for doing nothing more than trying to end a humiliating policy, the decision makers involved should be banned from ever being involved with school policy again:

A former Colorado charter school principal is claiming she was terminated from her job after attempting to halt a practice that embarrassed students.

Noelle Roni was the principal of Peak to Peak Elementary School for more than eight years before being abruptly fired last November. Roni says that higher-ups at the school became angry with her when she demanded that cafeteria workers stop stamping the hands of children who did not have enough money in their account to pay for lunch, according to CBS Denver.

Although the charter school is allowed to set its own policies, other schools in the Denver area notify parents when students do not have money for lunch, rather than stamping their hands, according to Colorado outlet the Daily Camera. Roni reportedly was told that some children were too embarrassed to go through the lunch line because of the practice.

“The kids are humiliated. They’re branded. It’s disrespectful. Where’s the human compassion? And these are little children,” Roni said to CBS Denver.

An attorney for the school, Barry Arrington, told CBS Denver that Roni’s claims were “baseless.” However, he would not go into more detail about the matter.

Some parents at the school were upset over Roni’s firing. Following her dismissal, the parents organized a group, Concerned Parents of Peak to Peak, which says it works to “restore trust of our teachers and staff after [Roni’s] abrupt termination.” The group also hopes to recall two school board members for their handling of the firing.

“Regardless of whether Ms. Roni can be reinstated or not, members of this group want Peak to Peak to take steps to restore her reputation in the educational community, a reputation that has been unfairly tarnished by the events of this fall,” says the group’s website.

While these school officials bicker, kids in need still go without. If this story angered you, check out Feeding America’s Backpack Program to help provide meals for families who can’t afford enough food.

 

Click on the link to read Girl Faces Expulsion for Being a Victim of Bullying

Click on the link to read Cancer Sufferer Claims she was Banned from Daughter’s School Because of her “Smell”

Click on the link to read Top 10 Most Unusual School Bans

Click on the link to read Rules that Restrict the Teacher and Enslave the Student

Click on the link to read This is What I Think of the No Hugging Rule at Schools


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