Who would you have pay for this?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Backroads, May 7, 2015.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    So I have a student who, unbeknownst to me and the rest of the class, has occasionally been taking other students' library books home. We discovered this when he casually admitted he had seen the books in cubbies, thought they looked interesting, and decided to borrow them to take home. He has done this with some of my personal classroom books as well. He told us this, and his mother confirmed seeing the books brought home.

    We sat him down, explained he can't be borrowing stuff that way, etc. etc.

    Now... some of the library books are lost at his house and the librarians are trying to gather all books up for the end of the year. The kids who had checked out the books have the official charges, the student of the discussion comes from a very poor family that can't really afford to pay for roughly 80$ of missing books. The librarians are aware of the situation and the call is theirs and the admin's.

    So, it's not my call to make, but it was an interesting thought-game with another teacher.

    So, theoretically only, who would you charge for the books?
     
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  3. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    The parents need to LOOK in the house and find them. How can they be LOST? They are probably around but it doesn't seem like any effort is being put forth to find them. The point of him being from a poor family isn't the issue. He needs to be accountable in some way.
     
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I agree.
     
  5. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I agree with this, however, in 4th grade I would not allow the library to stop this child from checking out books until he pays for them. I would simply not allow him to take the books home anymore.
     
  6. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    It sounds like he's quite sneaky though. Someone will have to make sure he doesn't.
     
  7. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    In the past, the school has actually had to set up payment plans or have the kids/parents do extra volunteering when library books get lost (which I also never believed--it's obviously somewhere in the house, find it!). In this case, we worry since the kid technically didn't check these books out, his family might have an easy out.
     
  8. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    I think there's a law that schools can't require students to pay for classroom materials. Many schools still do it, but if the family can't pay, the school would need to cover the cost.

    If it came to intentional destruction or theft of property, that might be different. I wouldn't allow him to borrow books anymore, and let the administration decide how to handle it.
     
  9. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    The thing is, no one knew he was doing this borrowing. He's had similar problems before where he doesn't quite understand the difference between borrowing and stealing.

    I think he is missing one of the books he actually checked out himself... Our library won't let you check out books if any are missing.
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Can you cite this law?

    I doubt that it would apply to stolen items in any case, which is what these books were.
     
  11. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Yep, in 4th grade, I would take that responsibility.

    He WILL have books to read in class...period.
     
  12. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I would replace it and get him books immediately. Either from the library under his name or from my name...either way, I would get him books.

    You may have to collect and monitor the books far more, but he would have books in my class.
     
  13. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    I don't think that is really the point. I don't recall anyone saying he doesn't have books to read in class. It seems to me that the OP's concern are the books he is stealing to take home.
     
  14. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I agree, I am only responding to the part where he said he cannot get books from the library....a bit off topic.
     
  15. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    He didn't borrow them and lose them. He stole them. The parents are responsible. A payment plan sounds fair.
     
  16. bros

    bros Phenom

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    I believe it is a CA state law
     
  17. Ms. I

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    I completely agree! They need to turn their house from top to bottom to look if that's what it takes & then poor or not, this kid's family needs to pay. It's up to them to arrange an installment plan w/ the school library/office. I don't care if they can only pay $2/week, then they pay that until it's paid off. I'm sure the mom may pay that amount when she buys this kid toys or candy...so no toys or candy for him for a while!
     
  18. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    This may be a bit off topic, also. Is there an age that you feel students should begin taking responsibility for things like their library books, supplies, personal items, etc?
     
  19. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Kindergarten! If not before.
     
  20. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    I'm curious too. I would not be making it easy for this kid to steal from me, the school or other students again. If that meant he did NOT have books to read in the classroom, he didn't. He can read online or have articles I printed out.

    Fourth grade is plenty old enough to know better. And $80 is low enough that Mom can pay for it over time.
     
  21. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I agree with this. Perhaps I'm a bit snooty about it, but if you enter kindergarten without basic personal responsibility, you're probably not ready for kindergarten.

    I provide books in my classroom, so library isn't necessary for him.

    I'm a bit sad he is so confused about the difference between borrowing and stealing.
     
  22. 2ndTimeAround

    2ndTimeAround Phenom

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    In my limited experience, children of this age and older that "confuse" borrowing and stealing usually have role models that have confused it for them.
     
  23. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    :yeahthat::yeahthat::yeahthat:
     
  24. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Current California law interprets "free education" to mean that the school cannot require students to pay fees for required books, lab fees, participation fees, uniform fees, and the like. There is a specific exception for fees to replace items broken or lost by reason of student negligence, and I'm pretty sure that a fee to replace these "missing" books would be acceptable accordingly.
     
  25. missrebecca

    missrebecca Comrade

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    I agree with an above poster who mentioned volunteering. The child should do it himself -- not the parents. He could do simple tasks at school like sharpening pencils or wiping down tables.
     
  26. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    Backroads -- What grade is this child in? Someone mentioned 4th but your post header says you teach 2nd, and I think that does make a difference...
    I had a 2nd grader last year who stole a book another student had bought from the book fair. He didn't take it home -- he just hid it in the room, but then he lied his head off about it. It finally took the AP taking this kid into his office, taking the child's shoe, and saying, "How would you feel if I just took your shoe and threw it away?" (Or something to that effect) for the boy to break down crying and admit that he had taken the book.

    2nd grade is not too young to take personal responsibility for actions, but they may not always know that what they're doing is wrong, especially if it's something they get away with at home (this boy took and hid things at home all the time according to mom, and she just laughed it off). There should definitely be appropriate consequences for the child, but paying $80 in fines isn't something an 8 year old is really capable of. I agree with having some kind of volunteer system for the child and maybe just waiving the fines or setting up a payment plan. Mom can take it out of any money used for him or cut back on what toys or treats he gets for a while until the plan pays off.
     
  27. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    You start teaching and taking responsibility from the word go, so as someone said, Kindergarten. However, I would have books for that student to read every day in school...period. I would not deprive the student of opportunities to read, including books.

    I would not allow him to take the books home if it was such a big issue.

    I would hold him and his parents accountable(many many ways to do this), but not by removing the opportunity for him to read and choose books.
     
  28. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Most school libraries have policies about not checking out books when books currently checked out are overdue or missing. That doesn't mean that the student can't read books during library time--just that he can't check out and take home. To me, that's fair. If this child takes books home and loses them, those books are no longer available to any other student in the school, now or in the future. They are simply gone forever. A better solution would be to print articles or send home old magazines or newspapers or weeded books, things that won't be missed if they don't make it back to school.
     
  29. txmomteacher2

    txmomteacher2 Enthusiast

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    Off topic a bit. I teach kindergarten and start almost immediately teaching them that they are responsible for getting their stuff to and from school, and taking care of the things I let them use from my room. I also try to teach them to worry about their actions and not worry about the actions of others. (this is sooo difficult for them) I feel like it is a constant battle to teach them responsibility. They are always blaming others as to why this happened or that happened or why Mom didn't put their folder back in the backpack, or baby sister tore their homework.
     
  30. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    I already said I would not allow the student to take books home.

    We have the same policy, I don't care about it, prolly why me and the librarian butt heads.

    I would find another consequence. I would not deprive the child of choosing self interest books to read in class...period. I would check books out in my name and let them student read them...etc.

    I understand though that others may give a student an article or print out pages to read.

    I would very simply find another consequence.
     
  31. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    I teach high school and agree. Thankfully our librarian agrees too. I have independent reading every Friday. I know how hard it is to keep students engaged and interested in reading. I wouldn't want to kill that for anyone. We have kids who are still missing books from the elementary library. Technically our librarian can add it to their school fees I believe, but it's a separate fee, not one that would withhold a grade card.
     
  32. GemStone

    GemStone Habitué

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    What would you do if he lost books checked out under your name? Would you pay the replacement fee and let him keep doing it?
     
  33. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    In my home district Seniors are not allowed to walk at graduation if they owe fees. I wonder if those fees would include lost books from elementary school?
     
  34. 2ndTimeAround

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    That's the theory here too. But the high school treasurer is the one that dismisses charges from accounts, not the treasurer from previous schools. I can't see a high school principal caring about $80 fines from eight years ago.

    The biggie here is that kids cannot participate in certain events, including prom, until fees are paid. I get a lot of returned books that were "lost" for two/three years this way! It would be great if they looked at fees owed from previous years.
     
  35. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    He is a 2nd - grader. And yes, I feel that's plenty old for responsibility.
     
  36. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    As I said, I would not let him take the books home, so I would be able to montior them in class.

    Very simple, my main concern is that this student is reading, understanding, and hopefully enjoying good books.

    So if I had to collect his book after independent reading each day, then I would collect it.

    What would NOT happen, is I would have a student, completely disengaged from reading for 30 minutes a day. I am very capable of finding a better solution and a better consequence.

    Edit: yes, I would replace the books. I have a class library in storage, and would choose a similar book to replace the lost book. I would then continue to apply a consequence to the student.
     
  37. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I find this a reasonable solution and with diligent watching (if needed) to retrieve the book after reading period, need to replace the book ought to be minimal if necessary.

    My one caveat (particular to my school, perhaps not yours, Pashtun) is that my library wouldn't accept a replacement book, it would have to be the same book or amount.

    But again, hopefully that wouldn't be necessary.
     
  38. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I think that the book would have to be identical, including identical binding. Library books usually have special binding, and it comes with a hefty price tag. Unless your classroom books are similarly bound, and I'm guessing that they're not, then the library would still be in the weeds even with this solution.
     
  39. Pashtun

    Pashtun Fanatic

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    Yes, our school accepts replacements of similar books lost. In this case I would pay.

    I accept the challenge for the student to out wit me;)
     

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