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Friday, March 22, 2013

Parents, this is all your fault. I hope you're happy.

Yes, that's what the principal of a middle school in Ipswich, Massachusetts is calling it. Parents who don't provide enough support at home for their children, this is the reason he's canceling Honors Night for the Middle School. "The Honors Night, which can be a great sense of pride for the recipients' families, can also be devastating to a child who has worked extremely hard in a difficult class, but who, despite growth, has not been able to maintain a high grade-point average." This is the quote from Ipswich Middle School principal David Fabrizio. He went on to say that he decided to make the change because 'academic success can be influenced by the amount of support a student receives at home and not all students receive the same level of emotional and academic support at home.'

What?? What kind of BULLSHIT is that? Devastating?? That's not just any old bullshit. That right there is a steaming, heaping pile of the smelliest bullshit I've ever seen. We are raising such a new generation of overly-sensitive freaking babies because instead of TEACHING kids that if you TRY, you get better results, we teach them to sit back and the world will hold your hand, there is no need to try because the world OWES you everything. GOD it makes me insane. I HATE that this world is giving children such an overwhelming sense of entitlement!

What in the HELL is wrong with society these days?? I'm so freaking sick of the 'everyone plays, everyone gets a medal, we are all equal in all things' frame of mind. If a child does well, he/she should be rewarded. This is NOT rewarding the child who excels academically, it's punishing them. It's saying 'why bother? why try hard to achieve good grades? what good will it do? you're no more special than the kid who's getting B's and C's.' Well I'm sorry, but that just sucks. If my child does poorly in school, it is NOT because they aren't getting support from her parents. How about this: I have two children. One is currently getting straight A's and one is struggling a little bit and not achieving all A's. Do I love my straight A student more? Do I give her more support at home? No, I freaking DON'T. I give both my kids the same amount of love and support, equally. Does one deserve to be on the honor roll? Abso-freaking-lutely! Should she be celebrated for her academic achievements? HELLS YEAH! Does the other one try hard? Yes, she really does try. But is she going to be scarred for life because she doesn't make the honor roll or get the accolades for busting her ass and doing well? No, she's not. Because she is NOT defined by her grades.

What's going to be next? Are they going to STOP awarding academic scholarships because kids who don't have the good grades may feel bad?? Will they stop awarding athletic scholarships because it might make those less than stellar athletes feel incompetent? Oh my God come ON! That is EXACTLY where we are headed if we continue to baby this generation of kids. If you achieve greatness, you SHOULD be celebrated. You MERIT the accolades! You deserve it, sweet cheeks! But you should NOT be punished by having Honors Night taken away because of how devastating it could be to those who fall short of those achievements. I'm sorry, but that is just complete and total bullshit. What kind of message are we sending to our children? That it's okay to be mediocre?? GAH!!!! NO, it's NOT okay. STRIVE to do your best! If you fall short, TRY HARDER!!

24 comments:

  1. I agree with most of what you said. I just have one little thing to pick at: some kids really don't have any support at home. Some kids don't have food to eat in order to concentrate on their homework. Some have the electricity cut off and can't see to do their homework. Some need help with homework, but mom is working her second job, and there is no dad in the picture. I don't think honors night should be taken away. I think kids should be rewarded for excellence. I'd be super pissed if my son's school took away the honors ceremony, which my son is in every quarter. But when that principal said some kids don't have the same support as others, he didn't mean children of the same family. He meant the kids I described above compared to yours or mine. And it is unfair. But so is life.

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    1. Mamabear,
      You are SO right!! But I also know my children (my baby bears) should not have to pay for these asshole parents that have children they can't have no desire to support. There will always be losers in this world. Some are raised by really good people and the kids decide to be losers and others are really good kids that are raised by absolute losers.
      Life isn't fair. Reward those that work hard and rise to the top (and btw, I wasn't one of them in school).

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  2. Being a teacher in an incredibly diverse middle school, I second what mamabear said. A large portion of my kids don't eat three meals a day, go home to have to take care of five younger siblings while their parents are out until all hours of the night, either playing, or working hard to hold down a third job. There is no one to support them at all. I think these are the kids he was referring to. That being said, I can't believe he cancelled the ceremony for this. I am the one who is always saying we need to raise the GPA necessary to receive Principal Awards, etc. If everyone gets it, then it's not special. Work hard, get rewards...absolutely.

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    1. Amy and mamabear, I'm not discounting what you're saying. I totally get that, there ARE children without the same amout of support at home as others. I just don't feel that that is an adequate reason to punish the students who do try hard and acheive academic excellence. There are children who get zero support at home and still excel either academically or athletically. This principal seems to be throwing the baby out with the bath water, as my mom used to say.

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  3. Try Harder! Wiser words were never spoken! I love this Teri!

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  4. I also feel for the children who do not get so much support or live through difficult circumstances. I think if anyone today looked at the way I was raised we might have been considered one of those families. That being said, my homework was my job and my parents worked hard to support the 6 of us at their jobs. I received honors and we never had a ceremony. We got a report card to be proud of and tell our friends/family about.
    There are many success stories of children who did not grow up in ideal situations. There are many non-success stories for children who had lots of support.
    It greatly troubles me that we are raising a generation that has a wishbone instead of a backbone. People who are so dependent on technology that they are literally unable to function without it. I love a computer and google map as much as the next person, but libraries, doing outlines for projects and map reading were skills that had more value than their named use. Figuring things out for yourself is a lost art to this generation of kids and that is so sad. Probably a bit "ranty" but I so agree, this business of a trophy for just showing up is not doing anyone any good.

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    1. Shellie, I LOVE the wishbone vs. backbone! So true!!

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  5. Sing it from the rooftops Mama! I'm right there with you. Life is HARD it sucks sometimes and shit happens but get yourself back up and try harder. We are raising a society of fucking wimps and I hate it....Well Im not cos my kids get their arses kicked* and made to try harder .. They also get rewarded for awesomeness.

    *figuratively not literally lest Social services is reading.... cos these days you have to specify...SMH

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    1. Your secret is safe with me, Molley.

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  6. Thinking back on my own experience in high school -- I did resent it when I felt that other students who didn't work as hard got rewarded with passing grades just to get them to the next grade. BUT... I have to say, the academic medals and honours didn't add any motivation for me to work harder or learn more. I wanted to do those things because I was interested in them, and wanted to know how to do them! Besides which, whether you got one or not was a bit of a crapshoot, even if your grades were high. I think the school awards are already meaningless as a motivator -- why have them at all?

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  7. Wow- these kids should be proud of their accomplishments. I agree that some children have more than others to overcome but... that is life. Kids aren't going to be sheltered from that forever.

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  8. I agree that kids who try hard should be rewarded. I love your "I'm so freaking sick of the 'everyone plays, everyone gets a medal, we are all equal in all things' frame of mind." This is setting kids up to feel entitlement. What about when they graduate? And try to get a job? Everyone doesn't get a diploma. Everyone doesn't get a job. This generation is far different than our generation, huh?

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    1. Excellent points, Pippi! These kids are in for a very rude awakening when they get out of school and find out that no one is going to hand them anything. Stuff is WAY different these days.

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  9. too right -- I'm all for being inclusive in schools but sooner or later there has to be an incentive to push!

    Happily finding you from TGIF blog hop -- Happy days

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  10. There will always be children who will not achieve good results and this can be for many reasons but it still does not mean that those who do well should not be praised for it. I think it will definitely discourage those that are working extra hard.

    I don't understand this new way of thinking that if a child is in a competition to run a race and if they win that race they get the same medal as the one who finished last. Why bother to run? Why not just walk to the end? Because you're gonna get a medal anyway.

    Can you even imagine what kind of Olympics we will be watching in a few years time!

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    1. That's an excellent point!! What about all those poor athletes who didn't make the cut? Do we give them the opportunity to compete in the Olympics so they don't get their feelings hurt?

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  11. As a mom of an almost 8 yr old, in this generation of "everyone wins"-- it's hard. I'm about to step on some toes so.. sorry in advance-- but I find it is usually the later in life moms who are all "My child is special too.. they deserve a medal too.. your daughter shouldn't be so excited about winning.".. I look at them with disbelief and say "Of course she's excited, she scored 3 goals, and she worked hard for that win." and they say "But she's being a sore winner." I then gawk at them with my "Oh my dear god you are a fucking idiot" look, and walk away.
    It's so frustrating that these children are being sold the magic key to the kingdom without the work-- My daughter practices soccer ALL the time. I mean seriously she's young but she has a soccer ball at her feet most waking hours, so when she scores her multiple goals it isn't because your child isn't a decent player it's because she put in the extra work. If more parents stopped babying their children and helped them toughen up the world would be a better place. I hate that a lot of these kid's "woe is me" attitude wears off on the other kids, and then my daughter will come home and utter the words "that isn't fair"-- my response is usually "I love you but life isn't fair, so suck it up." (Ok, not mom of the year, but I hate that line soooooooo much.)
    Finally, yes there are A LOT of children who don't have as much as other kids, or parents who support them etc, and I am all for trying to equal the playing field for the ones who's parents are either too busy trying to keep a roof over their heads, or perhaps just total flakes. The thing is taking away the medals for honor roll, is not the answer. How about more funding for after school help? Or perhaps parental volunteers to help tutor? Let's stop making it easy for them to stay status quo, and help them become the medal winners.

    Otherwise in 20 years these children are going to be the ones wiping our butts at the nursing homes and they won't do a good job because no one taught them to try their hardest.. I don't want a rash just because their mommy told them they were special. (Just saying.)

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    1. Excellent points, every one, Megan!!

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  12. I.LOVE.THIS! Once again, you are so right on. I want to raise my boys to understand that they should always try their hardest, even if things don't work out in the end. Because they WON'T always work out in the end! But hey--that's life.

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    1. Exactly, babe. And IMO you get what you give. Give 100% and you'll get it back. Sit on your ass and have everything handed to you? Not so much.

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  13. I so agree! If kids try hard they should be rewarded! If they fall short, they should be encouraged to try harder, not punished. This era of entitlement is infuriating.
    As an educator I we hold EQUAL responsibility for kids not having adequate supports. If they don't have food at home and are hungry and are unable to focus- what is the school doing to make sure hungry students are fed?
    If a child doesn't have appropriate supports at home to complete homework, what kind of afterschool supports are in place to give these students somewhere to do homework?
    For a child that seems to just "not care", what kind of mentoring or tutoring opportunities are in place?
    There are ways to support our failing/struggling/unmotivated children.
    I am not saying parents are blameless, but we can't punish kids for their parents issues and struggles.
    That said, what kind of message does it send the students that are told to try harder- try harder and you won't get rewarded. There is NOTHING WRONG with healthy competition. There is nothing wrong with having someone do better than you- you then work harder to do better than them.
    I beat my child at candyland yesterday and gave her a high 5 for playing nicely with me. She was all smiles. I don't rig the game so she can win. I won't tell her she is "the best" at something if she is not. I will tell her if she wants to be "the best" and get a trophy/award/accolade, she needs to put in the work.

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    1. I agree 1000%! What do we teach our kids when everything is handed to them?

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  14. Every single one of us knows someone who just takes up space. Whether it be at work, school or where ever.
    It's frustrating to watch grown adults do the bare minimum...and keep their jobs, worse, get REWARDED for occasionally going the extra mile when you do it DAILY.
    That is life.
    It isnt' fair.
    The sooner these kids see that the better.
    That guy is an idiot.

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