Student with ADHD given award for ‘Most Likely to Not Pay Attention"

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    • #49718
      Penny Williams

      Two teachers in an Atlanta-area middle school were fired last week after giving a student with ADHD an award for “Most Likely to Not Pay Attention.”

      I personally find this far more than insensitive on the part of these teachers. Some are calling it bullying. What do you think?

    • #49913

      I feel like it is bullying. Poor kid!

    • #49933

      That is horrible and I think goes way beyond even bullying. That shows a complete lack of knowledge of the condition and zero sense of empathy. Poor kid! In addition to the firing, I hope the teachers get some form of training/education in regards to disabilities like ADHD. Makes me so incredibly sad.

    • #49960

      This is unacceptable and beyond bullying.

    • #49961

      As if the child doesn’t already know this and to be shamed in front of his classsmates. This just breaks the child’s spirit even more. How humiliating. How can a teacher not find this offensive? How is this supposed to be funny?

    • #49980

      That is just mean. The teachers are who our students look up to. Obviously the teachers don’t know how to deal with kids that have ADHD. Glad they were let go.

    • #49983

      It was a bad reaction from teacher side but teachers should not be fired on these basis.
      If we keep on devaluing the teachers it will spoil the students as well

      • #50151

        This was certainly not just a bad “reaction” by the teachers. The word reaction implies that no forethought was put into the “award”. These teachers not only had to come up with the award, but write it down, send it off to get the trophy, get the trophy back, and then present it. That’s not a reaction, that a thought out plan. Not holding their teachers accountable for their actions would have shown the students that devaluing the student is completely acceptable.

        IF the teachers lacked training completely, then perhaps the firing was harsh. However, I sincerely doubt any teacher is so lacking in training that they do not know that making fun of a student with a disability is not the right thing to do.

    • #49984

      I was in education for 37 years from teacher to principal. This is not about devaluing teachers. It is about teachers devaluing students. They needed to be fired. But, I do feel bad because it looks like somebody in that school dropped the ball. It never should have gotten to this point if the teachers were correctly informed about ADHD and its effects. And if they were, then they really needed to have been fired!

    • #49987

      I think the firing was appropriate. After 6 years in the same school system and a 504 plan for ADHD diagnosis, I still get feedback both verbal and written feedback from teachers that my son “needs to have better focus” or “needs more concentration in class”. These teachers clearly need education on this disability. If the child was blind or deaf I don’t think they would say “needs to listen better”. So frustrating that teachers can’t get this.

    • #50149

      Unbelievably bad judgement on the part of the school and the teachers. No question! Cruel. But let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. A part of living with ADHD is understanding that focus at just the right moment is not always a strong point and sometimes we have to be able to laugh at ourselves as a part of accepting our unique selves. Certainly a public forum which is meant to recognize strengths and future hopes is not the right place to nurture self-understanding. I would be mortified.

    • #50159

      I would think this could be a privacy violation. In the healthcare world, a HIPPA violation could lead to penalties and significant fines. I’m sure the standards are different in the schools, since students with learning disabilities could be testing in small group environments (which would allow students to know some other kids who qualify for accommodations, but not why – ADHD vs. dyslexia vs. ASD). These teachers publicly revealed information the student didn’t want to share.

      • This reply was modified 4 years, 6 months ago by sandyniesen.
    • #50414

      My six-year-old son has ADHD. His teacher was admonishing the class by verbally calling out, saying “Billy” (not his real name) received a stick” for such & such bad behavior. Only the negative behaviors are called out. Each child has to go out and get his or her stick (in front of the whole class) and put it in a pocket which has their name in it. If they get three sticks in one day you get a yellow note sent home, four sticks in a day & they go to the principals office. I’ve asked several kids including my two in her class, and they all have the same response. They tell me how embarrassing it is! She’s even given sticks for kids who cry in class. Apparently, “kindergartners don’t cry.”

      I had a meeting with the principal and teacher and insisted the sticks stop from my child with ADHD. I had to tell them the psychiatrist said so! The teacher was very angry but agreed because the principal insisted. The following day he came home all excited and said, “Mommy, Mommy, you’ll never guess what happened in school today! I didn’t get a stick!! Now, Henry’s the bad boy.” So all along he was feeling like the “bad boy”. Poor Henry.

      Worst part is, she is touted for being an amazing teacher because she does do some extra special things like a Mother’s Day Tea, A graduation ceremony inclusive of capping down etc. I find it really sad that neither she nor the principal were interested in learning more about ADHD. I don’t expect them to be experts. But, I’m becoming one. I shared several emails with them containing research I felt was worth sharing. I was asked not to send anymore – – that they were too busy and got too many emails already! Crazy, right?! Embarrassing or shaming is never OK.

    • #50503

      As someone who grew up with undiagnosed ADHD (found out when I was 45), I see this from 2 different standpoints. On one hand, I understand peoples reactions. Not the most empathetic stance the teacher could have took. I’m not immediately sure firing was the best response. I don’t know enough to make an informed conclusion, but I believe that education is the best response in most circumstances. Society is too quick to fire people for anything and everything.
      On the other hand, I have a strange humour, even as a kid. Personally, I’d be show the award around, and generally bragging about it. My personal reaction notwithstanding, we all have a choice about how to react to these situations. Perhaps trying a little humour instead of going for the guns?

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