Principal Makes Students Walk in Heat for Hours Without Water

school entranceThe value of school uniforms and dress codes has been debated over and over again. Arguably, they help to keep kids safe because intruders can be easily spotted, but they prohibit choices and keep kids from creatively dressing. And most recently, a North Carolina principal has landed herself in hot water after demanding that students walk outside for more than two hours after violating the uniform code.

According to reports, Manchester Elementary School Principal Tammy Holland ordered several dozen children to walk on a dirt track until their parents could bring them a change of clothes or pick them up to go home. She even said that they weren't allowed to eat any breakfast or be served any water. They were only brought inside after administrators in the school's office were alerted of the situation.

Naturally, parents are upset. They only found out when they came to pick up their children at the school, and now, they're calling for the principal's resignation. According to one mom, the temperature was in the mid-70s to high-80s that morning, so kids were exhausted. They were even more confused because teachers had apparently told the kids that they could wear casual clothes on the last day, so the sudden demands of the principal were not expected.

The children were clearly frightened, confused, and intimidated by the principal. She is the leader of the school, and as the head, they obeyed her orders. Even when her strategies were clearly in violation of basic rules.

The principal was in the wrong and the children were not prepared for the reaction. But as parents, it's important to teach children and encourage them to speak up in situations that don't feel or seem right. Kids should be taught that following authorities, when their gut instinct screams that something is off, should not be done blindly. If something feels wrong, or is wrong, they should make it known.

And walking around for hours in high heat, and without water, is definitely wrong.

How do you encourage your kids to speak up?


Image via Jake Gamage/Flickr



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kisse... kisses5050

mid 70s is grueling high heat???? seriously????  The over exaggeration  of the the harm done to children who ever have to face annnnny consequence or discipline is  mind boggling.

Polis... PolishMamma2

This is not a fair situation. The principle should distipline the teachers who told the class they can dress casual not the students. Plus this is a school not boot camp. The temp doesn't really matter here but the humidity and sun do. And a lack of water in the summer is bad.

lizilli lizilli

This is an elementary school??  This is a last day of the school year at an elementary school??  Several DOZEN children??  These children were hardly involved in an insurrection and this heavy handed discipline is over the top since this principle seemed not to have considered any facts (if the information given in the above article is accurate).  The biggest problem, besides all of the overreaction is the lack of water being allowed, seems as if she were hoping for a dehydration event.  Yeah, principle has severely overstepped her authority and treated these children with callus disregard, as if they were all involved in a group lie about being told they could dress casually.  She has behaved like some kind of prison warden instead of a the principle of an ELEMENTARY school, not high school, not middle school.  What is this, a bad part of town where all of the little kids are thugs?  I'm guessing NOT.

amber... amberdotsmom

KISSES:  I'd agree if it was normal mid-70's but if you click on the link the story shows the temp climbed to the 80's while the were walking and the humidity was high.   That makes a huge difference.  

Doesn't seem like the punishment fit the crime at all if it was even the kids in the first place and not the teachers and principal getting wires crossed

invis... invisibleme

Actually it was an annual treat for 5th graders to be able to

Dress down the last day of school. The new principal did not follow this tradition and failed to ensure parents and kids were aware of yhe change. Other news articles state this particular principal has parental complaints at her previous school as well.

IKnow... IKnow0101

Regardless of the temperature this should not been done. Apparently there were a miscommunication issue but even if the kids decided themselves to dress down a more appropriate punishment is called detention.

sterl... sterling21

I would have gone to the school immediately if I heard my son was in trouble,in the article one parent took her "time" to bring extra clothes and her daughter was panting and out. I think this was a lot of peoples fault, the principal is nuts, the teachers are absent minded, and the parents who did not pick up a child in need for two hours, are workoholics that need to asses there priorities. My son bumped his and I was there in 5 minutes. Teacher called about a bad incident in school i was packing to leave as she was talking.

Jessie Radford

Why? If kids disobey orders these days, they'll just have the police called on them. And do not tell me that a she would have hesitated to call the police on an elementay student. I just want to add, coming from North Carolina. We don't have dry heat. So when they said high 80's they mean high 80's plus the humidity. You sweat faster, trust me.

madle... madlevans2010

I think it's important to keep uniforms in check but honestly I think the basics of having a uniform policy need to be adhered making sure they don't sag or the shorts aren't too short, but I think otherwise it's not a big deal. At my school the kids have to pay $1 on Fridays to wear jeans....if they don't pay the dollar they have to call to get clothes or the $1, but they go right back to class. I think this is crazy....honestly especially with it  being the last day of school. What was this punishment going to prove? NOTHING. On another day they would learn to only wear uniform clothes...but this day they won't be back for 3 it did no good. (Not that I'd condone making kids walk for 2 hours in the heat)


Bryan Strauch

Hello! I am the original individual that took the local paper's story and posted it to Reddit (which subsequently jumped to a front page report hitting 2 million viewers and then Yahoo News). I'm sorry to report that as of today the Cumberland County's District Attorney's Office (NC, USA) has NOT received any criminal charges from local law enforcement. Local law enforcement has stated that an investigation is underway but cannot comment further. Please do your part in making sure due diligence is taken in this investigation for the sake of the children. This principal has history. Cumberland County District Attorney's Office (910) 475-3010
Manchester Elementary School: 910.436.6034,
Cumberland County Schools Central Offices: 910.678.2300,
Cumberland County Sheriff's Department: 910.323.1500,
Cumberland County Child Protective Services: 910.677.2450,
North Carolina Department of Public Instruction: 919.807.3300,

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