Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Where is the Supervision?

by Kathy Foust

I have a thought that's been plaguing me for some time now. Where in God's name is the supervision at school? When are the authority figures at school held responsible?

The other day my son came home and told me about him getting in trouble at lunch in school. Apparently his buddies were talking and he wasn't but he lost his recess because he was by them. When he mentioned to the adult in charge that he hadn't been talking, she simply told him that he was sitting in the group that was talking.

Nevermind that this particular woman doesn't like me because I've known her husband for the better part of my life and she happens to be very insecure. Had it been an incident worth getting upset over, I would have simply confronted her and asked her to refrain from taking things out on my son. But, I thought Hunter might learn something about choosing where he sits and who he hangs out with more carefully so I let this one go.

But, it does upset me that this same adult is on duty at recess. Why? Because children come to my house and tell me how they were held upside down at recess to have their money shaken from their pants. Or, that they were bullied on the monkey bars until they lept off in fear...and landed on their tail bone. It just so happens that in these incidents, the same woman was on duty.

Someone please tell me how an adult can confront a child about something like talking in line or at lunch, but not see flagrant bullying going on in the playground. And, in case you're wondering, I've been the adult on duty on the playground and found it impossible to miss when there was a physical altercation of any kind.

More and more I begin to think that the level of protection a child receives is entirely dependent on who his or her parents are and how the child has been labeled in schools. I see all too often how children get labeled one year and the adults seem to base their entire opinion on one incident the child did. I just want to say that if people had treated me in one way based on one single negative action in my life, well let's just say that there are plenty to choose from and that no one deserves to have their entire image wrapped in one or two incidents.

For the record, my' child isn't personally labeled that I know of, but I know kids who are and I can see the difference in the way they are with me and the way they are with other adults. Maybe it's because I see more than just a small person with a flaw? Aren't we all entitled to that?

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