Radical--even for catholic school


#1

My daughter had her last day of 8th grade yesterday (Catholic school). One of her friends wrote the word "b***h" in an autographed yearbook entry-not to be mean but to be cool. This entry was viewed by a teacher and the teacher tore the page out of her yearbook. The page was filled with autographs from other classmates. My daughter was crushed that her book was defiled. I was disturbed! I do not condone the language but I believe this was an extreme over-reaction by the teacher. I was never called by the school except from my daughter who called in tears to relay the story to me. I sent an email to the teacher and begged her to give back the page so we could save the original autographs. I told the teacher to "white out" the bad word. My email never received a response. The principal ended up giving my daughter the page back with an apology for which I was grateful. As a parent, I should have been called right from the start, IMHO. I certainly should have received a response from my email if for no other reason than to tell me the problem was resolved. Am I over-reacting?


#2

[quote="pammie, post:1, topic:200557"]
My daughter had her last day of 8th grade yesterday (Catholic school). One of her friends wrote the word "b***h" in an autographed yearbook entry-not to be mean but to be cool. This entry was viewed by a teacher and the teacher tore the page out of her yearbook. The page was filled with autographs from other classmates. My daughter was crushed that her book was defiled. I was disturbed! I do not condone the language but I believe this was an extreme over-reaction by the teacher. I was never called by the school except from my daughter who called in tears to relay the story to me. I sent an email to the teacher and begged her to give back the page so we could save the original autographs. I told the teacher to "white out" the bad word. My email never received a response. The principal ended up giving my daughter the page back with an apology for which I was grateful. As a parent, I should have been called right from the start, IMHO. I certainly should have received a response from my email if for no other reason than to tell me the problem was resolved. Am I over-reacting?

[/quote]

No, I don't think you're overreacting, but I don't think emailing the teacher was the appropriate immediate action.

I would have immediately CALLED the principal (leave a message after hours, if necessary). This was her personal property that was defiled by a teacher - and the only proper way to address that is directly to the principal.


#3

One of the many reasons my child is homeschooled and will continue to be homeschooled. I believe the teacher was right in ripping the page out, it had a curse word on it. Perhaps you should review who your child associates with and tell her not to be friends with the person who wrote this. Or talk with the childs parents and find out why their son or daughter feels the need to write bad words on a yearbook. Just my two cents.


#4

I would certainly be having a conversation with my daughter about why it wasn’t cool for her friend to use that word, even if it was suppose to be in fun. BUT, unless the school paid for my child to have that yearbook, that is my child’s property. The teacher had no business destroying something either I paid for or my child paid for. I think the teacher handled it poorly. Call the parent, have a discussion with the students in question, or even the whole class for that matter about why the use of the word was inappropriate, especially given its a Catholic school. I do know that at my daughter’s school, you go through the teacher first, and then the prinicpal is last in line for any conflicts in the school, so I definitely would have emailed or called the school directly to ask to speak to the teacher.


#5

[quote="DWC_RC, post:3, topic:200557"]
Perhaps you should review who your child associates with and tell her not to be friends with the person who wrote this.

[/quote]

Oh, because we should never let our children be exposed to "sinners"...???
Please... :rolleyes:

Clearly, if you don't condone that type of language then obviously have a discussion with your daughter about how it lacks respect and isn't tolerated in your house (hence a very good solution would be to black it out with permanent marker), but tearing out genuine notes from other friends?... Seems like punishment for something your daughter didn't even do! :o


#6

Wait, the teacher stole your daughter's property because another person wrote a naughty word on it? I wonder if the teacher, in the event that someone keyed an similar innapropriate (and by the sounds of it, accurate) word into her car - would her boss be right to take the car and then refuse to answer questions as to why he (or she) took the car?

That's garbage, you are right to be upset, and the teacher owes you and your daughter a sincere appology.

(Also, when did "*****" become a bad word? I mean, it's certainly not polite, but it isn't really considered a swear word, is it?)


#7

I don't understand parents today. Getting involved in every little thing and coming to the rescue of kids on every little happening. Your kids will be unable to function as adults if you don't let them learn to take their lumps and deal with stress, controversy, disappointment, etc. Let your **kid **work it out with the principal, teacher, etc.

I don't get it. Kids today are hovered over to the extreme. Makes for incompetent adults with entitlement complexes.

So, yes, IMHO you are totally overreacting and I don't know why you think the school should have called you or gotten you involved. The teacher might have overreacted in tearing out the page, but I mean-- get over it.


#8

[quote="micahmike, post:6, topic:200557"]
Wait, the teacher stole your daughter's property because another person wrote a naughty word on it? I wonder if the teacher, in the event that someone keyed an similar innapropriate (and by the sounds of it, accurate) word into her car - would her boss be right to take the car and then refuse to answer questions as to why he (or she) took the car?

That's garbage, you are right to be upset, and the teacher owes you and your daughter a sincere appology.

(Also, when did "*****" become a bad word? I mean, it's certainly not polite, but it isn't really considered a swear word, is it?)

[/quote]

Yes it is a bad word that has become "hip" lately. Its always been a derogatory term, meant to downgrade, insult or humiliate the other person. Unless you are referring to a female dog, its totally inappropriate in any situation to use, IMO.


#9

The word means female dog.

If you read the James Herriot books (All Things Wise and Wonderful, All Things Bright and Beautiful, etc.), you will see this word often, as it is a word that veterinarians use (at least back then). How many of you would rip the pages out of these wonderful, touching, and extremely worthwhile books? On the contrary, I gave them to my daughters when they were young teenagers!

Yes, this word also has many foul meanings. But so do many other English words. The name “Randy” is a naughty word, and so is the name “Roger.”

The point is, English is that kind of language. In other countries, the “s” word is considered appropriate, not dirty at all. It’s just another word.

At the same time, the word “bloody” is considered horribly foul (at least, it used to be), while in the U.S., the word is not shocking at all.

I get the impression that the way the school friend used the “b” word was not to insult, but to imply that her friend is “cool” and “smart.” My generation would have used the word “sassy.”

It seems that the “b” word is evolving, and I’m thinking that in the future, this word will lose its “naughty” connotations and be acceptable in society, just as the word “sucks” is now fairly acceptable and is even being used in a nationwide ad campaign for a tool to help people quit smoking.

IMO, the teacher destroyed private property and should be made to replace this property. I would go so far as to take her to Small Claims Court. Her “discipline” went way over the line. Would she take a sledge hammer to a car that had a “naughty” bumper sticker? She needs to learn that she can’t destroy private property in the name of righteousness.

As for who should fight the battle, IMO, it depends on who paid for the yearbook. If the teenager paid for her own yearbook, then it should be her fight, but her parents should stand behind her and help her to understand her options (one of which is taking the teacher to Small Claims Court). If the parents paid for the yearbook (which I’m guessing is the case), then it’s the parent’s fight, but they should make sure that their daughter is OK with whatever course of action they choose. It is likely that once she is finished grieving over the damage to her yearbook, she would beg her parents to just drop the whole thing and not make a big deal out of it.

At any rate, the damaged yearbook will be a tangible symbol to the young girl for the rest of her life that teachers are not always wise and therefore, should not always be trusted or obeyed. It’s a shame that in attempting to rescue this girl from "evil,’ this teacher instead undermined the girl’s innocent trust in authority figures. Bad, bad, teacher. I would take her to court just to make sure that she never hurts another kid’s trust again.


#10

[quote="1ke, post:7, topic:200557"]
I don't understand parents today. Getting involved in every little thing and coming to the rescue of kids on every little happening. Your kids will be unable to function as adults if you don't let them learn to take their lumps and deal with stress, controversy, disappointment, etc. Let your **kid **work it out with the principal, teacher, etc.

I don't get it. Kids today are hovered over to the extreme. Makes for incompetent adults with entitlement complexes.

So, yes, IMHO you are totally overreacting and I don't know why you think the school should have called you or gotten you involved. The teacher might have overreacted in tearing out the page, but I mean-- get over it.

[/quote]

Okay, you make a valid point... but if the parent's money was used to purchase the yearbook then they also have say in the situation.

I don't think "hovering parent" complex (which I agree can be a problem) is really at play here... I mean, if I heard about someone destroying a gift I gave to my own mother I would confront that person in her defense.


#11

I don’t agree with the teacher’s reaction, or yours.

If I was the teacher I would have taken the entire book into my possession, and called you to let you know what was written in the book before letting your daughter take it home with that word in it.

I would have also given the appropriate (whatever that school deems appropriate) punishment to the girl who wrote the word in the book. I would also inform her parents.

It’s a shame your daughters book was torn, there really was no need for that, but the teacher was probably reacting off the cuff. If it is against school/classroom rules (which I assume it is) to use that language then there shouldn’t be an exception for writing it.:shrug:


#12

I think the teacher was correct. Kids could have gone and resigned another page. If it would have been my kids’ book, I would have torn out the page if the teacher didn’t.


#13

[quote="pammie, post:1, topic:200557"]
Am I over-reacting?

[/quote]

I think the teacher's lack of response to you is unprofessional, though I think she's entitled to react to a reasonable extent to the presence of a cuss word in a yearbook. Having gone to public school all my life, I think the normal response would have been a verbal admonition, or maybe even a caution to just close the book since it has an offensive word written in it. In a Catholic school, where expectations of behavior are higher, I'd expect a stronger reaction but certainly not damage to the yearbook.

In any event, the teacher should have called you or emailed you at the end of the day to let you know the word was in there so that you'd know to speak to your daughter about it. In other words, she should have followed some sort of disciplinary guideline.


#14

The damage to the yearbook was done by the daughter’s friend, not the teacher. The teacher was trying to clean it up. Very proper response IMO.


#15

Ike, the teacher damaged my daughters property and took out a page full of autographs from children she has spent the last 9 years with–she was devastated! I do not believe this is hovering parent syndrome. Thanks for your input though.

My daughter was given a new yearbook by the parent who put them together. This made her happy and she now has an undamaged copy. She was able to have many of the kids resign her book.

There is a real communication problem here, too. Regardless of the outcome, I believe I should have been consulted due to the incident and my daughter’s reaction to it. My email was an obvious expression of my distress at the time. Just out of kindness and consideration, it would have been nice to be included in the “loop”!


#16

So, you're angry at the teacher??? What about the "friend" who wrote that word in her yearbook?? Let's put the blame with the child who defiled the book, not the teacher who has to correct the problem. She may have "over-corrected" the problem, but the original blame lays with that "friend."

This is a good lesson on why your daughter needs to be wise when choosing friends, even if its just asking for an autograph. She's a big kid now, and will be facing this more and more in high school, with much greater consequences than loosing a page and autographs.


#17

[quote="PatriceA, post:8, topic:200557"]
Yes it is a bad word that has become "hip" lately. Its always been a derogatory term, meant to downgrade, insult or humiliate the other person. Unless you are referring to a female dog, its totally inappropriate in any situation to use, IMO.

[/quote]

Really? Even among friends? Two men are in a boat, fishing. One takes the last worm, unknowingly. The other reaches for a worm, realises that there are none and that his buddy took the last one, and says "you (choose your favorite derogitory term - perhaps even the b-word), you took the last worm!" and they share a laugh. Is that "totally inappropriate"? My friends and I do that sort of thing all the time, I don't see any downside to it.


#18

My autograph book from when I was in Catholic school eighth grade (we didn’t have year books back then) has that word written in it (although in the form of an adjective). It was considered a cool thing to write back in 1972 also.

I think the teacher was out of line tearing the page out. I think the teacher should have ignored the word altogether.

Now if the parent saw the word and questioned the child… well that’s another matter.


#19

Perhaps behavior acceptable 1972 is not the best comparison to judge by.


#20

[quote="1ke, post:7, topic:200557"]
I don't understand parents today. Getting involved in every little thing and coming to the rescue of kids on every little happening. Your kids will be unable to function as adults if you don't let them learn to take their lumps and deal with stress, controversy, disappointment, etc. Let your **kid **work it out with the principal, teacher, etc.

I don't get it. Kids today are hovered over to the extreme. Makes for incompetent adults with entitlement complexes.

So, yes, IMHO you are totally overreacting and I don't know why you think the school should have called you or gotten you involved. The teacher might have overreacted in tearing out the page, but I mean-- get over it.

[/quote]

Yeah I have to agree. If this was elementary school then ok. But just about high school age? Come on now. A 13 year old needs to learn a little bit about life and how to deal with adults who overreact politely but firmly.

The teacher was out of line to rip the OP's daughter's book, especially since she wasn't the one to write anything. And it's not like anyone said anything out loud or disrespectful towards the teacher. I guess we should tear up Catcher in the Rye because it's crude or burn Huck Finn because it uses the N-word.The teacher had the right to seize the book... not try to destroy it. But then it should have been up to the student to deal with the situation and try to work something out. Only when that fails would I as a parent gotten involved and then only directly with the teacher, not the principal. And I would have just asked for the page to be returned no questions asked.


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