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STRATFORD, P.E.I. — A bunch of oldsters of scholars attending Stratford Elementary Faculty is upset with a behaviour-improvement system on the college they are saying is inflicting extra hurt than good.
Feedback made by mother and father on Jan. 16 on a now deleted Fb publish mentioned the varsity’s inexperienced slip program is being misused by academics, directors and employees to punish college students who are usually not behaving as anticipated.
From a scholar not consuming their lunch on time to 1 working too quick towards the door when recess was over and even for fidgeting of their chair, feedback on the publish mentioned slips have been handed out carelessly for no matter cause the varsity’s academics and employees deem unacceptable.
Tanya Nace, president of the Stratford Elementary Residence and Faculty Affiliation, confirmed it’s listening to the identical issues across the program, which has been in use for 5 years.
Throughout a Jan. 19 interview with SaltWire Community, Nace mentioned the affiliation heard from round 100 mother and father by means of the outcomes of an nameless survey performed in October and November, which included a number of the similar complaints.
“The inexperienced slip program, the varsity calls it a method to talk with mother and father, however mother and father are saying it’s used as a method to publicly disgrace kids who’re doing one thing dangerous or one thing a instructor could not like,” she mentioned.
“In lots of circumstances, (employees) are giving the inexperienced slips to kids in entrance of their friends. Not all circumstances, however in lots of circumstances.”
There are 670 college students in grades 3-6 on the college.
Worry and bullying
Nace mentioned mother and father have reported that college students who’ve acquired inexperienced slips in entrance of friends and classmates are typically singled out, bullied and even prevented all collectively by different college students as a result of they’re perceived as being dangerous children.
“To be a ‘inexperienced slip child’ (a time period reported by mother and father being utilized by children to label those that obtain inexperienced slips) means you’re dangerous, and that may result in bullying or not having the ability to make buddies. It places you there instantly, and at school with kids, as quickly as you get labelled, it is exhausting to get out of that,” mentioned Nace.
Nace mentioned there doesn’t appear to be any standardization in how the slips are used or for what causes.
The slips, which doc the behaviour of the kid receiving them, are despatched dwelling with the kid and require a dad or mum’s signature, mentioned Nace. She mentioned she has heard from some mother and father that college students are anxious about going to high school out of worry of receiving a inexperienced slip.
Lack of response
Nace mentioned the affiliation shared its findings from the survey with the varsity’s administration. Nonetheless, she mentioned the administration didn’t reply.
The affiliation additionally took the complaints to the Public Faculties Department, mentioned Nace, however the response was a lot the identical.
Nonetheless, when the affiliation shared its intentions of discussing the inexperienced slips brazenly at an upcoming dwelling and college assembly, Nace mentioned Norbert Carpenter, government director of PSB, contacted her and requested her to defer the assembly to a different date so the affiliation and administration may meet on the subject. Nace mentioned the affiliation didn’t agree.
“Every time they determined they needed us to desk this dialogue till they talked with us about it, we felt they had been making an attempt to cover what had been occurring as an alternative of coping with it in an open method,” she mentioned.
“Whereas we had been open to having that dialogue, as an government, we determined we would like the mother and father’ voice to be central and we would like the youngsters’s experiences to be a part of this dialog.”
Created from necessity
The inexperienced slips, in addition to the pink slips the varsity makes use of to have fun good behaviour, have been used for the final 5 years. Janet Coughlin-Cameron, principal for SES, mentioned this system was created to assist curb points they had been having with college students.
“We had been having some nice problem with violence on the playground and quite a lot of bullying,” she mentioned.
“That is only a small a part of our program so far as having the ability to assist kids be the very best they are often and to work on any unacceptable or surprising behaviours they may have.”
In that point, Coughlin-Cameron mentioned she hasn’t had many complaints concerning the system exterior of small feedback.
Throughout this college yr, she mentioned no mother and father have contacted the varsity with questions on how this system works.
When requested about whether or not she has heard of academics giving college students inexperienced slips in entrance of different college students or lecture rooms, Coughlin-Cameron mentioned she hadn’t and doesn’t imagine that’s occurring.
“Do I do know if that has occurred? I don’t know. I’m unsure these feedback weren’t third-party feedback that had been a narrative advised by someone who advised someone,” she mentioned.
“We do the very best we will to honour the youngsters and we’re very respectful to them. The explanation we do it’s to make the kid be the very best they are often and be accountable for his or her actions or their phrases.”
Coughlin-Cameron mentioned she hasn’t heard of any bullying or singling out of kids who obtain slips, nor has she seen any slips for causes that wouldn’t warrant a slip.
“Often the explanation (for a inexperienced slip) is one thing like being hands-on within the playground or cursing. The kids are additionally given numerous warnings, so it is not simply out of the blue,” she mentioned.
A short lived pause
Whereas the house and college assembly was delayed as a consequence of climate from its Jan. 23 date, the varsity has since agreed to place a pause on its inexperienced slip program till the administration may meet with mother and father. Coughlin-Cameron mentioned she will likely be attending the assembly, now rescheduled to Jan. 30, to hopefully deal with issues and questions mother and father could have.
“I believe there are quite a lot of misunderstandings so far as our program goes, so I’m hoping our academics, employees and administration can clarify it, so that they perceive how this system goes,” she mentioned.
“We’re open to working with mother and father.”