Time for one more post before the scalpel does its work:)
“A youth, when at home, should be filial, and,
abroad, respectful to his elders. He should be earnest and truthful.
He should overflow in love to all, and cultivate the friendship of the
good. When he has time and opportunity, after the performance of these
things, he should employ them in polite studies.”
The quote from Confucius illustrates the perfect child and perfect student; it doesn’t mention the parents because, in his days, teachers were venerated and respected by all (not quite the same today).
No, I am not talking about parents beating up their kids physically and emotionally; there are plenty of those. The subject of this post is a topic almost never mentioned in educational blogs: Parents who abuse the school, the district, and the teachers. The fear of lawsuits and of losing one’s job make the teachers and school officials bow down and offer the abusive parent whatever he/she wants. It is disgraceful, it is expensive, and it flies against the educational experience of experts who in vain try to convince the mother or father that they know best.
“I want that teacher in English, that one for science, that coach for P.E. and, (believe it or not), that special ed teacher, nobody else. Oh, I forgot, I want him/her in band (even if the poor darling is tone-deaf), and I want him/her in advanced classes (even if the student suffers from very low I.Q.). I also want a one-on-one aide to accompany my kid from class to class (no special reason, the kid is perfectly capable of walking to the classroom by him/herself). “
Tragically, most schools and quite a few teachers will give in to ridiculous demands, thus affecting the student’s academic progress, even if timorous educators still give him/her passing grades to get rid of the pernicious mother/father. Of course, this type of parent interference with our profession is not widespread, fortunately; but it illustrates in part the weaknesses of public education, when politics and outside influence invade the teaching process.
I can understand and share the trauma of parents whose kid is being abused by the lone bad teacher; it happens too often and they, the parents, must make sure they report such situation to the respective authorities. But when parents abuse teachers verbally and make silly demands that have no basis in reality, it’s time to scream foul, it’s time for principals to show some backbone and it’s time for judges to dismiss these frivolous lawsuits against school districts that cost thousands of dollars every year, money that comes out of funds that should go to improving education.