Today, a parent of one of my former students wrote a public letter to the editor accusing me of playing favorites, bullying disabled children, bullying teachers and parents. She ended that my reality was skewed and teachers are not leaving the profession because of what I state in my book (entitled parents and spineless administrators).
A kind gentlemen replied to her accusations: Ma’am- I’d be VERY careful about making any public claim against a teacher like this in writing…even in a comments section like this. It’s clearly based on YOUR perception. Legally this could be considered libel. Just saying- don’t be surprised if you get a summons to a civil court in the near future for monetary damages.
Unfortunately, teachers get these senseless accusatory emails constantly. And we wonder why educators are leaving the field in larger numbers than ever before. We can’t sue every parent who decides to paint a target on our back.
I replied to the kind gentleman (parent name changed to protect the guilty): Thank you for your words of wisdom to Ms. Smith. I actually write about the “Mary Smiths” of the world in my book. They hide behind computers, send vitriol emails and firmly believe they are entitled to these rants. They believe their child deserves better either because of their social status or the boulder on their shoulder. These “Mary Smiths” beat a path to the administrators’ office or better yet, that of the superintendent’s. If they can’t diminish a teacher, then they cast doubt on the teacher’s integrity with false charges. Just for the record, I received an award from the Special Education Department of my school for outstanding service and another award from the Down Syndrome Association for my dedication to Down Syndrome students. The bully mentality of the “Mary Smiths”of this world cannot be ignored and only fuel my belief that they must be addressed in the court of public opinion. Teachers, retired or in the field, deserve better. Thank you Mary Smith for making my point.