Florida officials are always talking about innovative new ways to boost education in the state, but perhaps Tampa-area mom Ronda Holder has found an unusual answer: public student humiliation. She made her son stand on a street corner holding a sign displaying his dismal 1.22 GPA as a last resort to try and get him to take his studies more seriously.
The 33-year-old hair stylist was fed up that her 15-year-old son, James Mond III, was making his way through school with such low grades. Though, neither she nor the boy's father tried to help him with his homework, they grounded him, took away his cell phone, and gave him lecture after lecture to get him to raise his grades, but nothing worked. In fact, the last straw came when he got an F in gym class on his latest report card.
Holder was afraid if he didn't take his education seriously he'd end up on the streets, so she decided to preempt this by, uh, putting him on the streets.
"I don't want any of my kids to stand by the side of the road asking for change," she told the St. Petersburg Times. Holder says that her other five children all get good grades in school.
James was made to stand on a busy intersection with a large sign around his neck reading, "I did 4 questions on my FCAT and said I wasn't going to do it ... GPA 1.22 ... honk if I need (an) education."
Of course, child experts aren't that high on Holder's plan.
"It's such an unfortunate strategy, and of course it's ineffective," a child development expert told the Times. "The key to motivating children is to balance responsibility with support, and balance is the important part."
It's kind of sad, actually, that Florida parents who are earnestly trying to get their children to take their education seriously but perhaps don't have the best resources to do so on their own have to resort to things like this.
Think about it like this: If the school can't help a student who has parents who are overly concerned, how are they going to help kids who have parents that may not even care?
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.