Withholding treats/daycare

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Grammy Teacher, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oct 24, 2012

    What are the laws regarding withholding treats from children who misbehave? Obviously, the required food cannot be withheld, but what are the laws regarding a piece of candy or a cupcake brought in as an extra treat? Please back up your answers with a website, etc. We cannot find anything specific on this, other than the fact that we cannot withhold the required meals/snacks. Thanks!
     
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  3. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    I'm not sure that there would be any such laws, if you're talking about withholding optional, additional items brought in? Not sure why it would be required to give out optional extras, so I'm not sure you'd find anything.
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Oct 24, 2012

    I'm not sure if there would be any laws on this either. I think that I would be careful with this policy though. I would clearly define what allows a child to have a treat and what doesn't. This way when parents question you, you have some ground to stand on.
     
  5. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Oct 25, 2012

    I have asked the USDA the same question. They told me anything food related was considered under their regulations, and all children must receive the same food. You might run into discrimination issues if you with hold food. I do know that the Certifier is not happy with food as rewards.
     
  6. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Oct 25, 2012

    We had a teacher who tried this last year and it did NOT go over well. She withheld snack (not required, but all kids ate it) from kids who misbehaved. I don't think it's technically illegal, but I wouldn't go there.
     
  7. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    What behaviors would warrant the consequence of withholding food? I can't think of any situations where that would be a logical consequence.

    I can see it being a natural consequence if the child refused to come to the table.
     
  8. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Oct 25, 2012

    Right, or if a child had to be removed from the table to intentionally making a mess, throwing food, playing with food after being told to stop, etc. Otherwise, I'd find a different consequence.
     
  9. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    I agree with the other teachers - that it was wrong to send the teacher home. That creates a powerful message that parents can do anything and achieve anything they want, regardless of whether it's right. It's the basis for many lawsuits and overly reactive disciplinary practices in the country, and is a cowardly approach to running a school. The administration's behavior toward the teacher will now probably encourage other parents to do the same.

    It would have been one thing if the father had cited some sort of law, and the school needed time to examine their liability, but even then placing a teacher on administrative leave - or disciplined - before researching the situation is inappropriate.

    All of that aside, I agree with others that withholding the cupcake probably wasn't a very effective intervention. The behavior didn't seem to change, and the consequence was so far removed in time from the behaviors that it likely wouldn't have had an impact (and apparently didn't). Not saying consequences aren't good, but there are probably better ones. Still, not something to suspend a teacher over.
     
  10. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Oct 25, 2012

    In my opinion a snack is different from a treat.
     
  11. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    That is ridiculous. The parent is teaching his son that it's ok to misbehave and still get the same rewards that the rule following kids get. I understand it is not appropriate to withhold meals or snacks but a treat is a reward that has to be earned in my opinion.
     
  12. McParadigm

    McParadigm Companion

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    Oct 25, 2012

    I can't think of a less effective punishment than "you won't get the treat if..." There are so many reasons this should be the last thing you try:

    - It assumes that the child values the cupcake more than what it is getting out of misbehaving, which is rarely going to be true

    - It assumes that the child is capable of setting goals and maintaining long-term efforts for later reward, which is not always the case

    - It undermines the teacher's position in the classroom, for them to have to be seen bribing (and failing to bribe) other students

    - It does nothing to eliminate the behavior from the classroom in the interim, or to help the child recognize and correct what sound like learned and reenforced behaviors

    - Best case scenario, you're still likely to be faced with one of two dilemmas:
    "I told him he'd get a cupcake for behaving, and he misbehaved for 7 more minutes before acquiescing the last 15 minutes. Refusing the cupcake will send the message that, if you can't change right away, you might as well embrace the desire to misbehave because it's already too late. Giving the cupcake will make him wonder if he can misbehave for 8 minutes next time.."​

    "I told him he had to behave, and he did for the first 17 minutes. Then he fell apart at the end. Giving him the cupcake will let him know that I will err in his favor when I see sign of effort, and will make him think that he doesn't have to do his best. Denying it will give him a defeatist attitude that will keep him from even trying to behave next time."​

    - It establishes the idea that nobody has to behave unless there are cupcakes. This happens all the time with teachers who give two warnings and then start yelling at the class. It doesn't take kids long to figure out that they aren't really in trouble until you look angry, when you play that game. "There's no cupcake today? Well, the cupcake is the goal for good behavior, so this must be a free day!"

    Frankly, if my son's teacher did this, I'd be in there yelling, too. But it would be "My son acted like an (insert buttock reference here) for HOW LONG, and the best you could do was to threaten to take away a cupcake?"

    I agree that it was inappropriate to put the teacher on leave...the principal should have supported to the best of their ability. But there should have been a *very* one-sided conversation about this event after the parent had gone home.
     
  13. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Oct 25, 2012

    Very well said. I disagree slightly with this statement though:

    If ALL the teacher did was use the cupcake method, I'm with you. However, rewards in combination with a variety of other strategies that promote positive behavior doesn't mean that rewards are useless. Still, as described in the initial post, I'm with you and see your point.
     
  14. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Oct 25, 2012

    :)
     
  15. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    Oct 25, 2012

    I agree that withholding the cupcake was not the best choice for teaching behavior.
    There are many other factors that come into play. The licensing rules state that food cannot be withheld. Most agree that this pertains to the required meals/snacks served.
    We were under the impression that withholding an extra treat would not fall under this category.
    I believe the biggest problem was that the child was at the table while the other children ate their cupcakes.
    That's all pretty cut and dried. The licensor would probably see this as "belittling" and embarrassing the child.
    We might do this at home with our own children, but it's different in a school/daycare setting. There are rules/laws.
    The biggest problem we see here is that the teacher was sent home. This was done to "quiet" the parent. This particular parent is seen as very loud and a kind of "in your face" parent when he is agitated. He screamed in the teacher's face, in front of the other children and had his finger pointed in her face. His words were, "I'M NOT DONE WITH YOU YET, YOU BETTER WATCH IT!"
     
  16. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Oct 25, 2012

    Well, everyone now knows exactly who runs the school.
     
  17. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Oct 25, 2012

    Is this a public preschool of some kind? If not I'd be very tempted to ask the child/family to leave the program.
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Yup. :dizzy: and now that the door is open....
     
  19. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Oct 26, 2012

    This is too much for a "cupcake."
     
  20. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Oct 26, 2012

    I would call the police and let them know I had been threatened.

    Then I would quit that job. I would rather work in Walmart than for an administration who sent me home to appease a bullly.

    That said, I also would not have chosen to withhold the cupcake.
     
  21. scholarteacher

    scholarteacher Connoisseur

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    Oct 26, 2012

    Meals and whole-class snacks can't be withheld here. Treats, such as rewards or party treats, yes.
     
  22. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    It sure is!!!:lol:
     
  23. ecteach

    ecteach Devotee

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    Oct 26, 2012

    I agree that withholding a snack because of behavior probably isn't against the law. However, I have never been a fan of rewarding children with food. If you are denying a child food because of behavior, then you are essentially rewarding the others for good behavior by giving them the treat.
     
  24. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Oct 26, 2012

    Treats are earned. If you don't earn it, then so be it. You may earn it by following directions. I don't have a problem not giving a cupcake to a child because he/she didn't follow directions.
     
  25. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Oct 26, 2012

    The cupcake isn't really the point I think. It looks like the parents in this daycare are given too much power. Can you imagine what this parent will be like when his kid is in High School?
     

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