School Tells 9-Year-Old She Can't Attend Class Party Over 1 Test

girl left out

A New Jersey mom was outraged to find that her 9-year-old daughter had been excluded from a class party. The reason? The mom had opted her daughter out of a standardized test the other kids had taken earlier that day.


Michele Thornton had decided to opt her daughter out of a new state test called the PARCC exam (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers). She just didn't see the point of taking this test ... that is, until she heard that the Oldmans Township School had held an "Untest Afternoon" party where participants played outside, scarfed down cupcakes and received prizes. Meanwhile, her daughter was sequestered in the library, alone.

"She sees all of her friends out there going to play games and stuff," Michele told the press. "She's heartbroken."

Shocked that her child was punished for a decision she made, Michele filed a harassment, intimidation and bullying complaint against the school.

More from The Stir: When Parents 'Opt Out' of Standardized Tests, Schools Punish the Kids

And I can see where this mom is coming from! Kids are such pack animals, and so sensitive to exclusion. So, if one child is left out of some fun activity, it may not only feel traumatizing to them personally, but make them a target for bullying.

And while standardized tests are one instance when kids can be "excluded" from fun activities, there are plenty of other times this can happen where parents should remain vigilant.

For instance: food allergies. Reports have surfaced of kids with food allergies being excluded from school parties because some snacks there might trigger an allergic reaction.

Or how about kids with special needs? Another school recently excluded a child with muscular dystrophy from participating in field day.

Meanwhile, what if you're a parent who doesn't have an extra ten bucks to send your kids to the school carnival? In one school in Queens, New York recently, those kids were shuttled into an auditorium to watch a movie while the other students celebrated with games and prizes outside. 

Bullying is a big topic at school, yet what schools haven't truly considered is how they contribute by isolating certain kids. Sorry to say, but that's all it takes sometimes to turn a kid into a target.

How you feel about schools punishing kids who don't take standardized tests?


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