FORT MORGAN, Colo. (CBS4) – A mother who sent her children to school wearing shirts that said they were being punished is upset with the school’s reaction.

Jessica Rocha told CBS4 that officials at Green Acres Elementary in Fort Morgan made her children cover up the shirts and she feels the school interfered with her right to discipline her children. She said her children came up with the idea as a form of punishment.

Rocha was at her wits end.

“We have tried everything,” Rocha said.

Her 8-year-old stepdaughter and 9-year-old son were continually misbehaving at home.

“We have tried taking toys away, we’ve tried grounding them from TV,” Rocha said.

As a new form of punishment she sent them to school wearing t-shirts stating what they had done wrong.

“It says ‘I am disrespectful,’ and then it says ‘disrespectful’ and the definition,” she said.

Her daughter wore a similar shirt.

“It says ‘I steal.’ “

(credit: CBS)

Jessica Rocha’s daughter’s “punishment shirt” (credit: CBS)

Rocha said the shirt was met with some criticism from school officials and her daughter was told to cover up the message.

“The principal seemed to have a personal problem with it,” Rocha said.

She feels that school overstepped its bounds when it comes to her parenting and says that the shirts didn’t disobey the dress code.

“So, it’s okay for the school to do it because they’re professionals, they have a degree. But it’s not okay for a parent to draw attention to her child to make her child answer for what he or she has done.”

CBS4 spoke to some parents to see what they thought about the incident.

“I think singling out a kid like that is pretty rude,” one parent said.

“As parents, it’s a tough decision how to discipline your kids. I think the school is doing what they think is right and she’s probably doing what she thinks is right,” another parent said. “I’m not sure as a parent what I would do.”

CBS4’s Ty Brennan made multiple attempts to contact the superintendent of the school district about the situation, but when he arrived at the school he was met with police.

Rocha said the behavior of her children has improved since the shirts were made. She said she’ll continue to send them to school wearing the t-shirts as a form of punishment when they misbehave.


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