Need Advice on School choices


I know this is more than a school question. We are starting family counselling this week. But I would appreciate any thoughts that other parents might have about our situation, since our counselor is not Catholic.
My daughter is 13, in 7th grade. She has been doing well in her Catholic school, on the Honor Roll. So her behavior came out of left field, taking us by surprise. A month ago she stole some things from classmates- valuable items. She did not admit it until the principal brought the police in, and then she confessed. We have restored and repaid the things stolen (several hundred dollars worth).
The school is reluctant to allow her to continue, and I am reluctant to keep her there, for various reasons. If I did want to keep her in, it would require a hearing, and they would most likely expell her officially. There is no other Catholic school within distance that has room or is willing to accept her at this point in the year. She has missed a month of school now.
My choices are to attempt to homeschool her (I work full time, but could leave her with assignments) or to send her to the nearest public junior high, which is where her cousins have gotten involved in drugs, gangs, and other problems. I am thinking of keeping her home through 7th grade, and applying to one of the other Catholic schools nearby for 8th.
I am praying for guidance but am pretty much stuck right now, I appreciate any of your thoughts,


I believe that when kids of this age from nice homes steal, they are begging for parental attention. The #1 thing I would do if I were you would be to switch to part-time employment or completely quit working altogether so that you can make your daughter your #1 priority. This is an age when girls need their moms so much. Homeschooling would be great because she wouldn’t have to go in as the “new kid” this time of year… But even if you have to put her in public school, it will make all the difference if you’re fully there for her before and after school. Best of luck to you!


First off… I’m sorry you’re faced with this challenge.
Do you mind sharing more details on why you’re reluctant to keep her at the school?
What would be the purpose of the “hearing” since all items were returned/replaced?
What would be the motivation to expel her?
What was her motivation to steal these items? Does she feel remorse?
What has she been doing this past month since you work full time?
What is HER preference on schooling?

Sorry… I ask a lot of questions… :smiley: I’m just curious to round out the story a little more…

You and your family will be in my prayers… again, I’m sorry you’re faced with this trial. :frowning:


there is something else going on and you need to find out what it is. peer pressure, gangs, "sororities" all kinds of things, or some personal crisis or psychological pressure she is facing. get her into counselling. Catholic school is a right not a privilege, You might ask the current school for advice and recommendation, and it is worth a conference with the principal, teacher and counsellor for what else they can tell you about what has been going on this year. I will bet this is not the first incident, that previous minor problems were ignored or not acted on, and that there is more than one person involved. The school won't give you info about other students, but they may help you understand what is going on with your daughter. This is a cry for help, don't neglect it. Where to go to school next is not the top priority--the cause of the behavior is the priority.

my advice would be to homeschool for the rest of the year, watch her like a hawk and make sure she understands why, that she has to regain your trust, and watch her friends. give her some input but not final say in arrangements you make for next year.


:thumbsup: Puzzleannie is dead on right about this. Make sure you don’t drop the ball in getting to the root of the problem for your daughter.


What does your daughter say about what happened? Why is the school going to expel her - do they think this will happen again?


Having worked at a Catholic School as an assistant to the Dean, I can say that if it was just stolen items one time that would not be cause for expulsion (unless, of course they have a waiting list, then maybe). This cannot possibly be the first offense or there was more than just stealing. OP have her friends changed, has the home environment changed, are there boy problems? These are all things to consider. And, if you don’t know her friends, it’s about time that you start meeting them and their parents.


I got knocked of the net before I could finish

I would also make sure I have the whole story, from the school and everyone involved, and your daughter’s side of things. make sure she gets to say her piece if only so she knows you will always listen to her (don’t preface this with “what were you thinking?”)

and find out who her friends are, not just her buddies, but ones who are having some influence on her life, and make it your business to get to know their parents. she will hate this but you have to do it


If I recall, your family has had a share of drama in the past (search won’t work right now so forgive me if I have you confused with someone else)… if so, it seems logical that she is looking for attention.

I’d advise against leaving a troubled teen girl home alone to “homeschool” with no adult in the house.


well that would not be my definition of homeschooling, either, this child needs more, not less supervision for the time being


Catholic school is way over rated. Think about the following statistics:

50% of the Catholics that attend Catholic schools fall away from their faith
25% of the Catholics that attend public schools fall away from their fairth

ask yourself the question "Why is that?"

I propose that private schools are much more difficult to afford for the average person.
Many people that afford it are doing it primarily out of fear and thus get a second income to support the effort while neglecting the children. I firmly believe that people that are that successful tend to be less morally inhibited by doing things that are reprehensible. I say this after growing up in a predominantly Catholic area of the states. The drug problem in our local Catholic high school is just as bad as the public school. The richer the more money available for "recreational drugs". The public school children have to stand up for their beliefs against all kinds of problematic situations. It in essence promotes people to own up to their beliefs. It also forces us to at least try to get along and avoid the dangers out their.

Catholic education has flopped in American if not other places as well. We live in a majorly corrupt society and it seems that it has more than corrupted the people in the Church. Unless you really have to send your children to Catholic schools I'd consider the private schools. Being Catholic should be the fullness of being Christian, but many of the children are being led to the slaughter right under our noses.


Thanks for all the thoughtful comments.
To satisfy your curiosity, I’ll let you know that there have been problems for several months, but the principal didn’t see fit to inform me. That’s one reason I don’t want to send her back. He has been pretty negative about her, and there are problems in the school (cafeteria Catholic teachers). There were other girls involved, but there do not seem to be consequences for them. I’m told that’s none of my business (which is true) but that means all the blame falls on her. She says she was pressured into her actions by her friends, who threatened to cut her off if she didn’t go along with them, and then turned her in.
I would love to quit working, but if I did we would live on cat food. I’m the wage earner. However my husband would be at home, and though he can’t homeschool he can supervise her.
I’m still considering options, and have talked with my favorite priest. He is sending me resources on home schooling.
As I mentioned, we’re starting counseling.
Appreciate your prayers.


I heard a lot of bad things about middle school... to the point where one lady I know homeschooled all her children only when they were middle school aged. Another lady I knew--her sons complained a lot, but she didn't really take it seriously until she started substitute teaching; subbing at middle school opened her eyes!!!

OTOH, if your daughter is not feeling secure in her family, that would contribute. It sounds like you *all *are having a hard time (just from a couple of things you have mentioned).

If you take her to counseling, whether to a Catholic counselor or not, *please *go as a family. I have seen way too many families where one child was visibly in trouble but the source of the problem was not in that child, and so the counseling didn't help the child because the underlying issues were not addressed. You all need to learn to pull together as a family because that is the absolutely most important thing a child needs.


I'll bet you that your daughter is doing all of this so that you'll finally listen to her not so profound pleas to get out of there. It may be a sign of her losing her faith. I'll be praying for you as I always pray for students that attend Catholic schools. It seems that the Satan has infiltrated the ranks.

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