Frustrated with the teacher! (long)

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-09-2005
Frustrated with the teacher! (long)
34
Tue, 08-30-2011 - 9:59pm

So, remember I said I was worried about Joshua's teacher? Well, I have an update.....
The first day I picked him up from school. I do the usual of asking how his day was. He was super excited telling me how great it was, then there was a "but". He said his teacher said he is NOT allowed to mention Harry Potter in HER classroom. I calmly asked him "Did she say why?" He said "She said it was because she is a Christian." I then asked him "Did you tell her that you are a Christian too?" He just shrugged and said "I'm sure she knows that". I then asked him if he knew that Harry Potter was make believe. He said "Of course Mom!". I let it go even though I was shaking mad on the inside. I didn't want him to see that I was upset. First of all, this is a public school, where religion should not come in to play. Secondly, who is SHE to basically tell my son he is not a good Christian because he reads a FICTIONAL book?

Later that night, as we were getting his clothes laid out for school he said "Mom, I think I want to wear my Gryffindor shirt to school tomorrow" I said that was fine, and then he said "I want to bring my book to finish reading during quiet time too." I said okay. When I picked him up from school the next day I asked him how his day was. He said "Good" I then asked him if he read his book. He said "Yes, and she didn't say anything about it." So I decided not to do anything just yet.

Fast foward to today, just over a week later. He comes home and says "Mom, She told me 'NO Harry Potter for you' again today". I asked him why, and he said he didn't know, she just said he couldn't read it. He is in the right reading range for it, so there is really no reason for him not to be able to read it. I have read the books, and discuss them with him as well, making sure that he understands that it is fiction. I sent the teacher an email tonight, telling her that Joshua told me there is a problem with him reading Harry Potter. I know that children can sometimes misconstrue things that are said, so if she could please contact me and let me know if there is a problem. I left it open enough for her to tell me her reasoning.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Fri, 09-16-2011 - 8:44pm
It sounds to me like the kids were playing a Harry Potter game. My kids do stuff like that all the time - acting out the books or shows that they have been reading or watching. I did the same thing, only it was Heidi.

I would encourage your son to go to the library and check out every book on witchcraft that he can find! ESP and all would be good too. For goodness sake, do they not have a Scholastic book sale? Of course they have Harry Potter, Charlie Bone and probably The Book of Three and all the Narnia books. Oh, and maybe he should see if they have Lord of the Rings, or at least The Hobbit. From a quick look at Accelerated Reader reading lists, one of the Potter books is 7th grade, and the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings are 6th grade. But still, not outside the reading level of kids who attend the school, unless they only cater to stupid kids. (Which according to this teacher, it sounds like they must!) (Sorry, I don't want to sound crass, but really, they should have reading material to challenge everyone who attends the school.)
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
Sun, 09-11-2011 - 10:20pm
Oh gosh Debbie. I just read this and told DH about the situation (he's sitting next to me). He's a 4th grade teacher and said "That's ridiculous!"

On one hand I can understand what she's saying about hurting the other child's feelings, but it really sounds to me as if she's saying that more because of her own personal beliefs.

Sounds like a trip to the principal's office is in order.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-31-2009
Fri, 09-09-2011 - 3:16pm

Why do I have a strange feeling that the teacher is making things up?




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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-24-2004
Thu, 09-08-2011 - 6:50pm
Theresa, felt the same way. Girls are very much different than girls and could see some of that reaction but not boys. Boys don't act like that. Beside you are right they do know about facts and fiction books and are made to read those as well so I don't understand what the big deal it.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-24-2004
Thu, 09-08-2011 - 6:48pm
I agree with you on those points too. A parent should always be told when their child has been sent to the counselors office not matter what. If this was such and issue why did the teacher not notify you that same evening to discuss this versus not addressing the issue for days and days.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Thu, 09-08-2011 - 4:19pm

Okay, I don't mean to be flip, but I have to say, is this REALLY how kids act in 4th grade? I mean, your son joking about seing an evil spirt caused a kid to cry? I have a 4th grade son and I truly find it hard to believe that a child was so terrorized by your son talking about evil spirits. I'd investigate THAT claim first. And did your son really learn about witchcraft and magic chants from Harry Potter? Hellooooo... ever hear of Halloween? Do they discuss different genres in 4th grade? Fantasty versus non-fiction anyone??

Community Leader
Registered: 05-28-2000
Thu, 09-08-2011 - 1:19pm
He should still be able to read Potter at school.

I see a few issues:

Your child told another kid he has an evil spirit in him. Why were you not told this???

Your child threatened to cast a spell on a child. Why were you not told about that???

Your child was sent to the counselor's office. Why were you not notified about that???

I'd be ticked about all of it and would want to get to the bottom of it. I also know I would be ready to wring my kid's neck for not telling me that he was in the counselor's office for doing those things.

FWIW - I'd make it clear that my kid would read Potter at school if he wants & the next time he talks about putting spells on people you'd like a call and you will address the matter at home.


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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-09-2005
Wed, 09-07-2011 - 4:53pm

okay, here is the letter, first off she spelled our name wrong (I edited her name and our last name out):
Dear Mrs R,

Thank you for sending the note. The internet system sometimes blocks outside emails.

In reference to the Harry Potter books, any student may read books of their choice; however, the knowledge Joshua gained from reading so many Harry Potter books (that have magic chants in them and promote witchcraft) caused him to us that information on another student at school last week.

Joshua told one student on the playground that he could cast a spell of of him because he saw lightning in his eyes and that meant an evil spirit was there. The other student was scared and cried at recess and in the classroom. The three boys in question were sent to the counselor for discussion.

Our library at MVIS does not carry these high level books. They are for more mature readers in Junior High. What Joshua reads at home is his choice. We have so many other good books to choose from at school that most 4th graders read them.

I appreciate your concern for your son and others at school. Thank you for being a considerate parent. I enjoy having Joshua in my classroom.

Sincerely,

teachers name

**********
So now if you were his parent how would you respond? I am at a loss and feel that I should just go to the principal. I am going to be calling the media center in the morning to verify that the books are not in the library as well.


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-09-2005
Wed, 09-07-2011 - 2:26pm
Yesterday, Joshua came home saying that the teacher told him to tell me that she didn't get my e-mail. So I printed out my sent copy and sent it with him. Today I get an email that says: Received your note, thanks. I am sending you a letter home with Joshua explaining the situation that happened at school in relation to the information in these books.
Have a good day.
Ms. I
So now I am just waiting for pick up time to read the "letter", I foresee a trip to the principals office tomorrow.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2004
Sat, 09-03-2011 - 9:04pm
I like that! I do take pride that we have a number of banned books, including Captain Underpants, Pippi Longstockings and Pinkerton books. The theme all being kids who rebel against adults. Also a bunch of those others that I mentioned. (Underpants is totally stupid and vapid reading, but are fun for beginning readers.) Might be funny if all the kids showed up with Underpants books to read one day too....stupid teachers being the main gag in the books! (Certainly below your son's level though.)

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