A Mom Asks How To Respond To Her 6-Year-Old Daughter’s Unsettling Punishment For Getting In Trouble At School

“I just don't think this is typical punishment for a 6-year-old kindergartener who has never gotten in any trouble or put her hands on another kid.”

Mom hugging her young daughter looking unsettled. Fizkes / Shutterstock.com

Discipline in schools is a controversial topic. Teachers are tasked with educating and caring for dozens of students — it's inevitable some will act out. But what consequences are appropriate for teachers to dole out are not universally agreed upon. 

It’s this reality that has one mom worried for her daughter’s safety at school. In a since-deleted Reddit post, she admitted that her 6-year-old daughter came home with an alarming story about a punishment she received during in-school suspension.


The mom sought advice after learning about her 6-year-old daughter’s unsettling punishment after getting in trouble during kindergarten.

“I have never, absolutely ever, been contacted due to my daughter’s behavior,” she started. “In fact, my daughter’s teacher raves about how well-behaved she is … But, there have been kids who have hit my daughter; a boy even smacked her in the face once. I was told there were consequences for those things.”

“Today, I got a message from [her] teacher saying that she hit another student … and was sent to in-school suspension," the mom continued.

@daily.reddit.tv Should I make a big deal out of what my daughter’s school did to her? #redditstorytime #storytime #reddit #redditstories #redditreadings #askreddit ♬ original sound- Daily Videos

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Her daughter claimed that the boy tripped her "so she defended herself,” however, the teacher argued that "she checked the cameras and did not see him trip her." As a result, the teacher sent her to in-school suspension (ISS).

While the mom admitted she’s not a fan of ISS, especially considering this was her daughter's first offense and she’s only in kindergarten, she didn’t complain. That was until her daughter came home from school and shared the story of what happened once she arrived at ISS.


Her young daughter was forced to stand facing the wall for the entirety of in-school suspension. 

“I let it go because I understand schools have their own way of discipline," the mom wrote. "But, when [she] got home she told me they made her stand and face the wall the whole time. She even cried so hard she had an accident. They let her change and put her back to standing and facing the wall.”

This mom was clear that she absolutely doesn’t condone violence. However, having a kindergarten girl who has been the victim of bullying from boys in her class, she couldn’t help but feel a little proud that her daughter finally stood up for herself — and was concerned about the punishment. 

Kindergarten girl looking sad at desk. Lithiumphoto / Shutterstock.com


“I just don't think this is typical punishment for a 6-year-old kindergartener who has never gotten in any trouble or put her hands on another kid,” she stressed.

After contacting her teacher with the information her daughter shared, she immediately apologized — arguing that she had “no idea” what ISS instructors were planning. Getting to the point where her daughter was physically affected was unacceptable. 

Looking for advice from other professionals and teachers, she desperately asked for help and questioned if she should escalate the situation.

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Her Reddit post sparked debate regarding the degree to which schools have the authority to punish bad behavior.

Alongside in-school suspension and verbal condemnation from teachers, many educational advocates admitted school districts have been caught using other punishments for students. “Collective punishment,” as creator and teacher @mr.trayvon said, is another way school districts have publicly shamed individual students’ behavior in the classroom.

“If there’s one or maybe two students in class misbehaving, what a teacher will do is punish the entire class,” he explained, “as a way to weaponize peer pressure against the student.” Not only does this open the door to toxic cultures in the classroom between peers, but it also isolates struggling students from companionship and trust with their teachers.

@mr.trayvon Replying to @GamerKing8558 teachers, it is not fair for you to punish the entire class for the wrongdoings of one student, or a few students. Collective punishment causes tension to the classroom community and classroom culture. It can also harm the teacher student relationship. ##collectivepunishment##teachertok##teachertiktok##classroommanagement##classroom ♬ original sound - Mr. Trayvon | EduInfluencer

It’s unsettling punishments and tactics like this in school that ultimately cultivate an unhealthy and unsafe culture for students — distracting them from seeking help, learning, and understanding healthy relationship expectations. Comments under this woman’s post agree, urging her to get “as many details” from the school as possible to hold them accountable.


“You need to go on a fact-finding trip,” one user wrote. “Was she standing at the wall for 10 minutes? An hour? Why? What do kids usually do during in-school suspension? What is their plan for her tomorrow? You may be surprised, and it may not be as bad as it sounds. Or it may be worse. But you cannot know whether you need to be involved until you find out the answers to your questions.”

The common consensus is that this mom needs to try her best to communicate with the school “calmly” — “Pick your battles. At the end of the day, your kid hit someone and didn't even know who it was,” an education professional argued. “However, the stuff about facing the wall is potentially alarming. You need to go fact-finding."

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a News & Entertainment Writer at YourTango who focuses on health & wellness, social policy, and human interest stories.