Students Kneeling Before Administrators Is All the Rage in One School


Update: Supporters of the Principal say the practice was only meant to reflect the tactic used in sports – take a knee.

The practice has been ended according to Yahoo news.

The explanation is unclear. In football, when the guy returning the kick has the option of running the ball or not, he takes a knee if he’s not. That is the only take a knee I know of and I don’t see the connection.


At Yucaipa School District in San Bernardino, California, the principal of one of the elementary schools, Dana Carter, had students drop down on one knee holding their hands to their side several times a day, according to news reports. They had to remain that way until the principal or another administrator came out, and raised his or her hands to release them to go to class. The Principal wants to keep them safe, according to reports.

The Superintendent has a name for it and it is all the rage – ‘positive behavior intervention.’ It’s an attempt to modify behavior in a Pavlov’s dogs kind of way.

If the principal wanted to make sure students were safe giving some the impression of a robotic, filial devotion to administrators, he succeeded.

The principal has the following behavior intervention plan posted on the site:

Positive Behavior Support (PBS)

Last year, the school began implementing PBSS strategies across campus to assist with supporting successful student behavior. These research-based strategies are used in over 18,000 schools across the nation. Building on last year’s components of “Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe and Be a Problem Solver.”

They will continue to provide behavior supports to students in three ways this year:

1. Define clear expectations how students can be Respectful, Responsible, & Safe throughout the campus. This will occur through classroom instruction and school wide postings defining clear expectations for students and staff.

2. Introduce universal expectations for safe behavior on the playground. Students will be asked to stop and take a knee/sit at the end of each recess period. Once all students have complied, they may walk and line up to return to class. [Emphasis mine, why didn’t he stick with the sitting?]

3. Each week Calimesa will focus on a different “Survival Skill” for students that will help them to achieve success at school. Once all 16 “Survival Skills” have been addressed, teachers will repeat the cycle reinforcing prior learning.

The practice ended after this flyer was sent around: Kneel Children!

One parent said she was upset because she thinks the principal wants to be a king and we don’t have kings in this country.

The student handbook has this:

Calimesa Elementary School advocates positive attitudes and behavior from our students. We expect our students to take responsibility for their own behavior and develop positive behavior strategies in both the classroom and on the playground.

Our goal at Calimesa is to make our school a safe and happy place where boys and girls can learn. In order to do that, all of us must respect each other’s feelings and rights. That means we must follow certain rules.

And kneeling before administrators does this?

We can’t pray in school but it might be okay to kneel before administrators in 18,000 schools across the nation if you believe the school handbook.

Better read your child’s handbook parents!

Full story at CBS LA