Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Honk If I'm Stupid!

Children are practically hardwired to do two things in life: 1. Disobey their parents. 2. Hate or have serious problems with school.
Since the beginning of parenthood, mothers and fathers have thought up different strategies to bring the hammer down on their little brats, trying everything from spanking to selling their toys on eBay. One mother in Tampa, however, has taken the word "punishment" a notch higher than the rest.

Tired of her son's poor grades and indifference to them, Rhonda Holder forced her son James Mond III to stand at a street corner for almost four hours last Wednesday, wearing an interesting sign:

"I did four questions on my FCAT and said I wasn't going to do it...GPA 1.22...honk if I need education."

Critics have bashed Holder's response to her child's underachievement, but she stands by her decision.
Holder and James Mond II, James' father, claim they have tried everything from checking on their son's homework to taking away his cell phone. All to no avail. She claims Mond will continue standing at the corner with the sign until his grades do a full 900.

So...she took away all his privileges, constantly checked on his work and he still ended up with a piss-poor GPA? Something doesn't smell right here. And part of that smell can be traced to comments Mond's father made in the St. Petersburg Times:

"I talk to my son. I told him he needs to go to the teachers and request extra homework for the weekends to try and pull his grades up." Herein lies a common mistake too many parents make nowadays: fully trusting whatever their kids say about their grades.

Instead of telling his son to gather extra homework from teachers, perhaps Mond Sr should've gone and collected it himself. Chances are, if your son hasn't been giving any effort in school, he's probably been lying to you whenever he's said, "Yeah, dad. Of course I got it" in response to you asking if he picked up that extra homework.

What pure-blooded, American child loves MORE homework on top of their regular homework? Dad should've taken that stack, plopped it down in front of his son, and plopped himself on a nearby chair with a good ol, Southern-style switch nestled between his fingers.

That was clearly Flag no# 1 in this situation. Flag no# 2 seems to be something these parents are leaving out in their story.
There is no reason a child with both parents active in his life, who regularly check his schoolwork, attend parent-teacher conferences, and ground him when he screws up, should be getting a 1.22 GPA. There must be some dirty secrets these folks haven't told the cameras. Child abuse, possibly? Crip or Blood gang influences they know about but are trying to keep hidden? Affiliations? Mommy drank while little James was  in the womb?

Flag no#3 comes courtesy of another notable quotable from Holder: "He has never been tested," she claims when asked if he has a learning disability.

"Until the middle of seventh grade, his grades were fine." Yeah, perhaps the middle of seventh grade is where you guys dropped the ball in whatever you did that kept your son on the straight and narrow. Might wanna get him tested for any learning disabilities there. A 15-year old eighth grader is something that you don't see everyday.

At least Mond's grades have improved since his sign humiliation. He received a D on his previous report card, apparently an improvement from the miserable letters he put up before. Anything is better than a 1.22 GPA. McDonald's won't even consider anyone without at least a 1.23 GPA. He's a step closer to "Can I have fries with that" than "Can you spare some change?" And that should be commended.