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Kid Gets 'Catastrophe Award': Mean or Meaningful?

News 2012/05/31 19:29:46
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Christina Valdez believes her 8-year-old daughter was humiliated in front of her peers when the girl's Desert Springs Academy teacher gave her a "Catastrophe Award" for "Most Excuses for Not Having Homework." The award was given in front of the whole class, and according to ABC News, the kids were laughing at her. Valdez tried to contact the school about the incident, but says the teacher shrugged it off and said it was just a joke.

Valdez told KGUN-TV, "I think it's cruel and no child should be given an award like this. It's disturbing." Psychologist Sheri Bauman at the University of Arizona College of Education agrees with Valdez, adding, "That isn't an award. It doesn't fit the criteria. [Kids that age] feel less than, they feel fearful of authority of what might happen if they make a mistake." Do you think the "Catastrophe Award" was cruel, or appropriate?


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  • TasselLady 2012/05/31 20:55:16 (edited)
    Mean
    TasselLady
    +21
    Whether she turned in homework or not, it was no reason to humiliate her in front of her whole class. Some adults might see it as a joke, but when you are eight years old that's a whole different matter altogether. Nothing like having the teacher and the whole class laughing at you. Somebody should string up that !#$$ teacher by her knockers.

    for shame

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  • Alexis Sempter 2012/06/01 21:06:36
    Meaningful
    Alexis Sempter
    +4
    The girl in a way deserved it the teacher is only punishing her to get her to work in the future. She shouldn't be humiliated she should take it as a gift because if you slack off you aren't going anywhere in the future.
  • MichelleluvsRonWeasley 2012/06/01 21:04:24
    Mean
    MichelleluvsRonWeasley
    That's not nice to embarrass the girl in front of the class! Although, maybe she should actually do her homework instead of coming up with excuses...
    Do you notice the smiley face after "most excuses for not having homework"? What has our world come to, when people like this are allowed to teach?!
  • La Michell... 2012/06/02 01:23:33
    La
    +1
    Well, smiley faces usually indicate that it's a joke. I'm sure the teacher did it in a joking way, not in a harsh, sarcastic way. How exactly would /you/ deal with a kid who never did their homework? Remember you don't know what the teacher has done up until this point, but obviously it hasn't worked.
  • Michell... La 2012/06/04 01:16:33
    MichelleluvsRonWeasley
    Well, if it's causing all this drama and making the kid embarrassed and upset then it shouldn't be taken as a light joke...
  • D.C.Verdone 2012/06/01 20:55:07
    Mean
    D.C.Verdone
    Thats really mean.
  • jennifer.wales.104 2012/06/01 20:53:26
    Mean
    jennifer.wales.104
    You can teach a child not to behave that way without humiliation.
  • Fingon Celebrindal 2012/06/01 20:38:18
    Mean
    Fingon Celebrindal
    +2
    I am also sure this is the first time the mother took note of her daughter's problems.
  • jennife... Fingon ... 2012/06/01 20:55:21
    jennifer.wales.104
    +6
    At age 8 I believe a parent should be making sure that their childs home work is completed and if you notice that your child never has homework that's when you contact the teacher and tell her/him that you want all assignments emailed to you.
  • Angela 2012/06/01 20:36:28
    Mean
    Angela
    It was really rude I thought! If I was that age I would cry I think!
  • nicesteve 2012/06/01 20:28:37
    Mean
    nicesteve
    +1
    There is never any justification for humiliating a child or teen publicly for not performing
    uo to par accademiclly in class. This includeds defaulted or improperly completed written
    home exercises. While I do agree that this young lady is possibly guilty of a very serious
    issue here, it does not warrent public humiliation of any kind. This matter is almost always
    best taken up in private with the parents, professor, counselors, and the principal or vice
    principal. If the young lady is intentionally and overtly dodging her obligation to peform
    these written exercises, then there are more appropriate alternative sanctions that can be
    implemented in this case such as grounding and several hours in the detention hall to
    impress upon the young lady that certain obligations are to be met without any whining
    or griping or any kind, and they are never to be shirked. On the other hand, there might
    be some learning disabilities at issue here. If this is the case with this young lady, then
    it is essential for all concerned that these be diagnosed and and addressed properly.
    If a bona fide learning disability is involved in this case, then sanctions are very rarely
    justified, and never public humiliation. If this teacher was just trying to "pull off a joke"
    then it was a mighty cr...

    There is never any justification for humiliating a child or teen publicly for not performing
    uo to par accademiclly in class. This includeds defaulted or improperly completed written
    home exercises. While I do agree that this young lady is possibly guilty of a very serious
    issue here, it does not warrent public humiliation of any kind. This matter is almost always
    best taken up in private with the parents, professor, counselors, and the principal or vice
    principal. If the young lady is intentionally and overtly dodging her obligation to peform
    these written exercises, then there are more appropriate alternative sanctions that can be
    implemented in this case such as grounding and several hours in the detention hall to
    impress upon the young lady that certain obligations are to be met without any whining
    or griping or any kind, and they are never to be shirked. On the other hand, there might
    be some learning disabilities at issue here. If this is the case with this young lady, then
    it is essential for all concerned that these be diagnosed and and addressed properly.
    If a bona fide learning disability is involved in this case, then sanctions are very rarely
    justified, and never public humiliation. If this teacher was just trying to "pull off a joke"
    then it was a mighty cruel joke. I belive that one teacher somewhere in Arizona should
    have their teaching credential pulled and put in an alternate career. Teachers of this type
    hardly have any business in the classroom with our nations future.
    (more)
  • J 2012/06/01 20:24:05
    Meaningful
    J
    +5
    This should be a humiliating thing for the mother, but had there not been fault there, I don't think she would have made a statement so publically about this incident. Didn't the mother say that the teacher could have given her child the "busybody" award? (YES) Do you really think THAT would have gotten a better response from the mother? I don't think so.
  • 3188419 2012/06/01 20:23:29
  • JimTheGeek 2012/06/01 20:07:52
    Meaningful
    JimTheGeek
    +8
    Kids need these sorts of things to get their acts together. There will be many more "humiliations" in this girl's future life if she doesn't straighten up. If would be cruel if her teacher let her think excessive homework excuses were acceptable. This idea that all kids deserve a trophy just for participating and not just for excelling, is ridiculous.
  • pops 2012/06/01 19:59:55
    Meaningful
    pops
    +5
    Let's drop the PC bullsh*t look what chairman Mao did with PC=50- 75 million deaths.
  • lily 2012/06/01 19:41:54
    Mean
    lily
    +1
    if it was an older grade, it would be pretty cool. but for a young age, that is traumatic
  • J lily 2012/06/01 20:25:48
    J
    +3
    You don't wait until a child is 18 to begin teaching them life lessons. The earlier you begin, the sooner they will be prepared for it.
  • lily J 2012/06/04 18:59:25
    lily
    THat isnt exactly a life lesson, if it were to teach, it could have been less demeaning. And i meant high school. I would love the award but not at an age where everyone;s opinion matters.
  • J lily 2012/06/04 21:12:21
    J
    It is a life lesson - to learn that you have certain responsibilities that you have to fulfill. Even a toddler needs to know that there are things (age appropriate, of course) that they have to be responsible for - else, how do you potty train a child.
  • MaryBoBerry 2012/06/01 19:31:22
    Meaningful
    MaryBoBerry
    +6
    Hell, if one of my teachers gave me that I'd frame it and put it on my wall!
  • HarleyCharley 2012/06/01 19:24:58
    Meaningful
    HarleyCharley
    +6
    she needs to do her homework....
  • jflip 2012/06/01 19:20:40
    Meaningful
    jflip
    +5
    Hell, I think it's funny, she'll learn from it one day.
  • Jan Haskell 2012/06/01 19:18:30
    Mean
    Jan Haskell
    +3
    To make matters worse, her mom managed to get this on network news .... so the child got to relive the whole thing in front of the t.v. audience. Whatever happened to parent-teacher conferences?
  • J Jan Has... 2012/06/01 20:27:09
    J
    +6
    So, the teacher humiliated her in front of her classmates; mom humiliated her in front of the whole world. Who did the most damage?
  • Jan Has... J 2012/06/02 14:43:02
    Jan Haskell
    +1
    Exactly .... Mom!
  • overdog001 2012/06/01 19:09:48
    Meaningful
    overdog001
    +6
    Did it hurt her widdle feewings? Good, then maybe she'll remember that feeling when it's time to do her homework.
  • Mike J. Hirak 2012/06/01 19:08:19
    Meaningful
    Mike J. Hirak
    +3
    It was obviously a joke...
  • Drasher 2012/06/01 19:01:28
    Mean
    Drasher
    +1
    No. Just...no. Maybe if it was a high schooler, and the teacher was sure that the girl had a really good sense of humor, and that's just a maybe. There's no point in publican mocking someone like that at such an impressionable age.
  • Tolconadio 2012/06/01 18:27:01
    Mean
    Tolconadio
    +3
    That is just rude. If that kid is having problems just don't humiliate her like that, take her aside instead of humiliating her like that.
  • Dydy 2012/06/01 18:23:13
    Meaningful
    Dydy
    +3
    Calling it the "catastrophe award" was mean, and I seriously doubt it was meant to be insulting. I think the teacher only wanted to be funny, not hurtful, and besides the kid should be doing hw in order to learn
  • Wilhelmina 2012/06/01 17:26:48
    Meaningful
    Wilhelmina
    +6
    The Mom should be given a "Terrible Parent" award for not helping the child with her homework. A good parent talks to her child about school and finds out if there was any homework every evening...not just once in a blue moon.
  • Brenda Wilhelmina 2012/06/01 18:09:12
    Brenda
    So what happens if the child says there is no homework and really did. Been down that road many times. Obviously, the teacher did not take the required child psycholoy course. Either that or she failed it.This same young lady might one day become "Carrie" all because of the humiliation. NOT JOKING!
  • Sam Adams Brenda 2012/06/01 19:24:52
    Sam Adams
    +3
    Either way--lies or not--the kid earned it, and the parent should be given "what for" as well because she did not follow the situation closely enough to know the difference!
  • S123 Brenda 2012/06/01 19:52:08
    S123
    +3
    You think she might become a murderer because of the "award"?
  • Brenda S123 2012/06/04 12:05:27
    Brenda
    It's a possiblity. Never know how dramatic issues can stick with a person. Don't you watch CSI, Criminal Minds, etc?? This is not just all TV. Art imitating life.
  • brittne... Brenda 2012/06/01 20:15:41
    brittneylalaa
    +2
    I've lied about doing homework myself but really its not fair to blame the teacher. Who knows if the teacher called the mom or not. We really don't know the full story. It seems like parents are too quick to jump on the teacher's back for what they failed to do. Parents need to also take a good look at themselves also after all its their child.
  • J brittne... 2012/06/01 20:29:47
    J
    +2
    the child was in an afterschool homework program
    I would love to know why?
  • J Wilhelmina 2012/06/01 20:28:31
    J
    +2
    The child was in an "afterschool homework" program. Why do you suppose that was?
  • renee.huie1 2012/06/01 17:18:46
    Mean
    renee.huie1
    I would be very upset at that teacher, awards are meant to build a child self esteem not knock them down!!!
  • 1wickedwitch 2012/06/01 17:05:01
    Mean
    1wickedwitch
    +1
    Sad for the child, even more so now that her mom told the world..HEY MOM. get off your A** and make sure your kids homework is done..Teachers are Not the parent this is Your fault.. Nice job mom.
  • jlamasters 2012/06/01 16:54:21
    Mean
    jlamasters
    +1
    She is 8 years old!!!! This is sad, teachers are suposed to lift children's self esteem not bring it down in front of the intire class room to be ridiculed! If the teacher has a problem talk to her parents, maybe there is more then meets the eye on why this little girl is struggling.

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