Late last week I read a status on Facebook that really upset me. A friend of a friend was talking to members of her family who reside in another country. One of the children in the family had some bad news…she had broken a rule at school that day and was caught. She was punished according to the school’s policy.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I 100% believe that breaking the rules deserves some sort of reaction. I also know that children should be in the best physical shape possible. I mean, really, I work at a school…I know punishment is sometimes needed. But what followed shocked and horrified me (and everyone else who read about it judging by the comments).
When asked what the punishment was, the child simply said “I had to do the chair”. This family member asked the child’s father what that meant and did some research on this punishment (step 3 of the school’s disciplinary plan).
I know there’s probably a lot of people out there who do or have looked into doing core and leg defining exercises so you may recognize this one.
The “chair” that the child was referring to is the invisible chair, but there were also some strict guidelines that went along with it.
For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about I will describe the exercise. What you do is put your back to a wall, walk your feet out and slide down into a seated position with your knees at a 90 degree angle like you are sitting straight in a chair. (See http://.youtube.com/#/watch?desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DmBZv6gWgeC8&v=mBZv6gWgeC8&gl=CA)
This already difficult exercise is being imposed on elementary school children! But that’s not the worst of it. There are tweaks to this exercise that are being used by the school to make this exercise MORE difficult. (I’ve tried them…I’m not in great shape but they are definitely more difficult)
These kids have to do the chair (aka wall sit) with their knees and feet together. They also have to hold their arms, open handed, palms down, straight out in front of them (parallel to their thighs). They have to do this for a set amount of time…I don’t remember how long she said, but I DO recall thinking that it was an insanely long time.
This Facebook story has spread through our community and yesterday the kids were talking about it at school. During lunch some of them decided they wanted to try it, including some of our school’s best athletes. They attempted this of their own free will, with an adult in the room watching closely and with thin mats under them in case they fell. There was one student who was able to do it for 78 seconds…nobody else came close to his time.
I am so glad that this punishment is something our board would NEVER condone! I would quit working for them, haul my kids out and run (while recommending the same to other parents on my flight by). To us, this is child abuse. Obviously in other places this is just a way of doing things….thank (insert preferred deity here) me and my family live in Canada!
No matter how dark the day, the sun is always shining somewhere!