When I think about kindergarten, I picture a peaceful environment that is both fun and educational. At this grade level, children are getting their first taste of being away from mom and dad for long periods of time -- which can be super scary. With hope, caring teachers are introducing them to books and fascinating subjects that will awaken in them a life-long love of learning, while taking their emotional needs into consideration and disciplining them in ways that teach, and don't disrespect.
Well, that's the ideal scenario, anyway. In reality, some school administrators, like the principal of one school in Connecticut, aren't thinking twice before doing horrendous things, like dragging 5 and 6-year-old children across the hallway as if they were animals.
Tisdale School principal Carmen Perez Dickson was caught on two different occasions dragging two kindergarten students through the hallways of her school. Both of these incidences took place in 2012, but the parents of the children have recently leaked video footage of her actions -- I'm guessing because they were pretty put off by the slap on the wrist Dickson received after this all came out.
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Instead of being fired, the principal was suspended for 6 months. She's expected to return to the district as an administrator, though not at the same school. According to Dickson's lawyer, she was using "reasonable force" to remove these children from the ground and did not violate Board of Education policy. Maybe not, but if you view the video you'll see it doesn't seem as if the children are hurting themselves or Dickson. Surely, there was a more humane way to get them up?
My toddler hasn't reached the age where she attends school yet, but I look forward to her having the same magical experiences I had. I still remember my kindergarten teachers -- their patience, kindness, and the slick, thoughtful ways they disciplined us without making us feel unworthy. No teacher ever laid a hand on me or called me names, and if I found out a school administrator was treating my child like an animal, I'd feel angry, resentful, and sad. Especially if that person wasn't properly punished for her behavior.
Watch the video and let us know what you think:
Do you feel the principal was out of line or do you think it's okay to discipline young children this way?
Image via hobvias sudoneighm/Flickr