No doubt there is more to the story, but when a child in 7th grade is given a detention for working ahead of the class, there is clearly something wrong with the educational system.
The call came in on Wednesday to my friend from the teacher. I cannot imagine how that conversation went although she shared a portion of it with me.
Teacher: Hi, Mrs. Soandso, this is Ms. NotThinkingThingsAllTheWayThrough
Mom: Good morning, Ms. N. What can I help you with?
Teacher: Well, your good student has been consistently working ahead in class, and this is a problem.
Mom: Oh, I’m sorry. Is she being disruptive when she’s done with the work to her classmates.
Mom: Is she bothering you or creating extra work for you?
Teacher: No…, she’s working ahead of her schoolmates and making them feel badly about being behind, so I’m going to give her a detention.
From my understanding, she is being given a detention for making people feel badly about being average, normal, or at grade level. This does not seem like a reasonable reason to punish. In fact, isn’t this whole country enamored of the innovators? The people whose quick thinking and intelligence brought us so many amazing inventions probably never got this kind of phone call home.
How would we have ever had our iPads, iPods, electric cars, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc., etc. without people who probably normally worked ahead of their classmates?
I know what I would do with this notice of detention. How about you?