Student Calls Teacher ‘Ma’am,’ Gets Punished

A 5th grade boy was punished by his teacher and principal for calling his teacher “ma’am,” and it left his confused and shamed.

By nowproducerdave on August 27, 2018
(Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

When did good manners turn into something punishable? 10-year-old Tamarion was doing the polite thing by calling his teacher “ma’am” when responding to her. But he was sent home with a disciplinary note, leaving his parents angry at the situation.

See, the teacher had apparently requested to not be called “ma’am.” People may hate that for whatever reason, whether they want to not “seem” formal, or it makes them feel “old,” whatever. Long story short, Tamarion kept calling her “ma’am,” since that’s what his parents raised him to do to be polite. He got sent home with a note that his parents had to sign, and an assignment. He had to write the word “ma’am” on notebook paper, 4 times per line, on every line, front and back. You know, the typical old-school punishment, writing whatever word or phrase over and over.

The boy’s father says that the 10-year-old had a sort of look of shame on his face. That’s got to be a confusing thing to experience as a 10-year-old. To be raised as a respectful, mannerful type of person, only to be basically publicly ridiculed for being polite. All that on top of recently being in the hospital for memory loss and hallucinations, according to his parents. His mother says “It wasn’t professional. As a teacher, it wasn’t appropriate.” A statement released by the school seems to side with the teacher though. “This is a personnel matter which has been handled appropriately by the K-7 principal.”

So it’s kind of a “need to see the whole situation” type of situation, but being punished for being polite? I mean, unless the boy was doing it on purpose out of spite, but that’s pure conjecture. What’s the weirdest punishment you’ve heard of someone getting? Were you ever given a punishment for doing something that you thought was genuinely polite or nice?

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