Protective mother said...
Years ago, my child came home from school upset, frustrated, angry and rebellious, totally out of character. He was not willing to tell me what was wrong, "Nothing" is all he would say. Was it bullies? Was it the school work? Was it the teacher?
I found out one day when I happened to be a Room mother for the day, in my daughter's classroom, her room happened to not be far from my son's classroom. I heard clearly that teacher screaming at the entire class that they were "stupid", "idiots", "lazy"!!!
She singled out several as the worst. One was my son, who until her class, had always been on the A honor roll for years and always considered one of the best students of the other prior teachers. That day, I had a long talk with my son about what I heard and reassured him that I was going to take action. Of course, he was afraid and intimidated by this teacher for fear of her repercussions to him, I told him not to worry things would change for the better.
The next morning, I arrived at the Principal's office and told him what was going on and that it had better stop immediately. But; I took it one step farther, I told that principal that I was going to sit in on this class as a parent observer, until I got the message across to this teacher that this was unacceptable. He agreed. I did just that, it only took one day. I told the teacher I was there to observe the school work to help my son, since his grades were falling.
She was not happy about it, but accepted my given reason. I sat all the way through the day. My son was scared, but at the same time, glad I was there. The other children appeared to be relieved too. At the end of the day, with nothing said prior during the day, I waited till the kids were gone, then I told her the "real" reason why I was there. Of course, she denied it and in my presence, she was well behaved all the day.
She had no idea that I had heard her the day before, but I let her know I had indeed heard her. I told her that if I EVER heard of her doing my kid or any kids like that again, I would go straight to the board and demand her resignation and if that did not work, the local media would be next. Needless to say it did not happen again, I sporadically went by her classroom on every chance I had, all was well.
My son began to do better and at the end of the year received the Presidential Academic Achievement award for the highest average of all the students for the six years of elementary. the award was presented to him by this same teacher. She was shocked that he had been named for this award. Apparently, she had no clue to his prior years of honor roll achievements.
The following year, that teacher was not rehired. I made sure a few board member friends, knew of her out of control behavior to be sure of it. So yes, parents need to take action and back their threats with whatever is at hand, the board, the media, whatever it takes to stop whatever needs to be stopped and to change whatever needs to be changed.....or THEIR child will pay the price for THEIR neglect and shame on them for having no spine to fight for their child and other children. No child can learn in an oppressive or frightening environment.
There is a large difference between classroom discipline and hostile tyranny. I know first hand what that is like, I was that same child, when I was little and promised myself then, that my kids would never have to suffer from an abusive and cruel teacher, as long as I had breath in me to fight back for them.
It is unfortunate that this type of scrutiny and oversight is necessary in our schools these days, but it is. More parents should get involved in their children's education... and the day that I was denied access to my child's classroom would be the last day of his enrollment in that school.
In my day, parents were not only a welcomed part of the educational system, but were present at almost all functions. The PTA was more about getting parents actively involved in a child's education than mere "pot luck and power-point".
Nothing will change if parents do not demand change! If it takes a national "60 Minutes" tell-all story and a band of cut-throat attorneys, so be it. Why should our children suffer under a tyrannical code of silence imposed by power-mongers and their stooges?
Our children have but one chance at a good education. Once that opportunity is missed, their entire future is in jeopardy.