Effective punishment?

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ClairesMommy's picture
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Effective punishment?

A Florida student who got three F's on his recent report is being forced by his parents to stand at a busy intersection wearing a sandwich board for the week of his spring break.

Michael Bell is failing civics, language arts and math, according to his pre-break report card.

His teachers also told Michael's parents that he is too much of a class clown.

His father, Michael Bell, Sr., told Miami's WSVN-TV he doesn't know how else to get through to his son.

"I'm trying to reach him and he don't wanna be reached," Bell said. "This is my last resort."

The front of the sign reads, "Hey, I want to be the class clown. Is that wrong?" The back reads, "I'm in the 7th grade and I got three F's for the semester. Is anything wrong with that? Blow your horn if you don't think so. Thank you!!!"

So while his friends are hanging out and relaxing, Michael is turning heads at a busy intersection in southwest Miami. (His parents are there, too, to keep him safe, and provide food and water, WSVN reported.)

"I'm sorry that it had to get to this point and when I get back to school I'm going to do better," Michael said.

"If I don't do nothing, he's going to be a statistic," Bell said.

Do you think Michael's punishment is an effective one? Why or why not? What do you think is the best way to encourage children to do better in school? Share your tips and comments in the field below.

Is Michael's punishment an effective one?


wlillie's picture
Last seen: 3 years 6 months ago
Joined: 09/17/07
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I guess we won't know until his next report card comes out;I bet he makes honor roll. If it was jsut not trying, I'd think it wasn't a very good approach, but the class clown thing makes me think it might actually work.

boilermaker's picture
Last seen: 3 years 2 months ago
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Gosh, it is certainly NOT an approach that *I* would take. Seems like public humiliation to address a problem with study and school habits.

I suspect that his days would be better spent being tutored in the classes he is failing.

I can't say for certain what I would do with a kid failing three classes in 7th grade, but this doesn't seem to be a logical consequence of his actions or particularly meaningful other than trying to embarrass the kid about his choices.

I *think* I would have my kid in tutoring and I would personally be spending a few hours each night being certain that homework and classwork were completed, understood, etc. And I would be in regular contact with his teacher to make certain assignments were being completed and behavior was appropriate, and if not, he would lose privileges within the household.

Or I'd have him "job shadow" somebody with an 8th grade or high school education for a day or two-- see how he likes that work....it may be just the push he needs to focus on getting a quality education.

But a sandwich board at an intersection? Ick.

Last seen: 3 years 8 months ago
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Posts: 1175

I don't know if it's a good thing or not... and I can't really see myself doing it, but we don't know the backstory. How long has the poor grades been going on? What else have the parents tried? As per the article somebody is there with him. From the dad's comments it also sounds like they're at the end of their rope... so I'm willing to guess that they have tried everything they can think of (like working with him/tutors/etc.), and this is kind of a last straw kind of thing. I wouldn't beat the parents up too badly... it's not like they're leaving him on a street corner to fend for himself.

KimPossible's picture
Last seen: 14 hours 26 min ago
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I don't like public humiliation to get points across so i would feel extremely bad doing this. Its not something i would ever choose to do.

Is it effective? I don't know...i would imagine it might work for some kids, but that doesn't mean i think its a good thing to do.