- Advertisement -
  • Most Commentedmost commented up
  • Most Emailedmost emailed up
  • Popularmost popular up
- Advertisement -

« News Home

Mother: Son’s punishment at school was inappropriate

Published: Tue, June 26, 2012 @ 12:04 a.m.

By Ashley Luthern



A mother of a Market Street Elementary student addressed the school board about what she felt was inappropriate punishment given to her 7-year-old son.

Heidi Thompson wrote the board a letter saying her son, a first-grader at Market Street Elementary, was sent to a conference room off the school office as punishment for twisting a spoon wrapper in another students’ face.

Her son remained in the conference room without any learning materials, such as a book, for about five hours until Thompson arrived at the school at 1 p.m. for his school picnic June 8, the last day of school, Thompson said.

“The thing that I find the most irritating is there was an announcement made that morning that said if anyone [was] caught misbehaving, they would be sent home,” Thompson said in an interview with The Vindicator.

“I’m not against discipline. My thing was being appropriate with it and being fair and consistent,” she continued, saying the parents of other children who misbehaved were notified and could pick their children up early.

Her son, who was allowed to leave the conference room to use the bathroom, was “shaky and upset” when she picked him up, Thompson said.

Thompson asked the school board Monday night for a response to her letter, and board President Fred Davis said he had mailed his reply earlier Monday.

“We agreed with [the principal]. We didn’t see any neglect on his part. There was adult supervision,” Davis said.

Davis asked Thompson to read the board’s letter and make an appointment to meet with him, the superintendent and the school’s principal.

Thompson said she planned to do that, but that she was not satisfied with the board’s response Monday.

She said her son is planning to attend a different Boardman elementary school in the fall.

In other business, the board approved a three-year contract for Cynthia Fernback to serve as high school assistant principal.

Fernback has 22 years’ experience in education, teaches high school English and is the current summer-school principal in Boardman.

As assistant principal, she will draw an annual salary of $65,780.

With the hiring, the high school will have two assistant principals again.

The position was eliminated at the end of the 2010-11 school year when the person who had the post retired, said Tim Saxton, high school principal.

“Through other retirements and shuffling of other positions, we were able to reinstate that position with a $35,000 savings,” Saxton said.

The two assistant principals handle disciplinary problems for the high school’s roughly 1,600 students, Saxton said.

Fernback said she looks forward to taking the position and also serving as a role model for female students.

“My goals are really to assist the other administrators and to help take care of the little things, like tardiness and dress code,” she said.

The school board also scheduled a 6:30 p.m. July 12 special meeting to discuss finances.


1tlm14(1 comment)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

I am a parent of 2 Market street students and I can not say enough wonderful things about this school and our principal! When did we change our parenting strategy? Why are the kids always right? I knew if i got in trouble at school I was getting it 10 times worse when i got home. I was present the last day of school and this was not a ridiculous punishment. Who knows how the child behaved up until the point of punishment? We need to stand up for our teachers too. I am 100% in agreement that we need to advocate on behalf of our kids, but we can't lose sight of the fact that they are kids and screw up! Come on parents get your head out of the sand...

Suggest removal:

2Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

I'm just wondering does the kid have a farther or a man in the home
He was shaky and upset because he had to set in a room for 5 hours .
Maybe he should be home schooled

Suggest removal:

3Aware(255 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

This is not worthy of a Vindicator article. If the school has rules, so be it. I'm agreeing with the poster who suggests there was likely 'prior' behavior leading up to the 'crime'. With bullying being the hot topic now, this punishment seems perfectly reasonable. All of the comments here are spot-on. Having a father in the home is unrelated, however My parents were separated and those nuns (and lay teachers followed by public school teachers) made sure we knew the rules. We'd worry more about our parent being notified than any sanctions at school! I am sure there is more to this story. And yes, it is high time the teachers have more authority. I'd take a teacher's side any day over a micromanaging parent.

Suggest removal:

4redeye1(5673 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

To all the above posters , I agree with all that you are saying. But the kid is only six years old. If he was left unattended like the mother says and he got hurt who would you blame? The mother or the school personnel. I could see if he was older, she wouldn't have complaint but he was only six, That is the difference.

Suggest removal:

5janeyblue(227 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

If the boy is only six,how did he make the decision to go to another school next year on his own ?" She said her son is planning to attend a different Boardman elementary school in the fall. " That's some mature thinking for a six year old. Mommy doesn't say how many times the boy was asked to stop his behavior. It's too bad we don't live in Laura Ingalls Wilder's era. The boy would be in the corner with a dunce cap on. if only the parents were made to do this...

Suggest removal:

6Aware(255 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Red: Please re-read the article. He was 7. AND the article states : "There was adult supervision.” Age 7 is at the 'age of reason'. I doubt seriously if it was a little matter of just wiggling a plastic wrapper! AND - if he was told to sit in the conference room OFF THE SCHOOL OFFICE quietly, how on earth would he 'get hurt'? Again! It was stated that there WAS supervision. What does this mother THINK would be appropriate punishment? And yes, janey..I was wondering about the child's decision to attend another school as well! He sounds like he rules the roost! ..check back in 12 years....hmmmm.

Suggest removal:

7beach4life(11 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

My son was a student at Market Street and I have nothing but wonderful things to say about that school. The principal is fair and I personally don't feel the punishment was inappropriate. I would question whether or not this student was in trouble before? It amazes me how some parents jump to blame the school when they need to be looking at their child and his/her behavior.

Suggest removal:

8Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Wow I have never seen so many people agree on something . If it is not a first , it must be close .

Suggest removal:

9AnotherAverageCitizen(1194 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

I am guessing this child will run out of schools to attend by 12th grade.

Suggest removal:

10bsdtwd(41 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

A perfect example of the new "blameless & shameless" generation. They can do no wrong as well their children. They've become smartphone robots who would rather stare at their stupid phone than properly raise their child. We're left with their kids who expect the world and expect nothing of themselves. Good luck America. The next couple generations aren't going to go down as one the greatest anytime soon.

Suggest removal:

11shswildcat(9 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

Can anyone tell me why our kids get SENT HOME for misbehavior? And the school, who deems the kid needs disciplined can't punish the infringement that was committed in their building against their rules?

Being sent home for bad behavior sounds like "paid vacation" to me, especially if parents are working and the kid is unattended at home once dropped off. Surprising that more kids Ain't Misbehavin'!

Aren't there any toilets that need cleaned at the school? The military, in my day and age, loved to have problem recruits scrub toilets and clean shower stalls/floor tiles with TOOTHBRUSHES, and if not done up to par, the problem children needed to re-do the job until done right. (Can you imagine the lawsuits in that scenario if this or some similarly unpleasant but necessary chore were implemented as punishment to problem children in our schools?)

Scrubbing toilets seems to be a much less violent punishment than the PADDLE! (doesn't it?!)

I'm laughing in writing, but I seriously want to SCREAM or CRY every time I see or hear a parent rebel "privately" or publicly against a school's attempt at discipline within their 4 walls. WHAT ARE WE TEACHING OUR KIDS?

Bottom line, we adults need to support each other in teaching our kids right from wrong, Whether it's teachers, neighbors, police, or other parents involved in that process, let's GET REAL and quit defending our kids who don't follow the rules made for their own good.

I always told my kid, back in the day, when my kid, his friends, or other parents felt the punishment at school was too severe or unfair--WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD, IT'S A LOT SIMPLER TO FOLLOW THE RULES THAN TO BREAK THEM.

It may take awhile for our kids to grow up, but consistency in having and enforcing consequences for misbehavior in all environs of a young person's life might, just might, make a big difference for the better..

Suggest removal:

12USMC0331(152 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

My child would have been shakey and upset too. After the ass whooping he would've received. When i went there you got paddled and i'm not that old. They should bring that back.......oh wait we wouldn't want to hurt the future burglars, robbers and killers feelings.

Suggest removal:

13tebo12(1 comment)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

There is much, much more to this story.

Suggest removal:

14Aware(255 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

This thread has got to be the most thoughtful and intelligent I have ever seen here. I wish I knew all of you. You no doubt have great kids who grew up knowing who owned the roof they slept under. I'm inspired by the comments here. Lots of great thoughts, wisdom and common sense. Looks like we're all in agreement that letting these kids get away with infractions in school is such a disservice to the child long term. How can we expect them to ever do well on the job where every day they need to report to someone and compete on some level? Bailing them out of situations teaches them nothing. These are the future 30 year olds moving back home (another bail out) b/c it's the easy way out. (Not speaking of a serious situation here, folks...just the 'I quit my job because blah, blah')....USM and toy: rofl. Final comment...do any of you recall the 14 yr old brat from Boardman whose mom said she promised him an eyebrow earring and then called the news and a limo when he was forced to remove it? And other mom (cannot remember the town) whose daughter refused to wear the 'uniform'? The mom said she should be allowed to wear it to 'express herself.' Both kids had school policy manuals which presumably the parents read. Or not. But the rules are the rules. Let these morons home school their little darlings. (Personally, I think uniforms in every school are great). All of Europe has this in place. Great shares, everyone.

Suggest removal:

15Old_School(39 comments)posted 4 years, 1 month ago

@tebo12. What more to this story is their? The kid misbehaved and got "sent to his room" Big deal, been there myself and have sent my kids often!

Suggest removal:


HomeTerms of UsePrivacy StatementAdvertiseStaff DirectoryHelp
© 2016 Vindy.com. All rights reserved. A service of The Vindicator.
107 Vindicator Square. Youngstown, OH 44503

Phone Main: 330.747.1471 • Interactive Advertising: 330.740.2955 • Classified Advertising: 330.746.6565
Sponsored Links: Vindy Wheels | Vindy Jobs | Vindy Homes