Bad Grades Lead to Public Shame

Filed under: In The News

A binder with homework15-year-old Trenton O'Neal's parents were unhappy with his report card, so they forced him to wear a sandwich board for hours at a busy intersection in his hometown of Chesapeake, Virginia. The sign listed his grades and said "My Future = Shaky!"

Unhappy with his performance in school, Trenton's parents came up with the punishment as a way of getting his attention. "He hadn't been trying at all," said the high school freshman's father, Rev. Donald General Jr., pastor of Perfecting Saints Church of God in Christ in Virginia Beach. "He's not even handing in work he does when we supervise him. My wife and I are not going to give up on Tre."

It seems to me that if a teenager isn't doing well in school, the parents need to find out what the problem is, rather than try to embarrass the child into suddenly becoming a top-notch student. If they really are supervising him while he does his work and, yet the work is not getting turned in, then perhaps one of the parents needs to walk into the classroom with him to make sure the homework is turned in.

Given that his friends saw him standing on the corner, he's either now the cool bad kid or even less cool than he was beforehand. Either way, I'm not sure this will actually help. Would you do something like this to your kids just for getting bad grades?

Is public humiliation an effective punishment?
Absolutely -- This kid will think twice before goofing off again109 (15.8%)
Maybe -- It really depends on the kid255 (37.1%)
No way -- this could destroy his self esteem324 (47.1%)

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.