Teacher’s Suspension, Kid’s Day Off


This may seem an unusual subject to be discussing in the local paper, but what the heck! My 13-year-old son was recently suspended from Thurston Middle School for making an inappropriate remark about a classmate.

I assure you, I am in no way trying to minimize or condone what he said, and have in fact taken disciplinary action against him. But please, in heaven’s name, can anyone tell me how giving a 13-year-old boy a day off school is punishment? Punishment for his father is more like it. Now I have to tolerate his stinky feet for a whole day when I normally wouldn’t have to!

The point of the matter is there has to be a more productive form of punishment. In my day we were given lines to write: “I will not talk in class,” written 500 times in your best handwriting, due the next day. (My writing hand still hurts.) Stay after school and clean the classroom from top to bottom. (All my ex-wives will testify to my abilities with a mop.) If my teacher, or whoever, told me that my punishment would be a day off, I would have sprung from my seat, given him or her a pat on the back, and, whistling merrily, trotted off to plan my day of adventure!

But I pride myself on my open-mindedness and once again ask the question, “How, in heaven’s name, is a day off school punishment for a 13-year-old boy?”

Mervyn Jones,

Laguna Beach


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