9 Year Old Leaves School and No One Notices. Who’s to blame?

SpringdaleA 9 year old child at Springdale Elementary school in West Columbia South Carolina took it upon himself to send himself home sick from school.  He said he wasn’t feeling well and asked his teacher to go to the bathroom.  Instead of going to the bathroom, he left out of one the school doors and walked 1 mile home on a busy road.  The parents were outraged.  The school is in trouble.  The story is in the news.  And I’m weighing in.

First of all, our children need to understand that there is a process to living in a society.  This means enforcing rules and appropriate punishments to teach our children guidelines, boundaries, and socials roles.  In this situation, the guideline is, “If you’re sick at school, you go to the school nurse.”  The boundary is, “We never leave school grounds without an adult.”  And the social role is, “You’re a child. You do as you’re told because you’re a child. When you turn 18, you may do whatever you please within the confines of the law.  Until then, I am the law. Follow what I say, or there will consequences.”

For those that don’t believe in imposing order in the life of a child, and you’d rather believe that they will adopt this order through conversation and play therapy then that’s fine.  But you need to live off the grid, because the rest of us here in the society are tired of having to step over your tantruming child in the grocery isle, and we are more than tired of feeling like we have to protect our children from their overbearing bully asses in high school.  The Baltimore riots happened because students who were already a powder keg were gently placed in the midst of fire storm due to an “early school dismissal.  It was a major fail on the Baltimore school district, but you don’t see anyone pointing a finger at them.  That’s because the riots were started by kids frustrated with society.  But if these same kids had proper parenting and positive social structure they would have thought twice before throwing a single rock.

We have to stop holding the school responsible for the actions of our children.  Now we can hold school officials responsible for their own actions, but at some point we have to take responsibility for the children we’ve raised.  You can’t be proud of Johnny when he becomes a doctor and boast, “Look at that, I was a good parent and that’s why Johnny is so successful.”  But then when your other child Billy is standing before a judge facing 5 to 10 you cry, “I don’t know what happened.  I had nothing to do with that.”  We have EVERYTHING to do with who they become.  We shape them.  We mold them. They learn life from us.  We are their example.

So in this case where the child should have known better, rather than hold the school responsible for what you child has done, you may need to redirect you disdain.  Thank you for pointing out the flaws in the school security system.  This is vital for the school to fix in the case of younger students without the ability to reason right from wrong.  But can’t make the school accountable for your child breaking a rule that he damn well knew he shouldn’t have broken.  If you want to know your child’s every move, then take steps to make it easier for your child to contact you.  Emergency cell phones are as little as 19.99.  And I’ve heard that idle threats to cut their hands off if they turn it on and it’s not an emergency works.

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