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  1. #1
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    Teacher accused of quieting students with clothespins

    Jeez, I wasn't sure whether to post this here or in the bizarre forum.

    http://www.cnn.com/2007/EDUCATION/04...rss_topstories

    AMANDA, Ohio (AP) -- A substitute teacher's tool for silencing chatty kindergartners -- clothespins -- doesn't wash with school officials.
    Four boys said spring-type clothespins were placed over their upper or lower lips for talking too much in class, Amanda-Clearcreek Primary School principal Mike Johnsen wrote in a letter to parents this week.
    Ruth Ann Stoneburner, a retired school nurse who had worked as a substitute for several years, confirmed to Johnsen that she had used the clothespin discipline March 26, he said.

  2. #2
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    Why didn't I think of that?

    What an idiot. You gotta wonder where they find these people and what kind of screening they go through before they are left alone with our children!!!

  3. #3
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    Mmmm, RaisinCharlie told me if I put my donkey's ears together with a clothespin, he's quit braying. Tried it and it worked !!! LOL

    Okay for donkeys for a minute to see if it worked, but took it off when that sad look in his eyes made me feel guilty.

    Never try it on children. Good grief.

  4. #4
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    That's horrible. Clothespins HURT; I'm sure the parents loved the bruises on their children's faces.

    way to get a lawsuit, lady A nurse? You have got to be kidding.

    This does remind me of a terrible day in my life when I decided to put a clothespin on my little sister's nose. I meant it as a joke, and had no idea how much it would hurt (I was 4).

    Oh, boy, did I get in trouble. BUT I WAS FOUR.

    Kindergarteners can be quite cooperative but they need trained teachers who know how to give positive, but firm reinforcement. What she did is CHILD ABUSE, to a five-year-old, and could be very traumatic.

    Around here, if you put tape on their mouths, the parents would sue. You just don't do that.

  5. #5
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    Omg, just the thought of a clothespin near my lips....

    What the heck is wrong with people?








  6. #6
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    Those things hurt. I put on one my earlobe once thinking I was trying accupressure and didn't leave it on due to pain. Some of these people in the school system really seem to hate children and think that they are godlike and above the rules or something. I wonder if she will be cuffed and hauled off to jail charged with a felony and misdeamor charges like the little 6 year old girl. I highly doubt it.

  7. #7
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    I read another article which indicated that the substitute in question was a RETIRED nurse. While it is still totally inappropriate and she should not be allowed to substitute again, it reminds me of some of the punishments Miss Corrigan, my public elementary school principal, meted out. She was 70-80 and wholly believed "to spare the rod is to spoil the child." She carried a cane and USED it!!! Today she'd be drummed out of education and sued within an inch of her life! (This was in the mid-1970s.)

  8. #8
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    Silly me. I was just wondering if it worked.

    So, you can't yell at them, touch them, tell them they are being rude to be loud. You can't duct tape them, restrain them in any way, punish them or take away their cellphones. You can't defend yourself against an attack, teach your class or put clothes pins on their mouths when they are disruptive....

    So, why bother even sending kids to school that don't want to be there to learn?

    Oh, that's right - you aren't allowed to NOT send them, either.

    PS
    My fourteen year old said that so many kids in her class are the "class clowns" that it's very difficult to learn in that environment. She sees nothing wrong with clothes pins (and just interjected that she sees nothing wrong with duct tape, either.)
    FUN... is a renewable resource!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlitchWizard View Post
    Silly me. I was just wondering if it worked.

    So, you can't yell at them, touch them, tell them they are being rude to be loud. You can't duct tape them, restrain them in any way, punish them or take away their cellphones. You can't defend yourself against an attack, teach your class or put clothes pins on their mouths when they are disruptive....

    So, why bother even sending kids to school that don't want to be there to learn?

    Oh, that's right - you aren't allowed to NOT send them, either.

    PS
    My fourteen year old said that so many kids in her class are the "class clowns" that it's very difficult to learn in that environment. She sees nothing wrong with clothes pins (and just interjected that she sees nothing wrong with duct tape, either.)
    You forgot: "you can't throw poop at them either"

    I am against any sort of physical punishment however, I wish teachers would enforce the rules with referrals, suspensions and expulsions. This year we have had one kid take out a pocket knife and cut another child (not a deep cut, but still), pee in a water bottle and splash kids with it and trip another kids. He has been suspended for each offense, but I think he should have been expelled after the knife incident for sure, and possibly for the pee incident.

    The kids don't respect the teachers/administrators because they know they have to practically kill someone before they will get expelled.

    Having said that- if a teacher put a clothespin on my kindergartener's lip, IT'S ON!

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrsjonnob View Post
    You forgot: "you can't throw poop at them either"

    I am against any sort of physical punishment however, I wish teachers would enforce the rules with referrals, suspensions and expulsions. This year we have had one kid take out a pocket knife and cut another child (not a deep cut, but still), pee in a water bottle and splash kids with it and trip another kids. He has been suspended for each offense, but I think he should have been expelled after the knife incident for sure, and possibly for the pee incident.

    The kids don't respect the teachers/administrators because they know they have to practically kill someone before they will get expelled.

    Having said that- if a teacher put a clothespin on my kindergartener's lip, IT'S ON!
    So, the kids are armed with pocketknives and biological weapons (urine bottles) and the teachers are armed with.... ummm, slips of paper?

    She tried to send him the message that disruptive classroom behavior will not be tolerated in her class. Everyone else is now showing him that his rude behavior was appropriate and she had no authority to tell him otherwise.

    I'm firmly on the side of the teacher on this one.

    As you say though - if it were your perfect child, it would be a different story. :-)

    If my daughter was rude and disruptive in school, I'd send clothespins to the teacher annonymously and giggle that I wasn't the one to have to discipline my own kid.... :-)
    FUN... is a renewable resource!


  11. #11
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    Anyone who knows my posts knows that I side with the teachers 9 times out of 10, even when it comes to my own children; however, read the article. These were not armed high schoolers, these were chatty 5 year olds. It is out of line. She wasn't threatened or pushed over the edge, she just had no training or comprehension of what is appropriate behavior or discipline for this age child.

    If this was a first time thing and she is genuinely baffled by what she did wrong, maybe some training is in order. If she has crossed the line before, maybe she needs to reconsider working with little kids.

  12. #12
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    This reminds me of when I was that age. I don't know what my problem was - some would say I was nuts, but a nicer term would be I had a "vivid imagination" or something. During naptime, I'd talk to invisible, imaginary people and pretend I was in a hospital bed and talking to the nurses or whatever. I recall my teacher blindfolded me! I think she must have thought I was really seeing things! :-)

    I wasn't traumatized by it, I thought it was a little strange. Nowdays she'd be blasted for it though - perhaps stifling my creativity or that she was encouraging devient bondage behavior - who knows!

    I do know that I was raised during corporal punishment phases of life and I got paddled by some teachers - never my mother, though. It was discipline. It's not like she sewed their mouths shut. It's just my thought on it - I know everyone comes from a different place in their lives growing up, which is why we all view it differently. I wonder where she came from in life to where she'd do that? Maybe she had been told all she could NOT do, and no one told her what she COULD do in that situation.

    "Chatty" is a nice word that could actually mean chatty. It could also mean disruptive and out of control. I doubt she did it to kids who were exhibiting appropriate behaviors in the classroom - but who knows? Maybe she's a horrible person, at that!

    What do you suggest you do to teach 5 year olds proper classroom behaviors so they don't grow up to be disrespectful older children in the classroom? Whatever the suggestion is, perhaps it should be taught from birth.






    Quote Originally Posted by angelmom View Post
    Anyone who knows my posts knows that I side with the teachers 9 times out of 10, even when it comes to my own children; however, read the article. These were not armed high schoolers, these were chatty 5 year olds. It is out of line. She wasn't threatened or pushed over the edge, she just had no training or comprehension of what is appropriate behavior or discipline for this age child.

    If this was a first time thing and she is genuinely baffled by what she did wrong, maybe some training is in order. If she has crossed the line before, maybe she needs to reconsider working with little kids.
    FUN... is a renewable resource!

  13. #13
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    IrishMist is offline You can't control the wind - but you can adjust your sails
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    It was different back then. My second grade teacher would tape our mouths shut when we wouldn't be quiet! One time, she wouldn't let me remove it until I was on the bus to go home!

    Would it surprise anyone here to know that on the little box on our report cards that said "talks too much" was ALWAYS checked on mine??

    I don't think they could even put such a thing on a report card now.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlitchWizard View Post
    "Chatty" is a nice word that could actually mean chatty. It could also mean disruptive and out of control. I doubt she did it to kids who were exhibiting appropriate behaviors in the classroom - but who knows? Maybe she's a horrible person, at that!

    What do you suggest you do to teach 5 year olds proper classroom behaviors so they don't grow up to be disrespectful older children in the classroom? Whatever the suggestion is, perhaps it should be taught from birth.
    I have worked extensively with children around this age, and talking was the least of my woes. A child who is "out of control" is not going to be helped by a clothes pin, so I think it really was just talking.

    If their chatting was the problem, my favorite solution was to whisper loudly, "Put your hands on your head if you can hear me. Put your finger on your lips if you are looking at me." They usually wait with bated breath to see what comes next. Peer pressure usually does the rest.

    Another good solution was to shake my head sorrowfully and bemoan the fact that we were going to miss recess/free time/mixing paint/special snack/whatever else I could think up because they were wasting time talking. That usually got them to hush as well.

    Sometimes you just have to acknowledge the fact that they are five and they are going to talk. Is it really a problem? Do they have to be quiet while you are doing the cooking project? Is silence essential at every moment? Yes, they need to be taught to be quiet while you are reading a story (so everyone can hear) or when another student is talking (out of respect) but do they have to be perfectly silent while they are coloring? While painting? Is it a tragedy during silent reading time if one whispers to another about the beautiful picture in the book? How long can you go without talking? Not that long, I'd guess.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishMist View Post
    It was different back then. My second grade teacher would tape our mouths shut when we wouldn't be quiet! One time, she wouldn't let me remove it until I was on the bus to go home!

    Would it surprise anyone here to know that on the little box on our report cards that said "talks too much" was ALWAYS checked on mine??

    I don't think they could even put such a thing on a report card now.
    Guess what, I had "talks too much" on my report card also; and into my yearbooks:

    "you're a great student - but you sure like to talk!" signed, your teacher.

    I think it was just a sign of intelligence, don't you?

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