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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Soakin' in the Sun
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    406

    Default Advice Needed Please

    I know many of you are parents of younger children but I have a dilema with my elementary school-age child and I'm hoping that clearer minds than mine can help me out.

    Background - My son is in 4th grade. His school this year has changed their "lunch schedule" so that instead of eating lunch and then being dismissed for recess, they now of a 15 minute recess and then line-up for lunch. I have issues with this but at this point it's just whatever - this isn't the main problem.

    Here is the problem: The children who finish their lunch before the end of the 30 minute lunch period are required to put their heads down on the table until dismissed back to class. They are not allowed to visit with friends or even sit quietly. Give me a break - this is their LUNCH BREAK!!! If I wasn't allowed to visit with my friends during my lunch break I'd go crazy.

    Yesterday my son told me he didn't want to put his head down so a lunchroom supervisor "forced" his head down on the table. I asked him what he meant by this and he said " "she put her hand on my head like this and put it down to the table." I am SO not okay with this. I am in a teacher credentialling program and it has been made very clear to me that I am NEVER to use physical force with a child!

    I'm just so angry at this point that I'm not sure how to deal with this. I'm afraid if I go into the school today I'm going to come off as the "angry parent" and not accomplish anything. Please advise - what should I do?

    Let me just add - yes, my son SHOULD have had his head on the table and should have placed it there the first time asked - because that's the rule, regardless of if just or not. I realize he was being defiant in not placing his head on the table - so please don't flame my son. I'm really just looking for constructive advice here. THANKS!

    eta - for today I suggested he just eat his lunch REALLY slow while we decide how to deal with the issue.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    295

    Default

    I certainly am not discrediting your son, so please do not take offense, but my first bit of advice would be to be absolutely certain that the events took place as he said they did. I can't tell you how many times I've had the "angry parents" come into my classroom fuming about something that their child said happened that certainly wasn't the case. I just wanted to preface my comments with that so that you don't end up making a big deal out of something that may not have been true. Again, I'm sure it very well could be EXACTLY what happened.

    Perhaps tell your son that you are going to talk to the principal and that you want to make sure you have the story straight. Also, ask who else witnessed this.

    I would go to administration and address the issue.

    Recess before lunch isn't a bad thing as it helps to release energy and it's best that they aren't running around on full stomaches.

    As far as the "heads down rule" goes it sounds asenine to me. However, there is safety in numbers so I would suggest getting together with other parents to tackle the subject. Schools are responsible for the students social, emotional and academic developments. Lunch is a learning opportunity where students not only have a chance to relax and unwind, but can foster social skills.

    We had this issue at my school where the lunch aides tried to enforce a silent lunch. I understand that it can get loud and that a problem being faced was that the kids were talking so much that they weren't having time to eat. We reached a compromise wherby the students would socialize at a respectable "restaurant noise-level" and the last 3 minutes were a silent time to finish eating.
    Camden Joshua - born 7.23.05

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    930

    Default

    I dont think anybody would flame a 4th grader. Heck, I am 25 and would have a hard time putting my head down all the time! I have aa huge pet peeve with schools trying to make children act like anything but kids.... but thats a whole other issue lol

    I would make an appointment immediately with the principal. The advice I would give is to not approach the meeting hostile though. Children can exaggerate (I am a teacher) and even if he is not, the prinicpal wil most likely look into things if appproached constructively. I, personally, would be demanding an explaination as to why they have these rules in the firts place. I do not agree either and if it is a school rule parents should have been given notification and an explaination. It may not be feasible but if the situation is really disrupting your child, maybe asking for an inner district transfer would help as a last resort. Is this rule district wide?

    I hope his day goes smoothly today! Good luck
    MOMMY LIFE X 2 - live journal
    Tracy & Mike 6.22.02
    Zoey 10.6.04 / Jocelyn 2.11.06

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,235

    Default

    That's assinine the silent heads down lunch thing. I would do as Jodi suggested make sure the events did happen as described. and then try to get some adults together to try and change it. the pta meeting are the best way to go and through the principal. I would try to work within the system... physical force should not be used that's for sure

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