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View Full Version : Is this overkill?



Redbird Annie Cardinal
01-23-2011, 10:06 AM
Though I'm mostly a lurker here, a co-worker shared something with me that left my mouth hanging open. I know there are a lot of educators and parents here, so I would like to ask your opinions to see if what happened was what should be expected. Here goes:

My co-worker's niece is 7 years old, either first or second grade, I didn't ask. Somehow, at school, she got mad at another little girl and said she wanted to shoot her.

Now, I understand that in today's world that is a big no no, and I agree that action needed to be taken. She had a one-day suspension where she had to sit in the principal's office. Here is the part that I couldn't believe. Her name has been circulated to all the teachers in the school with the label "bully," so now every teacher will be scrutinizing her actions because she is considered to be a bully.

Realize, this is the first and only time this child has acted or said anything inappropriate. Part of me feels, yes, she shouldn't have said that, but she is only 7 years old. Did she hear it on TV, did she hear someone else in the playground say it? Did she understand the full consequences of what she said at age 7? I wouldn't expect a 10 year old to say something like that, because they are old enough to understand, but 7?

I think that is the most unbelievable thing to me, that she is only 7 and is now labeled a bully. That blew me away, & I think that this school has way over-reacted.

Thoughts?

Lady Hefron
01-23-2011, 10:59 AM
It's all part of the knee jerk, one size fits all, zero tolerance crap that masquerades as common sense now. Seriously, if this is the first time she has ever said anything like this and hasn't shown signs of bullying before, this merits a talking to not a labeling.

God, doesn't anyone think and use common sense anymore?

Ysobelle
01-23-2011, 12:10 PM
Where the hell does she go, Lowood School?!

Gemdrite
01-23-2011, 06:25 PM
The reason her name has been told to all of the teachers is because now they have to keep an eye on her for a while, in case something happens again. No, she may not have a history, but now she does. If she were to do something again and the teachers aren't watching for it, the school and teachers would be criticized because "she's done it before, why weren't you paying attention! ZOMG!" And they could potentially be sued. I am curious as to how her name has been "circulated with the label bully." Did they send out an email, pass her name and picture out on a flyer labeled "bully," or did they just say that they need to keep an eye on her because of bullying? Big difference.

Redbird Annie Cardinal
01-23-2011, 06:49 PM
The reason her name has been told to all of the teachers is because now they have to keep an eye on her for a while, in case something happens again. No, she may not have a history, but now she does. If she were to do something again and the teachers aren't watching for it, the school and teachers would be criticized because "she's done it before, why weren't you paying attention! ZOMG!" And they could potentially be sued. I am curious as to how her name has been "circulated with the label bully." Did they send out an email, pass her name and picture out on a flyer labeled "bully," or did they just say that they need to keep an eye on her because of bullying? Big difference.

I don't know the answer to your question as to how this was relayed to the teachers. Because it is not someone that I even know, rather, it is a co-worker's niece. I don't know where she lives, though I will assume it is the same state as I'm in - Illinois - because I know the coworker sees her niece, but I do know they don't live in a very nearby town. From what my friend said, she just told me this girl's name has been circulated to all of the teachers & she has been labeled a "bully." With the idea that the teachers have to monitor her when she is in their areas for her behavior.

Gemdrite
01-23-2011, 08:11 PM
I don't know the answer to your question as to how this was relayed to the teachers. Because it is not someone that I even know, rather, it is a co-worker's niece. I don't know where she lives, though I will assume it is the same state as I'm in - Illinois - because I know the coworker sees her niece, but I do know they don't live in a very nearby town. From what my friend said, she just told me this girl's name has been circulated to all of the teachers & she has been labeled a "bully." With the idea that the teachers have to monitor her when she is in their areas for her behavior.
Yeah, monitoring students who have made threats (regardless of where they learned it) is pretty common. I bet you'll find that as time progresses and she doesn't do it again, the monitoring will slow and stop. Realistically, this is the world we live in now. This is post-Columbine. How many people who think this is ridiculous now would still think it was ridiculous if, God forbid, this little girl did end up shooting somebody? Then there would be a hue and cry because "she threatened before, and people brushed it off!" You (collectively) can't have it both ways. Either teachers need to be vigilant even when it seems silly, or teachers need to lay off and what happens happens. It would be ridiculous if, say, the student wasn't allowed to play at recess ever again or had to stand next to the teacher the entire recess every recess, but telling the other teachers, "Hey, keep an eye out on her, this bullying incident happened and we need to keep on eye on it?" Sorry, not over kill, not ridiculous. And yes, 7 year olds (the age I work with) are FULLY capable of understanding what it means to threaten to shoot somebody.

AnnaFaerie
01-23-2011, 08:39 PM
Yeah, monitoring students who have made threats (regardless of where they learned it) is pretty common. I bet you'll find that as time progresses and she doesn't do it again, the monitoring will slow and stop. Realistically, this is the world we live in now. This is post-Columbine. How many people who think this is ridiculous now would still think it was ridiculous if, God forbid, this little girl did end up shooting somebody? Then there would be a hue and cry because "she threatened before, and people brushed it off!" You (collectively) can't have it both ways. Either teachers need to be vigilant even when it seems silly, or teachers need to lay off and what happens happens. It would be ridiculous if, say, the student wasn't allowed to play at recess ever again or had to stand next to the teacher the entire recess every recess, but telling the other teachers, "Hey, keep an eye out on her, this bullying incident happened and we need to keep on eye on it?" Sorry, not over kill, not ridiculous. And yes, 7 year olds (the age I work with) are FULLY capable of understanding what it means to threaten to shoot somebody.

I agree with you totally.

Emmaline Love
01-23-2011, 10:52 PM
Yeah, monitoring students who have made threats (regardless of where they learned it) is pretty common. I bet you'll find that as time progresses and she doesn't do it again, the monitoring will slow and stop. Realistically, this is the world we live in now. This is post-Columbine. How many people who think this is ridiculous now would still think it was ridiculous if, God forbid, this little girl did end up shooting somebody? Then there would be a hue and cry because "she threatened before, and people brushed it off!" You (collectively) can't have it both ways. Either teachers need to be vigilant even when it seems silly, or teachers need to lay off and what happens happens. It would be ridiculous if, say, the student wasn't allowed to play at recess ever again or had to stand next to the teacher the entire recess every recess, but telling the other teachers, "Hey, keep an eye out on her, this bullying incident happened and we need to keep on eye on it?" Sorry, not over kill, not ridiculous. And yes, 7 year olds (the age I work with) are FULLY capable of understanding what it means to threaten to shoot somebody.

Here, here!

This is protocol in most schools now not only because of the potential of the threat to be fulfilled but also because of the effect bullying is having in schools. Bullying is a big deal in schools and to parents so, in order to protect their own hides, officials are "cracking down" and monitoring the behaviors of any potential bullies.

Triskel
01-23-2011, 11:48 PM
Being in the educational field we actually have a pledge/conduct we have to follow. I honestly don't agree with the labeling part but, I understand that the teachers would have to keep a eye out (just in case).

The part that I'm interested in is if her teachers will treat her differently because of it. Part of our conduct is for us not to discriminate or treat children differently for any reason.

Also, I think that maybe she got the idea from the media. Any TV show out there will have some sort of 'drama' where there is a girl or guy saying they will shoot someone.

Honestly, it is crazy but I understand the reasons.

Ysobelle
01-24-2011, 12:05 AM
Yes, but is "bully" the right term to use? Is that actually what she's doing? If she made a credible (for a seven year old) threat against another student, I'd watch her for signs she's emotionally disturbed. "Bully," to me, carries the connotation that she consistently hits or intimidates other students.

Gemdrite
01-24-2011, 12:50 AM
Yes, but is "bully" the right term to use? Is that actually what she's doing? If she made a credible (for a seven year old) threat against another student, I'd watch her for signs she's emotionally disturbed. "Bully," to me, carries the connotation that she consistently hits or intimidates other students.
Unfortunately, that's the only definition most people know, and that's all people look for. But, saying you are going to shoot someone *is* intimidation. Bullying is the act of intimidating a weaker person to make them do something. It can be verbal, emotional, sexual, but most people only look for the physical. Somehow, the other little girl didn't do what the niece wanted, and so the niece threatened to shoot her. That's intimidation. We don't know what the other little girl did, nor what action was or was not taken against her. It's possible the other girl got in trouble too, but we don't know. We don't even know if she was labelled a bully or if teachers were just told to watch for bullying behavior. We don't know a lot of things in this story, so it's hard to judge. But yes, threatening to shoot somebody is a bullying behavior. And it needs to be nipped in the bud now, so that we don't end up with more unfortunate situations like the recent suicides in the news.

Kae
01-24-2011, 10:33 AM
I totally agree. I teach teenagers and I cannot count the number of times that I wish several of my students had been disciplined or talked long before they hit high school. Maybe if we nip it in the bud at 7 years of age - when they have little access to weapons - we won't have as many concerns as when they are older and have the access. Too many parents leave the parenting to teachers and then get mad when we do something about bad behavior and these same parents get mad when we miss something and something bad happens.

The article in the news about the kid who "accidently" shot two schoolmates when the gun went off in his bag is a perfect example. The news kept asking how the gun was allowed on school campus - I have yet to hear how did the teenager acquire the gun and how did the parents not know about it. Everyone is blaming school seceurity but no one is blaming the kid or the parents. (Yes, I know the kid is in custody but that is because the police are involved not because the teenager took responsibility for his actions.)

Until we require personal responsibilty for our children and their parents, school systems have to use overkill to protect themselves, their staffs and their students.

Just my thoughts.



In regards to the niece - we do not have enough details to be able to give an informed decision.

Kae

Triskel
01-24-2011, 11:32 PM
I question what is the proper word to use...I agree with Nikki with the whole 'bully' aspect. Bullying implies repitive negitive behavior against another person. Whether it is physical or emotional (typically both).

Can't really say homicidal because that is too bold of a word for a kid that young.

Gemdrite
01-25-2011, 12:05 AM
I question what is the proper word to use...I agree with Nikki with the whole 'bully' aspect. Bullying implies repitive negitive behavior against another person. Whether it is physical or emotional (typically both).

Can't really say homicidal because that is too bold of a word for a kid that young.
Again, that's the problem though. The reason people associate "bullying" with "repetitive" is because it's been allowed to repeat itself. I'm all for letting kids be kids, but bullying has serious consequences even in the lower grades. People think that first and second graders can't be mean. That's false. They can be downright cruel, and it needs to be stopped the *first* time something happens, not allow a pattern to establish itself. Bullying is bullying whether it happens the first time or the 16th time.

The 6th Rogue
01-26-2011, 02:08 PM
Strangely this all has me looking forward to see what interesting levels of stupidity and finger pointing will go on when my son is school age. Where humans are involved things can only get worse.

Triskel
01-26-2011, 10:34 PM
We were actually talking about this is my education class (makes me happy I'll be in secondary edu).

Apparently now there are articles saying that children MUST have time to play and use their imagination. Well, no DUH. Just because we have technology doesn't mean that it always needs to be used.

There were statistics like children now spend about 7 hours infront of a screen a day and how they don't understand what free play is and imagination.