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.
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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