Mason County News
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School Policy
Wednesday, April 7, 2010 • Posted April 7, 2010

Dear Editor:

I am the mother of a 15 year old boy and 12 year old girl who attend Mason JR High. My daughter was born with a cleft pallet which caused speech problems. She is constantly aware that people look at her differently and tries not to draw attention to herself. She has dealt with teasing and humiliation from other children all her life because of the way they see her. Because of this she is shy and quite. I have always told her to be true to herself and people will see past her speech problem. When we moved here I was worried the past would be repeated, however this was not the case, all the teachers were very helpful and taking the time to help her. These teachers helped her to slow down and speak so they and others could understand her. She was beginning to come out of her shell and put herself out there becoming more confident in herself. As her mom I was so grateful for these teachers who helped her feel so comfortable and safe.

Her comfort, security and confidence were rocked on the first of April this year. She made a wrong choice that resulted in her homework being incomplete. The schools new policy for this offence meant that she had to call home from the classroom and announce in front of the class what she had done. This policy caused my daughter great emotional pain and embarrassment. She was extremely upset. My discovery of these events came from the phone call I received from the nurse saying she had broke out in a rash all over her body. This rash turned out to be hives. I got her home and all she could do was cry, which in turn made her vomit. Please don't get me wrong I want to know if my children are not doing their homework. I use the tools put in place to keep tabs on my children's performance at school. I check their grades on line all the time and have not seen but one missing paper before now. The teachers have our phone numbers and email addresses to notify us of such things. Here is my complaint, to make any child make that phone call in front of the class is a blatant form of bullying designed to humiliate them into doing their homework. When I asked the faculty members responsible why they have this policy all they could say was "We thought it would help the students become more responsible with their homework." So the people we entrust our children to are not only teaching them math, reading and all the basics, they are also learning the art of bullying and humiliation. As I said before there are other ways to let a parent know what is going on at school. These days our children have enough trouble trying to fit in and feel confident. They do not need this kind of treatment from someone whose purpose is to teach. Where is a child to turn when it is the faculty who are the bullies. I am by no means wanting my daughter's hand held or her not held accountable when she doesn't do her homework, but this form of humiliation has to stop. When you publicly humiliate a child the child will suffer some degree of emotional damage. So All the progress my daughter has made is gone because she can no longer trust the people she thought were there to help her.

I give the school my children seven hours a day five days a week so the faculty can teach them math, reading and all the basics. Apparently they are also learning the art of bullying and humiliation as well. This pains me for many reasons. Children are resilient in most ways, however, emotional scars run deep and can last a life time. I thought other parents might like to know what our children are being taught. It seems the time has come for all parents to take a "zero tolerance" toward all forms of bullying.

Jerrie and Darrell Danz

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