Monday, January 05, 2009

Stabbing at McDonough

Below is a letter going home with McDonough students today...what are these kids thinking?

Dear Parents/Guardians:

I want to make you aware of a serious incident that occurred late this morning in the school hallway. A student attacked another student with a knife and stabbed her. A third student was able to intervene and our administrators as well as community police officer went immediately to the area and got the situation under control.

The student who was stabbed was flown to an area hospital for treatment of her injuries. Our initial information is that the injuries are serious, but not life threatening. The student with the knife was taken to Civista Medical Center in the custody of police for treatment of a wound sustained in this incident. The school nurse treated the third student who intervened.

The administrators and I are continuing our investigation into this situation. We take the possession of weapons and attacks on students seriously, and in addition to possible criminal charges placed by police, any student in possession of a weapon on school grounds is subject to discipline up to and including expulsion.

I ask you to again review the school system’s Code of Conduct and talk to your children about the seriousness of bringing weapons to school and the severe consequences of disregarding the rules. Please also remind your students that if they have any information about any illegal, threatening or dangerous activity, they should immediately contact a staff member at the school.

Thank you for your continued support. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call the office or e-mail me at


Jervie Petty
Maurice J. McDonough High School(301)934-2944


Anonymous said...

i heard the student had stalked another student and also had homosexual tendencies.

Jennifer said...

I haven't heard anything like that and would prefer that we stick to the facts.

Anonymous said...

I attend McDonough. I went to Middle school with the stabber. I don’t think he was mental or has any problems. He just keeps to himself and yes maybe he is kinda weird but he did no harm. He got picked on a lot. and yes from what I heard he did stab because he liked her and she didn’t like him back.

But I also know the girl who got stabbed. she’s one of my good friends and she’s really nice. she doesn’t make fun of people or anything unless you know she’s playing around. I’m sure she falls on the good side of almost everyone’s list.

today’s stabbing was uncalled for. at least the victim. my friends saw the whole thing. they were walking from their locker to class. and they say it happened out of nowhere. he just took the knife and started stabbing her.

I hope our generation will take things seriously now and to think before they say things. because no matter what anyone says this was not just tae’s fault and you never know who can do this. and for EVERYONE it’s not ONLY because “she didn’t want to go out with him” though this was built up on the stabber, and how I see it as if people still walk around the halls like today describbing the stabber as the “weird kid with the stuff on his face” then we learned nothing and this WILL happen again. maybe not this year or the next maybe not even ten years from now. but over time it will.

Anonymous said...

My daughter goes to McDonough. She called me around noon extremely upset.
I advise anyone with a child going to this school to drive them to the school tomorrow morning, sign them in, and make sure that any administrator that you see will know that there will be dire consequences to be paid IF their child is stabbed by a thug at the school.
Let's get back to the facts. Richmond disallows parents to come into the school and observe except for two 45 minute intervals every quarter. Isn't it high time that we demand to allow a parental presence in the school at all times? Parents need to be in these schools to observe the behavior of the students and to reprimand administrators if they are not providing a very active presence in the school at all times.
How many acts of violence go unreported? Plenty. The more parents that we can get into the schools, the more likely that we will see this type of out-of-control behavior, and at that time we can make the proper decision of sending our child back to the public schools.

Get the hell out of the office and into the hallways. We pay you out of our high as heck property taxes to do the job correctly. It is not being done at this time.

Please Jennifer, demand that this hideous policy of preventing parents from being in the school has to be changed.

Anonymous said...

I'm 07' grad. I dont remember any problems intill Petty took office. Just so you know, she was the principle at lackey while it was the worst school in the county. McDonough was one of the top ten school in maryland before she came. We need to figure out whats going on with that one.

everyone knows admins. can only do so much, and thats why kids sign policys at the beginning of school, To promise to follow the rules, so school can be safe for everyone. McDonough has a no zero bulling policy,and if the school does nothing, you can take it up with the board of ed. "he stabbed her because of this" that plain Bullshit. you DONT take weapons to school, you DONT stab people if your normal. Point blank.

Anonymous said...

I think it's awfully reckless for folks to jump to such extreme conclusions. Kids of all ages will always pick on each other. As long as you have coeducational schools you will have to deal with the "she doesn't like me" issues. Unfortunately some people sometimes just snap and do things the rest of us see as crazy. This was clearly a troubled child who chose this as his method of lashing out which normally a way of seeking help. The efforts to stop bullying and reach out to these children that have begun in recent years are noble efforts. No amount of anti-bullying or policing the hallways can stop these types of incidents from occurring. To blame the administration is in my opinion terribly foolish and unfair.

Anonymous said...

I go there. Ms. Petty is rasics. she over looks alot of things. And its all spelt out in bold letters by her working history.

LegalBeaglette said...

What an unfortunate post. I agree with Anonymous 1/06 10:34 – to blame the administration is foolish and unfair.

I am familiar with Ms. Petty’s tenure at Henry E. Lackey H.S., and she proved well chosen for the position as principal there. Contrary to some of the less-than-eloquent postings in this thread, I know Ms. Petty runs a tight ship. At Lackey, she had high expectations of her staff and her students, and she held them accountable. She was a model of conduct, and I was always impressed with her efforts to acknowledge and compliment the students – she made it a point to reinforce, at every opportunity, all the good that she saw, while at the same time making it clear that she would not tolerate nonsense or misconduct.

As for this incident, my impression is that it was quite unanticipated; to second-guess any of it now is wrong, in my opinion…at least for those of us with such limited knowledge of the individuals and events. While it is important that the school made parents aware that it happened, it seems to me that the results of the school and police investigations are equally important to parents. If this young person is known to have shown or expressed harm to himself or others before this, it is fair to ask what the school system did to address it. Student and juvenile privacy protections have some merit, but not when they over reach. If parents do not ever learn the details of what happened here, two things happen: 1) the rumor mill grinds away, and does damage for years to come, and 2) the ability of students and parents to address prevention and accountability issues is nil.

Anonymous said...

i also graduated in 07 and like the other poster said, there were no problems till petty came into the school. but its not just her, its all of the other staff as well, they dont walk around the halls like they should, the officer just sits in her office all day and does nothing, i really think that the school board should really look into each and every one of the mcdonough staff and how their really running the place

Anonymous said...

the girl that was stabbed is my big sis and there's no reason for all that to have happen...she told him they should just be friends and honestly on the schools behalf if he has "mental" issues he need to be in a class or someone should be watching over him at all times.

Turkey Trots to Water said...

I've been watching this incident since it occurred on Monday, both in the papers and on the blogs. It is a tragedy - it seems to me that the young man is disturbed and should not be in the public schools. Whether he belongs in a mental institution or prison is not for me to venture; at this point, his actions have left his fate in that regard up to the judicial system. But, I would like to reply to some of the comments presented here.
To the young people who posted herein, claiming to be alumni of McDonough - you should be ashamed of yourselves. To attack Ms. Petty so viciously, and to describe McDonough as problem free before her arrival is utterly disgusting. Ms. Petty could no more predict nor prevent this young man's actions than any other person, yourselves included, and to implications to the contrary are without merit.
Also, boys and girls, if you're going to accuse someone of incompetence as a principal (not principle) and being a racist (not rasics,) I would at least run a spell check. Otherwise, the only thing that you're doing is showing the world how ignorant you really are. Further, to post such accusations behind the shade of anonymity offered by the internet speaks volumes of your cowardice. Just a thought...

Jennifer said...

Thanks for all the feed back. Unfortunately, the school system & myself, cannot publicize the discipline actions taken against a particular student. However, I believe the paper said the suspect was charged as an adult with assault with a weapon. While that in itself, will not keep him out of the mainstream of the public schools (amazing isn't it, yes we have convicted students in ou school system and they are protected by the same laws they chose to break), if you review the student code of conduct book, you can come to a logical conclusion as to the discipline that he will receive from CCPS.
As for the accusations against Ms. Petty, I agree with TTTW. There is no way she could have foreseen this incident and their was adults, including and officer, that was there in a matter of seconds.
To the students that have issues or concerns with the way the school is being ran, I encourage you to make an appointment to talk to Ms. Petty and voice your concerns in a rational and reasonable manner. If you want you can even ask an adult to attend with you, I would even attend if needed. Issues cannot be addressed and resoolved unless they are made known to the person who can make the changes,

Anonymous said...

This is ridiculous.
To say Petty did anything positive over at Lackey during her "tenure" is ludicrous.
Look at the following from 2000:

Test Score State-Wide
Ranking County-Wide
Standard Ranking 153.3 *** ***
11th Gr Read Pass 98.7 *** ***
11th Gr Write Pass 98.3 *** ***
11th Gr Math Pass 94.3 *** ***
11th Gr Pass All 92.2 *** ***
Attend 4-year College 25.6 *** ***
Attend 2-year College 14.0 *** ***
Satis UMD Requi 28.1 *** ***
Comp Rigorous Prog 7.4 *** ***
% Entrants 8.1 *** ***
% Withdraw 11.9 *** ***
Limit Engl 0.1 *** ***
Title 1 0.0 *** ***
Free Meals 24.8 *** ***
Special Ed 14.9 *** ***
Here's from 2001:

11th Gr Read Pass 100.0 *** ***
11th Gr Write Pass 97.6 *** ***
11th Gr Math Pass 98.4 *** ***
11th Gr Pass All 95.9 *** ***
Attend 4-year College 19.8 *** ***
Attend 2-year College 21.3 *** ***
Satis UMD Requi 12.9 *** ***
Comp Rigorous Prog 7.1 *** ***
% Entrants 6.8 *** ***
% Withdraw 11.5 *** ***
Limit Engl 0.5 *** ***
Title 1 0.0 *** ***
Free Meals 24.4 *** ***
Special Ed 11.0 *** ***

Wow, 20% went to a four year university and a whopping 13% satisfied the UMD requirement.

She sure was doing a hellavajob, wasn't she?
Go to and search Lackey.

Sure, the "thumb in your butt" tests that said the entire herd was promoted in all their grades, but yet 25% go to a 4-year school, 11% withdraw, and a big old 14% go to a community college. Geez, what type of academic prowess did they need to get in there?

Then review the AP and SAT scores for the years that she was running a "tight ship".
Come on.
This school system is in shambles, and these types of incidents are being covered up to the nth degree.

It's sickening that these people are calling themselves "educators" and "administrators" but yet these scores are registering on the border line of "cerebrally flat lining".
What is the purpose of this school system? To cover up shenanigans, violence, disrespecting teachers, etc...?

They need to clean house. Many of these kids are illiterate, and face the prospect of having absolutely no skill whatsoever to go out and make a decent living.

I say to the "Turkeytrotter" and the "Beagle", do some research on Lackey. That school was driven into the ground. I think you'll find the the test results (and please don't look at the damned MSA and HSA) are a reflection of plain old failure. It made me sick in my stomach to see a school with such a large student body having standardized test scores so low that you'd have to wonder if these kids were actually going to school before they even took these tests?

This is a sinking ship. The newspaper and the sheriff's department need to get all this information out into the open since Richmond won't and does not want the parents roaming around in the schools. I guess it's nice to have a dictatorship, using the parent's tax dollars and keeping them out of the school except for (oh ya, 90 stinkin' minutes a quarter).

im1ru2 said...

This is a highly volatile subject to say the least. So while there is much to be said about who do what to whom and who may be at fault about what for sure, rather than many of us focusing on lambasting the students choosing to speak out here, it may be much more prudent to simply allow them this time to simply get some things off their chest.

While the accuracy of what some, most or even all of what they may have to say I think what is most important right now is that at least some of them find this blog a place where they can get some things off their chest. So maybe we should just let them. Perhaps this is what a lot of the kids need; just to say something without being told to shut-up by an adult or that what they are saying is stupid or without merit.

It may very well be but at this time right after a tragic event, witnessed by some of the kids speaking out they may just need to "yell" right now.

Cooler heads may prevail in a few days and there will be clearer discussions down the road but if we don't give the kids the opportunity immediately after this event to "vent" then we may loose their voices forever.

Not to disparage anyone during this "venting" but we as the adults should be able to read between the lines and see this for what it is. Our kids are going through tough times just as we are with everything else in the world - economics, jobs, finances, stress, war, etc. they are not free from the things we go through everyday and add to it the "teenage hormones" and stresses and this tragedy and they do need to vent.

So lets give them their five minutes and let them know that we are just listening, we don't have to say anything else (agree or disagree) just that we are listening and that it is okay to talk.

Anonymous said...


Well said. In fact, the kids are the public's eye as to what is actually going on in the school system.

They should be encouraged to talk about what they see and encounter.
And you know darn well that they would be reprimanded by the administration IF had tied their name to their observations.

Turkey Trots to Water said...

Anonymous (1/06/09 0037): FERPA precludes the school system from commenting on individual punishment. I enjoy a paucity of nice things to say about Mr. Richmond, and the general state of CCPS leaves much to be desired; but you cannot hold the school system's refusal to comment in this instance against it -- to do so would be a breach of 34 CFR § 99.31. As for keeping the parents out of schools... Like I said, I have next to nothing nice to say about Mr. Richmond.
Anonymous (1/10/2009 0125) The problems, both disciplinary and instructional, at Lackey do not lie at the feet of Ms. Petty. Indeed, it is the directives that stem from central office and the board of education that discourage suspension and expulsion (even for infractions that warrant such punishment) and the packing of advanced classes with students unable to perform at the level they're supposed to be held to - and that just drags down the level of instruction across the board. Further, the socioeconomic factors at work in Lackey for the past many years, and increasing with the recent influx of students bussed in from Waldorf, creates a breeding ground for conflict. Blaming an administrator for the circumstances that he has been thrust into, and offering him but a year to meet your unspecified standards is unreasonable. I'm not sure of Ms. Petty's last year at Lackey, but I would offer that the data from the last year of her tenure is far more pertinent than that of 2000-2001.
Oh, and Anonymous? The handle is "Turkey Trots to Water," not "Turkeytrotter."
iM1ur2 - two of the comments that I addressed were from persons who identified themselves as an alumni, and a third from a person who identified himself as a current student. The alumni may need to vent about the incident, and if they need to, by all means. That a student may need to vent, I can also understand - but to use the attack to justify ad hominem attacks on a woman who was not present nor responsible for the attack is revolting. Such attacks are irrelevant, are stupid, and to call them anything else is to call a spade a shovel. To condone them is even more repulsive. Spare me your entreaties for their five minutes to "let it out"; such remarks ought be addressed as the loathsome attacks that they are and not entertained as one might the statements of one present at the assault.
Lastly, to the last of our Anonymous posts (1/10/08 1031), I find it amusing that you believe the current administration capable of punishing alumni. As for the individual currently enrolled, yes, I can understand concerns about punishment for speaking out in the manner that he did. Nonetheless, his remarks are irrelevant to the attack, and bespoke utter incompetence in his composition of the English language. I stand by my admonitions of such statements as both cowardly and ignorant.

Anonymous said...

OK Turkey Trots to Water,

The system is corrupt. They brag about caring about the children.
If that were the case, most of the administrators that do care and do actually have a conscience would come forward and utter the words and thoughts that you have put forward.

It is academic blasphemy what Jay Matthews has scammed the parents for umpteen years regarding "ranking of the schools", and mislead many parents who have "no clue" as to what is going on.

The system screamed bloody murder to the highest degree when Jennifer asked for those test scores. After the wringing of their hands and hawing about "damaging teachers, etc.", they finally release what was a most disgusting display of educational failure.
We desperately need to see standardized test scores that level the playing field across the country and reflect how we actually stand in the preparation for our students to obtain academic scholarships and succeed in matriculating into a four + year university and graduating in a rigorous discipline.

Any principal is the boss of the school, and whatever happens on their watch is a direct reflection on their ability to effectively run the school. If they don't like what the central office is feeding them with regard to policy, they should go public with it, get the parents behind them, and go to war to demand change to heinous policies that destroy the learning climate in the schools.
This also causes MASSIVE teacher turnover due to the extremely poor working conditions (i.e. total disrespect from students, teachers having their hands tied to discipline students, the PC pandering to groups of students who know that they can raise hell, destroy a teacher's image in front of the class-you know the rest).

l) release all violence related incidents through the media.
2) expel the animals who belittle teachers, disrupt the classes.
3) The elected BOE needs to sober up and consider how downright repugnant that these SAT and AP scores are in the eyes of a university. You have to tie the administration's contracts to either raising these scores come hell or high water, or hire a new crop that we be go getters and start sculpting the programs in order to produce students that can complete with the good private schools and counties around the DC region.

Now's the time to change. This system is beginning to become a crime ridden, ineffective mechanism that wastes the taxpayer's money.

im1ru2 said...

TTTW- 2 attending students and 2 students who graduated in 07’ – those are the alumni, not your usual long(er) term alum, but rather one year graduates (assumptions here). The fifth blogger was the younger sister of the girl that was stabbed…

My only point in my post was not about what they (the bloggers) were saying, but that they were saying. They are either current students or students JUST out of one of our High Schools.

When kids are angry, when people are angry for that matter – just look at the verbiage in your post – they tend to focus on the negative. The kids have been through a very traumatic incident. Whether directly or indirectly, coupled with their already stressed lives this has impacted them directly.

They need an outlet. This blog has provided them with that outlet. Allowing them some level of venting will relieve them of some very necessary stress release. This will help them cool down and hopefully in a few days, or a couple of weeks provide them with the time to come together and discuss this issue (and perhaps other things they may need to discuss with whomever they chose) in a much clearer and calmer and rational tone.

With all due respect Turkey Trots to Water, your post(s) laments on and on about the use of the English language; our school system(s); the administration; test scores and results, etc. Further, the defending of the ad hominem attacks (your quote) toward Ms. Petty in this case is quite unnecessary. None of us are blaming her for what happened in this incident and as far as I know there is a criminal investigation currently underway. Someone has been charged already and more information will be forthcoming when appropriate.

What the students are blogging about has to do with how they see things at their school, their opinion of how they see things. Much like how you see things about what you write about above. You have your opinions and apparently they have theirs. You have expressed yours and they are now expressing theirs. They have not called you stupid, ignorant or any of the other names you have thrown around so I don’t see why you should do that to them. State you opinions, as you do and they are (will, have) state theirs. Differing as they may be perhaps, but the mud slinging did not start from the student’s perspective. They simply stated their opinions on how they saw things running at their school the same as you see things running at the BOE and the CCHQ and from the Superintendent, as you have stated here. You have “thrown around accusations” as you accused the students under the guise of an anonymous person. Easy, yes?

I am not trying to get into a back and forth here so I will leave this one at this post. My only hope with my initial posting was that we could just allow some steam for the kids to blow off here. Jennifer has allowed us all a place to do just that and we all have from time to time. We have all had some things to say over the years. We’ve even misspelled a few words doing it.

Anonymous said...

im the second blogger that graduated in '07. i have been reading from the background and i agree with what some of you are saying. the school system is in shambles and if the BOE cant see that then they need to open their damn eyes, i personally have witnessed kid in school selling and buying drugs at school (mcdonough & stone) ive seen weapons brought into the schools. i have also seen teachers at mcdonough buying drugs from the students. i think that the school system needs to re think who they hire, do better background checks, and start drug testing. these people are supposed to be people that the students can look up to and if your being taught by a high coked out teacher, the kid is most likley to turn into a high coked out person. i think that the school system should implement more cops to the school, allot more money to upgrade books and computers, and implement metal detectors and drug dogs to the schools. there are kids at mcdonough that smoke marijuana on school grounds, teachers drinking alcohol on school grounds (stoddert). in all honesty i'm glad im out of the schools. im glad i dont have to worry about being jumped, robbed, stabbed, or even killed. kids shouldent go to school feeling like their going to get hurt. excuse my language, but richmond has his head so far up his ass he cant see what is going on in his schools. take what i said into consideration, as a former student of the system, and maybe perhaps watching my kids go into the system. but if this doesnt get cleaned up then more and more kids will be leaving the school system.

Turkey Trots to Water said...

Anonymous (01/12/09 0156) - Please understand: the school system, from the lowliest administrator to the upper environs of the BOE are precluded by the Federal Education Reform Policy Act (FERPA) from releasing information about a student's violent actions beyond the vaguest of statements such as that issued after the stabbing at McDonough. If they release the information about a student's violent actions, they open themselves to litigation, and the good Lord knows how much they want to avoid that. If you want that information released, lobby Congress, because that change would have to come from the top.
Please do not mistake me for a champion of this school system, I am far from it - I think the refusal to release scores, especially on the grounds of avoiding embarrassment of teachers, one of the most odious things I've ever heard. If the teachers have something to be embarrassed about, they need to be held accountable for it. The school system does not exist to provide jobs for teachers, nor to protect them - it exists to educate the next generation, and the fact that we seem to have lost track of that purpose is a failure of the greatest magnitude. You and I both understand that the system is rotten, through and through, from the teachers union to the superintendent's office. That the problem is recognizable is a good sign; that the people of this county are so dense as to continue to elect people to the board who will maintain the status quo is a bad sign. The question I've for you is whether or not the people in this county, state and indeed the country have the intellectual capacity to say "enough is enough!" and demand a turnaround of the education system. I have hope, but hope is a foolish thing, and as the saying about wishes goes, I can put my hopes in one hand and... well, you know.
If you'd like to continue the conversation on education policy at some point, please let me know.
Im1ur2 - I have nothing against blowing off steam in the wake of trauma, but for those students and alumni bash Ms. Petty in the wake of this incident, and for you to excuse it as harmless venting isn't right. "Ms. Petty is rasics" - has NOTHING to do with the attack, and ought not have been said. You may excuse it, and decry my defense of Ms. Petty as mudslinging, I'll grant you that, but if any man's character warrants a vigorous defense it is hers.
As for identifying the personnel that said such things as "ignorant" and their attacks "stupid," I call it like I see it. They portrayed themselves in an unbecoming manner, and I addressed it with words that I think befitting - everyone is entitled to an opinion, sir, but each has greater or lesser merits.
My entrance into this thread was because of unfortunate statements that went beyond the scope of the stabbing, even with allowances for personal stress and venting. I've said my piece.

Anonymous said...

Violent acts in the schools MUST be reported.
Of course if the student is a minor, the name isn't released.
There is nothing illegal about stating there were "three fights", "one destruction of property", reported in the schools.

This is information that needs to be reported, and if it isn't, it is both reprehensible and shady.

I am grateful that students have come forward and posted information about drugs, alcohol abuse, etc., in the schools. This information MUST be reported.

We have many great teachers in our system, but WAY too many incompetent, "third wheels", "don't give a crap about the students" type teachers.

The science and mathematics teachers need to be observed by professionals in industry. The BOE is scared sh*tless to allow professionals into the classrooms to find out what in the living daylights is going on in these AP classes.
These have become a joke and an utter waste of classroom time.
Way too many teachers don't follow the curriculum, are allowed by the "blind in one eye, can't see out of the other" principals that continue to allow these jokers to teach these classes, but when the rubber is meeting the road, the end result is an overwhelming amount of students receiving embarrassing scores on both the AP and SAT standardized tests.

The teachers know it, the principals know it, the curriculum supervisors know it, the elected board knows it, but there is nothing done about it.

Not that it would happen, but I think a great thing that could be done would be to withhold property taxes that would be going to the school system, and instead, allow parents to choose to keep that money and send their kids elsewhere.

LegalBeaglette said...

Clearly time for me to catch up! :)

First, please know that I did track Henry E. Lackey’s educational data – before Ms. Petty became principal, and throughout her entire tenure at the school. I am familiar with the challenges the school faces – and has faced – from poverty levels, course offerings, teacher quality (and I am not simply referring to “highly-qualified” status), and testing stats. It is one of the reasons I found the former board member Ms. Levanduski’s characterization some years ago that all our high schools were much the same so disappointing.

The school went through a massive renovation (long overdue) during Ms. Petty’s tenure, which was an experience that presented its own set of challenges (as it does for any school). That, of itself, helped improve the school, and the public’s perception of it. Was the renovation, or Ms. Petty’s leadership, a remedy for all the school’s challenges? Of course not. What I did see, however, was a huge improvement in the overall demeanor of the school, and that was in no small part led by Ms. Petty.

Second, I do not want – as you stated it – “parents roaming around in the schools.” I do, however, think that Mr. Richmond’s school visitation rules are misguided and too restrictive. Absolutely.

I also agree that school violence – at all schools – needs to be more public. Maryland has just launched an online database for parents to check on licensed daycare providers; I think a similar database should be available for each school on all incidents that affect school safety…I think that’s the “ticker” idea that Ms. Abell has suggested. The “Spotlight on Schools” program certainly provides no spotlight. I would also like to point out that NCLB supports parent awareness of school safety; it is local school systems (and juvenile justice) that do not cough up the data.

im1ru2 said...

One of the things I just read lately but I just can not put my finger on it this morning but will search later - is that discipline or punishment should not include taking away recess.

However, one very common tool in our CC elementary schools is for our teachers to withhold recess as a form of punishment, for one reason or another. This is done very often to either one child or the entire class.

This perpetuates frustration, adds to uneasiness and restlessness and bad feelings toward classmates and teachers. It also goes against allowing the kids the little time they have each day to simply get out and run, socialize and "play".

There is no "data base" for this either. No one is collecting information on how often this is being done at our schools, but it is. The kids come home and some days we hear about it and other days we don't because it is so common practice. Unless you know to specifically ask your child "did you have recess today?" you would not know if they did.

This practice does need to stop and a formal letter should be sent from the superintendent to all schools on the subject addressing it. Deal with punishment and discipline some other way, but not as a "whole" and not in the form of taking away recess.

Anonymous said...

I am interested in what you would suggest as an alternative "punishment" for misbehavior in elementary schools. How would you hold a student accountable?

Anonymous said...

Alternative punishment for elementary kids (aside from taking recess away). Run laps. These kids can't sit in their chairs or keep their mouths shut. Making them sit or stand on a line is exactly what they DO NOT need. A few laps, walking, running, skipping, whatever never hurt anyone. "Take a lap!" Burn a few calories and increase blood flow to the brain.

As for the comments posted so far, there seems to be one familiar thread throughout almost all of these emails - from parents, current students, and past students. The system is in shambles and the administration is ineffective at correcting the problem(s). Jennifer, the board needs to clean house and start at the top. How long are our elected leaders going to let the system circle the drain while patting themselves on the back? Don't you guys renew Richmond's contract every four years? When is that up for consideration again? This guy and his highly paid cronies need the boot!!! It's time for change!

Anonymous said...

Where are you with getting that ticker on the BOE website? It's long overdue but I bet Richmond will never allow it because the system has far more dirty little secrets than he wants to let on.

Jennifer said...

Richmond's contract is up June of this year. The board is obligated to verbalize out intent to him by March 1. I would like to open the position up to receive applications, his included. I doubt if I'll have the support from fellow board members for this to actually transpire

Jennifer said...

I just brought the "ticker" idea up atthe January meeting. It has not been placed on the agenda by our chairman but I'll keep asking :)

LegalBeaglette said...

I do not have the impression that your chairman sets the agenda (though he is supposed to). When this board agrees to a “future agenda item,” it seems it might as well go into File 13. I have watched that board member for many years, and I am surprised and disappointed that this board has again elected him to the leadership position.

im1ru2 said...

First, anything but mass punishment. Never punish the entire class for what one or two have done.

Secondly, follow the code of conduct. That's that big book sent home that the kids have to read, sign and have the parents sign stating they have read and/or gone over with their child.

It states all the corrective actions for misbehaving. First, second and third action for each offense. Nothing about standing at the chalkboard through recess and doing "chalk work" because the "teacher" was mad "at the class".

They do need to get out, for many reasons. And yes, they do need to be reprimanded when called for, as outlined. And the parents need to be involved in that process. But the schools and/or the teacher can not have their cake and eat it too here.

The kids will get fed up with this, especially when they are not at fault for losing their recess time. And sooner or later it will be their fault for loosing recess time for what will it matter? "We never get recess anyhow"? "Everyone else screws up too".

This form of "punishment" simply becomes benign to them and only grows resentment and more hostility, exactly what it originally intended to purportedly fix.

Since you asked I will tell you. I tell my youngest son, that he and I will talk after dinner and homework. He does his chores, homework, has his playtime then dinner. Afterward whatever I needed to speak to him about (the "punishment issue") takes place.

Maybe he knew it was coming, maybe not. Chances are he did, but we both had time to think, cool off, relax, be with other people, family and even talk with someone else about it if we wanted to. Whatever. But I did not charge right into it by subjecting the entire family into "no dinner and movie tonight, off to bed!" because someone was out of line.

If it were very serious I would jump right on it, but that most often just isn't the case. As is what is going on with the recess being taken away - en mass.

im1ru2 said...

4 anonymous:
Despite school restrictions, administrators, parents and activists do agree on one thing.

"Children need to play," Jarrett an associate professor in early childhood education at Georgia State University.

That list above would include just about everyone I would think. How about you?