PUBLIC OPINION > The 'Catastrophe Award' Was Kind of Mean

News 2012/06/01 22:00:00
An 8-year-old girl made the news this week when her mother complained about a "Catastrophe Award" the girl received at school. The "award" read, "You're tops! Awarded ... for most excuses for not having homework. :)" Apparently the entire class laughed at her, and the mother was furious. Some think the teacher who handed it out was being cruel; others think it was relatively harmless. We asked the public.

Reactions were pretty mixed on this one. Though a small majority agreed it was mean to call the girl out on her missing homework in front of her peers, some still felt it was an acceptable way of addressing the problem. Although, one young respondent wrote, "Hell, if one of my teachers gave me that I'd frame it and put it on my wall!" So maybe it wouldn't effective for everyone.

Females Feel Bad

There was a huge difference between how men and women responded. Women were much more likely to sympathize with the student and show concern from how it affected her. Men, on the other hand, were more willing to accept it as a form of tough love. Many of them even thought it was funny, suggesting the kids shouldn't have taken it so seriously.

Old School

We expected older voters to be more accepting of the teacher's method, as punishment in school seems to be more controversial now than it once was, but the shift didn't happen until the uppermost bracket. Only respondents over the age of 65 voted much different than the rest of the age groups. "Back in my day..."

Liberals Don't Like It

Probably for the same reasons behind the age difference, conservative respondents were more likely to green light the Catastrophe Award. They tend to appreciate tradition, and traditionally teachers have more license to crack down in schools when kids need to shape up. Considering some of the things they used to do, this was pretty harmless.

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit our poll about the Catastrophe Award. We'd love to hear from you!
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Top Opinion

  • Just Jenn for Now 2012/06/01 22:26:50
    Just Jenn for Now
    What good does it do to shame a student anyway? I don't care how young or old, what good is it to publicly shame one's self esteem?

    I wonder if the teacher even bothered to care if the student was sensitive or not? Did they take that into account? How about the after-effects this would have on the student? Or what kind of life they live outside of school? I didn't see the original question, so pardon me if these bases were touched already.

    I certainly hope the student is laughing at all this. I'd rather it be that than crying in depression from the ridicule.

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  • Jorge Enriquez 2012/07/01 17:47:48
    Jorge Enriquez
  • Posha King 2012/06/08 17:52:53
    Posha King
    This topic is absolutely fantastic! I'm of the mind that while this can be seen as cruel, it's the same principle as the one where losing teams DON'T GET A TROPHY for showing up!! I'll bet next year, the girl does her homework...
  • Bunk11 2012/06/05 18:00:37
    I think for a teacher to publicly humiliate a student for any reason other than that student being a bully is unacceptable. The class laughed at her. Want to bet that continues for a while, maybe indefinitely. And how will the teacher be able to stop other students from mocking her? They'll just say, "but you did it." If there's an issue with her homework, she should call the girl's parents and speak with them privately.

    Maybe the girl will get over it and maybe she won't. I remember some girls who suffered humiliation when I was in 4th grade (caused by their own actions to be fair) and the continual harassment was so bad they both moved out of the district.
  • Chris Tate 2012/06/05 17:30:21
    Chris Tate
    If it worked give the teacher an award for the biggest jerk and call it a year
  • PapaBC 2012/06/05 15:23:44
    It was no harm other than what the mother made of it. I thought it was funny and should have been taken lightly. That mom, to me, was a not very good.
  • Common Sense Conservative 2012/06/05 15:16:57
    Common Sense Conservative
    The catastrophe award was

  • PapaBC Common ... 2012/06/05 15:30:54
    If this is the worst thing to happen in the life of this child she would have a very easy life. But this is not the normal case. Mom and student need to work together to improve the study habits of the child while at the sametime growing a thicher skin.

    Just think,,, If teachers did nothing to try and motivate their student then America would have one of the most dumded down populations in the world that can be easly pushed around. Maybe this is the direction we are head today.
  • Common ... PapaBC 2012/06/05 15:31:58
    Common Sense Conservative
    It all starts at the young ages.
  • Fariborz-Zak 2012/06/05 06:19:22
  • mach 2012/06/05 03:42:43
    That actually happened to me as a student, but it was for being a clown. I pretended it didn't bother me, and the seventeen years of therapy helped, but I'm still getting headaches from the .38 caliber slug I put into the side of my head. ....no big deal.
  • Kyle mach 2012/06/05 19:44:14
    A .38 is too small, I recommend a .45.
  • mach Kyle 2012/06/06 03:58:09
    HA!!!...didn't want TOO much mess!
  • Kyle mach 2012/06/06 21:35:29 (edited)
    Well if it's a mess you're trying to avoid I'd suggest pills or if you want to thrill yourself while you kill yourself I'd recommend autoerotique affixiation.
  • Inquisitve Kat 2012/06/05 02:51:38
    Inquisitve Kat
    Shaming the student is hardly an appropriate response. Besides, the child was in a homework program was was able to show completed homework.
  • Michael 2012/06/04 23:16:40 (edited)
    I remember when I missed 6 weeks of highschool due to pneumonia and then took a test in physics upon returning the first day back. The teacher, after grading the test, remarked to the whole class, "and the lowest grade was---(mine), and even a monkey could have done better!" The only saving grace was he neglected to call out my name! If he had, I would have never recovered!
  • CJackson 2012/06/04 17:38:52 (edited)
    Apparently, the child has learned nothing from home, except how to make up excuses for not taking responsibility for her own actions...if a LITTLE humiliation gets the child's attention, then it replaces 8 years of bad parenting with ONE well learned lesson.
    It's not abuse, it's creative teaching. (Slapping the snot out of the kid WOULD be abuse.)
  • StanKerr 2012/06/04 16:37:13
    A little shaming is good for a kid. All the coddling is ridiculous.
  • CJackson StanKerr 2012/06/04 17:42:12
    Coddling...exactly!!! Humility builds character!
  • WeaverJannie27911289 2012/06/04 14:39:46
  • Kyle WeaverJ... 2012/06/05 19:45:27
    You're a cancer on this world.
  • KB 2012/06/04 14:36:04
    Anyone who does any kind of harm to a child deserves to lose their job and recieve endless amounts of criticisms for being a bitch.
  • CJackson KB 2012/06/04 17:47:31
    Please tell me you're not currently raising any of these future little monsters! Little monsters who grow up in a totally sheltered life, where everything is handed to them because making them work to EARN it is too humiliating and will cause irreversible damage to their poor little brains! Like teaching them to get out of bed before noon, get a job, do their own laundry, turn in their homework on time...and all those other horribly responsible things.
  • KB CJackson 2012/06/04 19:54:15
    Publicly humiliating someone does not help them at all.
  • Rusty KB 2012/06/04 21:31:24
    Do you think that this teacher invented this mock award for this one kid..........
    Do you think this is the first or the last time she uses this to make the students care about getting their homework done? Publicly embarrassing the same kid day after day would be negligent. That is not what is happening here.
  • AGPhillbin CJackson 2012/06/04 21:20:42 (edited)
    Please tell me you're not one of those people who makes stupid, unwarranted assumptions about people simply because they have opinions you disagree with.
  • cher2 2012/06/04 12:13:52
    I think humiliating a child in anyway is disgusting. How can we teach kids not to tease or bully others when we have teachers like this...this is just wrong. I grew up in the 50's and 60's and that stuff went on all the time, and much worse. It was horrible for most of the kids that were subjected to it by teachers, and then students. It is hard enough to go to school everyday without being singled out for somethings that have no business being discussed or posted for others to view. These are children, and they should be treated as such.
  • Rusty 2012/06/04 11:54:39
    Sounds like it worked. The child was made aware of consequences and the parent was embarrassed too. Maybe now the parent will take some responsibility for the child's education. Noooo.... she threw a temper tantrum and ran to the useless wimpy principle. Teachers have very few tools these days to wake up students. What is not told here is what kind of a teacher this is. Does the teacher try to motivate and solve problems the student has. The real world is hard and does not care about your feelings its performance all the way. What we definitely do not want more of is the government schools raising dysfunctional people who quit when they loose and then blame everyone else.
    Look out Mommy and Daddy(maybe) junior is going to live with you till you die!!!
  • TheTruth1313 2012/06/04 07:02:51
    I'm perfectly fine with it. If it is true, then I am perfectly fine with the student being called out.
  • Gregortimski 2012/06/04 04:12:12
    There is no bigger catastrophe for the anti-white Establishment than a full public discussion of white genocide.

    Massive immigration and "assimilation" imposed on ALL white countries and ONLY on white countries.

    Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.
  • Rusty Gregort... 2012/06/04 11:59:21
    Ah..... think your'e on the wrong question Einstein.
  • joe mauro 2012/06/04 02:02:29
    joe mauro
    mean and rotten which pretty much summmarizes the stae of education in america today
  • Just Je... joe mauro 2012/06/04 03:41:06
    Just Jenn for Now
    I think it just about summarizes people in general. Common courtesy is like a dying art these days; not to say absolutely everyone is a complete D-bag, but rudeness has definitely been on the rise.
  • Packersgirl 2012/06/04 01:49:42
    thats just cruel
  • tff~PWCM~JLA 2012/06/03 23:15:30
    I think she should fail her ass.
  • PhantomDream 2012/06/03 23:09:09
  • C. C. R... Phantom... 2012/06/05 03:13:54
    C. C. Rider
  • Maci 2012/06/03 22:35:56
  • Buoyant Leadraft 2012/06/03 21:01:05 (edited)
    Buoyant Leadraft
    Back in my day, when we didn't turn in our homework our teacher would make us put on a flaming hot tar dunce cap. Children with good records for tuning in their homework on time would be allowed to gather around and roast marshmallows off our heads, while singing christian youth camp songs. Dunce Cap
  • Rusty Buoyant... 2012/06/04 12:03:14 (edited)
    Don't have a Christian chip on your shoulder dooo you..."TooMuchLeadinYourBrain"
  • Snowball 2012/06/03 19:59:18
    What would interest me more would be to see if the parents made sure that homework got turned after that. IF the parents have no control in making sure it was turned in, maybe a little "help" from the teacher wouldn't be that bad of a thing. HOWEVER, IF the kid has crumby parents, and you can tell the kid's behavior is due to parents that don't give a toot, and the kid is sort of "delayed" because of it, I don't think it was probably the best way to address it- the PARENTS need to be dealt with.

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