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Another Clayton Wyatt learns the hard way tale.

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Brad S

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Many are familiar with my kids; I'm hoping I can get my wife to post their pictures on here. I'm the worst "proud Dad" ever, but I try not to be too insufferable. So This incedent happened the first day of school (this year) for my 6 year old boy Clayton Wyatt, and I'm only getting a little settled down.

My wife (Michelle) picked me up the afternoon of the first day of school (this year)with the grim instruction that "we got a call from Clayton Wyatt's teacher asking for a little student conduct conferance." I figured Clayton Wyatt wore his spurs or had a rope in his back pack or his favorite act of rebellion is to doff his hat by pushing it back onto his back and letting it hang arround his neck by the stampede string. So we pull up to the school as it is letting out, and Paige (my 7 year old) takes Callie and Hannah to the playground so we could visit with Clayton Wyatt's teacher without distraction. Sure enough we saw Clayton Wyatt, his teacher and the principal in the principal's office, and Clayton Wyatt looked petrified.

First, the teacher and principal caught us in the hall and left Clayton Wyatt sitting alone in the office for what I guess was to be a preconferance, but I walked in and hugged my boy to relieve some pressure. So we missed the preconferance, but I readily learned that Clayton Wyatt had publicly demanded another student "shut the Hell up." In my house the kids are equally forbidden to say "shut up" or swear words so this was a big deal, and the teacher and principal piled on a bit by explaining how "shut up" attempts to reduce one's personhood by silencing them. Michelle and the school folks sure took care of the reprimanding so I was quiet, but after many minutes of reprimanding I asked Clayton Wyatt if it was clear that what he said was unacceptibel and why. Clayton Wyatt looked me straight in the eye and said' "yes Daddy."

So I said I'd like to know if Clayton Wyatt felt provoked or what context surrounded the situation, and before I could fully raise the querry, the principal interrupted with "nothing justifies such an outburst." I said the last 10 minutes' discussion had pretty well demonstrated we're all in agreement about that, but I wanted to know if Clayton Wyatt has touretts syndrome or someone called his momma a crackwhore. As if Clayton Wyatt was waiting for the cue, he said "I was showing my friend Kale my buckle I won "mutton bustin" when Quentin said farmers are stupid. So I told him to "shut the Hell up."

So I publicly explained to Clayton Wyatt that some people are so uncultured as to insult another's heritage, but he should always be proud of who he is. So I asked the principal what slurs are acceptible at the school, but she avoids the question by claiming to not understand it. So I said Clayton Wyatt is 1/8 Sioux, do I need to prepare him to tolerate "stupid indian" slurs? The principal said oh no we don't allow slurs of race or heritage. So I told her perhaps she needed some sensitivity to diversity training to understand ranching is our heritage. Then I asked Clayton Wyatt what he thought his Grampa (my Dad) was going to say? Clayton Wyatt said, "no swearing?" I said your Grampa is going to say its better to get pissedoff than pissedon and we walked out.

As I was walking down the hall, the principal asked me what sort of disciplinary measures were appropriate. I said to tell the teacher to get control of her class, and if she doesn't to dock her a week's pay. The principal said she was meaning for Clayton Wyatt so I said if this isn't the end of that right now he'll be in a different school in the morning. End of subject except my wife is mad at me. My old Dad didn't let me down.
 

Soapweed

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As Jimmy Stewart would say, "A man's got to do what a man's got to do."

Actually, Clayton Wyatt used remarkably mature restraint by not punching Quentin in the nose. :wink: :) Maybe a more politically correct thing for Clayton Wyatt to have said would have been, "Be the heck quiet." :? :)

Farmers and ranchers might fight a bit amongst ourselves, but when the city folks attack, farmers and ranchers become as one. Our rural heritage is at stake.
 
A

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Brad, as usual, neither you or Clayton let me down. I wouldn't let what he said pass either, but he doesn't need training in plain speaking either. That was a classic. :lol: :roll: You handled the problem masterfully, and pointed out how unequally we are all treated according to skin color. God, that was a funny tale.

I will tell you about my first year of kindergarten that petrified my mother. I was just like my son now, and I thought my sole purpose in life was to be my dad's right hand man. So when the first day of school rolled around, I thought it was a bit beneath me. My mother, who's one crutch in life is a tendency to swear a bit, took me in for the opening day. She had been a teacher herself for several years then, and was still on hiatus at the time of the incident. She learned her speech naturally as my grandfather and grandmother were the epitamy of morals, but they had a few choice words that they belted out at times and I happened to be listening a few of those times. :wink:

Anyhow, when the kindergarten teacher came out to greet us that morning, I wasn't playing the game. I wanted to go back home and get to work. She reaches in and grabs my arm, and I says back to her, "get your G Damn hands off me!" I think it mortified my mother, but I always thought it was payback for none of them watching their speech as well as they should have around me. Of course I can't imagine my son doing something like that next year on his first day. :lol: (Blowing coffee out my mouth). I did stay in school that day, but I always thought I already knew everything I needed to know.

Keep up the great stories Brad. You have some good kid material to work with there.
 

Saddletramp

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GOOD JOB...Brad S sounds like you've got a great son and a wonderful family. Being fair and disiplined in the matter probably made you a lot taller in your son's eye's. A lesson he AND the school staff won't soon forget.
 

Nicky

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So...did the principal straighten up or is Clayton in a new school? Cute story, and get those pictures posted :)
 

Jinglebob

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I doubt I would have handled it as well as you did. Congrats on being a good father and maybe enlightening some school officials that children need to be treated fairly.

I hate the "he said, she said" stuff. We in a rural enviroment need to teach our children independence and forbearance, as most of the rest of the world seems to look down their noses at us as "hicks, rednecks, farmers and cowboys" way to often and we need to let them know that just because we work the land, doesn't mean we are stupid.

As a matter of fact, I would challenge anyone to come up with a job that needs more training than running a successful farm or ranch. It takes many years to learn most of what we need to know to survive. And even more to do it with style! :wink:

Give that boy a hug from me, he's got a darn good start, at whatever he decides to do in life! :lol:
 

greg

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I'd be dang proad of that young man...but looks like hes got a great roll model!When our son was about 14 he got himself into trouble with a bunch of other boys throwin xmas light bulbs in the gym locker, the teacher came in and found these broken bulbs on the floor asked who did it,out eight boys Dustin was the ONLY one who addmitted to it! He also wouldn't name the other boys! He was suspended for two days...I made him clean the whole chicken house and corrals out that day as punishment for throwin the light bulbs,when he was done all I made him do ,I sat him down and told him how proad of him I was that he had admitted he had done wrong :!:
 

MsSage

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Yall are very lucky your Teachers and Administration have time to worry about a student cussing. I have to deal with more pressing issues loaded guns,knives,parents stealing children or running from the police. Between the drugs and family issues cussing is overlooked. I know I would speak to the child and find out why then talk to both students about how to address each other and how to handle problems. Yes I teach at a K-5th grade and as young as kindergarteners have been found with knives brought for protection.
Keep encouraging him to stand up for his and your family's beliefs and to be as outspoken as he is. He sounds like a very respectful young man.
LOL you have your hands full

ps not all city folk think ranchers & farmers are stupid. Most respect and admire what you do. I know I have a soft spot for one in particular.
 

Haytrucker

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Nice handle on the situation, Brad. I can see where a little collar heat was definitely in order, I vote for the "keep up the good work" school of thought. I'd say your claim to being a proud parent is justified.
 

Brad S

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Soapweed, You're right, Clayton Wyatt would have loved to punch the other little boy, but as hypocritical as it is, I preach words never provoke violence. I never lived up to those standards, but I gotta try to improve lineage.

Real Jake, school for country kids is a bad fit, remember that with your boy. Ponder what education was like before the industrial revolution. It was available only to the most priviledged, but beyond that education was more montessouri organized. If a student became facinated by astronimy, that was their concentration for a duration. Along came the industrial revolution but the workforce was accustomed to working when they needed to and fishing when they wanted to and napping when they wanted to. The workforce was unsuitable for an industrialized labor force, but tightly scripted, regulated,and organized schools were adopted to indoctrinate future factoiry workers.

Saddletramp, thanks for the thoughts. I never intend to excuse bad behavior - mine or Clayton Wyatt's - but I expect little kids to make mistakes.

Nicky, still same school, its a private school that overall does a good job.

Jinglebob, I'm not so sure I handled things so well, my wife doesn't think so. She really didn't like it when I said "what did you expect when ya married white trash?

Greg, When your boy stood accountable for his mistakes, I bet you felt like the top of the world - that's a huge step.

MsSage, thanks for the other perspective. The school is quite demanding, and that's what we pay
 

HAY MAKER

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I think you did good Brad,and I hope for his sake the other kid that's calling farmers or Rancher's stupid is not hearing that from his folks,just dont make any sense to call the people that are feeding you stupid.I have said this many times.Farming & Ranching may not be the most profitable profession,but it is without a doubt,the most honorable :wink: .............good luck
 

sw

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Brad, I think you did well, and mothers almost always have a different opinion about how things should be handled, mothers nurture, fathers teach boys to be men.
MsSage, I am involved with an organization that is called "Provider Pals" where we go into inner city schools and teach junior high school kids about what we do for a living and where their food and stuff comes from. I have seen what you are talking about first hand and believe me, I have been shocked by some of what I have seen in these schools. In Washington DC, I went to a school with bars on the windows, metal detector at the door, guards on every floor and talked to 7 classes during the day, only talked to 1 white kid. We were told not to walk around by yourself and to keep all of our stuff together or it would disappear. I can't believe what those teachers have to put up with on a daily basis. This program is now into 28 cities in the US and this year we are also going into Vancouver. It is one of the best things I have ever done. I now include my daughter in it as she can tell these city kids first hand what it is like to have to do chores and what it is like living 40 miles from town and they relate more to her as she is their age. We have a website that is pretty good with pictures, diaries, even a class room subject area that teachers can use to include agriculture, mining and logging into classroom subjects. check out http://www.providerpals.com/
 

MsSage

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Thank you SW that is a great site.
How would a teacher get involved in this program? It is so sad to ask a child where do potato chips come from? They say the store LOL ok its really NOT funny. :?
I have always been an advocate of teaching children early....you can not unlearn prejudice so you need to start early. They are starting to admit that by 6th grade you have lost the girls to anything that resembles science.
 

nr

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MsSage said:
ps not all city folk think ranchers & farmers are stupid. Most respect and admire what you do. I know I have a soft spot for one in particular.

What gets me hot under the collar is frequently reading on Ranchersnet complaints of what ranchers think city folk think of ranchers! :x
Good grief. It could not be farther from the truth. It makes me wonder if there is some inferiority complex going on that causes a little teasing to hit yer hot button.
Around here if you're an accountant or in economics you get teased. Or an engineer you get teased. Then there are nurses jokes and doctor jokes- you name it no matter what profession you're in there are jokes to go with it. Thank the Lord you aren't a lawyer or a mortician!

My perspective like MsSage is that city people have a certain fascination for ranching and given the chance would jump to try it out just to understand it better. Please don't roll all "city folk" in a pile and paint 'em with the same brush. That really IS just plain ignorant!
(I'll get off my little eastern soap box now. :wink: )
 

mp.freelance

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nr said:
MsSage said:
ps not all city folk think ranchers & farmers are stupid. Most respect and admire what you do. I know I have a soft spot for one in particular.

What gets me hot under the collar is frequently reading on Ranchersnet complaints of what ranchers think city folk think of ranchers! :x
Good grief. It could not be farther from the truth. It makes me wonder if there is some inferiority complex going on that causes a little teasing to hit yer hot button.
Around here if you're an accountant or in economics you get teased. Or an engineer you get teased. Then there are nurses jokes and doctor jokes- you name it no matter what profession you're in there are jokes to go with it. Thank the Lord you aren't a lawyer or a mortician!

My perspective like MsSage is that city people have a certain fascination for ranching and given the chance would jump to try it out just to understand it better. Please don't roll all "city folk" in a pile and paint 'em with the same brush. That really IS just plain ignorant!
(I'll get off my little eastern soap box now. :wink: )

While not all city folk look down on farmers and ranchers, they do assume that what they do is less complicated than it really is. Also, city people tend to think of themselves as more enlightened culturally and politically. The day after Bush was re-elected, I couldn't believe some of the things I overheard in Portland about "rednecks" living in the red states - the typical comment insinuated that inbreeding had led to an inability to form rational judgements. And this was coming from people who consider themselves educated.
 

MsSage

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While not all city folk look down on farmers and ranchers, they do assume that what they do is less complicated than it really is. Also, city people tend to think of themselves as more enlightened culturally and politically

I KNOW how hard farming is. I know your job is everyday and ALL day. You have to understand everything from animals to profit and loss statements. More enlightened? How did I come across that way? I find most of the "culture" that is being offered in my city to be a waste of time and against my belifes. If your saying enlightened politiclly as in as long a it does not effect anyone else you can do it, then you have me pegged wrong. I will say outright I am a conservative republican and have very strong views about "hot topic" items.
The people I surround myself with do not feel they are better than or more enlightened than any other person. We treat everyone with dignity and respect.
Just as there are farmers who are narrow minded, self rightous, mean spirited there are people who live in the city.
I will judge a man by his actions and how he treats those who have less than him or someone he has nothing to gain from.
 

greg

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sw,looked up your website,was very impressed...this is somthing I've thought for a long time would be a great idea....if more young people were educated on what revolves around farming and ranching there would be less inclination to join radical groups like Peta,emailed this site to daughter-in-law who is a teacher! Keep up the good work,this program ever gets closer to home let me know would love to be involved
 

nr

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mp.freelance said:
nr said:
MsSage said:
ps not all city folk think ranchers & farmers are stupid. Most respect and admire what you do. I know I have a soft spot for one in particular.

What gets me hot under the collar is frequently reading on Ranchersnet complaints of what ranchers think city folk think of ranchers! :x
Good grief. It could not be farther from the truth. It makes me wonder if there is some inferiority complex going on that causes a little teasing to hit yer hot button.
Around here if you're an accountant or in economics you get teased. Or an engineer you get teased. Then there are nurses jokes and doctor jokes- you name it no matter what profession you're in there are jokes to go with it. Thank the Lord you aren't a lawyer or a mortician!

My perspective like MsSage is that city people have a certain fascination for ranching and given the chance would jump to try it out just to understand it better. Please don't roll all "city folk" in a pile and paint 'em with the same brush. That really IS just plain ignorant!
(I'll get off my little eastern soap box now. :wink: )

While not all city folk look down on farmers and ranchers, they do assume that what they do is less complicated than it really is. Also, city people tend to think of themselves as more enlightened culturally and politically. The day after Bush was re-elected, I couldn't believe some of the things I overheard in Portland about "rednecks" living in the red states - the typical comment insinuated that inbreeding had led to an inability to form rational judgements. And this was coming from people who consider themselves educated.

There were (and still are) disgruntled Democrats and they'll say anything. Why take what they say to heart? They're just fighting mad!

I've talked to many what you call "city" people and they admire those who can grow things because they know they've not a clue about growing plants, trees, and animals (hence all the Brown Thumb jokes). It simply hasn't been available to them in many cases or the knowledge wasn't passed down. They're content with their lives and chosen vocations with their specialized knowledge and training just like you are content with your vocation and your specialized knowledge and training. That doesn't mean they're looking down on anyone. The great surge in gardening interest is an indicator that people are "discovering" how interesting the growing process is.

Anyway, folks will talk about the differences and wonder out loud how people can stand them. Eg. westerners wonder how easterners can put up with the traffic and easterners wonder how westerners put up with the distances they must travel. It is all what you're accustomed to.

Also, don't you think Americans have ALWAYS teased people and joked around usually about something / some person that is different from them. I never heard the Norwegian Ole jokes until I got on Ranchersnet. They'd have to be classified as denigrating if somebody wanted to make a stink. If you want to get upset about something why don't you get in a flaming uproar about those jokes and their implications?
Once more, I'll get off my little soapbox :!: :wink:
 

nr

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I'll have to reply to my reply.
Maybe what could be said to those you think are being denigrating to the
ranching/farming jobs:

"Well, you've worked to feed your whole family of (let's say) 5 people every day
but in ranching I've raised food for over (100?) folks a day all my life. (I have no idea what the large number would be but, anyway, that might give them pause to think.

OR you could ask them a series of questions. Questions based on the science of animal husbandry for example:
"If you had to raise your own meat which of these grasses would be acceptable and which would not. Which has the highest protein level?
How would you know your cattle have scrapies? What are the symptoms and treatment? What about...(all the other illness/birthing problems)?"
Or questions about the business end of ranching, "when would you sell and how would you figure the profit margins..."
Or questions about govt regs
Or questions about whether they knew all the skills needed to fix all the tractors, trucks, balers...or had the strength even to do them...
Or weather problems "How would you solve the problem of getting water to your cattle in below freezing weather?"

Those and better questions you could think up would stop any person unaquainted with ranching dead cold in their tracks. If they say "I'd just call the vet or a mechanic" you could fill them in on the cost taken away from the profit. It might be a verrrrrry interesting conversation come to think of it :lol: :wink: :!:

Hey, how about picking a fight with one of those "city folk" today and letting us know how the conversation goes. :D I'd love to hear what they answer to the ranching questions. Be prepared for a HUGE side-step or back-peddling!
 

sw

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Greg, some of us are going into Vancouver this year, so we are getting closer to your neck of the woods. One thing about it, I know where I can find more ranchers and farmers when the time comes that we need more providers!! :wink:
 

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