Cruel and Unusual? Idaho Fourth Graders Mark Each Other As Punishment

Friday, 16 Nov 2012 03:14 PM

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Students in an Idaho elementary class were allowed to carry out an unusual punishment on one another and school district officials are investigating. According to KTVB news, ( as punishment for not meeting the goals of an accelerated reading program, students who achieved the goals were allowed to draw with markers on the faces of students who did not meet the goals. They were not allowed to wash the marker off for the entire day.

Superintendent Gaylen Smyer says the incident happened on November 5 in a fourth grade class of Declo Elementary in Cassia County, Idaho. He says students who did not reach the goals set for the reading program had two options for punishment. The first was to skip recess; the second was to be defaced by a classmate with markers. Smyer says the punishment happened under the supervision of the class’s teacher. Of the nine students who failed to meet the program’s goals, only three opted to skip recess.

"In effect, the students were punished for their achievement, and we just can't condone that," Smyer told KTVB, the local NBC affiliate.

Though he didn’t mention whether or not the teacher had been disciplined, Smyer did say the teacher was still in the classroom. He made note of a similar, school-wide reading campaign where as a reward students were allowed to paint the face and dye the hair of their principal.

"There are some in support of the teacher, then obviously, like any issue, there are some who are outraged," Smyer said.

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