NEW PORT RICHEY (FOX 13) - Signs were posted up in a Pasco County elementary school that seemed to suggest conforming to peer pressure was a positive move for students.
A Pasco County mother sounded off against it after discovering the sign was in her five-year-old’s kindergarten class at Deer Park Elementary School.
On Thursday, Charity Hendry shared photos of the signs on her Facebook page, asking for those who will listen to share her post to gain the attention of the school district.
The sign described the behavior expectations for the students, starting with the highest level, called democracy, to the lowest level, anarchy.
“NO child should be labeled an ANARCHIST for running in school,” Hendry wrote in her post. “I will not encourage my child to CONFORM by giving into peer pressure. It just gets worse.”
She said she doesn’t want to get anyone in trouble. She isn’t upset with the teacher or school, but was unhappy that it was posted at all.
"BUT this, I will not stand for this," she wrote. "This isn't right for ANY child."
Before the end of Thursday, the school district agreed to remove the signs until the next parent-teacher meeting on August 22.
The district acknowledged on its Facebook page that the school implemented a new behavior initiative that concerned parents, but wants the opportunity explain its meaning during the Tuesday meeting. The school principal sent an invitation to parents on Thursday night.
“Teachers and administrators wanted to do something to improve student behavior, and some had attended a presentation by the program author, Marvin Marshall. Gulf Highlands used it several years ago,” the school district’s post said. “The key concepts of Marshall's ‘Raise Responsibility’ system have been used in many schools to improve classroom discipline. If you look him up, you'll see that the objective is positive.”
They also added, “The school purchased posters that include admittedly inflammatory words (anarchy, peer pressure) without any frame of reference. Some of the words describe behaviors we do not want in classroom. Others describe desirable behaviors … we do want it to be clear that no one will label any child using these terms.”
After Hendry shared her post, many sounded off against it, including the Opt Out Florida Network, who agreed the expectations were out of line.
The school district chimed in on her post after two hours, to defend the initiative and promote the upcoming meeting, but the majority of the responders remained displeased.
The time and location of Tuesday meeting were not released.