Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Ta-Dum! The Terribly Offensive Valentine Envelope

Okay, here it is, the horribly offensive artwork my son created for his Valentine's Day envelope. In the end, it wasn't a drawing at all but glued on figures provided by the art teacher. He says it's a it's a comedian on a horse. For the full story of what happened to him because of this creation, please see the previous post. The second picture is the essay he had to write as a punishment.

As an update, I went to the school today to retrieve the artwork and to confront this woman. To give her credit, she did feel bad upon learning she'd prevented my son from having lunch. I told her not to talk to my son again unless I was present and explained to her that he is scared to death of her and that trust has been completely lost. He feels singled out and no better than scum on her shoe.

Admittedly, some of the boys' artwork really could be considered inappropriate (like the frog shot through the heart with guts hanging out), but even that could have been handled on a different note. When she asked me what I would have done, I told her she should have talked to the parents and let them decide whether or not their child's artwork was appropriate. This envelope absolutely will not endanger my child's salvation. It is not a saving ordinance, it's not disrepectful to anyone, it didn't cause any disruption in class. If they want the children to only glue on hearts, then only hearts should have been made available. This also could have easily been handled on a teacher level, with the art teacher simply saying, "Sorry guys, just do them again." (Instead, she told a boy in my carpool, who was also later reprimanded, that his was very nice.) They didn't need to be singled out. Incidentally, I did learn that the other boys also wrote brief essays when she sent Jared to her office for laughing, but none of them missed out on their lunch. Only my son was kept that long. (And it's strange because Jared has never been one to mock or disobey any teacher.)

My kids have attended this school for thirteen years and this woman has worked there the entire time. This makes the whole situation worse. When she sad she felt bad about the lunch and that she didn't know, I said, "You should have known. You should have asked." Yes, she should have cared enough. She should have taken the time.

She eventually mentioned that maybe they should do away with the Valentine's Day celebration in the sixth grade altogether (like they have sadly done in the older grades). That's what I was afraid of. Let the children have a little fun, for crying out loud! Life is difficult enough as it is.

I was driving carpool today and didn't have a lot of time to stay and discuss the matter with her further, though I feel I clearly made my displeasure and anger known. Nothing like this should happen again without my being called before it goes this far. She does want to apologize for making Jared miss lunch and asked to talk to Jared when I can be there. I'm grateful for that much, though I look at this envelope and I still don't understand why she felt she needed to punish him in the first place. Definitely not her place. As two of the boys in my carpool told their mother, this was definitely the worst Valentine's Day ever.

3 comments:

  1. So making a creative Valentine's day card, instead of doing what everyone else does and pasting hearts and arrows, is going to lead to falling away from the church, alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs?!?!? They have got to be kidding. Your poor little boy - that's the kind of thing that makes kids rebel against the church. . . sheesh. I'm glad you stood up for him and got everything straightened out! :) Good job Momma!

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  2. Sounds like unrighteous dominion to me. One of the best lessons I have learned as a parent (and as a teacher back in my teaching days) is to admit when I am wrong and then sincerely apologize.

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  3. Mama Thor--you are exactly right! A sincere apology would go a long way. Unfortunately, in the end this administrator didn't apolize to my son for making him miss lunch or (more important in my view)for singling him and the others out in the first place. Oh, well. He's gotten over it--and the principal DID apologize for her actions, which was good. Thanks for your comment!

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