Families & the Community

‘Honk if I Need an Education’

By Caroline Cournoyer — February 22, 2011 1 min read

A mother in Florida experimented with a new form of dropout prevention, according to FOX 13 News: publicly humiliating her son.

Last week, Ronda Holder of Tampa Bay, Fla., forced her 15-year-old son, James Mond, to spend a week on street corners holding a sign that said he had only answered four questions on a state assessment and has a 1.2 grade point average. The sign also asked passersby to “honk if I need an education,” reports the station.

Many local parents and psychologists have criticized Holder for her parenting methods, but she told reporters that nothing else had worked and that embarrassing her son was a last resort to get him to care about school.

“Until he straightens up his grades and gets his education on track, he’s gonna work that corner. This is the job he wants, so he might as well start early,” she said. “In the long run, he’ll thank me for it.”

And some good has already come of this. The regional director of a local education program for at-risk students heard about James’ story and enrolled him into a free, intensive, five-days-a-week tutoring program, according to FOX 13.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.