1. art
    Offline

    art Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,159
    Likes Received:
    113

    Hypothetical scenario time

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by art, Jun 3, 2011.

    You are an after-school tutor for kids. One evening, you glance out your window and happen see one of your charges - a twelve year old - smoking (nicotine) in the street.

    Do you tell the parents? Speak to the child next time you meet? Do nothing?
     
  2. Lilithmoon
    Offline

    Lilithmoon Member

    Joined:
    May 13, 2011
    Messages:
    92
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    US
    I would have the smoking talk with the child first and tell them that I have to inform the parents. However, if the child seemed excessively fearful I could be persuaded not to tell the parents with a sincere promise that they never smoke again.
     
  3. Gigi_GNR
    Offline

    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    12,143
    Likes Received:
    250
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I think I would definitely tell their parents. Being that young, you shouldn't be anywhere near nicotine.
     
  4. hiddennovelist
    Offline

    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    10,256
    Likes Received:
    161
    Location:
    Fabulous Sin City
    Hmmm...I think my first move would be to slip some pictures of diseased lungs in with my tutoring material for our next meeting. Then I would talk to them. And finally, I would tell them that either they needed to 'fess up to their parents or I would do it for them.
     
  5. Eunoia
    Offline

    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2010
    Messages:
    4,395
    Likes Received:
    80
    Location:
    England
    My first thought reading this was to film them... I'm not sure why.

    Anyway, I would talk to them about it and then if I didn't have any luck, I would tell their parents.

    Or I could put posters up round the school, and integrate 'smoking kills' in all its glory in the tutoring.
     
  6. Daydream
    Offline

    Daydream Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    May 3, 2011
    Messages:
    562
    Likes Received:
    13
    Location:
    In another dimension.
    Would deffo tell the parents. 12 years old is just a tad young :p
     
  7. Unit7
    Offline

    Unit7 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2009
    Messages:
    1,151
    Likes Received:
    59
    Honestly? I wouldn't do anything and pretended I didn't see anything.

    Because let's be honest. If I am an after school tudor, chances are it was some punishment.

    So yeah chances are I wouldn't do anything.
     
  8. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    If you are tutoring IN the school, inform the school officials - principal, headmaster, whatever. Let them apply the official policy.

    If you are tutoring in your home or in the student's home, you should inform the parents. It is in that case their responsibility to deal with it as they may.

    Twelve years old is too young to make a decision that can so adversely affect the child's health. You are not there to be the child's best buddy, you are there to help with his or her education.
     
  9. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    as a parent of 7 [now long-grown], i'd have wanted to know... it's not your place to do anything else, really...

    unless the kid was smoking on school grounds, it would not be proper to involve school personnel, no matter where the tutoring is being done, or who's paying you to do it...
     
  10. Danielthewriter
    Offline

    Danielthewriter New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I would defenatly tell the parents.
     
  11. Contacaton
    Offline

    Contacaton New Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    I disagree with this statement entirely. Refusing to intervene in any way simply because the act did not occur on school grounds is grossly irresponsible and, quite frankly, negligent. Making such allowances is only a stepping stone for, not only such things actually happening on school grounds, but for worse things, such as physical bullying. I am not speculating this point, I know this for a fact because I know of previous occurrences where such things have happened.

    I would inform the principal/headmaster/etc and the parents as soon as possible and be as active as I would be allowed in the intervention process.
     
  12. Mercurial
    Offline

    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    Messages:
    3,453
    Likes Received:
    117
    If it were me, I know that I probably wouldn't do anything because I'm a cowardly and passive person.

    But if given time to reflect, I would have wished I would have gotten the child's parents involved if they were good authority figures or been the authority figure myself. I would also have liked to get the child to a place where he had enough self esteem that he didn't feel the need to try drugs as a form of self destruction, because if he's doing that at 12, there's potential for much more dangerous drugs to be acquired in the future.

    Informing a school official or authority figure reliant on punishment is what a lot of people would do, but that's stupid. Schools correct behavior through punishment, but kids who are emotionally wounded and rebelling usually build up callouses to punishment, and it would just fall on deaf ears..
     
  13. arron89
    Offline

    arron89 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Auckland
    Absolutely do nothing. It's not your place to intervene in the child's life in any way other than to teach them what you've been paid to teach them. It's not your job to parent them, or to teach them about the dangers of smoking. You have no responsibility to them once they leave your charge. It would be like walking up to a random smoking person and telling them to stop.
     
  14. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    I think you missed the point. Maia didn't say don't intervene. She said that reporting it to school officials would be improper if the incident did not occur on school grounds. Reporting it to the parents instead is still intervening.

    I would say that "on school grounds" should extend over the entire period for which the school is responsible for the child, which would include off-campus school events, andanywhere between the time the student boards a school bus until the child is dropped off at day's end.

    But the school does have limits to its authority, and that is a good thing. Too often we blindly let authority extend beyond its proper bounds, and it's not easy to stuff the genie back in the bottle. Should schools be dictating the child's total nutrition, for example? Is it really necessary to remove pizza or chocolate milk from school cafeterias?
     
  15. Contacaton
    Offline

    Contacaton New Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Though I agree with the rest of your post, I'm afraid that I must still disagree with this point. I do not believe that the responsibility of a school like organization to protect the well being of its students ends at the gate, so to speak, I think that a school should do whatever is needed to protect its students. In the same way that schools often take unnecessary steps, they often fail to act at all, and I think that that is a violation of responsibility.
     
  16. dizzyspell
    Offline

    dizzyspell Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2010
    Messages:
    421
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    But you are employed by their parents or school, I think you would have a social responsibility to tell the person who employed you what is going on with the underage person they are responsible for.

    It is different than going up to a random person on the street, because a 12 year old child does not have the cognitive faculties developed that would enable them to rationally make life altering decisions like picking up smoking.

    If their parents/guardians don't want to intervene, that's their right. But God knows I did stupid stuff when I was 12/13 and if I hadn't been yanked from the path I was on (by a friend's older sister, who some of you would say had "no right" to intervene), who knows where I would be today.
     
  17. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    There must be boundaries. There are some circumstances that transcend boundaries, of course. If any school official has cause to believe a child is being abused, they are (in America) required by law to report it to law enforcemnent for investigation - they are mandatory reporters.

    But smoking is not one of those situations. It's close - underage smoking is against the law, and so is providing tobacco products to a minor. But no one is required to report underage smoking, nor are minors jailed for smoking.

    Back to boundaries, though. The school's responsibilities have to end before they infringe upon the parents' responsibilities and rights. Also, as the child grows, she or he has more freedom and responsibility to make choices for herself or himself. Likewise the government must have boundaries.

    Those boundaries do get blurred, and pushed at from all sides. Is it right for parents to have absolute license to know all a child's secrets, such as when a teenager becomes sexually active? Some say emphatically yes, others disagree just as vehemently. Should the government intervene if the parents use spanking as a form of discipline? Again, this is an area of impassioned debate. Should the school tell the parents how they must monitor the child's nutrition? If the child attends a Catholic school, can the school order the child out if the parents are gay? or if they divorce?

    Jurisdictional boundaries are no small matter.
     
  18. Contacaton
    Offline

    Contacaton New Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Messages:
    0
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    I wish it were so in New Zealand. Bullying has achieved some disgusting infamy here recently. One case was very public. A girl was hospitalized, and to my knowledge is still not back at school, but the little punks that did it were suspended for a few days. The principal justified it as, to summarize and paraphrase, "we have a responsibility to the bullies to not let them fall through the cracks of society." Oi mate, they already have, so get your act together and make your freaking school safe already! :mad:
     
  19. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    Mandatory reporting for bullying is only starting to take hold in the States, on a state by state basis. But it has gained national attention, so may soon be federal law.
     
  20. art
    Offline

    art Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,159
    Likes Received:
    113
    Not that it matters much, but the scenario I envisaged was of an arrangement in which no school was involved: simply, a qualified person employed by parents to tutor a child in the evening/ weekends.

    I would not tell the parents at all.

    I would like to think this would be a principled stance - the it's none of my business idea adumbrated by arron - but I suspect that principle would be readily forgotten if I saw the child injecting heroin.
     
  21. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    It's not your place to intervene. And intervening can lead to unwelcome complications.

    Like say, if the child is from a bad family, doing something could in some cases even put yourself at risk.
     

Share This Page