Principal’s Problem-Solving Rule for Parents Goes Viral

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – An Arkansas high school’s rule for parents is making headlines after going viral on Facebook, according to KARK-TV.

The Catholic High School for Boys post reads, “Welcome to Catholic High. We teach reading, writing, arithmetic, and problem-solving.”

There’s also a photo of a sign affixed to the school doors instructing parents: “If you are dropping off your son’s forgotten lunch, books, homework, equipment, etc, TURN AROUND and exit the building. Your son will learn to problem-solve in your absence.”

The Facebook post has since been shared over 100,000 times.


Principal Steve Straessle told KARK-TV, “We put a sign up on the front door to not only alert new parents to the policy, but to remind people why we do it,” said Straessle.

Some parents were upset, commenting that kids who forgot their lunches might be hungry. Principal Straessle wants to assure everyone that won’t happen because they know how to problem solve.

Some students even appreciate the rule, like senior Patrick Wingfield, who said, “It makes me think for myself and not rely on other people to do things for me.”

Straessle said the rule was made to benefit the students. “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.”


  • Louise

    extremely impertinent of the school to say parents can’t drop off things their child needs – why on earth shouldn’t they? i certainly wouldn’t let one of my sons go without essental equipment he needed, and certainly wouldn’t let him go witnout lunch. this is a very arrogant notice.

    • Jeff Woehrle

      Louis, you made the point right in your reply:

      “i certainly wouldn’t let one of my sons go without essental equipment he needed…”

      Clearly, the notice isn’t meant for folks like you.

  • trudy Reaney

    A principal after my own heart—— I taught for 45 years and that was always my rule, also “If you don’t do your homework, make sure, you don’t bring a note from your parent that it really wasn’t your fault…” take the punishlment and you won’t forget to do your homework ever, again” Good for you, you really have the education of the students at heart!!!!!!!! KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK

    • Louise

      what on earth has not doing homework got to do with it? This is about forgetting to bring things to school – something anyone might do. why, even adults have been known to forget to bring things now and again, and i see no earthly reason why parents should not bring in things their children (or them) have forgotten. This school is quite uncivlized.

  • Jeff Woehrle

    Wait, personal responsibility? That’s not liberal thinking! We can’t have that! It takes a village to raise a loser.

  • sam

    More schools should do this! We are not teaching kids responsibility, or that there are consequences for their actions when we constantly let their parents bail them out. Also, why aren’t these parents at work instead of constantly running to the school with everything their kid forgot, and why aren’t they helping their kids the night before to prepare for the next day? Society is going downhill.

    • JZ

      There is a flaw in your argument. When parents get older and NEED help, that is because they are physically or mentally unable to complete the task. A child needs to be taught to be self-reliant and responsible. They are physically and mentally able to be responsible. All this sign is doing is forcing children to recognize their innate ability to solve problems.

    • Louise

      even in this day and age, some families have a stay at home parent. I happen to be one, and i would certainly take anything into the school that one of my sons might require, and. I would not take kindly to some arrogant teacher telling me i couldn’t – flaming cheek. teachers are getting far too above themselves these days.

      • Deanne Eldred

        Keep in mind, this is a private school, so the rules governing them are a little different, however even public schools have extra books and equipment that can be borrowed for a day. As for the school lunch, many schools have a free lunch program of some sort to take care of kids who forget their lunch, or can’t afford lunch, they just have to go to the office and say something. Alternatively, when I was in high school I had several friends who came from poor families and didn’t have anything for lunch. We shared what we had of our lunches to make sure they ate. The sign isn’t denying a kid something they need, it’s about teaching responsibility and problem solving in a safe environment.

      • MMMM

        When you have parents or whomever running to the school to drop off items little Johnny/Jane forgot to bring themselves can be disruptive to every one involved. The office staff to the teacher to the students in the class. Everything has to stop because your Little Johnny/Jane forgot to bring their supplies. It is YOUR duty and your CHILDS duty to be prepared. If your child is not prepared now, their future is in trouble. And if their future is in trouble, so is Americas. Get grip and stop wihining! Maybe little Johnny/Jane need to spend more time on studying and less time on their electronics! You are being selfish because you aren’t be coddled. Grow up!

  • Xcv

    A Catholic boys school teaching problem solving? When priests molest kids, move them to another parish – problem solved, right?

  • nojustice_nopeace

    It depends on how old they are..or if they have a blood sugar problem, etc…blanket solutions don’t work for everyone. That’s why inclusion classes are an epic failure. But this is a private school so that changes the game somewhat. They have more flexibility when making their rules as do I because I am paying them to send my kid there! I am more interested in teaching ethics, morals, and values along with reading writing and arithmetic than i am with corporal punishment for human error. It never ceases to amaze me how so many adults hold kids to higher standards than they set for themselves or can barely live themselves!

    • Gabe

      I believe the school’s intent is to actually teach problem-solving, not “corporal punishment for human error.” I think if they implement this in such a way as to encourage independent thinking it could be beneficial. If, as you seem concerned about, it becomes a “tough luck” policy then it should be abandoned.

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.