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October 18, 2017

Todays’ debate: Catholic High-style problem-solving




An admonition posted at Catholic High School in Little Rock has become something of an internet sensation as well as spurring debate about whether the message helps kids or perhaps discourages support for them.

Evie Blad, a former reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette who now writes for Education Week, got so much feedback after posting the photo on social media that she wrote further about it for Education Week.

“It’s simply to help boys avoid the default switch of calling mom and dad when things don’t go right to bail them out,” Principal Steve Straessle told NBC affiliate KARK.

Would it be a good idea for all schools to have a sign like this? Yes, some say, arguing that it encourages students to be independent and to cope with the consequences of their own poor planning. Others disagree, arguing that discouraging an occasional parental rescue mission may lead to some students going hungry. Everyone slips up and needs help sometimes, they say.

The conversation demonstrates the complexities of managing a thoughtful school climate. For school leaders, decisions that affect student learning and development go well beyond what curriculum they adopt and which teachers they hire. 

Bland sought out the opinion of an expert who concluded he liked the approach at an elite private school, where parents can sometimes get too involved, but said he’d have a mixed opinion at a school with a heavily disadvantaged population.

So: Over to you.



An admonition posted at Catholic High School in Little Rock has become something of an internet sensation as well as spurring debate about whether the message helps kids or perhaps discourages support for them.

Evie Blad, a former reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette who now writes for Education Week, got so much feedback after posting the photo on social media that she wrote further about it for Education Week.

“It’s simply to help boys avoid the default switch of calling mom and dad when things don’t go right to bail them out,” Principal Steve Straessle told NBC affiliate KARK.

Would it be a good idea for all schools to have a sign like this? Yes, some say, arguing that it encourages students to be independent and to cope with the consequences of their own poor planning. Others disagree, arguing that discouraging an occasional parental rescue mission may lead to some students going hungry. Everyone slips up and needs help sometimes, they say.

The conversation demonstrates the complexities of managing a thoughtful school climate. For school leaders, decisions that affect student learning and development go well beyond what curriculum they adopt and which teachers they hire. 

Bland sought out the opinion of an expert who concluded he liked the approach at an elite private school, where parents can sometimes get too involved, but said he’d have a mixed opinion at a school with a heavily disadvantaged population.

So: Over to you.

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