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Mom Forces Son To Wear Sign Showing Lousy GPA

 
 
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 09:14 am

"A Tampa mother is defending her decision to stick her teenage son on a street corner with a sign that says, among other things, "GPA 1.22 ... honk if I need education."
Ronda Holder says she and the boy's father have tried everything to get their 15-year-old to shape up academically. They've offered help, asked to see homework, grounded, lectured him and confiscated his cell phone. James Mond III's indifference at a school meeting last week was the final straw. The next day, Holder made the sign and made her son wear it for nearly four hours."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110221/ap_on_re_us/us_fla_student_sign

Personally, I think that the mother forcing her son to wear that sign is tantamount to child abuse. What do you think of this?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 23 • Views: 4,017 • Replies: 59

 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 09:17 am
It would be child abuse not to do almost anything to assure that her son gets a good education.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  5  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 09:20 am
@Phoenix32890,
Humiliation is never motivating. It's why people do it to their enemies. It's an effective way to weaken people and make them feel less confident. Based on their logic, someone needs to put a sign on these people that says "we have failed as parents".
0 Replies
 
blueveinedthrobber
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 09:20 am
I like it. If the kid has a gpa like that out of sloth... they should in addition tie him to a tree in the yard and make him eat out of a bowl.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  3  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 09:20 am
@Phoenix32890,
My first thought is that if she has the ability to "make" him stand on a corner and wear a sign for four hours, she has the ability to "make" him study.

This says that they've "offered help" and "asked to see homework," but if he said "no," then what?

Just from the brief quote it looks like she's mostly been focused on consequences rather than being proactive.
PUNKEY
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 09:21 am
If only humiliation would work . . . LOL

I was livid with my nephew when he would not do his homework. He would ace tests, then not turn in 10 assignments, so he would flunk his classes. It was laziness and boredom. This worked for him for a little while, until the tests covered material he had not read.

He entered his 12th grade lacking 9 credits. We tranferred him to a military academy and he flourished. Less distractions, (no cell phones, girls, computers) highly structured, rah-rah men's bonding, exercise, etc. Seemed to be the thing he needed.

BTW - he tested out with a 149 IQ.
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 09:30 am
When I was in Junior High, I was in a class for gifted kids. Whereas in elementary school I was one of the "brains", in this class, I was simply one of many.

We had an English teacher. Every quarter, she would arrange the seating of the students by grade point average. I was probably in the bottom 2/3 of the class. I was humiliated every time that I walked into that classroom, and have never forgotten it. There were two girls who always vied for spots #1 & #2. Looking back at it now, it was really disgusting.

I agree with those who said that the fault lies with the parents. I think that humiliating this young man will only exacerbate the problem.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  3  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 09:31 am
No kid gets to a 1.2 GPA without a little "help" from their family.

I agree with Green Witch -- An "I failed as a parent" sign is what is really needed.
0 Replies
 
PUNKEY
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 09:41 am
My friend has a very bright kid who is acting the same.

But let's look at the school. : No, this is a GOOD school. This kid has EVERY opportunity in front of him. Good teachers, plenty of suppllies and class choices, clean safe building,, etc. Something is wrong. He's just not into it. He is also provocative and distracting in the classroom. Teachers don't like him.

Phoenix32890
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 09:52 am
@PUNKEY,
It sounds like this kid needs to be tested by a psychologist. There are many reasons why a kid would act out in school. My kid brother would just sit and dream in school. Years later it was discovered that he had a hearing problem, and was not getting a lot of information. He happens to be very bright, and has done very well as an adult.

There could be a learning disability. I once knew of a kid who would act out in school. It was discovered that he was seeing double. He had been seeing that way for his entire life, and did not realize that he did not see like everyone else. With vision training, (the problem was in the brain, not his eyes) he improved tremendously.

My point is, the parents have to pursue every avenue to find out the reason for the kid's behavior. Humiliating him will do nothing but worsen the situation. Ugh.............I can imagine what will happen when he goes back to school, and the other kids start to tease him.

0 Replies
 
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 10:00 am
If these parents succeed having their 15 year old standing on a street corner with a sign, they should be able to successfully motivate him to do better in school. I have a hunch though that this was the tip of the iceberg in negative
reinforcements. They should have tried dangling the carrot for once!
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 10:16 am
I wonder how many people honked?
blueveinedthrobber
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 10:34 am
well, the world needs Wal Mart greeters too.
PUNKEY
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 10:40 am
Yes, I'd get depression checked out. with this kid.

There would be no way a kid would stand at a corner with that sign on him if he had any kind of healthy sense of himself.

I'm sure there's a back story to all this.
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 10:44 am
@Ceili,
Me too, Ceili.

I don't agree with humiliating the boy, but I certainly sympathize with the boy's mother. When my son started kindergarten, his very wise teacher told all the students that it was HER job to teach, but it was THEIR job to learn. Blaming the parents is easy, but the truth is, this boy has not been doing his job. He has earned that 1.2 GPA, not his parents. Put the blame where it belongs.

I teach in a private school, and I see parents come in for conferences who are at the end of their ropes. They've paid (sometimes sacrificially) for a great school with caring teachers and personal attention, hired extra tutors, counselors, you name it. They have set up everything so their child can succeed. But bottom line is, it's up to the child. I have their kids in my classes, and I can see the problem for myself. Some kids are slackers, that's all there is to it.

Here's a question for those of you who had bad GPAs at times when you were in school. Looking back, do you blame your parents? Or do you admit that you weren't a very good student?
Rockhead
 
  2  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 10:51 am
@Eva,
there are WAY too many details left out of this story, but...

humiliating the kid on a now worldwide level is not good parenting.

my guess is that this is not the first really bad parenting move that she has made...
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 11:09 am
@Rockhead,
I agree, Rockhead. That's why I started my post with the statement, "I don't agree with humiliating the boy, but I certainly sympathize with the boy's mother." We really don't know much about the situation, but it alarmed me how many people rushed to blame the parents.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 11:12 am
@Eva,
I am rushing to blame the parent. (one is oddly absent here)

she went tactical nuke on the kid.

what's next, make him wear a dress with the sign?

loan him to the chain gang? military school?

she has already lost the war...
0 Replies
 
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 11:14 am
@Eva,
Quote:
Here's a question for those of you who had bad GPAs at times when you were in school. Looking back, do you blame your parents? Or do you admit that you weren't a very good student?


No, I don't blame my parents. In college, where I flunked out after the first year, it was all my fault. I had just turned 17, and was much too immature for college. I was much more interested in "college life", and boys.

When I went back to school in my 30s, I went because I wanted to learn, graduated summa cum laude, and did well in grad school.
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Mon 21 Feb, 2011 11:23 am
@Eva,
I can't speak from the perspective of someone who was a bad student but I can speak from the perspective as the parent of someone who is not a "good" student.

I know that it is a lot of work for me to help Mo do the best he can.

I touch base with his teacher on a very regular basis. I know what his assignments are. I sit down each night with him while he does his homework. I had him thoroughly evaluated when the teachers suspected a disability so that together we could work on a plan to help him.

It would be terribly easy to excuse his school performance to "laziness" but the fact is he works much harder than "good" students.

I know how frustrating it is for him when he has a hard time with things that seem to come naturally to the other kids. It takes an enormous amount of effort to prevent him from becoming discouraged to the point he just wants to give up.

So yes, absolutely, I blame the parents when a child's grades slip to a 1.2 GPA.
 

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