Six-year-old Brooke Loeffler did hard time last week — in detention. The kindergartner’s crime? Being late to school.
Olympia Elementary School in San Antonio, has a strict tardiness policy: students need to be in class by 7:30 a.m. when the late bell rings, or they are considered tardy. After the third offense, a one-hour detention is handed out — even to kindergartners.
That may be the school rule, but Brooke’s parents, Brad and Erika Loeffler, want it changed. They say it doesn’t make sense to punish kids for their parents' transgressions. "It was my responsibility to get her ready and get her to school," Brad Loeffler told a local Houston news outlet. "I failed that responsibility a couple of times. It makes me sad to see my daughter upset for something she doesn’t understand."
The Loefflers admit to having trouble getting their morning schedule on track. They both work full time and have a newborn baby. “We tried to explain the situation to the vice principal and principal,” Erika Loeffler told ABC News. “They were very cold and not understanding of the circumstances.” She says she volunteered to help out at the school in place of Brooke’s detention, but the school declined.
Steve Lindscomb, director of public information at for the local school district says that while detention may sound extreme for a 6-year-old, the policy needs to be the same for all students.
“We do need to have some level of consistency because some parents would be upset that some people got a little attitude and some did not,” he told ABC News.
However, he points out that the school does “make allowances for age appropriate treatment.” Brooke was allowed to split her detention between two lunch periods, and was able to have a parent or grandparent sit with her. The Loefflers also read and signed the tardiness policy at the start of the school year, authorizing detentions if merited, Lindscomb told ABC News.
Tell us what you think. Was the school out of line or is this just the tough love kids (and their parents) need?