Teacher suspended for washing student's mouth out with soap

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by jsw, Jun 11, 2004.

  1. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #1
    "An elementary school teacher was placed on paid leave for washing a boy's mouth out with soap after he shouted an obscenity at a classmate."

    See here for details.

    Looks to me like the authorities overreacted. 40 relatives of students want her back. The kid had a drop of liquid soap on his lip. I guess I'm failing to see the big deal.

    How are teachers supposed to discipline students in this P.C. age? I'm not necessarily agreeing with the soap thing (nor arguing against it), but I truly think that teachers are increasingly unable to do anything to control students which are already often uncontrolled at home. And that can lead to more and more flagrant things as the kids get older.

    I'm not arguing that we should beat kids into submission. We obviously should not. But, seriously, we need more than suspension as a tool - that's not going to help anyone.

    I remember getting paddled by the principal for throwing a snowball at another student when I was in first grade. 31 years ago, and I remember like it was yesterday. I think the actual smack wouldn't have broken an egg shell. It was the experience of being called out of the classroom and smacked - and, seriously, the actual force used was so minimal that it barely constituted contact. Believe me, I behaved after that. Of course, back then, an authority position meant something. Now, kids would just complain to their parents and get the teacher fired. Then, I would have been afraid for my parents to find out - because I would have gotten in trouble at home as well.

    I don't want kids to fear brutal punishment. But, really, they need to learn some respect. I'm not sure where the line is, but I think punishing a teacher for putting a drop of liquid soap on a kid's lip is way, way too extreme.
     
  2. reaper macrumors 6502

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    #2
    Amen to that! I'm not sure of what the best solution is either, but it's becoming more and more apparent that many children don't have respect for anything anymore. I agree that brutal beatings aren't the answer, but there has to be some happy medium (as you describe in your experience) that will convey the realism of there being consequeces to actions.

    - reaper
     
  3. kettle macrumors 65816

    kettle

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    #3
    No one ever thought beatings were a good thing, they just think that a couple of out of control teachers is a less terrible thing than a couple of million out of control kids.

    I vote that kids like to break rules because of the feeling, not the specific of the rule. Lets make rules and punishment a lot tougher so that freedom of expression can get you into a lot less trouble, a lot sooner. Hopefully we'll have less school age people passing the point of legal no return before they get bored with pushing those boundaries and the search for the caring restrictions of society.

    It's only natural to break rules and find the threshold of security, I just wish it was easier for kids to find them.

    Personally, the reason I care about my parents so much, is that they really did give a s**t about what I was and wasn't supposed to be doing. Life would have been a lot tougher without them, as life will be without people helping others to find the barriers.

    Society is crap with all these barriers, but not as crap as it will get without them.

    I think the education systems today provide quite a good model of things to come. Yes, when todays kids grow up giving even less of a s**t and so on and so on, I think we can safely say we're all doomed. :)
     
  4. krimson macrumors 65816

    krimson

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    #4
    Three words: Lawsuit, Lawsuit, Lawsuit.

    That's why the teacher was put on leave. bAck in the day, we walked 10 miles to school.. uphill both ways, and when we misbehaved, we got our hands smacked with a ruler. And we were better for it.
     
  5. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

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    #5
    man thats a bummer for the teacher

    honestly kids these days have gotten out of control; i dont think what she did is unreasonable
     
  6. jsw thread starter Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #6
    Very well said (the whole thing - just didn't want to quote it all).

    Kids will push whatever boundaries they perceive - it's normal and healthy for them to do so. We need set those boundaries in places where pushing through them won't make the kids fall over a cliff, and we need to try to ensure that the kids can't push too hard in the first place. Their pushing is normal, but it's so they can feel the walls, and they need to feel as though they know the rules and that the rules will be enforced. Well disciplined kids (not in a Nazi sense, just in a "behaved" sense... geez, I suppose everyone has a different sense of that word as well) are happier. Boundaries should expand, and some should be allowed to be pushed down (whether acknowledged or not) as the kids grow older. But we're too afraid to punish kids for stepping over the line now, and that's just going to lead to more problems.
     
  7. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #7
    It's a good thing he didn't get more soap or the whole school would have been put on leave. Silly people.

    The instructor wasn't do anything particularly bad considering the circumstance. Once again, it's a matter of responsibility and people learn their lessons late, if at all. I can imagine having said something like that when I was in that grade. I would have been punished at school and at home. All of my relatives would have let me know that such things weren't appropriate.

    I hope the instructor is re-instated quickly, due to the boy's parents' request.
     
  8. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #8
    I agree that the teacher should be reinstated. We live a different America. So much respect has been lost. A great legacy for Ronald Reagan would be if we could return to that America, "that shinning city on the hill."
     
  9. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #9
    Personally I'd rather return to Camelot. :p
     
  10. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #10
    I think that both of the presidencies were very similar in style. Great use of pomp and circumstance. They both had strong convictions of a strong military, small government, self reliance, and lower taxes. The first ladies were also trend setters.
     
  11. jsw thread starter Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #11
    And they both inspired hope. That's what we seem to have been missing for some time now. Agree or not with either Kennedy or Reagan, they both had a way of making the country feel good about itself.
     
  12. wowser macrumors 6502a

    wowser

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    #12
    Yes, most of these stories are blown out of proportion. Whilst this 'soap thing' was an odd punishment (perhaps the teacher merely needed a warning), the stories are exaggerated. In England, a similar story saw a teacher 'tape a boys mouth shut' - it sounded quite awful, yet it turned out that the child simply hadf a very small piece of tape going over his lips, which could have quite easily been removed.
     
  13. Roger1 macrumors 65816

    Roger1

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    Michigan
    #13
    A drop of soap, pffft! :rolleyes: My mom used to use the bar on us. As for it being a teacher? So what, it didn't hurt the kid any. The publicity will probably be worse than the soap was.
     
  14. snooziums macrumors regular

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    Evergreen State
    #14
    Actually, I can understand their reasoning. And punishment by washing a kid's mouth out with soap is not a good idea.

    When I was in second grade, my teacher made me wash my mouth out with soap and then required me to EAT the ENTIRE bar of soap. Needless to say, I became very sick after that, and had to be taken to a doctor.

    After that happened, they never made any other child wash their mouth out with soap.
     
  15. Koodauw macrumors 68040

    Koodauw

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    #15
    Seems to me that she doesn't even care about what she did. Schools have rules and regulations in place for a reason. This teacher clearly disobeyed the rules, and doesn't give a sh*t. I would suspend her too. "Promote" her to Study hall supervisor or something.

    Respect is earned, not given away. It's a two way street. The teacher has to earn the respect of the students, and the students earn the respect of the teacher.
     
  16. Hemingray macrumors 68030

    Hemingray

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    #16
    *mumbles* It's only a model...

    :D

    But seriously, this is ridiculous that the teacher is getting in trouble for this. That kid outright deserved it. I got my mouth washed out with soap as a kid (and I mean WASHED OUT, not a measley little drop on the bottom lip). And Tabasco? Yup, got my mouth washed out with that too (Oddly enough, I love Tabasco now. :) ) I got belts, wooden spoons, you name it. Did I hate it? Yup. Am I better off for it? Probably! I don't resent my parents for disciplining me either.

    I got paddled a couple of times in elementary school too. Heaven forbid we should physically discipline children! :rolleyes:
     
  17. musicpyrite macrumors 68000

    musicpyrite

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    Cape Cod
    #17
    I can agree with you on that part. *Sometimes* it's not nessacary to do these kinds of things. Imagin if the kid had been alergic to it? I'm not saying soap specifically, but what about the teacher who decided to wash a bunch of 5 y/o kids hair out with shampoo (try and get rid of lice), and ended up BLINIDING some of them.

    I'm not saying that washing out somebodys mouth with soap is bad, but rather that there are other ways of diciplining kids. You have to be careful what you do in these days of law-suit happy people.

    And mind you I got my mouth wash out with a bar of soap PLEANTY of times, and I didn't like it one bit; but I deserved it.

    I also agree that the kids I go to high school with have almost no respect of anything. A few weeks ago, I saw a a keyboard that belonged to a poor and innocent G3 iMac; appearently, some kids had taken off the keys and started throwing them aroud the room. That poor iMac... :(
     
  18. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

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    #18
    That was plain stupid to make you eat the bar of soap. All things in moderation, that teacher just went overboard.

    http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002739.htm#Definition
     
  19. jsw thread starter Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #19
    Absolutely. A drop of soap is entirely different than forcing the consumption of an entire bar.

    I don't even necessarily agree with the drop of soap. I just think that there should be stricter punishments than a stern glance.
     
  20. TimDaddy macrumors 6502

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    Versailles, KY (and that's pronounced Vurr-sales)
    #20
    If that happened to my children, my wife would be in jail for beating the living **** out of the teacher!

    I don't know about this. I have used the washing the mouth out with soap method on my son. (for saying things he most likely learned from me, I must admit) I don't think it is within the teacher's rights to do such a thing. I want to say call the parents and the parents can decide if he needs the soap, spanking, grounding, or whatever. But, my wife is a daycare provider with children aged 5 to 11, and a whole lot of these kids aren't being punished for anything. One kid had to be removed after hitting my wife in the head with a chair, just a few months after her brain surgery! This kid had been in plenty of trouble, and would laugh at her and say things like "so, my mom ain't gonna do nothing but run her mouth at me". Maybe some severe punishment in the past would have calmed this kid down, but my wife agrees that even if she could get away with it it isn't her place. She had used the typical "school approved" punishments, but she would never do anything physical to someone else's child. When you have a room full of twenty something kids, small, innocent things annoy you all day, then a little misbehavior may be taken too seriously. And, you can't have your eyes on all kids at all times, so you don't know all the circumstances whenever something happens. (Of course, now they just go to the office and review the tape.) The kids need to be disciplined, but I think the spankings and soap in the mouth needs to be left to the parent's judgement.
     
  21. Makosuke macrumors 603

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    #21
    It's funny; every single generation looks at kids when they grow up, and says "Kids these days; everything's going to Hell in a handbasket." (Why exactly it's always in a handbasket, I'm never sure, but apparently that's the most direct route.) The fact is, the world generally isn't, and most of the time the world surprisingly enough continues to turn out ok.

    That said, things to get better and worse by turns, and to say it'll always just be ok is silly. Meaning that I do wonder about the overly litigious and generally undisciplined nature of a lot of kids these days. The baby boomers were raised in front of a TV in suburbia, got liberated, then went softer on their kids than their parents. Those kids are now the parents, and we were raised on MTV and basically ignored while our parents were busy getting divorced and having careers. So now we dote over our kids and sue anybody who looks at them wrong or builds a playground that might give a kid a bruise when his dad ignores his 3 year old climbing the monkey bars.

    At some point, something's gotta give, since you can't litigate your kid out of the real world. Whether we overreact and swing back to the days of sticks and soap, do nothing and let our kids turn into pampered wimps unprepared to deal with harsh reality, or find a happy middle ground remains to be seen.

    I do like kettle's boundary thoughts; if we set almost no limits, the kids are going to keep pushing until they find something, and that something might be so bad that there's no turning back. If we set stricter limits, they'll push past them and maybe into somewhere independant and good. Of course, go too strict, and you end up with either outright rebellion or a very unhappy kid.

    My mom washed my mouth out with soap at leat once or twice, and was certainly more strict in general than the parents of the hippy kids I had for friends, but my parents were also both extremely supportive--just not afraid to bring down a little dicipline when necessary, and a little too afraid of their kids going out in the world on their own. It may have just been my personality, but I turned out just fine, and I never even went through much of a rebellious phase--just stretched the boundaries past where I was "supposed" to, and into a normal adult.

    Then again, my dad is in the WWII generation, and already raised one set of baby boomer kids after the war, then married a member of that generation and took a second shot at it, so I suppose he has a lot more experience to draw on than most parents.
     
  22. Roger1 macrumors 65816

    Roger1

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    #22
    HEEHEE Don't forget the yardstick :) I've had a few of those broken on my backside. :)
     
  23. BakedBeans macrumors 68040

    BakedBeans

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    #23
    guys, guys, guys

    Since when is it acceptable to do anything like this to a child, inoccent or otherwise??? im not saying the action was wrong im just saying that it wasnt ok for the teacher to do it. now i dont doubt that the pupil was wrong or needed punishment but the type of punishment you guys are talking about doesnt help anyone (yardsticks indeed) the teacher should well be sacked for taking matters farther than her entitlement-just my opinion

    but boy oh boy did i get hit when i had misbehaved, but it didnt make me any better in the long run,if from a young age i was raised in a diffrent manner i wouldnt have behaved like that at all.
     
  24. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #24
    Reminds of a little story, when i was in 1st Grade,it may have been 2nd the teacher wanted us to do something i was against so i told a class mate she could go to hell(ever so softly) well this idiot got up and told the teacher in front of the whole class i just said she could got to hell so off i went to the principles office. I got a spanking and that was the end of it. never did it happen again. The lawyers, the govt have done a great job of removing any discipline in the class room so here we are. I think the dude should have used a bar of Ivory, not make the kid eat it now have you just a good cleaning. :D
     
  25. broken_keyboard macrumors 65816

    broken_keyboard

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    #25
    You can't reason with vey young children since their faculty of reason is not yet developed. A simple perceptual discomfort that leaves no permanent ill-effect, such as the unpleasent taste of soap, is a punishment they can understand. The old ways are the best. Trying to reason with the little twerp is biologically futile.
     

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