School Disciplines 8 y.o. for Thumb Wrestling — There’s “A Potential for Injury!”

Hi Readers — This comes to us from a mom in Georgia who says she is all for her son following the rules, “But  A) He didn’t even know this was a rule he needed to follow. And B) The rules should make sense- shouldn’t they?” Our favorite question! – L
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Dear Free-Range Kids: I was working today when I received a call from the assistant principal of discipline at my 3rd grader’s school. Ryan is a pretty good child, we’ve never had any issues, so at first I was a little confused. The assistant (she has an Ed.D!!) explained to me that Ryan got a “red slip” at lunch and would miss break.  Upon further inquiry, I discovered that it was because he was playing thumb war with his best friend. No was was injured, no one had their feelings hurt, nobody was talking out of turn, no one actually did anything wrong.  She even went so far as to tell me there was no actual violation of any policy. But she was concerned that someone had the potential to get hurt in the game of thumb war – and she wanted to talk to the kids – and she wanted me to talk to Ryan at home – about the potential for injury in the game of thumb war!
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I am not making this up. My kid was actually called to the principal’s office for a discussion and missed his break time because there was a “potential for injury” in the age-old game of 1-2-3-4 – thumb war!!
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I honestly had no choice but to thank her for her time, and get off the phone.  If she’s worried he might get hurt playing thumb war with his lunch neighbor, I guess she would be one to call DFACS on me if she knew I let the same 8 yr old use a steak knife to cut his own meat at dinner tonight. And he still has all his fingers!
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Thanks again for keeping it real for (most of) us. – Just Thumb Mom in Georgia
It's a slippery slope to atomic warfare.

It’s a slippery slope to atomic warfare.

 

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52 Responses to School Disciplines 8 y.o. for Thumb Wrestling — There’s “A Potential for Injury!”

  1. QuicoT November 19, 2013 at 10:44 am #

    This one’s on the wrong side of the Self-Parody line, isn’t it?!

    I have to say I think this mom really should’ve done a little more to push back than just “thank her for her time and hang up”. We need to push back against this kind of b.s.: calmly, politely, but firmly.

    “No, principal: I do not accept that you pathologize a normal childhood. No, I do not consider that to be a proper part of your role.”

    You can say these things in ways that are not offensive, in ways that calmly stake out a marker for the standard of sanity we expect from the people we entrust our children with. Just hanging up and letting it pass is to normalize a level of paranoia that we must NEVER accept as normal.

  2. Warren November 19, 2013 at 10:47 am #

    She admitted no policy was broken. Then you demand the whole incident, red slip and all be removed from his record, and remind them to follow the rules and not make them up as they go along.

  3. Christina November 19, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    I’m pretty sure ‘thank you for calling’ is the last thing that would have come out of my mouth.

  4. derpdedoo November 19, 2013 at 10:54 am #

    “Assistant Principal of Discipline!” This is a job? Is there a “Principal of Discipline” too? Kids today must be straight up criminals to devote an entire administrative role to a dedicated Disciplinator. Does this job pay 6 figures? Can you expense medieval “instruments?”

  5. 20percentcooler November 19, 2013 at 10:57 am #

    That’s the STUPIDEST thing I’ve ever heard. Just sayin’

  6. lollipoplover November 19, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    They made them pinkie swear they would never thumb wrestle again.

  7. Linda Wightman November 19, 2013 at 11:06 am #

    I tell you, this — like a lot of previous issues: interfering with a child’s lunch for Pete’s sake! — cuts straight to the heart of the real problem: school is a trap and a prison. With apologies to all teachers out there who are working their tails off in a system that’s just as oppressive to them as it is to students and their families, we have let the nose of the school camel into our family tent, and it’s proceeding to demolish the whole structure.

    I’d be fine with a school deciding it won’t allow guns (real or poptart-shaped), potatoes, merry-go-rounds, or left-handed blonde children, as long as parents have complete freedom to go elsewhere, or nowhere — where “elsewhere” includes a wide variety of affordable choices. Which is precisely what we do not have. I’m extremely grateful for the freedoms we do have to choose private or home education — citizens of too many countries do not — but the plain fact is that most people feel constrained to send their children to public school: a huge, monopolistic, dictatorial structure that is becoming more and more intrusive and unreasonable.

    When people feel they have no choice but to comply meekly with unjust and capricious rules for fear of losing their children (“I honestly had no choice but to thank her for her time, and get off the phone. If she’s worried he might get hurt playing thumb war with his lunch neighbor, I guess she would be one to call DFACS on me….”) this is nothing less than frightful tyranny. Lest anyone think it’s no big deal, nothing compared with the many worse problems in the world, I understand, but offer this wisdom from G.K. Chesterton:

    The wisest thing in the world is to cry out before you are hurt. It is no good to cry out after you are hurt; especially after you are mortally hurt. People talk about the impatience of the populace; but sound historians know that most tyrannies have been possible because men moved too late. It is often essential to resist a tyranny before it exists.

    I hope we are not too late.

  8. Alec from Child's Play Music November 19, 2013 at 11:16 am #

    I’m with QuicoT on this one. The parent should push back, and push back hard. The principal admits that the child has broken no rule, yet he is disciplined for it, has a permanent black mark on his record, and misses out on recess into the bargain.

    That is just totally unacceptable, and if it were my child I would be demanding an apology and for the record to be expunged. I mean, what IS the world coming to? If we meekly accept this sort of institutionalised insanity it will only get worse. What’s next?

  9. Dave November 19, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    This is just stupid. I play thumb wars with my grandson all the time. Never any injuries. When will this all stop.

  10. CrazyCatLady November 19, 2013 at 11:39 am #

    I think the posted had to follow that rule that our parents said that goes “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!” while on the phone.

    But….now I would write a letter and ask for a response in writing. I would put my concerns out there that my son had missed part of his lunch and recess over this. Also that the valuable time of the staff was spent on this. And that MY work time was spent dealing with this non-issue.

    I would also address the fear that a policy like this puts the kids in. Kids WANT to behave, and if they know the rules and they are fair, in general they WILL behave. But now the school has set a policy where kids have no clue what might or might not be bad. And along with fear, this also leads the kids to HAVE NO RESPECT for the authority, because, why should they when things can change at any second over a whim! We respect those who are fair. The appropriate response in this case by the staff (if they were so, so worried!) would be to say “I am worried that someone will get hurt, and I need you to stop.” And to make this an actual rule. If it happens again, give one more warning. Then the third time have a red slip and a call.

    But this system…just breeds disrespect among the kids and the parents. (And makes me so glad that my kids go to their awesome alternative home school with awesome AND FAIR staff.)

  11. hineata November 19, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    Wow! If only our kids would play a little thumb wars at the moment! The first aider had to call the ambulance yesterday because there’s a group currently who are intentionally trying to break their arms – for attention – and one of them yesterday may have managed to go one better and break a leg. The teacher concerned has about had a gutsful, and is ready to ban his class from the playground for the rest of the year. Maybe I should show him this – he could get a thumb war league going!

    Though the same group might decide it’s digit- breaking time instead ….

  12. Trey November 19, 2013 at 12:23 pm #

    What Warren said.
    I’d also _demand_ stats for injuries during thumb wars. No stats? Then I’d insist on a written apology, probably under a lawyer’s letter head.

  13. Rick November 19, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

    I just got back from dropping my 5 year old son at pre-school. We wait outside the door with other parents and their kids for the teacher to show up and take them to their classroom. There are benches and a grassy area. As kids do, they play with each other which usually also involves running. I couldn’t believe it when I heard a father scold his son, warning him that he could bump into another kid and “somebody could get hurt” if he didn’t stop running. Insanity.

  14. Andrew November 19, 2013 at 12:50 pm #

    Okay, I’m I’m thinking this happened in either the Cobb, or Douglas County school system.

  15. lollipoplover November 19, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    Next thing you know, the school declares a lockdown on
    Rocks-Paper-Scissors when Scissors is misinterpreted as a gun.
    1-2-3-4, I declare a common sense war. The school needs to take away the red slip and apologize. Thumb wars in school, the horrors.

  16. J.T. Wenting November 19, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    Maybe if fewer parents were so eager to sue schools for damages the moment their kids come home with a bruise or scrape schools would stop making such rules to prevent kids from getting bruises or scrapes.
    Maybe it’s time that a) people stopped looking at every minor thing that can go wrong as a way to make money (and as a side effect requires someone to blame) and/or b) schools made parents sign mile long documents disclaiming liability in case of injury caused by kids being kids and playing and fooling around.

  17. Ben November 19, 2013 at 1:48 pm #

    If I did my research correctly, a 3rd grader is around 8 years old. Old enough to stick to their work in class and play during recess. They clearly played a thumb war when they were not supposed to and I think discipline for that is totally acceptable.

    However, the whole “someone could get hurt”-excuse, wasting resources, time and the kids’ recess is not acceptable.

  18. CrazyCatLady November 19, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    Ben, this happened during lunch. Possibly while eating, more likely after they were done eating and before they were allowed to go out to recess.

  19. Doug Holstein November 19, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

    That is so bizarre. My wife and I have developed a policy that it is the adults of the world against our children. In a way. We try to present as unified of a front as possible. And we have vowed to always support the teachers and authority figures when issues come up. I think it is important that children learn to respect teachers. But damn, teachers need to maintain a modicum of respectability too.

  20. brian November 19, 2013 at 2:17 pm #

    I would attend the next school board meeting and bring it up during the questions/discussion period. Explain what happened and ask if it is school policy. once it gets to the school board the administrators have to really play it by the book with your kid so he will be protected and you can then get the issue dealt with.

  21. Donna November 19, 2013 at 2:19 pm #

    I’m the one who taught my child how to play thumb war!!!

    I agree with QuitoT here. This required more than “thank you for your time.” I know that it is hard to think when completely flabbergasted by this kind of insanity, but I would suggest making time to talk to the assistant principal now.

    ““Assistant Principal of Discipline!” This is a job?”

    We had one of those even way back when I was in high school. The school had 3 assistant principals and each had different “specialties.” One was the person in charge of student discipline issues. He had many other duties, but he was the one you had to talk to if you had a discipline issue.

  22. Steve S November 19, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    If the child was doing something that they shouldn’t be doing, then it seems like a simple warning would be enough. If this was a case of a kid doing something after being told not to, then I could possibly understand, but being disciplined based on doing something that is very unlikely to cause injury seems to be a bit much.

    Personally, I don’t think it is too late. Schools have a tremendous amount of control at the local level, especially when it comes to discipline policies. If this were my kid’s school, I would certainly be at the next board meeting, detailing my concerns. OTOH, having gone to board meetings, I can tell you that most parents either don’t care or can’t be bothered to let their concerns known.

  23. Havva November 19, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    I have to add to the chorus saying to fight this. This is an imminently fight-able issue, and the vice principle of disciple needs told in no uncertain terms that this was out of line. Preferable by the principal.

    The place to start, at this point, is definitely a written note (consider cc’ing the principle, and do cc the other kid’s mom). Focus on calmly documenting the salient points of the phone call, followed by your objection. The primary goal is getting her to tacitly or otherwise agree to the basic facts

    1) That your child was given a red slip for nothing more than a thumb war and was deprived of break time and lectured over this, and that she intended for you to continue the lecture at home.
    2) That the thumb war was in the familiar character of thumb wars as played back when the adults were children. He didn’t invent any dangerous new maneuvers.
    3) No was was injured, no one had their feelings hurt, nobody was talking out of turn.
    4) There was no actual violation of any policy.

    Then it is time to declare the battle over the thumb war.
    Say you were too stunned to say it clearly at the time, but that the facts as she presented them to you do not support a red slip and deprivation of break, as he did not break a rule. Further insist that this has an incredibly low risk of injury, and other ordinary things contain more danger. Something along the lines of “I played thumb war on numerous occasions growing up, as did most of my classmates. I still engage in it on occasion. I have never known anyone to be injured by this game. I have seen and heard of friends being injured in the ordinary course of using staplers, balls, pencils, food, and their own feet.” Then state that you didn’t lecture your son as, given the facts, he had not parted ways with good judgment.

    State that you are asking for the red slip to be removed from the kids records, and for the VP of discipline to apologize to your son and his friend.

    If this doesn’t bring a change of heart, take it up the chain one step at a time with the written proof that yes the VP (and whoever else may back her) is not only crazy enough to over-react, but to also to stand by the over reaction. Really I think this is so far out that even helicopter parents would be on your side for this one.

  24. John November 19, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    When I flew on a business trip from Kuwait to Cairo, Egypt, a couple of years ago, I got into a 2 hour thumb wrestling match with the 9-year-old Egyptian boy sitting next to me! I didn’t understand Arabic and he didn’t understand English but we just had a great time thumb wrestling. He just wouldn’t let me put my hands down and could actually beat me in a few of our little matches! His mother smiled and got a big kick out of our little thumb antics. But here in the U.S.A. (Ok folks, I’m gonna say it again and it won’t be the last time I say it either), we are slowly but surely turning our children, particularly BOYS, into a bunch of creampuffs!!

  25. CLamb November 19, 2013 at 3:03 pm #

    There is a medically documented potential for permanent debilitating injuries induced by use of writing implements known as “Repetitive Stress Disorder”. Has the school done any physiometric studies on the potential for this inducing this medical condition by participating in the normal curriculum? What is the accepted limit for number of hours writing per day and how does the school enforce it?

  26. Havva November 19, 2013 at 3:05 pm #

    As far as I can tell no one has ever been injured by a thumb war. Googling “thumb war injuries” generated 7 results before Google started dropping “thumb” from the search string. The 7 articles were the Wikipedia article on thumb wars (which makes no mention of injury). Two sports humor pieces. And 4 other articles about thumb injuries that randomly also have the “war” or a word containing those letters on the page. I also learned that tug of war is regularly causing broken bones and amputations.

  27. John November 19, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    Also, does anybody here remember the talk teachers used to give us elementary school students when we were shooting rubber band around the room? “You kids could take somebody’s eye out with those rubber bands!”. Now, there are several good reasons why kids should be disciplined and talked to for shooting rubber bands around the classroom but I really don’t think that’s one of them! I have NEVER heard of a single case of somebody losing their eye from it being hit with a rubber band. Of course, it may have happened and I don’t doubt that it did BUT 65 million years ago, a 6-mile wide asteroid smacked into the earth traveling 20 times faster than a high speed rifle bullet!! Now that could happen again but I don’t think I’ll lose any sleep over it happening again anytime soon.

  28. Merrick November 19, 2013 at 3:16 pm #

    This reminds me of a favorite story my DH likes to tell about our Middle son (now 12, at the time probably about 8)…

    One day, DH was working from home and received a phone call from the school principal regarding our Middle Son.

    Apparently Middle Son had been on the playground, and was throwing snowballs — at a wall. The playground aide approached him and said “You aren’t allowed to throw snowballs. Stop it or you’ll [receive whatever disciplinary action was in place].

    My son said “But I’m not throwing them at people. I’m throwing at the WALL. Why am I not allowed to throw them at the wall?” (Yeah he’s kind of defiant and difficult)

    Aide: “You’re just not allowed”

    Son: “But WHY?”

    Aide: “You’re just not allowed. Do you want to stop or do you want to go and talk to the principal?”

    (You see where this is going, right?)
    Son: “YES! I do want to speak to the principal. This is a STUPID rule. I want to know WHY.”

    When the principal called he said our son wasn’t really in trouble, he just felt the need to call us because our son had been in his office… and of course “throwing snowballs in POTENTIALLY dangerous. We can’t let ONE kid throw them at the wall, because some other kid MIGHT then throw one at another student…” etc, etc.

  29. anonymous this time November 19, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

    “School is like a prison!” my grade-school kid wailed today. “I won’t go! I don’t want to be kept in human captivity!” I asked her to elaborate specifically about what it was that upset her so about the enterprise. “The whole thing! The work, the rules, the way if you say to an adult that someone pulled your hair, then that kid gets punished, and everything gets worse! Why can’t they talk to kids without punishing them?”

    She tied herself to her little desk chair and practiced passive resistance. MLK would be proud. If it were entirely up to me, I would not send her to that school for another hour. Alas, I am bound not by my blind faith in public education, but a piece of paper I signed when she was two years old agreeing she would complete grade school at this place.

    I’d like to amend that agreement. As one poster mentioned earlier, there should be affordable alternatives, and in my town, there is one, and it’s a great one, and I want us to avail ourselves of it. It is the tragedy of my life right now that I bore children with someone whose derives their entire sense of meaning in life by doggedly conforming to the system. Heck, the place I’ve chosen gets a gold star from the “system!” Isn’t that enough?

    Nope. It’s the whole point, he says. To make it through something that sucks your soul dry. Heck, we all did it, he says. Why not her?

    Tragic.

  30. Papilio November 19, 2013 at 3:43 pm #

    How long before they use a http://www.kleinevrachtjes.nl/steekwagentje.jpg
    to move the kids from car to class? After all walking too has ‘a potential for injury’ (what doesn’t???).

    @Linda: “I’m extremely grateful for the freedoms we do have to choose private or home education — citizens of too many countries do not”

    Because of course public education is by definition crap and bullies kids & parents alike with stupid little rules, also in first world countries with a completely different educational system that score way higher on international comparisons?
    I get why you’re grateful you have an escape route, but that doesn’t change the fact that that escape shouldn’t be necessary in the first place.

  31. steve November 19, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    I was about to say school administrators who make these silly decisions should have their names and deeds recorded on the net for eternity. But the real problem is all the enabling parents who take it. Few want to deviate from their regular daily schedule and organize any resistance.

    Have you noticed, we rarely hear about parents removing their children from schools because of silliness like this? What would it take, I wonder? It would be interesting if a behavioral psychologist (Dan Ariely, are you listening?) would do a study to see just how far parents could be pushed by stupid school policies.

  32. Damon November 19, 2013 at 6:23 pm #

    Hmm. Why can’t we be honest? I suspect the real problem (from administrator’s perspective) is the competitive, physical nature of the game + slippery slope argument…

  33. hineata November 19, 2013 at 6:27 pm #

    @Papillio – are you kidding? What a fantastic idea! I would love to be able to strap some of my more challenging kids to one of these, roll them out in to the cloakbay and forget about them for the day :-). Where can I buy one, LOL!

  34. Librarymomma November 19, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

    I apologize in advance for using this as a chance to promote homeschooling, but at least one post below referred to homeschooling and that many people feel they can’t do it because they have to work full time or that they don’t fall in the “right” income bracket.

    Many moms in the local homeschooling community have college degrees; some even hold advanced degrees in teaching (you’d be surprised how many teachers homeschool their own children); psychology and other disciplines (such as library science — go figure). Many of us make financial and professional sacrifices such as working only part time or at home or doing some sort of contract or freelance work.

    A lot of people think that homeschooling means school at home but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Their are many homeschooling philosophies and methods and you can mix and match them to find something that fits your lifestyle. I know some people don’t want to homeschool their children, and that’s fine, but it’s my hope that people who want to take their children out of the public system because of its inane rules and regulations connect with their state or local homeschooling groups and associations and give it a chance. Sorry this was so long, but I feel so badly for people who think they have no power when in fact, they do.

  35. Linda Wightman November 19, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

    Let me make it clear that I’m not suggesting we dismantle public schools, even though, Papilio, I believe there will always be need for alternatives. My point is that if we don’t fight this nonsense, now, while it’s still poptart guns and Ritz crackers, we will all lose, big time.

  36. BL November 19, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    This won’t stop as long as people think of it as “policy”.

    Think of it as “evil”.

  37. oncefallendotcom November 19, 2013 at 10:28 pm #

    In the interest of fairness, that thumb could be used to push the big red button that shoots all our missiles all at once starting WW3. So we must deter digital violence before it begins.

  38. Timothy Cooke November 19, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    I’m not even surprised anymore by articles like these. If this stuff ever affects me personally, I will be fighting back against said ludicrousness. Otherwise, no law seems too ridiculous now. The USA is quickly becoming the world’s laughingstock.

  39. Lola November 20, 2013 at 4:08 am #

    That must’ve been some thumb war! Honestly, I don’t know if I would’ve been able to keep a straight face during that conversation…

  40. J.T. Wenting November 20, 2013 at 8:15 am #

    @hineata: your local DIY store, any company selling warehouse supplies, look at movers, IKEA has them (at least here they do) as well.

    And yes, they’re great. I got one for moving concrete tiles and bags of potting soil when redoing the garden years ago.

  41. Dirge November 20, 2013 at 9:19 am #

    There should definitely be push back, because no child should receive a punishment for no reason at all. If no rule was violated, then how can a punishment be warranted. Ask that principal how she would feel if she was ticketed for “the potential of speeding.” I jailed for “the potential to murder.”

  42. lollipoplover November 20, 2013 at 10:59 am #

    Totally OT, but I love this commercial:

    http://now.msn.com/goldieblox-ad-shows-engineering-toys-for-girls-with-beastie-boys-song

  43. EricS November 20, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    Wow. Stupid educators. Personally, I would have given her a piece of my mind. One, for wasting my time at work, in such extremely trivial and unwarranted phone call. And second, for giving my child a “red slip” for doing something that every child in all walks of life from all generations have always done. Ridiculous people. Again…they call themselves “educators”?! All their teaching children is stupidity and ignorance. I would be very upset knowing my kid (who I know is disciplined and uses good common sense for his age) is being subjected to this “brainwashing”.

    I wish posters would name the school and the ignorant educator(s), so that we can post these incidences online. This stupidity has got to stop. If the internet was extremely instrumental in today’s way of thinking, the internet can help to revert back to using common sense in people. Exposure of these issues and people is key.

  44. EricS November 20, 2013 at 11:21 am #

    Wow. Stupid educators. Personally, I would have given her a piece of my mind. One, for wasting my time at work, in such extremely trivial and unwarranted phone call. And second, for giving my child a “red slip” for doing something that every child in all walks of life from all generations have always done. Ridiculous people. Again…they call themselves “educators”?! All they’re teaching children is stupidity and ignorance. I would be very upset knowing my kid (who I know is disciplined and uses good common sense for his age) is being subjected to this “brainwashing”. As a parent who teaches his child to be a kid, and to think smart so that he will be capable of fending for himself as he gets older, and to build confidence and self-esteem, these “educators” put doubts in children’s heads. They “mess” them up in the long run. Leaving parents to deal with confused kids. It’s extremely detrimental to our children when we teach them certain values, ethics, and street sense, only to have these be questioned in schools. And sometimes being punishable for doing NOTHING wrong. They might as well be giving my kid illicit drugs behind my back. Because that is how I feel whenever I hear of things like this.

    I wish posters would name the school and the ignorant educator(s), so that we can post these incidences online. This stupidity has got to stop. If the internet was extremely instrumental in today’s way of thinking, the internet can help to revert back to using common sense in people. Exposure of these issues and people is key.

  45. Jenna K. November 20, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    I’m wondering what kind of injury they think would result from a thumb war? I’ve played thumb wars all my life–with my brothers, with my boyfriends, with my husband, now with my kids–and nobody has ever been injured. I mean, do they think someone will pull a thumb muscle and then sue the school? That is probably the fear. Being sued over something. But really, if that did happen, I would hope that such a case would not make it through the system.

  46. Asya November 20, 2013 at 2:44 pm #

    No offense, but why on earth would you thank the Assistant Dickaplanarian? I would be livid and make her feel like an idiot, then strongly confront the administration until my child got a formal apology. One of my favorite things is to use their biggest fears against the lunacy: “It is against our cultural beliefs to be detained for thumb war games; my neighborhood Shaman said so. Are you persecuting my child for his cultural beliefs?” Try it, it’s great.

  47. Amanda Matthews November 20, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

    So true, Librarymomma.
    Homeschool also doesn’t mean you’re in it alone. If you reach out to your local homeschool groups, they will have lots of help and resources. There’s single parent households, households were both parents work, widowed households, etc. etc. that homeschool. There’s countless free resources and there’s help out there for people in states where paid material is required.

    Homeschooling is ALWAYS an option in the US. Yes it takes work – but with the ridiculousness that schools force you to deal with, you may find it takes less work than sending your kid to school.

  48. Rebecca November 20, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

    aaarrrggghhhhhhh

  49. Linda Wightman November 21, 2013 at 7:27 am #

    @Amanda Matthews – “Homeschooling is ALWAYS an option in the US.” Yes, now — but I remember when it wasn’t, and there are plenty of people with power who would take that freedom away if they could. Eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. We must very grateful, and don’t take it for granted. My daughter, homeschooled herself for a number of years and determined to give her own children the same benefits, lives in a country where she must battle, and maybe move, to make that happen.

    My point is that homeschooling in the U.S. is a freedom that was won by those who went before us. (If you’ve never before been grateful to the Amish, now would be a good time.) The battle to free our children from the shackles placed on them (and us) “for their own good” can be won, too.

  50. Papilio November 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    @Linda: “Let me make it clear that I’m not suggesting we dismantle public schools, even though, Papilio, I believe there will always be need for alternatives. My point is that if we don’t fight this nonsense, now, while it’s still poptart guns and Ritz crackers, we will all lose, big time.”

    And I get that, but you made a point about people in other countries without considering that the situation could be very different from the USA one. That seemed odd to me, even though of course nothing is perfect and there’s always room for improvement. It’s like feeling bad for Dutch cyclists because the cycle paths are mandatory so they’re not allowed to cycle on the road with cars going 32mph or more. Boo hoo.

  51. Papilio November 21, 2013 at 12:27 pm #

    @hineata: You wicked woman :D
    Good luck buying one, JT Wenting has given some tips…

  52. LouannN November 26, 2013 at 11:47 pm #

    Thank you all for the comments and suggestions. I’m the mom of the kid with the dangerous thumb. I have been inspired by you to write a letter and have a meeting with the Principal- and I honestly may take the issue to his supervisor if I don’t get a good answer.

    I have always thought this was a fantastic school- but this year, they seem to have lost much of their common sense.

    I appreciate all of the input. Happy Thanksgiving.