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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  • joe mauro LisaSmith 2012/06/04 02:03:43
    joe mauro
    or adults
  • RobertAllenCampa 2012/06/03 04:51:04 (edited)
    Not the end of the world but certainly something I would not expect a teacher to do. There could have been a more positive way to point out the child's excessive excuses or procrastination. Nobody likes to be laughed at. School is a hard enough place with the clicks and peer pressure. A teacher has a bit more responsibility. That being said, it's not the sort of thing that will( or at least shouldn't be) scar the kid forever. The teacher should take sensitivity classes. BTW I am in favor of teachers being able to discipline students within reason. I respect teachers a great deal....
  • PaulBot415 2012/06/03 04:22:46
    I never learned anything much of value in school anyway, except when I was allowed to be in the library and could choose whatever book I wanted to read. Anything you want to know can be learned without going to school, especially with the internet around. If I was the kid I would just ignore it and keep not doing my homework, so if anything, it is counter productive and is not getting the teacher anywhere.
  • TasselLady 2012/06/03 01:06:32
  • sundance 2012/06/03 00:38:10 (edited)
  • PBUTTER... sundance 2012/06/05 18:55:44
  • sundance PBUTTER... 2012/06/06 00:21:05
    I guess I can consider myself raved.....Thanks
  • gcpajunen 2012/06/02 23:58:27
    Not sure if it's mean or not but I'd bet she 'll either do her home work or mom and dad will transfer her to a different school next year.
  • sundance gcpajunen 2012/06/03 00:42:58
    Yes, where she can practice at propagating the next generation of idiots...Just a thought...
  • terry.johnson.7792 2012/06/02 21:26:43 (edited)
    I don't think she accomplished anything, I'm not big on worrying about self esteem nobody in the real world ever will ,but that was childish behavior comming from a adult so what did anyone learn.
  • Wulfdane 2012/06/02 21:23:02 (edited)
    The problem with kids today, we're raising a bunch of retards.

    Our schools rank the lowest of any modern nation and it is becsuse we no longer demand excellence. Instead we reward failure and ignorance, thanks to our Liberal run schools. Embarrassment is not always a bad thing.

    The OWS types are the first generation of lazy losers our union run Liberal schools have created, the next generation will be even more pathetic and demand even more goverment entitlements. Exactly what Liberals want.
  • sundance Wulfdane 2012/06/02 23:56:28
  • AGPhillbin sundance 2012/06/04 21:33:15
    Thanks for the ass-kissing 101 lesson, above.
  • sundance AGPhillbin 2012/06/05 02:17:11
  • PBUTTER... sundance 2012/06/05 19:05:22
    Good one I like that. I'll have to see what I can come up with and use it if you don't mind. ----------it's someting like this
  • sundance PBUTTER... 2012/06/06 00:27:30 (edited)
    Now that's funny... Is like an anal plexiotomy. That is when they have their head so far up their ass, they need to have a piece of plexiglass installed in their abdomen, so they can see where they're going....Just a thought...

    PS....Feel free to pass it along....
  • Phantom... Wulfdane 2012/06/03 23:11:59
  • sundance Phantom... 2012/06/05 02:18:07
  • Phantom... sundance 2012/06/05 03:10:23
    I didn't do homework, but I aced every test. That pissed my teacher off, because she realised how absolutely useless she actually was to me, so she called me names and treated me unfairly.
  • sundance Phantom... 2012/06/05 07:00:48 (edited)
    Ah...So we have common ground. I can feel your pain, trust me. I was painfully shy, and more than capable of completing studies without interaction. For this, I was ostracized, shunned and alienated. For most of my secondary education, I was (not by choice) alone.
    Though the teachers methodology might have been flawed, her motivation was well placed. We (humans), very often force ourselves to perform with more focus, so we can avoid embarrassment and failure. This can be a valuable tool in the education of the stubborn and the lazy. This is not to say that it cannot be abused. However, the fact that it can be abused, does not make it inherently negative. I would further that, it does not diminish its validity as a teaching tool. It really is troubling, that the incapable are often left with the task of educating the unwilling... I do agree, that your situation was unnecessary, and an abuse of power and position. Thanks for the response...Peace
  • C. C. R... sundance 2012/06/06 00:49:31
    C. C. Rider
    What is it to you troll ?
  • sundance C. C. R... 2012/06/06 04:02:00
    Am I supposed to know what the hell your talking about?
  • La Bef Wulfdane 2012/06/04 05:16:09
    La Bef
    Sadly enough I totally agree with you. The child will survive the embarrassment and if she felt bad about it well...maybe she will be prepared next time.
  • PBUTTER... Wulfdane 2012/06/05 18:58:33
  • CAPISCE 2012/06/02 15:31:20
    mean? lol-----Don't hurt anyones feelings! lmao
  • C. C. Rider 2012/06/02 15:15:59 (edited)
    C. C. Rider
    This is why schools are failing. This teacher had a great opportunity to really sit the kid down and find out what was causing all of the problems. INSTEAD she choose the Bully mentalitiy route and may have even caused some abuse toward the kid by the parents for bringing attention to that family. You know I some school pals who were beaten to a pulp over nothing if it concerned the school or brought attention to that family. This teacher is a mess

    The Teacher should be fired ASAP. The teacher was hired to do a job and failed, and still managed to blame the kid. But on the bright side the teacher did win the total AHOLE award.
  • Grammar... C. C. R... 2012/06/02 16:56:17
    Grammar Freak
    I don't know, CC. I was just like this kid. I never did my homework & always had some stupid excuse for it. I was the world's biggest procrastinator. I don't remember any of the discussions ever doing any good for more than a week, if that. It carried over until I went to university when I was paying for it, I was already nearly thirty & I was interested in the subjects I was studying. Schoolwork got in the way of playing & other stuff.

    Had a teacher called me on it in front of everyone, made it sort of a joke, like this teacher did, it might not have made any difference whatsoever, but it might have... especially at 8 years old.

    I personally doubt that after a whole year, this teacher didn't try at some point(s?) to talk to the kid, likely spoke to the parents, etc. I think jumping the gun to judgment without having been involved with the kid somehow, is pretty unfair to the teacher. I seriously doubt the kid is traumatized... or at least would not have been had the parents not made a big deal out of it. Who the hell called the media? Why do we know about this? Seems like the parents are more likely to be the ones causing distress, not the teacher.
  • C. C. R... Grammar... 2012/06/03 00:47:36 (edited)
    C. C. Rider
    My answer did not involve any one like you. You were just a screw off. No ONE deserved what she did. WE live in different times, There are now quite a few avenues to save this kid, she did not use any one them other then to be a bully. The very thing we are trying to squash in the public schools

    I included an example of what the Teacher could have let loose on that kid. By all aspects it seems the kid and the parents WERE very upset over her behavior and for good reason, it was wrong.

    She should be fired and then a "kick me" sign taped to her back.

    kick me
  • Grammar... C. C. R... 2012/06/03 11:53:44
    Grammar Freak
    I guess that I might understand teachers & teaching a little bit.
    In my opinion, the only one who might have traumatized the kid is the mother.
    Teachers are there to teach & sometimes the only/best way to get through to some kids is to let them know that they're the only ones screwing off.

    I've read all I can read about this story... there isn't much because the principal refused to play the drama game.
    The mother's a dimwit.

    Part of school & learning is finding out what others think of your actions/behavior. This kid found out that her fellow students thought her behavior/actions were lame. I'm sure they got sick of hearing all the made up blah blah every time she didn't do her work.
    Life is not always easy. One must accept the consequences for one's actions.
    This is far too insignificant a deal to get so worked up about.

    Coddling kids certainly doesn't prepare them for the real world.
  • C. C. R... Grammar... 2012/06/03 13:36:00
    C. C. Rider
    You are right life is not always easy. The Teachers lack of skills brought this on. IT sounds as if she never invested any time in why a student of hers was failing. But took the easy way out with bullying. She is not paid to take the easy way out, she is paid to solve other problems then just what is on her chalkboard. If she did not have time she could have sent the child to her guidance counsler.

    Even in your own post you say the Mother is 1) a dimwit 2) the only one who might have traumatized the kid is the mother...this is EXACTLY what I am talking about. IF this Mother is both of these things THAT kid needs help. Most children when under stress send signals that MOST miss as this teacher did and she should have known better. With an abusive parent she will now beat this kid where no one will find out, now that this has gone public.

    Like I have said there are so many other avenues this Teacher could have taken that would have worked better. It seems when it came to education it was the teacher who needed one.
  • Grammar... C. C. R... 2012/06/03 14:30:08
    Grammar Freak
    Don't project your own luggage onto others, especially in such an insignificant situation.
    Give it a rest with the drama.
  • Rusty Grammar... 2012/06/04 23:28:59
    Very astute ........I concur with your assessment.
  • Grammar... Rusty 2012/06/05 14:13:02
    Grammar Freak
    Thank you. But, I think it's pretty obvious. It certainly doesn't take a brain surgeon to see that C.C. has some real issues she hasn't dealt with. These are not everyone's problem. They are hers. What she chooses to do with them are her business, but I certainly don't see the teacher as some horrible monster... not from the information given. The reaction by the principal of the schol was a good indication of the lack of importance of the little "award" & the lack of dramatics necessary.
  • C. C. R... Grammar... 2012/06/05 17:09:45
    C. C. Rider
    oooh my,,cyberbullying I see! Now I understand all the hate and meltdown...you ARE a bully! lol lol poor thing
  • Grammar... C. C. R... 2012/06/06 05:46:39
    Grammar Freak
    Oh my.
    I just love the way people throw around p.c. terms in what they think is their advantage. Using the term doesn't make it real.
    "Meltdown?" "Cyberbullying?"
    Wow. Truly stupefying.

    Really, C.C, you should calm down. You'll wear yourself out with your hysterics.
    It seems to me that you need to toughen up a bit.
  • C. C. R... Grammar... 2012/06/06 09:34:48
    C. C. Rider
    lol The only one here going into hysterics is you, my poor dear. Why, you can hardly stay on subject at all anymore. And really to run to other posters as if the sky is falling to complain about me..tsk tsk. Such drama over a subject you can no longer even talk about in a calm manner. What baggage you bring on here. Now breathe in slowly, I am SURE you have told that a few times. LOL LOL
  • C. C. R... Grammar... 2012/06/05 03:21:12
    C. C. Rider
    It seems you are the drama queen in the fact that I have proven you wrong on this issue. Why are you having a meltdown over a difference of opinion.

    I have no luggage to project, but I had a few classmates who met with abuse at home when a Teacher was too stupid to look into a few matters. Sometimes a child who is not doing their home work can be a subtle cry for help. The only one lacking an education here was the Teacher. Like I said she had many avenues to go to if she was too busy.
  • Grammar... C. C. R... 2012/06/05 14:13:22
    Grammar Freak
    It's best to sit down & rest quietly.
  • C. C. R... Grammar... 2012/06/05 17:07:52 (edited)
    C. C. Rider
    IT is best for you to understand you are backing bullying in the public school system.

    And I see your issues of being proven wrong have driven you over the edge of reality. Anyone following YOUR posts can actually see the meltdown. And really my dear, to bitch about me to another person, a sock yet I am sure you created to get the ole.."pat on the back" from. LOL LOL

    After seeing the name calling from y ou, the low esteem of having to tell another person about me..mmm I can see why you back this type of bullying , you are one. tsk tsk

    And as you telling me that sitting down and rest quietly worked for you, it did not. lol
  • sundance C. C. R... 2012/06/06 00:34:54
    You know? They make medication for that.....

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