As hypocritical as it seems, there are some things we as parents do to our children that are just not okay for other people to do. Sure, we want their caregivers and teachers to love our kids like their own, but in some cases, we don't want them to treat them like their own. A recent incident in Florida is a perfect example.
When a pre-kindergarten student soiled his diaper on the playground, a teacher didn't follow regular protocol and take the boy into a classroom to change his diaper. Rather, she took off his pants, got a hose, and hosed him off, before putting his pants back on to go inside for a fresh diaper. A "plant operator" did give the teacher gloves and held up a towel for privacy ... but still.
According to WTSP, the teacher was suspended for 10 days without pay. The board found she was violating rules including "failure to perform the duties of the position," "inappropriate or disparaging remarks to or about students or exposing a student to unnecessary embarrassment or disparagement," and more.
I'm not sure that punishment is harsh enough, but not because it's not something that I might do.
I have never done so, but it's not unimaginable to me that I would hose my kid down outside if he or she was messy. A hose, wipes, what's the difference at that age? Well, there's a big difference if it's someone else choosing to do that to my child. I'm the parent, and it's up to me to decide when and where it's appropriate to do something like that, and who it's okay to do it around. Parenting comes with so many caveats and judgment calls, and inevitably those caring for our children will have to make some, but there are limits. And this teacher crossed them.
I feel the same way about other less-than-textbook parenting choices I make, like, oh, say ... scaring my children to be good. I will admit that I have been known recently as Christmas approaches to try and frighten my daughter with the Grinch who's going to get her if she's not good (which went over great when we went to see "Grinchmas," let me tell you). I know it's not the most proper parenting move, but I also know her limits and how scared she really is, AND I'm the one who would be up in the middle of the night if she had nightmares. If I heard a teacher or babysitter trying to scare my daughter into being good, however, I'd be furious.
So yes, it's a fine line and, like I said, perhaps a bit of a hypocritical one, but there are places parents can go with their children that others shouldn't. Some are small and just annoying (babysitters that occasionally go against your wishes to keep snacks sugar-free), but others, like this hosing incident, are bigger and need to be addressed.
Do you think the teacher stepped out of line hosing this child down on the playground? What things do you do as a parent that you wouldn't be okay with other people doing to your children?
Image via Beth Kingery/Flickr