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Mom Makes Son Wear Sign Announcing Poor GPA: Tough Love or Humiliation?

Living 2011/02/22 15:32:50
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A Florida mom may not have had the best approach to getting her son to improve his grades, but something good might come out of it.

Ronda Holder, 33, made her 15-year-old son stand on an East Tampa street corner for nearly four hours last Wednesday wearing a sign around his neck with this message:

"I did 4 questions on my FCAT and said I wasn't going to do it … GPA 1.22 … honk if I need (an) education," The St. Petersburg Times reported.



Holder, a hair stylist, said she wants her son, James Mond III, to improve his grades now before he ends up on the street.

"I don't want any of my kids to stand by the side of the road asking for change," she said.

But here's where the story may have a happy ending. When a local TV crew spotted James (who is still in eighth grade), Franklin Middle School enrolled him in after-school tutoring.

On Thursday, Holder got a letter from her son's history teacher claiming his grades are improving.

James has also never been tested for a learning disability, but until the middle of seventh grade, his grades were fine.

But not everyone is thrilled with Holder's parenting skills. The Department of Children and Families came to Holder's home to interview James, and spokesman Terry Field said the sign might legally be considered a form of maltreatment.

"It definitely would fall within the category of emotional abuse. It's shame, embarrassment and humiliation. This will be a lifelong memory for him," Arlinda Amos, a licensed clinical psychologist and ombudsman for the Hillsborough Children's Board, told the paper.

James also said the sign was "embarrassing," but thinks his mom was coming from a good place.

"She was trying to teach me a lesson," he said. "I should have been working harder than I was in school."

As for Holder, she still believes she did the right thing.

"You can't resort to spanking," she said. "I want my child to have an education and have his children be able to look at him and say, 'I can get an education, too.'"

Read More: http://www.tampabay.com/news/humaninterest/article...

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Top Opinion

  • Dr Ed Miller 2011/02/22 16:57:32
    Tough Love
    Dr Ed Miller
    +25
    Way to go Florida Mom! As a college professor, I have too many undergarduate and graduate students who cannot write, think critically, nor follow simple instructions. It starts in government run schools while I've seen those who have graduated from other schools have the same low skill set. If you're a parent and your child isn't doing well in school, do what you can to help them, make the sacrifice and ensure they succeed. This is the beginning of their life.

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  • Tinnuhana 2013/07/14 09:13:23
    Humiliation
    Tinnuhana
    This is what the Japanese used to make Okinawan kids do if they used their own language at school. It was designed to humiliate.
  • JimShou 2011/08/23 15:31:53
    Tough Love
    JimShou
    better than kicking his butt up around his ears!!!!
  • Sweet-N-Sour 2011/03/31 16:31:41
    Humiliation
    Sweet-N-Sour
    If he had committed some criminal act (minor offense of course) this would probably be appropriate. The thing is, the love of learning is the key and that starts in early childhood. No amount of punishment or humiliation in the teen years will change a kid's attitude toward getting an education if they don't already value it. It's a tough job, but taking the time to find a way to help him see that it is empowering to be educated would be a better way to go. I'm not saying he should not be punished, just that humiliation seldom breeds respect, just more bad attitude.
  • Sherri 2011/03/22 22:50:32
    Humiliation
    Sherri
    It's degrading.
  • Michelle Moore 2011/03/15 19:08:26
    Humiliation
    Michelle Moore
    Not a very cool Mom!
  • Stephaniee 2011/03/12 17:48:57
    Humiliation
    Stephaniee
    Never Do That!
  • waynelaboy 2011/03/11 18:12:25
    Tough Love
    waynelaboy
    get them grades up, that costs money. lol!
  • xoxo 2011/03/11 04:53:57
    Humiliation
    xoxo
    he should be humiliated he's so stupid. it won't work he will never amount to anything
  • Don White 2011/03/08 03:16:51
    Tough Love
    Don White
    I know a bunch of kids who should have this woman as a mother! Maybe they would finally get the message that they are "NOT PRIVLEDGED!" And if you can't make mininum G.P.A., Wearing that sign is just the beginning of their humiliation>>>Yeah for tough love!
  • Sandra 2011/03/05 02:42:56
    Tough Love
    Sandra
    I think that the mother did that as a tough Love. Even though it was embarrassing but it was a good lesson for him.
  • Bob Pooba 2011/03/04 19:46:35
    Tough Love
    Bob Pooba
    Motivation.
  • Laura 2011/03/04 02:11:26
    Tough Love
    Laura
    Whatever works!
  • Mirrorslicer 2011/03/02 23:51:44
    Humiliation
    Mirrorslicer
    +1
    I was made to do similar s**t when i was still living at home
  • JCD aka... Mirrors... 2011/03/07 18:30:47
    JCD aka "biz"
    I'm glad it's over.
  • Mirrors... JCD aka... 2011/03/09 18:19:00
    Mirrorslicer
    yeah me too thx
  • anita 2011/03/02 19:03:32
    Humiliation
    anita
    +1
    First of all,if he's 15 and still in 8th grade,there was problems long before.Where was she then?Was he getting the help he needed with his homework? It all starts at home.If he had a learning disability,she should have gotten help for him.
  • middlesex1957 2011/03/01 01:51:51
    Humiliation
    middlesex1957
    +3
    The goal here is to get a teenager to invest himself in his own future despite the fact that he'll have to postpone instant gratification for long term results. Tough thing to get through to a teen. So, did wearing this sign help? Does humiliation ever motivate someone to work harder or does it just make the humiliator feel superior? Does he know if people honked because they agreed that he should invest himself or just because they were mocking him for not being "man" enough to refuse his mother? Maybe few honked because they couldn't read the sign, so what did that mean for him? If you just want to get off on smacking kids around this does it. I doubt it did anything to help a teen get hungry for an education.
  • Tori 2011/02/28 21:48:35
    Humiliation
    Tori
    +1
    wow... to make sumone humiliate them selves. thats not eben fair. if he doesnt want people to know dont make him show it!
  • RG Dundee Tori 2011/03/01 15:43:56
    RG Dundee
    +1
    Yeah, that is easier. It's only his quality of life that is at stake. By the way, you can use a spell checker even if you weren't humiliated into studying before you dropped out of skool.
  • TealRose RG Dundee 2011/03/07 15:38:20
    TealRose
    And why do you feel it necessary to belittle someone for their spelling?? A spell checker only works if you can understand the differences between the words it puts up for you. Have you not heard of dyslexia ? Or are you just a small minded person who gets off on hurting others ?? Perhaps a nice label around YOUR neck in the street saying "Honk when you see me as I am exceptionally rude and badly brought up" may have helped you too!
  • Matt 2011/02/28 18:22:58
    Tough Love
    Matt
    +1
    As long as the kids are not being abused, parents should be left alone to take care of their own children the way they seem fit. The same people who disagree with this will flip flop and say that a parent has a right to kill their unborn baby. So, why not have the same attitude and say parents have a right to discipline their own children without interference?
  • meghan holloway 2011/02/28 17:30:00
    Humiliation
    meghan holloway
    +1
    i think that no mother should force her kid into wearing a sign saying how stupid he or she is its wrong and stupid to me.
  • RG Dundee meghan ... 2011/03/01 15:46:05
    RG Dundee
    Don't confuse a lack of education with stupidity. Apparently something happened to this kid after 7th grade that made him drop out of his own education. it is a good parent who does what she has to do to save her child. it is a poor parent who makes excuses and allows her child to reject his education.
  • Politic... meghan ... 2011/03/29 14:41:06
    Politically disgusted
    The alternative is She could just love him and hold his hand all the way to the penitentiary because it couldn't possibly be his fault. I've seen more than a few of those. I applaud her for her grit. You can call it tough love or child abuse or whatever you want, this mom is getting results and most likely it will wake him up and move him in the right direction.
  • Jayce Evans 2011/02/28 07:07:19
    Tough Love
    Jayce Evans
    +1
    the fact that DCF got involved appalls me.
    this is called good parenting.

    "This will be a lifelong memory for him."
    YEAH THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT!!!
  • riceroni ~ POTC**FUKU2** 2011/02/28 03:38:21
  • ~EL 2011/02/27 19:33:57
    Tough Love
    ~EL
    +1
    Of course the boy was "humiliated" to have to stand there with the sign; but his mom has his BEST interest at heart! It's a tough world without an education! The boy was slacking off, as happends a lot in the middle grades. It's time NOW to put a foot down hard on a kid who desides he might like to slide by. Even the boy said his mom was doing the right thing. I blame the school for not alerting his mom earlier; I blame the system for not getting him the testing he really needs to find out why he's slacking off; I blame the teachers for not suggesting after school help sooner; and the Children's services should stay out of it!!! "It's shame, embarrassment and humiliation. This will be a lifelong memory for him." Well, I say, "Thank God!" It's better to remember that Mom who loves him forced him to take another look at his education and his behavior. She wants something better for him than she had for herself! Now, don't you think this will be a better "memory for him" than getting spanked, or as in some households, beat up for poor grades? Hey! Let's get real here! What does a social worker know about raising teenagers unless she/he did a perfect job him/herself? Also, let's look at where Mom is coming from. She's 33 and he's 15. According to my calculations, Mom ...
    Of course the boy was "humiliated" to have to stand there with the sign; but his mom has his BEST interest at heart! It's a tough world without an education! The boy was slacking off, as happends a lot in the middle grades. It's time NOW to put a foot down hard on a kid who desides he might like to slide by. Even the boy said his mom was doing the right thing. I blame the school for not alerting his mom earlier; I blame the system for not getting him the testing he really needs to find out why he's slacking off; I blame the teachers for not suggesting after school help sooner; and the Children's services should stay out of it!!! "It's shame, embarrassment and humiliation. This will be a lifelong memory for him." Well, I say, "Thank God!" It's better to remember that Mom who loves him forced him to take another look at his education and his behavior. She wants something better for him than she had for herself! Now, don't you think this will be a better "memory for him" than getting spanked, or as in some households, beat up for poor grades? Hey! Let's get real here! What does a social worker know about raising teenagers unless she/he did a perfect job him/herself? Also, let's look at where Mom is coming from. She's 33 and he's 15. According to my calculations, Mom was 18 when she had him; she's probably been working ever since. So, let's say Mom hasn't had much schooling or life experiences. Let us give her some credit for really wanting her son to do better. God bless her and may HE always guide her and her child to success!!
    (more)
  • Sildy 2011/02/27 17:14:06
    Tough Love
    Sildy
    +1
    I really think both - and I'm ok with humiliation if they earned it. Sometimes, with kids, that's the only thing that works.
    For anyone who might argue that....ever had to stand in class for saying or doing something a teacher didn't agree with? Or stand out in a hall? Or write something a hundred times on a chalkboard? Get detention? Get grounded? It is ALL a form of humiliation - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't
    At least his mom is making an effort! Too many parents today get a rough time for parenting their child because others don't agree with it, so instead of standing up doing what they think needs to be done, they let their kids do whatever and run wild. Well, I for one am tired of parents raising little hoodlums - so I say - GO ON GIRL!
  • kcskin 2011/02/27 16:18:30
    Humiliation
    kcskin
    +3
    Ok people is this tough love???

    Your wife makes you wear a sign that you are a lousy lover.

    Your boss makes you wear a sign that you are a lazy worker.

    The board of education makes you wear a sign you are a crappy teacher.

    How many actors made straight A's in college or went to college?

    How many times you read the super star athlete can't read or write, but did 10 years in the pros and have a $200,000 pension for life.

    We have a society that makes the people you are educated do all of the work. The people who are talented make all of the money. The people who are born to rich parents laugh at us all.

    Finally if this kid turns out to be the next "snoop dogg" I bet his mom would not care about his GPA or would anyone else.
  • riceron... kcskin 2011/02/28 03:46:30
  • RG Dundee riceron... 2011/03/01 15:54:29
    RG Dundee
    Don't forget Tupac and Biggs. Were they educated in the ways of the world or the ways of the street?
  • Sherri RG Dundee 2011/03/22 22:53:46
    Sherri
    Tupac read Machavelli and Shakesphere. Not all rappers are the same. L.L.Cool J and Will Smith are, no where near, dumb.
  • RG Dundee kcskin 2011/03/01 15:53:40
    RG Dundee
    60% of NFL players are bankrupt 3 years after leaving the pro's. Maybe they should have gotten an education along with the $millions. The changes of this kid (or any other) becoming rich by being the next snoop dogg or even a professional athlete are so low as to be wishful thinking, not something to plan your future on. A boss CAN tell you that you are a lazy worker- I have, I fired the SOB, for cause. No unemployment for you! Yes there are far too many bad teachers, that is what happens when you are not held accountable. What may work with a juvenile may not be practical with a so-called adult. Why don't you address his problem and not make excuses for a kid on the cusp of throwing his life away?
  • Politic... kcskin 2011/03/29 14:50:16
    Politically disgusted
    Somehow, I'm just not seeing a snoop dog in this one. And, I'm guessing that snoop dog has a bit of a better education to boot and a lot more drive than this kid has. But it's just a guess.
  • rreaction 2011/02/27 16:14:49
    Humiliation
    rreaction
    Mom is a sick mofo and her son may have mental health issues because of it. This is not the first time she has hurt him, I can guarantee. He probably needs an IEP or a 504 Plan. Counseling, maybe even meds. But humiliating him like that is useless and counterproductive and just plain sad. She should now have to wear one saying she is a %^&$%#$ up lousy mother. rrrruff.
  • Jayce E... rreaction 2011/02/28 07:11:45
    Jayce Evans
    are you serious?

    he was three years behind in school on account of his own disregard for education.
    this was to teach him what it's like to be on the street. she doesn't want that kind of life for her son because she loves him so much.
    she wanted him to realize that education is important. and according to one of his teachers, it worked. his grades are improving.
    even the kid *himself* realized that his mom was coming from a good place to teach him a lesson.
  • RG Dundee rreaction 2011/03/01 15:55:36
    RG Dundee
    Well, Doctor, what exactly is your diagnosis? Would you share your notes from your interviews with the mother and the son?
  • rreaction RG Dundee 2011/03/05 16:09:45
    rreaction
    Sure, Mr. Crocodile Dundee, notes are confidential in America, but the diagnosis is right there under your nose, it's called V61.20 Parent-Child Relational Problem. "... a pattern of of impaired interaction between parent and child, e.g. impaired communication, overprotection, inadequate discipline, etc, etc. But I do agree with you, mate, that an interview would be required for anybody, anyone at all to make a diagnosis or comment on the issue. But who can pass up a good ol' feeding frenzy at someone else's expense? Certainly not you or I, sir.
  • sylviaplatt 2011/02/27 16:02:45
    Tough Love
    sylviaplatt
    +2
    More kids today need tough love from their parents, not inattentiveness by shoving them in front o f a computer or the boob tube!
  • AKgrandma 2011/02/27 06:42:28
    Tough Love
    AKgrandma
    +2
    Let's give mom a break here. It's damn hard to know what the heck to do with a kid to motavate them. We try this. We try that. At least all that trying sends a message to the kid: I love you and I'm going to keep on trying to find what it takes to get through to you. You are too important to me to NOT try anything and everything.
    To the mom,
    I hope you succeed. Your son is worth it.
    Love, grandma
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