Kids Punished For Not Donating Canned Goods


POSTED: Thursday, December 9, 2010 - 5:25pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, December 22, 2010 - 4:06am

EL PASO - Elementary school kids being punished for not bringing canned goods to class for a food drive. It sounds unimaginable, but that's exactly what one parent says has been happening to kids in the El Paso Independent School district.

At first glance it appears to be a P.E. class, but the kids are not learning or having fun. The Carlos Rivera Elementary school students are being punished, and you are not going to believe the reason why. Glen Works, the father of one of the kids, says it's because they didn't donate two canned goods to a food drive.

"They will probably tell you they're not punishing children they're rewarding other children for bringing in more cans, but on the other hand they're unaware of what they're doing to the children sitting on the black top and doing calisthenics. They're humiliating them," Works said.

Works shot this video this morning. His 9-year old daughter is one of the kids being punished. He says it's not the first time they've been forced to exercise while other kids play. He says this started Monday.

"My daughter usually comes home joyful and happy, but ever since Monday she's been kind of shuffling her feet, kind of depressed. It's not just my one daughter, I have two daughters there, and both of them have just not been the same since Monday," he said.

So why not donate two cans? Works says his daughter already did.

"A box and 12 cans the first day and apparently that wasn't good enough," he said.

Works says the kids were told they had to take two cans of food to class every day otherwise they would end up being punished. Works says kids should not be treated like this for something they may not be able to control, and he wants it to stop.

"It's embarrassing and it's unfair," he said.

We called E.P.I.S.D. and late today they sent an us an email bragging about the success of their canned food drive, but they did not address any of Works concerns.

Comments News Comments

Does this clown have a job? Why is he videotaping kids in the middle of the day?

I'm just gonna keep adding though. You wonder why the United States is obsese. Because parents are so uneducated to the fact that coaches are there to promote EXERCISE. For a child to be doing jumping jacks, I'm all for it. I'd rather have my child active then having diabetes and a fat couch potato. Healthy lifestyle people. It's absolutely ridiculous how much people take out of proportion. DONATION. HELPING A CAUSE. Grow up people. You're child is NOT being punished. Go see for yourself.

Has it ever occurred to you that this man is lying through his ass? People are trying to do good things for other people who are less fortunate. Funny how we live in a society nowadays where the child is ALWAYS right. Spare me. You're child is 6 years old and you're gonna believe every single word that comes out of their mouth? I laugh at some of the illiterate comments made in this message board. Of course, because we live in El Paso, Texas where half of the people are not even educated.

Only half?

I can't believe some people are missing the point and trying to debate whether or not the man should be videotaping. The real issue is the ridiculous policy that this school district has in place.

I don't believe this article mentioned anything about an EPISD policy.

Donate = to give or contribute without compensation.
Punishment = a penalty imposed for breaking the law or a rule.
Exercise = a drill or repeated activity to gain skill.
Get your facts straight, before accusing a great school who is trying to help others in need. I also think that this news station decided to air the first segment and damage the schools image BEFORE getting all the facts first. I am PROUD of this school and ALL of the faculty and staff they have.

Its called a donation, people. Donations arent mandatory-look up the definition. why should my son be punished for not taking a canned good? its ridiculous that people arent seeing the wrong. My son is an active kid that loves to run and climb and jump around. Why is he going to want to do that now that its being used as a punishment? Mr. Works has my full support. Im glad SOMEONE had the nerve to bring it to our attention.

Lighten up people. If doing jumping jacks is called punishment then you need to make sure your children gets there can goods to school so they can come home and sit on the couch and watch TV.

Are you serious.. Would if the kid doesn't have much food to begin with? What is that telling the child??

I guess that you droping and giving us twenty is not punishment?

Schools are there to teach and not to solicit donations for whatever purpose. Punishing ansd humiliating students for not living up to the demands is a genuine scandal that borders on criminal behavior in my view. As far as EPISD bragging about their canned food drive; they have nothing else to brag about, certainly not the quality of education they provide. Kudos to Mr. Works for standing up to these arrogant losers.

Hey, this is EPISD, what did you really expect?

As in the Bible, the person who gave least but gave all she had gave the most. She was rewarded. What are we teaching our children? It is wrong, wrong, wrong on so many levels.

Does anyone care that this man videoed other people’s children without their permission? Isn’t this illegal on a school campus?

No since it was from outside the campus, they were outside, and the school is a public school, if you don't want anyone seeing the kids put them inside.

Any sense of privacy is lost outside in public.

My questions, is who on earth gave this man the right to sit there and film other children?

really? that is what you came away with from this information? you could be quite possibly the most ignorant person that has ever written a response to a story. i am sure that i am not alone in saying please keep your opinions to yourself. you encourage stupidity when you write.

So let me get this straight. You have no problem with someone taking pictures of children and publishing them? What if it was your child?

I don't agree that this incentive/punishment program was the right thing to do and as a parent of a kid who has come home sad and upset that he couldn't play with his friends I am naturally upset... BUT
I would be LIVID if he were one of the kids who was filmed and put on TV.
I 100% agree. NOT a good choice to air that footage.

Way to go Carlos Rivera Elementary, it's a great thing your students are doing, for those less fortunate. It's sad that this man can be so selfish and only think of being petty.

You don't punish anyone for not wanting to do a voluntary think, if that is the case let's force everyone to enlist in the military for three years. Isn't that the most noble thing to do for your country and fellow American? No, correct, if that was the case I'm good been there done that got the T-Shirt with two bullet holes.

what is petty about standing up for your children, especially when the child has already donated 12 cans of food. isolating a child and putting them on display is what is petty. i am sure when you go by the salvation army bucket you dont "donate" for five days straight. how would you like it if the elpaso police department was there at the bucket and if you didnt donate you were given a ticket? that is the equivelant of the school punishing children for not donating.

Absolutely! It is a great thing that our school is doing. It is just being done the wrong way.

i can tell u that this behavior does exist,yisd empoloyees taking their personal vendettas w/the parents against the children. some of these employees have no business working in school systems with children as some of the clerical workers at PASODALE school. yisd main office has been contacted. we are tired of looking like bad parents when we can not afford or do if they do not have children my children started school this year i all ready want to leave el paso, bad schools here!

This is just wrong. Kids are supposed to go to school to learn not to be punished because they could not deliver two cans of food everyday. It is absolutely insane! Yet EPSID has the nerve to boast about the success of their canned food drive? NO KIDDING! If kids are threatened by being punished for not delivering then of course it will become successful. There are other ways to make a canned food drive successful without having to take punitive measures.

I wonder why the school didn't address the father's concerns when provided with the opportunity to do so. Typical; school administrators never learn, that's why the EPISD has got some issues to contend with; "fully vetted" my rump. How quickly school administrators forget that they're not dealing just with students but with parents also, and some of us don't put up with the B.S. you like to shove around now and then. How does it feel like to lose sleep? Instant Karma Baby! It's gonna get you to.

How do you know they didn’t try? Maybe this man saw an opportunity and has tried to get attention for himself.
Also, no wonder there is an obesity problem when someone thinks a kid is being punished for do exercise.

If it's not a punishment, why is it a reward? You brought up the point. So did those student's who were excluded from exercise deprived?

It is amazing that a parent can make an outrageous claim and it is printed without the facts being checked. Calling EPISD or Region 19 is not checking the facts. I would love to know the truth. The schools are not perfect, but their biggest fault is trying to appease every parent that complains.

This is outragious. The facility will cover it up and the teachers should be the ones punished. Fired, two weeks without pay, publically humilitated on national television and forced to make a public appology. What if the family could not afford to have their children bring in 2 cans of food. I understand it could be as little as $1.00 but still. It they have 5 kids that can add up. And if the school does this/ requires this, more then once it could add up. This is why EPISD has issues.

I almost agree with you, but fire the teachers? We don't know who came up with this idea, Maybe the person(s), who came up with the idea should match can for can, box for box, dollar for dollar. Sometimes teachers get memos that they don't agree with. And I am anti-EPISD for many reasons, I saw what was going on as a teacher and decided it was not for me. Check my replies and postings, you will see my anti EPISD rhetoric.

princesslexys should look up the definition of the word donation and realize that not everyone is in the position to donate, but rather are the ones who need the donation, and second, donations are being requested EVERYWHERE, and the district already gets enough of my tax donations. The superintendent and principal make 6 figures and should take care of it themselves.

My child has also been one of the students who has had to do exercises instead of going to the playground. There has not been enough communication between the school and the parents about the details of the canned food drive. It seems there is one canned food drive for individual classrooms and one canned food drive for the P.E. classes. But no matter what, students cannot be punished with physical activity for not bringing canned goods or not bringing enough canned goods to school.

Yeay for El Paso. Sorry Hell Paso, or Lil' Juarez.

I think before any of this was aired they should have looked into what the school is really doing and who it is that is making this crazy assumption. You can't just believe the one parent that is complaining. I don't think that anything should change because one parent feels like complain because they have nothing better to do. If what he is saying is true his daughter would have been playing in the playground as well. How sad that our kids efforts are going to go unseen because of stupidity.

again... I politely disagree. He is not the only parent. I am one and I am not him...and I have spoken to 4 other parents in my child's class and they were just as in the dark as I was about what was going on. I understand the pride factor in being able to do something noble as this. The only issue is that if ONE kid feels like then they are being punished then it is the wrong thing to do. "stupidity" is a pretty harsh word also. I certainly am not "stupid" and I don't think you are either.

It would seem to me that if they are bragging about their "success of their canned food drive", then they are possibly aware of what is going on within the P.E. classes are are also possibly looking the other way about it only because they want to keep their "successful" status in check. They need to learn and understand that students are not in charge of what is sent to school, it is in the hands of the parents.

I am completely floored by what this man is saying. Our school is doing something for their own. The cans the kids are donating are to feed our own needy children. The whole thought and effort by the entire school (kids, parents, faculty, and staff) is wonderful. The kids are not being punished because they have to do something that is done every day on a normal bases. They are not belittling those who haven't brought cans, they are simply rewarding the ones have helped out more.

Ifyou reward someone for doing some voluntary is not okay, if they deal with any kind of punishment to the ones that did not do it, telling me that exce4rsize is not punishment, then why do Drill Sgts. say get down and give me twenty, is that just part of the job, or a sick kind of reward?
And saying that it is a succesful program, really?

They are not being asked to do anything out of the ordinary, which is what people don't understand. It's just another day at P.E. Nothing more and nothing less. A drill Sgt. takes his soldiers out of their normal routine & has them drop & give him 20. The coaches are not taking them out of their normal every day routine. It's far from a comparison.

I politely disagree. I am a parent of a Carlos Rivera student. We have sent cans everyday, but there is a communication gap going on between the classroom teachers and the PE staff. When this gentleman spoke about his daughter coming home in funk it struck a chord. My boy LOVES school and playing with his friends. So,to not be able to do what he loves to do and do "exercise" instead of play (which is exercise)then it is seen as punishment and that is how he takes it.

Helping out is all fine and dandy, especially these days; however, the man said that his daughters provided a box and 12 cans on Monday. How much is enough? The school didn't even bother to address the issue the father had? Who pays the taxes around here? I know I pay my fair share and to have the school administrators disregard my questions or concerns is unacceptable. We are dealing with adults on this matter, aren't we? I'm all for physical fitness but this isn't the way to handle this.

What's wrong with EPSID? That is not a success! That is so wrong in so many ways. Some of us can't afford 2 cans much less 2 cans a day for a week! I would like an excuse I mean answer to this stupidity. What are they doing with our children, better yet what are they doing TO our children?

Where is the school PTA on this, have you checked with them, the principal. If they give you the same info, get in touch with the school board to look into it.

I hope that the folks who came up with this brilliant idea realize that this can be interpreted as capital punishment which is illegal in the state of texas.

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