Archive | School and Zero Tolerance and Bullies

Okay, selling THESE at the school plant sale would be a little much.

Principal Writes: Your Children Must be Supervised at All Times

From the: “Don’t confuse me with the facts” dept. comes this note about a note: Dear Free-Range Kids: Our weekly school newsletter contained a paragraph about supervising children at school events with the gem “Unfortunately, the world is not as it was many years ago.” I responded with some objections, citing the various statistics about […]

Continue Reading
A culture of self-infantilization seems to have spawned on campus.

What Hath Overprotection Wrought?

What happens when a generation grows up being told that they need constant supervision because nothing is safe enough? That they should never encounter a bad grade or mean remark, it’s too wounding? That they didn’t lose, they are the “8th place winner!”? At least a slice of them become convinced that they are extremely […]

Continue Reading
homework girl smaller

NYC Elementary School* To Kids: No More Homework — Go Play!

As a longtime fan of Sara Bennett and her Stop Homework movement, I was thrilled she sent this link today about a Manhattan public school that has decided to ditch homework. Then I was doubly thrilled to see: This is the school my own kids attended! It’s just a few blocks from the Empire State Building — a beacon […]

Continue Reading
What if recess wasn't JUST to get kids' energy out?

How to Stop Ruining Recess

Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post published this wonderful piece by Angela Hanscom, founder of TimberNook, a nature-based development program designed to foster creativity and independent play outdoors in New England. Here’s an excerpt. And since most schools do NOT have a forest at hand,  feel free to suggest ways to incorporate these ideas in an urban […]

Continue Reading
students, go home and ask your parents if you can do something new that you are ready for.

When Schools Do the “Free-Range Kids Project”

On my show (3 episodes air tonight starting at 5:30/4:30 Central Time on Discovery Life), I give the children of very anxious parents a task to do that they seem ready for — even if their parents aren’t. They walk to school, make dinner, ride a bike. And usually, when the parents see their kids […]

Continue Reading
Don't touch me there!

“No Touching the Girls, Even on their Helmets”

Canada’s National Post reports that the Toronto Leaside Girls Hockey Association has instructed its coaches: No touching the players…even on their helmets. (U)nder no circumstances should there be contact with the players, in any way” … said the directive from John Reynolds, head of the house league. “Putting hands on shoulders, slapping butts, tapping them on the helmet, […]

Continue Reading
Is this the aftermath of a crime?

Crossing Guard Ordered to Not “High Five” Students

Canadian school crossing guards who high-five students have been ordered to stop this obviously super-dangerous practice. According to GlobalNews: Kevin Jones, Peterborough’s manager of transportation, said the city is standing by its policy that bans any sort of physical interaction between crossing guards and the children. “Their main priority is to monitor traffic, to direct […]

Continue Reading
brown bag

The Craziest Zero Tolerance Stories of 2014

This was the year a second grade teacher learned never to bring carpentry tools to school, even as a high school student in a bathing suit was forced to stand outside in the Minnesota winter. And then there’s the kid who was crazy enough to share his lunch. 1. Student, 13, shares lunch, gets detention A […]

Continue Reading
Who is willing to take responsibility for an "unauthorized" sign out?

A School Office So Rule-Bound It Refuses to Think

Hang onto your goat. This story will totally get yours. It got mine. Dear Free-Range Kids: Every Friday, I pick my niece up from school. She is in 1st grade. Last Friday I was substitute teaching at her school, in her classroom no less. The fire alarm went off.  Smoke from a building project was venting […]

Continue Reading