Tuesday, May 15, 2012

SMH! No acronyms in the yearbook?

Roxy Silva and Alyssa Marchelletta discuss the pledge.

By Alexis Stevens The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Many of their friends have cell phones and Facebook accounts, and in August, they'll be in middle school. They're tweens, but sound mature beyond their years.

Still, fifth graders at one north Fulton County elementary school were surprised they were told they couldn't write just anything in each other's yearbooks. If they wanted the yearbooks, they'd have to first sign a pledge that they wouldn't use acronyms or draw pictures while signing the books.

No more LOL? Seriously?

"It's like they don't trust us," Alyssa Marchelletta, 11, told the AJC. "We've been writing that stuff for years now."

Even the Birmingham Falls Elementary School fifth-grade T-shirts say CUL8R, Alyssa said. That's "See you later," for you old-school folks.

The pledge she was asked to sign Friday didn't make sense to 11-year-old Roxy Silva either, but she said she did it so her parents wouldn't have to come pick up her book from the principal's office. That afternoon, she told her mom about it. Over the weekend, her friend Alyssa mentioned the signed form to her dad.

By Monday, word of the contract had spread quickly among parents, helped by Facebook. Alyssa's mom, Sandy Marchelletta, told the AJC she felt like her daughter was bullied into signing the form, which parents did not see ahead of time.

"How dare you tell my child what she can't write in the yearbook?" Sandy Marchelletta said Monday. "They did it completely behind our backs."

The pledge forms were only meant to remind students at the Milton school to be considerate while signing yearbooks, Susan Hale, spokeswoman for Fulton County schools, told the AJC.

"It was a pledge that the students were going to be respectful of one another," Hale said.

The pledges asked students not to scribble, draw pictures or use acronyms others wouldn't understand, Hale said. The same pledge was signed by fifth graders last year, she said.

But Principal Susan Matzkin did not see the pledges before they were given to students, Hale said. Matzkin, Hale said, believes written pledges weren't necessary and could have been handled with verbal instructions from teachers.

Fifth-grade teacher Beth Brock apologized in an email to parents Monday and said the school plans to no longer require the signed forms.

"Teachers will lead discussions with students about respecting yearbooks, and we ask for parental support in reinforcing this at home," Brock stated in the email, obtained by the AJC. "Students will be trusted to choose school appropriate acronyms/language."

But even being told not to write disrespectful comments in yearbooks seems silly to students.

"We're not going to write anything bad for someone else," Roxy said. "It didn't really make sense to me."

Alyssa said it's not an issue because she plans to let only friends sign her yearbook on the last day of school Friday.

Click here for Ajc video coverage.


Anonymous said...

Snotty, snotty, snotty. I don't agree with the policy but I still think kids should respect adults. The interview with the girls was very telling about how they were raised. And "respectfully ignore" from a parent?

mykidsnopansy said...

I too would tell my child to ignore it. The parents paid for the yearbooks. I more think its very telling about our present day culture. Let's wrap the kids in bubble wrap so the big bad cruel world doesn't hurt them in any way. Yeah, let's make our kids a bunch of pansies who won't be able to cope at all when they graduate.

Anonymous said...

No one should be asking our kids to sign squat without our knowledge and permission. Stop trying to control our kids! Nanny state! Enough! Kids have been writing stupid stuff in yearbooks since they were created! Don't let kids who aren't your friends sign your yearbook, duh! Problem solved. Or do we have to let everyone in class sign to make it fair? Kind a like everyone getting a blue ribbon for participating in field day. Don't dare praise and reward those who are the best with first second nd third place, someone may get their feelings hurt! This is what s wrong with our schools! Competition drives others to be better and try harder. But no we gotta give every one a stinking ribbon no matter what! Our country is raising a bunch of entitled wusses!