Over the next few days, I will reveal problems which live in our educational system. Those situations represent all four points of view found in “RESCUE THE TEACHER, SAVE THE CHILD!”: students, parents, teachers and administrators.
Problem #5: A litany of a consequence-free society:
*If you purposely bring false charges against a person and they are proven bogus, there exists no consequence for the accuser. This plays out everyday in mainstream media and in our court system.
*If a school board touts a policy of “putting kids first” yet they support the harassment of older, experienced teachers in order to drive them out, there are no consequences for their actions or the offending administrator.
*Hypothetical circle of a consequence-free society: If a child disrupts his home life and is inclined to abusive behavior, parents are reluctant to administer consequences. Same disrespectful child comes to school, where he continually causes problems. If the teacher tries to hand out consequences, the parent complains to the administrator. It appears easier to side with the parent, so the administrator scolds the teacher for the consequences and the parent knows he officially tied the hands of the school. Same child grows up searching for a vocation and of course the parents blame the school system. Now this adult, who believes teaching is the only thing left to do, receives a degree in education. He opens his first day of class in torn jeans and a t-shirt, lectures with profanity, buddies up with his students and we wonder what has happened to the educational system.
*Dress codes: there is no consequence, in most schools, if a student comes inappropriately dressed. When I suggested to one of my parents her daughter’s dress was too short for the stage, the parent explained his child had a right to wear whatever she wished.
*Profane language: One of my students told another school’s choir to F off (she used the word). When I asked for a meeting with the principal, her father sighed and asked why he had to come to the meeting. The girl’s mother boldly stated “it’s a free world and my daughter can say anything she wishes.” And the consequence? Drum roll: there was none.
*Complaining, manipulative parents receive no consequence for harassing a teacher.
*Seldom is bullying addressed and if it is, the condescending rebuke by the administrator to the victim of the bullying allows a consequence-free bully to continue his reign of misdeeds.
So where have all the consequences gone? Everyone appears to fear the word “no.” No, you cannot bring charges without proof. No, you cannot “fire” older teachers just to balance the budget. No, you cannot act out at home. No, you cannot behave this way in school. No, you cannot blame the teacher for trying to establish decorum in his classroom. No, you cannot wear revealing clothes to school. No, you are not allowed to use those words in a civil conversation. No, you cannot demean my staff. No, you cannot bully anyone in this school. The ending to these conversations: And if you decide to continue with this detrimental behavior, you will suffer consequences.
How do you fight back against false charges? How do you protect yourself from forced retirement? Is there a way to correct poor behavior in children and have parents on board? With today’s ACLU oriented society, do we dare ask kids to dress and speak appropriately? What is the response to chronically complaining parents? Is there a way to stop bullying? Great questions. Take a break and enjoy a summer read which addresses these situations and provides solutions. Rescue the Teacher, Save the Child! is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.