Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Can You Keep Food From A Child?

Ok.  I have a rant to share.  My 12 year old son came home and declared at dinner, "I didn't get to eat the lunch you sent me to school with".  Upon digging into his scholarly endeavors for the day, we discovered that he had misbehaved in a computer class by attempting to show a friend a fun site he found online as part of his class project for the day.  The teacher saw him talking to his friend and assigned detention.  At lunch.  Lunch?  Well, ok - maybe that's how she does it.

So my son goes to the detention, but it's in the school library.  Now everyone knows you can't eat lunch in the library.  So my child diligently sat for the lunch period in the library for his detention.  Oh yes... and if that doesn't make you mad yet, think about this:

The teacher never showed up.

So this got me to boil of course, being the hot-headed Scorpio that I am.  I began an angry email to the teacher, explaining my views on her discipline for my son.  Before I finished it, I did a major search for something of status - you know - something that I could quote, some law that I could refer to to make sure she knew she was really wrong.  Bad teacher.  Bad.  No no.  But you know what?  There IS no law against withholding a student's lunch for disciplinary reasons.

I am flabbergasted.

Why in the world not?  There are all sorts of laws for hospitals and psychiatric programs.  But nothing for schools.  And this is not exclusive to Massachusetts, either - it's all over the US.  Now go figure.

So I finished my angry letter to the teacher, and all I could add was something about each student shall receive a 30-minute lunch period each day from the parent handbook.  Hardly as strong as I wanted, since of course I wanted to 'throw the book at her', but it'll have to do for now.

How does this make you feel?  Are you comfortable with having a child not able to eat his lunch for ANY reason?  I don't care if he tried to light the school on fire - you don't withhold food!

Feel free to join my rant or share your perspective in the comments section.


Sycamore Moon Studios said...

Detention should have been held in her room with the door open so that your son could eat.

Having lunch is a health issue.

To not have shown up is ridiculous, too. Call a meeting with the principal.

goldenbird said...

I would be FURIOUS. You can't do that to a child. How was he supposed to get through the rest of the day with no lunchtime nourishment? School is difficult enough without being hungry on top of it. That makes me so mad. I can't believe there are no laws about it. It seems cruel.

Dogwood said...

What an unfortunate situation for you son and you! Wow...that is awful. Food should never be withheld from young growing children for any reason. I am so proud of you for taking action.

mamapease said...

That would totally make me feel angry!!


everyday graces said...

I'm here via my life w/o spending and I am appalled by a teacher who would withhold lunch. I would be up at that school talking to the principal if this happened to either of my children. Not to mention the fact that food helps brain power and concentration so she did a further disservice not only for your son but any teacher that had him the rest of the day.

Jessica said...

At a school I taught at in England we could give lunch detentions so long as the student had some time to eat and often times they could eat while in the detention. I think an e-mail to the teacher was a good idea expressing your concern about his not having lunch and her forgetting to turn up for a detention (Which I have to admit to having forgot in the past. Especially if I set it in first period and lunch isn't until after 3rd or so.) But I think speaking with her first before going above her head is the right thing - but if she won't make it right then go to the next person either the department head or principal.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I would be angry too! Has the teacher replied?