Taking the fun out of fundraising

Forest Lake Press reports

A Century Junior High School parent said her son and another student are being unfairly punished after a school fundraiser took a wrong turn into alleged sexual misconduct last month.

The incident took place during a charity fundraiser where three teachers, a male and two females, volunteered to be taped to a school wall. Students could buy a three-foot piece of duct tape for $1 and secure the teacher to a wall in front of the student body.

Amanda Valencia said a group of classmates dared her son and another student to place tape on a female teacher’s chest. She said her son placed his portion of tape across the teacher’s collar bone, but the second male student applied tape across her chest.

The action resulted in cheers and high fives among the group of students involved in the dare.

Valencia said approximately a dozen students involved in the incident were questioned by school authorities and asked to write an apology to the teacher. She said her son was sent home and suspended for two days.

Valencia said the punishment seemed to fit the circumstances but then her son was questioned by police for alleged sexual harassment and disorderly conduct.

“They took part in an event that was put on by the school, volunteered to by the teachers, and tape provided by the school for the students to place on the teacher,” she said, “and they want to charge my son with sexual harassment or even disorderly conduct? That seems a little extreme.”

Quiring said police will take no action in the case, but Valencia said school authorities threatened to expel her son and plan to classify the incident as sexual harassment in his school file.

The comment section is lighting up and mostly it is in support of the kids.

Russ writes

” I agree that the behavior of the students appears on the surface to be nothing more than plain ordinary immaturity. I think having the reason why it was inappropriate being explained to them, and having to write an apology should have been the end of it. But once again the administration has to take things to a level above silly. To move the children to a new school seems like a knee-jerk reflex rather than a well thout decision. ”

Mary answers

” This is just another reason why I’m glad that I moved my children to another district. I think that the staff and district are seriously lacking in many areas. The top being that most lack the brains that they should have for the positions that they are in. The kids were just being kids and lacked a little good judgement. Tha adults on the other hand???????? ”

mom2 adds

” Agree with Russ & Mom -the school totally over reacted to this situation. The teacher being taped to the wall should have said something such as “dont even think about it” and the whole issue could have been avoided. Ross Bennett states the worhwhile cause was marred by 2 students. Guess what dumn idea to begin with and doesnt the staff member have some fault as well? “

And the mother of one of the boys weighs in.

mamabear wrote

” i want to thank you all for your logical and caring comments given the fact that my son is one of the “accused”. What most of you do not yet know is that the police were called and these boys were questioned without benefit of parental knowledge or involvement. My son; to this date has served 2 ISR punishments, forced to write and then re-write letters of apology, been interviewed (without parents) on at least THREE occasions, referred to a “behavior and consequence” class at youth service bureau and has been given an assigned lunch seat with the severely disabled kids. Anyone a parent of one of these kids?? How do you feel knowing that your child’s disability is being used as punishment for a non-disabled child?? My child is not one of the two the UNINFORMED mr Bennett speaks of– he is one of 12 that are involved and being continuously punished. My child finally could not force himself to return to school last Friday as a result of teacher’s treatment of him and feeling like they were calling him a “rapist.” His documented offense: “inappropriate laughter toward a staff member.” documented staff response : “police action”. Make sense to anyone????????????? The principal and vice principal both told us it makes perfect sense to them and we are also told they dont know yet if they are though punishing our son. I cannot figure out how these people sleep at night!!! Can anyone else?? furthermore– its important to note that the female teacher who was “so damaged” by the inappropriate strip of tape and subsequent laughter~~ continued her role as tapee for two additional lunch periods!! the principal’s response to that? “she chose to continue so as not to draw further negative attention to the event” REALLY??? so calling the FL police department was what ??? positive attention??? The school district considering further punishments for these kids??? The punishment needs to turn on the faculty and Mr Bennett, in my opinion…. shame on these people! “

Here’s a glaring problem with zero tolerance, besides the fact that it throws out judgement calls and common sense, the authority figures are never treated with zero tolerance.


2 Comments so far

  1. noname_hz (unregistered) on March 18th, 2010 @ 12:15 pm

    I think the comments of the responders as well as this editorial would be very different should the respondents be in the shoes of the teacher or teachers family. AKA – would you want your wife/mom/girlfriend assaulted like this? While I can’t say that I was a perfect kid in school (far from it as a matter of fact) ASSAULTING a teacher (or anyone else for that matter) and skipping classes/doing drugs are completely different realms. In the cases of violence I do believe there should be very very serious consequences. And not just to the child by to their parents as well. A good example of lack of consequences is the whole North/ Northeast Minneapolis school system.

  2. David (jacc) on March 18th, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

    Fair points @noname_hz, but I’m not sure this can be called assault. The police are not filing charges and yet the school is documenting it as a sexual assault, seems unreasonable.

    I don’t think anyone disagrees that these kids were out of line and should be punished, but to what extent?

    What if you were in a situation where the police investigated you for sexual assault,filed no charges, yet your job still classified the situation as sexual assault in your file?

    Also, clearly the teachers lost control of the situation. I wouldn’t want my (or anyone’s) wife/mom/girlfriend (or any husband/father/boyfriend for that matter)treated this way, that said my wife is a teacher and I have a hard time seeing her let a situation get this out of control.

    Remember, these are 12 year old kids. The adults are authority figures, if they were on a field trip and one of the kids fell off a cliff the adults would be to blame. If one kids pushed another off a cliff, the adults would be to blame. If all the kids joined a cult during school hours and drank the kool-aid, the adults would be to blame.

    Fair? Maybe not, but that’s the way it works.


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