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Crazy Comment Monday!

"We need more teachers willing to take risks, take chances and think out of the box. Too many are fearful of making waves or losing their jobs so they simply go through the motions and don't make any waves, graduating kids that should be held back..."

Sounds like a normal comment, doesn't it? Well, it does until you read the article it references. A teacher makes kids put cotton balls with vinegar on 'em in their mouths and chew them as punishment.

"I remember teachers making kids stick gum on their noses. Humiliatio­n was a good disciplina­ry tool back then," quips another commenter.

Blazen52 writes:

"Personally­, I applaud her for her work and creativity­. Vinegar would only cause discomfort and not any serious bodily harm as long as they were not allergic. People need to understand that there is little you can do to get through to these students that require special attention, and sometimes you need to resort to alternativ­e means of punishment to state your point. Most schools allow 'alternati­ve' punishment­s to normal students such as paddling if the student wished to take that instead of an in school suspension­, and last I checked, prior to enrollment of a school, there is a paper that asked the parents if they were willing to allow these 'alternati­ves' be used if necessary, and hey, it worked! Ask those kids if they didn't think twice before they committed the same act again."

It isn't just one comment supporting one teacher who had a little oddish disciplinary technique that concerns me. It's an overall lack of sympathy for children who are admittedly not perfect. In my opinion, about half the commenters on the article were at least nominally eligible for Crazy Comment Monday. Congratulations, World. You stink.


  1. I think many of the commenters were ignoring:

    1. the actual harm that vinegar can cause if it is left in the mouth for long periods of time; and

    2. the cruelty of doing this to a special-needs child who is far less able to defend himself verbally and whose parents are far less able to defend him institutionally (find childcare and/or schooling choices for these kids at any sort of reasonable rate/within a reasonable commute).

    3. Perhaps most importantly, teachers using "non-standard" means of punishment with no real administrative input. I think teachers should have a LOT of leeway, but not quite this much...

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. We recently had a similar case here. A teacher taped the mouths shut of two girls who wouldn't quit talking. At first I agreed with the radio guy that this was clever form of punishment, bettern then sending the girls out of the room where they learn nothing. Until I thought about how I would feel if someone did that to my girl or (God forbid) my boy (who wouldn't understand)--then I was incensed. Cruelty doesn't work and it's not creative discipline.

  4. Vinegar soaked cotton balls?
    That's so wrong!! How did she get away with this? It's unthinkable.

  5. no one should make no one's kids put any thing in their mouths as punishment... edible or not. What if the child had a reaction of some sort?

    Besides of the 5 times I remember being disciplined in school, 4 of them were unwarranted. I don't think teachers are judicious enough to be doling out corporal punishments.

  6. Vinegar is an acid and should not be used as a discipline tool. And my kid has PICA and would eat the cotton ball....and then I would have a teacher's head as a door knocker on my house for telling my kid to put the cotton ball in her mouth to begin with.

    This is ignorant AND abusive.


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