Our school like so many others prides itself on discipline and the behaviour of its pupils. This is achieved with an inflexible set of rules. If a pupil breaks a rule then it’s an automatic negative. Four negatives in one week means detention. Repeated detentions bring the sanction of isolation. A serious negative can lead to an immediate spell of isolation. It’s all a bit Dickensian – was going to say Shawshank Redemption but that’s probably not a good example to use really…
The rules must come in about 7 volumes so too many to list. But let’s give a flavour by quoting some of the negatives which our son has seen issued.
- Unbuttoned shirt
- Incorrect positioning of the tie
- Throwing a snowball – after school and not on school premise
- Small coloured markings on white sport socks
- Parent not signing off the weekly planner sheet
- Forgetting your planner or text book
- Incorrect colour pen used. Has to be black, unless it’s a correction which has to be green – still haven’t worked out what blue is supposed to be for
- Forgetting to bring your cooking apron
- Bringing the wrong measurement of food ingredients
- School iPad running out of battery
- Carrying snacks in a rucksack
- Going to the wrong lesson if you misread the timetable
- Getting lost in the school – it is a big school area with several separate buildings
- Bringing the wrong type of calculator
- Repeatedly asking to go home if you are unwell
- Pointing out that the teacher had got a fact wrong (son’s only negative so far)
And on and on
Our son came home yesterday to say that he had to complete a series of corrections in his book. Failure to do so would result in two negatives…. When I checked he had one answer correction to make – fine. But he also had to correct spellings. As you can imagine with dyslexia he had many. We had the dreaded red “spelling mistake” label on almost every line. I gave up counting at 30.
The school has another rule which says that for every spelling mistake the pupil has to write out the correct spelling three times.
Call me awkward but he’s got dyslexia. How can this be right. I have spoken to the school on several occasions but I am told it is the rule for all pupils. Well bugger it. I have emailed school to tell them that he is not doing the corrections. We will add the words he has struggled with to our home reading work. But he is definitely not writing out the corrections three times. If he gets a negative for this then I have warned them that I will consider legal action against the school. U.K. organisations need to take reasonable steps to avoid discrimination on the grounds of disability. Under the Equality Act Dyslexia is classed as a disability. OR the school could just give me the detention – that could be really interesting (unbelievably I have never suffered that punishment).