Thursday, January 19, 2012


I know a teacher in Michigan who gave her class a homework assignment that would allow each one of the students 8 weeks to complete. The due date to turn in the assignment was just days ago, and, as you might have guessed, not every student turned in their homework. In spite of the fact that they had 2 months to complete the work, many of them came to school that day empty-handed. I’m sure you are asking yourself just what did these students offer as an excuse? They didn’t! Instead, their parents did it for them! This teacher received emails from the parents of 22 members of her class offering excuses of various kinds. We’re not talking about kids in kindergarten; rather, these are fourteen and fifteen year olds getting ready for high school. 

It’s been said that we are raising a generation who will be living in the basements of their parents, and, from what I’ve seen and heard in the past few years, that statement might not be too far from the truth. Teachers today have no means of discipline for the few students who are unruly misfits. Even a voice of disapproval will sometimes backfire when an irate parent storms into school to defend his little urchin. We’ve all heard how students of all ages are treated in school today. We mustn’t do anything to bruise their egos. There are no scores in sporting events now. Everyone gets a trophy. There are simply no losers. Everyone is a winner. Unfortunately, when the little boogers get out in the real world, his boss doesn’t hand him a trophy, and he doesn’t take calls from parents making excuses for him. I often wonder if these Wall Street protesters represent the first wave of these self-absorbed, spoiled kids.

So, you tell me. Am I off-base here? Do these protesters represent a good cause? Are parents really holding their kids responsible for getting their work completed on time? What should that teacher do about those 22 kids? Should she give them an F for failing to complete the assignment, or should she excuse them as their parents would expect?

I know that I’m a senior citizen, and we all know senior citizens are out-of-touch with today’s society. Good grief, I go back to a time that when a boy was bad in school, his teacher took a wooden paddle and swatted his butt with it. I always preferred the female teachers since they could swing the paddle with only a portion of the force that a male teacher did. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating that type of discipline. There would be mothers across the nation fainting when they heard about little Johnny getting his butt beat. But shouldn’t a teacher have some means of keeping law and order? And just what do you recommend?  


  1. Some kids are really too mischievous to just be given a detention. The teacher should still give all the student 0's unless there was actual good reason for not turning them in. Even though I'm 14, I agree that there should be corporal punishment. Many kids see suspension as a vacation and rarely do some of them actually feel like they're being punished.

  2. I think parents baby their kids entirely too much. I don't know if some of it is because child protective services seem to have a hold over parents. Some parents just think that their kids can do no wrong, but the parents that want to punish their children are in fear of their child claiming child abuse. I think kids should be held accountable for their actions and for completing school work on time. Some parents would rather send their child to his room to play video games instead of sitting down and helping them with homework...then all of a sudden a big assignment is due and what happened??? The dog ate it?? I think parents should stand up for their children but doesn't that mean helping them get a good education.

  3. Oh Scott, you opened up a door! I am the teacher Scott is reffering too. I would love to say this was an isolated incident, but this happings daily in my classroom. I would like to mention, I actually teach 13-15 year olds, they are getting ready to go to high school. I am frustrated, angry, disappointed, most of all lost on what to do. I sadly teach in an area where most of my parents have had very little education themselves, this form of parenting is all they know.

    Their lives have been nothing but struggles and instead of stopping and evaluating their decisions and trying to teach their children there are other options, they instead have turned into self pity and excuses. Their is NO accountability to following the rules. There are NO consequences at home to remind and teach them that this is not acceptable and that school IS the ticket to a better place. I had a meeting with one of these parents last week and we offered every resource available to help her child- homework club, an extra class for one-on-one help, before school tutoring, computor programs to help with his typing, counsling to manage his ADHD, and so much more. Her response: "No that may cause a wrinkle. We don't want to upset him." Remember he is failing 5 out of 6 classes. He has a 13% in mine!

    I gave this assignment in November, we worked 2 days a week in the lab researching and typing, I have a website that is updated almost daily with reminders, directions, links, and ways for them to print out anything they are missing, there are NO excuses. On the first day of school in my syllabus, I had an entire section dedicated to my rules on projects and all the computer "problems" they may occur and that they should not wait until the last minute. Best part is, they didn't even have to turn anything in! This was an online project they just had to research, create, and present. NO paper!!!!

    If I failed something in school; I was scolded. If I cheated; I was punished. If I dared to talk back to the teacher; I didn't sit for a day or two. If I didn't do my best; I was constantly reminded of why it was so important to do so. I was in 8th grade when I realized you didn't actually have to go to college. I had no idea it was a choice. My students truly feel they have no chance of going and it this is not even in their mindset.

    Everyday I get "why bother" and "my parents don't care so why should I?" It is so sad. I care, I want them to be successful and to not end up in their parents basements for the rest of their life. This is a community issue, everyone needs to step up and start supporting educaiton.
    Parents need to be educated themsleves. This is not going to be an easy process.

  4. Scott
    I can remember years ago when my mother said, "What is this world coming to? ".... "it really worries me that so many kids have no work ethics and show no responsibility. If the kids doesn't get it done the parents will do it for them, because the parent doesn't want to look bad. As the Bible teaches, spare the rod and spoil the child. I am not for beating the kids but there is no consequences for bad behavior ... the kids will just call CPS and then the parents are in trouble. When I look at the head of our Govt and congress etc.... we can see what has happened when parents want to kids to be their friend. Congress is there for a handout and I pray that we will get strong leadership that isn't afraid of the other people and being politically correct.