A kindergartner with too many absences was banned from participating in her school’s reward program. But her grandmother says the school is taking it way too far by publicly shaming students.
Carol Marino’s granddaughter, Bella, attends Tuttle Elementary School in Sarasota, Fla., which has a strict uniform policy. This past Friday, the school rewarded students with a “No Uniform Day,” but not all students got to enjoy it.
Students with a certain amount of absences had to wear their uniforms.
“In the middle of reading they just sent me to the office to change my clothes,” Bella said.
“It’s one thing to explain to a child that they didn’t do well, but don’t make them wear the scarlet letter,” Marino, who is a child psychologist, told My Sun Coast.
Marino believes attendance and tardiness are the parent’s responsibility and students should not be punished.
“The minute a child comes in with a uniform and 80 percent of the kids have street clothes, there’s humiliation, teasing and distraction,” she said.
Sarasota County Schools insist that “No Uniform Day” is meant to be positive enforcement for students.
“I would emphasize it’s a reward. The focus is not on punishment. And again, it’s not an ostracizing situation,” Scott Ferguson, school district spokesperson said.
The school still plans to have “No Uniform Days” for students in the future.
Sources: My Sun Coast