7/13/2011

Stratford High School Sucks

I have tried really hard to adjust to things here in NZ. I have put in a special effort to accept things that I don't find quite right and have tried to let everybody be who they are--ok, I call noise control on my neighbor, but he is stomping on my rights when his music invades my house, so that part of 'who he is' is just a red-neck trailer-park jerk....but I digress.

I know schools have changed a lot in the many, many, many years since I attended, but common sense should still prevail, even here in NZ.

The local Stratford High School doesn't have enough lockers for all the students, so most of them have to lug all their books to every class every day. That wouldn't be quite so bad if schedules were regular, but each student has 6 classes in a 5-class school day. That means that each day is totally different than the day before or the day after. And now that I think about it, it means that each class doesn't get a whole 'term' worth of study.

Otterboy got into a bit of stuff the other day in first period, about 9:30AM. After filling out incident reports at the moment (when they all were still a bit angry), those involved went on to other classes before the principal called me at 1 PM to say he was sending Otterboy home because he was afraid our son would seek out revenge at lunch time because of what he wrote on the incident report--over 3 hours earlier. By that time it was all forgotten and the principal didn't even bother to talk to Otterboy before sending him home. Of course, the others involved weren't sent home. Couldn't he have simply separated them for the lunch period? I think that would have taught them both a lot more than 'solving it all' by sending Otterboy away.

In the 'incident', Otterboy's phone was taken from his pocket and totally stripped while he was otherwise occupied. Not just dropping on the ground and the battery falling out, but the sim card and the memory card, too. Now, the memory card is hard to get out, so I know it was done deliberately. 

The principal's view of this was that phones are 'not allowed' in school. How much bull pucky is that? Otterboy (and I'm sure many other kids with parents who care or work) needs his phone so that we know where he is since it's quite a walk to and from school--it may not be a popular stance, but Hubby and I actually care where, when, and with whom he goes. And we want to know when to expect him home.

I can understand phones not being used in class and the teachers needing to enforce a bit of discipline, but not at school at all? How utterly out-of-touch. Would it not be actual teaching to make the students pay attention in class? Perish the though in Stratford.

I don't socialize a lot, but the few times I have discussed Stratford High School with other people, I have found that graduates from Stratford who go on to university have all had to work very hard to catch up the first year--even those at the top of the class. That does not make for a good school reputation.

We have no solutions. Both primary and high school principals have spend all their time defending what they do when we go in to talk. I just hope it's not this bad all over.

9 comments:

Belle said...

I have noticed that most educators are close-minded. I'm not sure why that is, but it is irritating.

Rachel said...

I think you need to move town. ;o) We've just been doing the rounds of highschools here in Chch (although I know you probably don't want to move here just now, right - lol)! But they are all allowed phones at school - in fact it's encouraged. even our primary school lets the Year 7 and 8's have phones (turned off in their bags).
I'm sorry you're having such a rough time with the locals there - I hope it doesn't colour your perception of other New Zealanders too much.

merinz said...

The sole high school in a country town has you all at their mercy.

Sarah said...

We didn't have any lockers at my high school. They kept getting broken into and vandalised so they were taken away all together. I still remember my bag full of files and bursting at the seams during my final two years at school.

Lola said...

Kids are gonna have to resort to rolling suitcases. It's terrible! Sounds like this school just wants to wash its hands of all of the problems rather than really address what's going on. I hope things get better.

SherilinR said...

i'm all for the freedom of expression in myself & the others around me, but when that freedom invades the lives of others, it's time to rethink it. i might have called noise control too. i think i'm getting crotchety as i get older.

LegalMist said...

It's bad all over the world, then, isn't it?

The principal sounds like a putz.

Clipped Wings said...

I'm sorry you're having such a problem there. Perhaps it is time for a move to some place hopefully better. The phone incident was mean spirited and it was not handled properly. And for neighbors whose music makes my walls and everything connected to them vibrate and rattle, they're jerks. We've had too many of them moving in and out of that house behind us.

TheScienceEnthusiast1130 said...

Hi!

Could you sign this petition: change.org/petitions/board-of-education-and-all-educational-facilities-and-municipalities-reform-education-so-that-it-s-fair-for-all-and-not-for-the-elite-few-or-the-dull-many-no-child-left-behind