School Loses Kids & Then Punishes Them For It

kid walking out door

When we send our kids off to school, we hope they are safe and looked after, but sometimes things happen. At Broadway Academy in Cleveland, two 8-year-olds sneaked out of school to buy some chips and gum at the corner store. How they got out undetected is unknown but we know kids can be stealthy. The kids were caught by the principal who suspended them and now Lakeshia Patterson, one of the kids' moms, isn't happy. She thinks the teacher deserves a punishment as well.


Patterson said, "Oh I'm [ticked] off about him being suspended because I feel like this, if he's going to get suspended for one day then what is the teacher getting for not watching him .... When my kid goes to school, I should be at work knowing my kids are safe." She's right. Our kids should be safe. The teacher should know what's going on and if a child goes missing from class. But the kids also shouldn't be sneaking out.

I did this once when I was in 3rd grade. I left my elementary school and went to McDonald's for lunch. But I was able to leave because I faked a note from my mom. I'm not sure how I got out of the school, but I think it's because this was so many years ago, back when there wasn't a lot of security like there is now. I didn't admit this to my parents until I was much older. It was a thrill. And I was a fairly boring little kid -- I followed the rules and got good grades. Sneaking out is somewhat of a rite of passage. Though, today, the danger seems greater. Or is it that we are all so worried because of the horrifying stories we too often hear?

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I'm not sold that the kids should be suspended in this case. That's keeping them out of school and I feel if their consequence would be best served within the school. Perhaps they could work with the security guard, or learn safety rules and then in turn teach other kids as part of an after school activity. So I don't blame mom for not being happy with the punishment, and if what she is saying is correct, the teacher wasn't faulted. But what's concerning is if mom puts all the focus on the wrongdoings of the school, is she taking the blame off her kid?

That's a difficult balance sometimes. We can feel the school is at fault here for not keeping our kids within the school, but we also have to make sure our child knows that he isn't off the hook and that he did wrong, too. So maybe that teacher along with the kids need to do some after-school learnings, and share those learnings with the rest of the school as part of a safety refresher course for all. Because what we all really want is for the kids to be safe.

Do you think the 8-year-olds deserve suspension? What kind of disciplinary action should happen for the kids and the teacher?


Image via Woodley Wonder Works/Flickr

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