Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Jay Mathews on bad things can happen to your child at school, and the school doesn't have to tell you

This is disturbing. Jay Mathews' recent column Teachers in Trouble, Parents Ignored-- Part II is the second in a series "about parents who are denied important information and find themselves frozen out of important decisions about their children's teachers."

Several children suffered from a teacher. One student told her mom that the teacher "ordered the class to count to 10 in French while he hit the boy 10 times with a ruler." Then suddenly the teacher no longer worked at the school. Years later the girl was still scared of asking for help in school. Parents started asked the school for more information. The school stone walled the parents, and said they didn't have to tell the parents anything.

As the parents started talking with each other they heard more horror stories. For example one mother said "Her son was in counseling because of emotional distress. She thought it was because of her divorce, but now she wondered if it was related to what happened in his second grade class."

I understand that when you have a couple million teachers that you will have bad apples. The problem Jay is focusing on, and I agree with, is parents need to know. They are the ones who can help the children recover from a traumatizing experience with a bad teacher. The parents and children might otherwise suffer for years.

(Hat tip: Google alert)

Technorati tags: public school, parenting, children, education


Heather said...

THe comments on the article are appalinge! I cohuld only read the first half dozen - any of them APPLUDED the teacher!

Dizzy Dezzi said...

I found that my worst classes during my elementary years and even my college years included teachers who had not problem being rude and demeaning to the students.

I got my blog name "Dizzy" from a teacher who was belittling me in my 4th grade class. She called me "Dizzy Desi" and for all the years I attended that school (3 more, after 4th), whenever another student wanted to hurt my feelings, they didn't have to call me fatty or n****r, all they had to do was call me Dizzy Desi and I would fall apart.

Even though I was usually the brightest kid in the class, I usually spoke up very little for fear that I would be "shamed" by my teachers if I got an answer wrong.

That is one of the things I desperately wanted to spare my children from and that is one of a "gazillion" reasons why I home-school.

Renae said...

Who is the school trying to protect? I don't think it is the children.