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A librarian in Elk Grove, California has been accused of taping noisy students' mouths shut. She has been suspended with pay while an investigation is pending. Read more here and here.
My husband is a mentor in an urban, racially mixed school--he eats lunch with a third and fourth grader. He says the lunch room is very crowded, but everyone is quiet and well-mannered. No one starts to eat until everyone is served, and there is no talking until they are given permission, and then it is at a very low level. Children can ask permission to speak to the entire group, which they do.
Obviously, children can behave themselves when the school administration has high expectations for their behavior. But it needs to start at the top.
When my daughter was in 2nd grade (5 years ago), she came home to tell me about their teacher who started the school year with threatening to give out-of-line students a "silver smile," i.e., duct tape across the mouth. Although I learned that this teacher would probably not actually do this, I was shocked that the threat was made. A considerably older group might recognize it as a joke, but I imagine a bunch of 8 year olds might be fairly cowed by it.
It reminded me of when I was in second grade (um.....a little more than 5 years ago) and Miss St. xxxx put tape on the mouth of chronic miscreant Dale W. and stuffed him into her tiny coat rack where he stayed for an hour or so.
As an occassional volunteer in my kids' grade school, I can say that I have seen active humiliation of students once or twice. I understand keeping control, but outright humiliation is inexcusable.
Having said that, I know that there's no way in hell I could work in a school setting, as teacher, librarian or lunch lady, and most of the staff do an admirable job.
Over twenty 3rd graders. That is a lot of tape.
This librarian probably just lost it. Any rational human being who works with kids would certainly understand the repercussions and not actually bust out the duct tape. A rational person who works with kids would love to tape their mouths shut but would never actually do it unless they wanted to lose their job.
Oh boy, Stepford children! This sounds utterly creepy to me. :(
In third grade? That's the ten year old bracket, right? So this kld is old enough to know how to behave in class and yet is still an undisciplined brat. And she thinks of this rude monstrosity, ten years of age, as just a little baby?
I'm thinking that librarian should have used ether or chloroform instead of duct tape, that kid is a momma's boy, and Momma herself is overprotective and needs a serious reality check.
If my kids had duct tape anywhere on their skin for any amount of time, they'd probably have welts or rashes. I'm wondering how 20 kids managed to get duct-taped over a chunk of time, without other teachers walking in, other kids not saying stuff to their parents, or parents wondering why there were red marks on their kids. Curious....
I have thought about taping my students' mouths shut. I haven't done it though, because I want to keep my job :)
I work with high schoolers, and they know the library is a privilage for them. If they get too noisy, they have to leave. If a whole class is acting up, the library is closed. Thankfully, the administration backs me up on this. There are other places (caf., campus ministry, computer lab) where students can go if they want to talk, eat, be noisy.
I find it hard to believe that this happened to 20 3rd graders beginning in October and they are now just finding out about it. Didn't any of the kids tell their parents?
Well behaved children is creepy? I bet you haven't spent a lot of time in an elementary school lunch room.
Woohoo! I think that's a great policy you have. Did you ever have to close the library?
Actually, third graders are usually 8 years old.
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