This is the story of a public school failing to encourage the mental, social, and emotional development of young females. There is an argument to be made that the impact on young men is similarly damaging, but, for this article, I will be focusing on the female aspect.
My first complaint is regarding a policy which has been initiated by the school principal. He instituted a policy wherein students were not allowed to assemble in more than groups of two, and weren’t permitted to walk and speak on the playground at recess. All children were required to be actively engaging in a game or recognized activity, and were banned from just chatting together.
This policy directly targeted the female population, according to the walking-and-talking behavior being a primarily female socialization method (with men primarily socializing through shared actions ) If this commonly recognized developmental truth isn’t enough proof of this sex-based discriminatory nature of the policy, my daughter reports that the principal made an announcement to the classrooms when the ban was lifted. His announcement threatened the ban could be reinstated if there was”any more woman drama.” There were many witnesses to this announcement.
My daughter was forced to choose which one of her several great friends she wanted to associate with for the afternoon, and was additionally prohibited from engaging in bonding conversation with such friend. This was cause for her to experience anxiety.
My second complaint will entail my daughter’s experiences with her fifth-grade teachers.
My daughter’s first fifth grade teacher was reported by my daughter to have an extremely rigorous and intimidating demeanor. As a very sensitive kid – and with high expectations for herself – my daughter could frequently develop a literal tummy pain from the anxiety of being concerned about pleasing him with her performance. Part of her anxiety came from listening to him single-out other kids in the classroom, to be able to be humiliating public examples of them through pointing out their flaws.
In support of my daughter – both academically and psychologically – I conveyed with this teacher through email on a regular basis. I received good reports about my daughter’s performance from him. Immediately following the beginning of his extended departure from the classroom due to illness, however, the second quarter report card came out. This is an insulting insinuation that this teacher knows when, where, and who my daughter should be asking for assistance, better than my daughter understands it for herself.
There was no indication in his regular emails to me that she was in need of academic assistance. In fact, one of his latest emails at this time was to let me know that my daughter had received one of the greatest scores on a mathematics test. Additionally, I observed a very limited amount of social studies content in my daughter’s homework. What I did observe, I helped her to complete (especially, a PowerPoint presentation about Martin Luther King, Jr., in which I encouraged her to include a mention on women’s rights)
The D- tier and related comment on the report card came out of left field, which is not acceptable, considering the amount of communication transpiring between the teacher and myself up until there. The strategy employed by the teacher in this regard was a blow to my daughter’s self-esteem, which I needed to work to relieve. She was dismayed upon seeing the caliber and the remark, as she was receiving feedback that she had been doing well up until that point. This tactic was cruel.
My daughter’s current long-term replacement teacher regularly and publicly expresses to students his dislike for our nation’s president. Disrespect for our nation’s leader isn’t appropriate content for a teacher – who’s in a position to influence young minds and viewpoints – to be sharing with 10-year-olds. Regardless of our personal positions, compulsory schooling should not include political indoctrination in opposition to the President of america. My daughter also reports he raises his voice aggressively in class, such as by shouting”Silence!” When the course gets noisy. She’s wise enough to observe that overt aggression is a sign of internal lack of power.
The sort of sexist, non-patriotic, aggressive, and self-esteem destructive behavior listed here is not fitting of people in such a position.
This attendance policy aspect is the last straw in my distaste for the faculty practices. I got a letter (several weeks following the post-date, because of my not retrieving my physical mail with regularity in this digital age) stating that my daughter has too many”excused absences” and that I am required to have a physician’s note for any future absences. How can there be too many excused absences? I am not sending my young daughter to school when she isn’t feeling well enough to attend college, either physically, mentally, or emotionally. It is not in her best interest for me to do so, and it is imposing an unreasonable burden on a parent to be required to go running to the doctor for a note, particularly when the parent knows full well that no doctor’s prescription is required for the ailment. I’ve consulted with a similarly-minded physician about it, and am currently gathering community support to deal with this inability of parents to excuse their own children without getting harassment from the school.
Nowhere in these truancy finds is it noted that my daughter regularly goes above and beyond volunteering for school activities, and with my direct support and involvement. She has been part of the morning valet team for the previous two school years. She acted as a campaign manager during fourth grade student body elections. She voluntarily participated in the school science fair. She signed up to assist with running a booth for the school carnival. She participates in the optional music program. She’s been part of the School Safety Ambassador Club (SSA) for the previous two years, and frequently consults me ways that she can effectively encourage other students in respect to reducing bullying and increasing self-esteem. Is this the sort of behavior associated with an at-risk child, in need of truancy intervention?
With the widely reported increase in violence and disruptive behavior on college campuses, and with the absence of teeth in the present school behavior disciplinary policies, I was already strongly considering enrolling my daughter in a homeschool program by the time she reached the 7th grade. The 5th grade experience, here, has convinced me to begin that process at the commencement of her next school year. There will not be a need for the school district to track her college attendance as of the 2018-2019 school year, as she won’t be attending the school. I am enrolling her into a schedule which better nurtures her overall development into a confident, secure, open-minded, conscientious – and female – member of society.