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Topic : 07/03 School Discipline: Out of Control?

Number of Replies: 269
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Created on : Wednesday, November 26, 2008, 07:29:46 am
Author : DrPhilBoard1
(Original Air Date: 12/05/08) When you send your children to school, you expect them to be taught in a nurturing environment. But what should you do if you learn your child has experienced extreme discipline by those entrusted to teach him or her? Eva and Doug's autistic daughter, Isabel, was 8 years old when her teachers claimed her behavior became too difficult to handle, so they sent her to the time-out room. Cameras captured Isabel's time spent in isolation, which her parents say lasted for over three hours. Her parents say they had worked with the teachers regarding disciplining Isabel and were panicked and horrified when they saw the footage. Next, Martha says her 12-year-old daughter was in a classroom when $42 went missing. In an effort to find the money, a group of girls were strip-searched. You won't believe who reportedly ordered the investigation. Martha says her daughter is devastated and will never be the same. Then, when 5-year-old Gabriel constantly complained that his teacher was mean and yelled at him, his mom, Tabitha, sent him to school with a tape recorder in his pocket. Hear the audio recordings and find out the shocking information Tabitha discovered. Psychologist Ken Merrell, special education teacher Kathy Riley and civil litigation attorney Areva Martin weigh in on these cases. And, after years of being relentlessly bullied by fellow students, Jeremiah brought the torment to a tragic end. His father, Jeff, joins Dr. Phil and Jay McGraw to speak for the first time on television. Plus, if you're a teen and want to talk about what's happening at your school, join the Teen Talk message boards.

Find out what happened on the show.

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December 5, 2008, 11:53 am CST


         My name is Christina. I was bullyed in school for being short for my age. I was constantly teased and called names. I am now 25 years old. I dont let what happened to me in school bother me anymore. But now my 8 year old son is being bullyed by a 12 year old girl. She is constantly telling him she is going to kick his butt, kill him, or hurt someone that he cares about. All this goes on during his bus ride home from school.  I have talked to some other parents where we live and they have also had problems with this little girl. One of the other parents talked to the bus driver and nothing was done. So me and another parent went to the school to talk to the principal but she was gone on vacation. The seceratary wrote out our complaint and said she would speak to the principal herself because they have had many problems with this child. We also we to the police and filed a report to get child services involved because a few other parents had alredy spoken to the girls parents and they wouldn't do anything. We were told by the police that child services probably would not do anything because they get a lot of complaints and don't have the man power to investigate most cpmplaints. They also stated that the only way they would do anything would be if this girl actually physically hurt another child. She has hit my son several times and I mentioned this to the police but still they are unwilling to do anything. Please if anyone out there knows of anything else I can do to get this to stop please let me know at christina.casco@yahoo. I would greatly appreciate any help.
December 5, 2008, 12:45 pm CST

my son is experincing the same

dr phil i am worried that my 12yr old son may be experiencing the same thing.

he was a great student k-3. he was A honor roll and recieved many rewards.

he is a gifted young man.  he dosent like school anymore. he comes home everyday with

something going on at school. just 2 days ago 12-03-08  i revieved some info from tylor's classmates

that there was a sub art teacher that told him she would break his neck.

i am furrious and frustrated about this. i feel the system has failed my child. can you help me

 and my son to bring his love back? he is a very angry kid. i need help.

 thanks so much.      BRANDI


December 5, 2008, 12:49 pm CST

Been there too

2 years ago, my son was bullied in grade 4, by his teacher. In front of the class, not once, but three times, she called him a "loser". After bringing it to the principal, and agreeing to meet with her (but requesting HIS presence there), the teacher called me that afternoon. At first, she asked why she would do something like that (to which I replied, "you tell me"). Then she couldn't remember it. Then she asked me to apologize to my child (to which I replied, "you can do that when we meet Monday"). She never did apologize to him. Denied it the whole time.

The principal took her part, saying (in private, to me) that he'd never witnessed anything but warm loving behavior from her. As if she'd behave that way in her boss's presence??

It got worse through the school year, to the point where in every meeting we had (in the principal's office, teacher and both principal and Vice Principal present), the teacher refused to take responsibility. She blamed my son, she sat with her arms crossed and her eyes rolling, and refused to reassure me that my son was emotionally safe in her presence. She proceeded, during the year, to send notes home to other parents warning them not to allow their kids to be friends with my son (but the notes were "never found", despite the friends reporting to us that they had, indeed, been sent).  There were so many incidents I can't list them all.

By the end of the year, I was in touch with the sector director (the day I called her, the teacher found, and yelled at my son in the corridor, telling him he's a baby because he goes home crying to his mom who calls the sector director and gets her in trouble - my son had no clue I'd made that call). I even ended up going to the local police station to report bullying of my child, by his teacher. They were great, speaking with the principal on my behalf (which didn't quite ingratiate me to him but I didn't care), but we ended up in a meeting with all the afore-mentioned school authorities (not the teacher), first week of July.

The way I resolved it was to ask them how I could make it so that my son's Grade 5 experience was a positive one. The teacher was no longer going to be in the school (whether by design or happenstance) but I wanted him to feel comfortable in the school.

The following year was a wonderful one for him - I do believe the principal and vice principal did all they could to enhance my son's experiences, and that worked.

But the teacher should not have been allowed to work after the emotional abuse she showed her students. My son was not the only one, but I was the only one to speak out. Other parents just dealt with it in passive ways. I stood up for my kid because I knew it was the only way I'd be able to walk back into that school.

This is his last year in the school, he graduates elementary, and it's been a great 2 years; but I think they know I won't allow my son to be treated that way again. I'm proud of him for the way in which he handled things, and I'm proud of myself for standing up against it.
December 5, 2008, 12:51 pm CST

Integration of Behaviour or Autistic kids who are physically abusive, doesn't work

I am an Educational Assistant who has been in therapy for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for 6 months now because an 11 year old "integrated " child beat the crap out of me. It is NOT the school systems responsibility to babysit a child that is so autistic that they hit and punch the staff. The parents want the Teachers and Educational Assistants to focus solely on their child and forget the rest of the kids in the classroom! If your child can't behave with the 1 on 1 Assistant assigned  to them along with the Teacher, then your child should NOT be in the regular school system, unless YOU are there to support the staff. Do YOUR job as a parent instead of putting the stress onto the system, so you get a break from it. 


To the care givers to a violent autistic child, or a child with behavioural issues, if you want that child to have an education then make the funds available so that 2-3 adults can supervise them, since 1 or 2 are not safe from your child and then pay for it. Since the parents don't want to take responsibility to make sure the staff is safe from their children, then the school boards should put the safety of the other kids and staff above that one childs right to an education....


I am not yet physically recovered and I doubt  will EVER be recovered emotionally from the trauma I suffered at the hands of my attacker. When your child kicks and hits and punches and throws things, they can not be treated like other children. I spent 20 years believing and advocating for integration, but it only works with kids who are not abusive to the staff.  At the first sign that a child has those issues, they should have to go to an intensive treatment school funded by the parents with a 2-1 staff student ratio.


I support the teachers 100% in the timeout rooms...if the parents don't like for private education so the other kids can learn and other educators don't get hurt.


December 5, 2008, 12:53 pm CST

Wonder why?

And people actually have the nerve to question and criticize me when they find out I homeschool my children...
December 5, 2008, 12:58 pm CST

Schools don't help with bullies!!!

Both of my kids have been bullied at one time or another and when we approach the counselors they have told BOTH of my kids to "ignore" these people or "what can you (my child) change to stop this behavior...??????? What is that? If we knew how to stop the behavior we would!! They NEVER talk to the bully. NEVER. I have approached the teachers to see if my children are the problem, before I ever contact the counselors and both times I have been told that my child is not the problem.
December 5, 2008, 1:01 pm CST

12/05 School Discipline: Out of Control?

My son was bullied in middle school and they chose to ignore it blaming it on my son. Finally we had the boy arrested after he beat my son up on the bus and no one helped him. He got off the bus and called us to come get him. Sad when the schools will not help you.


Second thing is I was a lunch lady in our high school Dr. Phill, and believe me we know more about what is going on in the school and the kids than anyone else, inlcusding the parents.


December 5, 2008, 1:04 pm CST


I can thoroughly relate to both topics on Dr.Phil today-out of control discipline and bulleying. I have experienced both with my children and have taken action. Action that the school did not necessarily agree on nor my son's father. However, they were very appropriate steps as suggested by professionals in this field. My daughter is homeschooled for similar situations and for the school's inability by choice to provide an appropriate education to my special needs child yet passing her on to the next grade. I attend case conferences often to support families in getting their child's needs met. Recently I had a teacher verbally share that most advocates she knows do not talk unless the school is out of line regarding laws. I was confident in sharing with the entire staff that while that was only her perception that as an advocate I do not operate according to her perceptions.  Apparently they did not like me holding them accountable.I would love to share more but in the interest of time I must leave this message for now. I am currently participating in Partners In Policy Making through our Governors Council with People with Disabilities and look forward to making a difference in other's lives. I have had experience for 4+ years as a CASA, a child development certification, First Steps Service Coordinator, as well as providing Supervised visitation services to families in need of these supports.
December 5, 2008, 1:20 pm CST


Quote From: shetypes

That you said 24 students tells me you are in a better community because most classrooms are over 30 students now. Many jobs require a bunch of paper work and extra attention to for others or things.

A teacher is an educator, chooses that just a police officer choose to protect the public with his/her life on the line. I respect your postion and choice of career but you are not in such bad shape in life, you get all holidays off, vacations and decent pay and benefits, you are a public servent in most states.

I do not respect that any teacher plays off they have it rough in any way unless they are in danger as some are in the roughest schools. When we have equal schoool systems regardless of neighborhoods and money influence we may get better students. Parents is at an all time high of not raising thier children, schools are at an all time high of not meeting that needed extra conditioning for that way of life.

This school: band, swim pools, computer rooms, tennis courts ETC

That school lucky to have one set of up to date books?

Until you have to deal with a bunch of rude, back talking kids who berate you constantly and don't let you do your job... I don't think you can tell her that her job isn't hard. As a grade 12 student I see the abuse some of my teachers go through every day (examples: 'You're so f***ing stupid!' 'F*** OFF YOU STUPID B****!' 'YOU'RE FAT AND UGLY, NO WONDER NOBODY LIKES YOU' - let's not forget the students that throw things at the teachers, and the students that knock textbooks onto the floor and flip desks and throw chairs in anger).

I would never, ever choose to put myself in the position a high school teacher is in every day. I admire their bravery.
December 5, 2008, 1:22 pm CST

Many teachers do not deal with it

I wanted to agree with the student that wrote in and Dr. Phil posted on today's show at the end. This student said that bullying is not treated as seriously as it should be. I worked in special education and I can tell you, it isn't that difficult to notice. I noticed my fair share, attempted many times to bring it to administration and there were many times it fell on deaf ears. What used to upset me was that there were times it was seemingly so unimportant and not convenient to be addressed.

I can tell you there were many times I ended up addressing the problem of bullying. making fun of or tormenting being done to a student. I couldn;t stand to watch it, maybe because I was a victim of this years ago when NOTHING was done at all. Just making fun of and teasing a student could be enough to drain them of self esteem, diminish their feelings of safety and just simply chip away at their soul. No type of harrassment, bullying, laughing at another, none of this should be allowed. I even dealt with clearly harassment from teachers towards students. Right or wrong, politically correct or not, I had 0 tolerance for this, and I acted and spoke to the people I needed to regarding these issues.

My point is there are teachers that CHOOSE not to see or hear trouble.......they CHOOSE not to take on the issues and their are kids like Jeramiah. There are no levels of bullying.....ANY IS TOO MUCH.......

Teachers and administration are not exempt from responsibility for this.

Parents need to know that because they are teachers that does not mean they are right or aware. Some wish to turn their heads........

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