This is the punishment that a 6 year old boy in Oregon received for being late after his mother's car wouldn't start.

When I was about ten, we had a couple of very cold days in the winter (-10 or lower). In Southern New England, this didn't happen all that often in the mid/early 90s. My school bus arrived late and dropped us off late because of engine trouble.

The principal spent a solid half hour screaming at us as soon as we got there (kids ages 9-12 thereabouts; middle school) because we were late. Because somehow it was our fault. We all got notes to take home and be signed by our parents. My mom explained that it had said "purposefully late to school" or something. Suffice to say, there were some angry parents; we lost anything fun/good/interesting for about a week and the principal acted like a nut about it. I do remember that it was the first time I ever really strung the phrase "I fucking hate you" together in my mind. That's actually kind of a powerful thing for a ten year old to be thinking in suburbia, particularly towards an authority figure.

Long story short, there are people in schools who... I dunno... disconnect from reality about stuff that happens in life? Is it so implausible that someone's car won't start, or that cold weather will screw up a bus? Apparently it is to some.

If the story with the picture is true, I hope the parents said something about it, and I hope somebody explained to the little boy that it wasn't his fault. It's pretty hard to imagine the kind of impact that has on a young mind; "I am being punished but I didn't do anything; I am being punished because the car did not start" is a pretty ugly thing for a small kid to deal with. It's an irrational response from adults. Is it the school's job to treat each student individually when it comes to the rules? Probably not. Sometimes though, when somebody shows up late, you have to ask a question. You might even make a phone call.


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