Wednesday, February 27, 2008

In the news

This headline jumped right out at me.

Recording has parents wondering what takes place at school

How much do you really know about what goes on in your child's classroom? A case in Houston probably has many parents wondering. A teacher was recorded verbally attacking students in class.

The abuse in Houston was taking place with 4 and 5-year-olds. Here in Utah, private preschool teachers do not need to be licensed, so parents really need to be on alert for any kind of teacher who may be demeaning a child.

As a side note, I thing the comment about private schools and teacher licensing is beside that point. A license doesn't prevent this sort of thing. The teacher in this story worked for a government school anyway, not a private school. Now back to the story....

After being told their daughter had behavioral problems, the family placed a digital tape recorder in Megan's backpack. This is what they heard: "Nobody are you good for. You're just a bad kid. When are you going to be a good kid?"

The teacher singled out students and directed anger toward the entire class. Among the things she could also be heard saying, was, "You're just mean to your teacher, and I'm going to be mean to you, too," and "Ya'll are just stupid kids, I swear to God."

This article ends with another inane comment.

Again, we want to emphasize these situations are not real common. Excluding preschools, most school teachers go through training and discussions with their districts on classroom management.

I liked the coverage better from ABC News:

Teacher to 4-Year-Olds: 'You Are All Just Stupid Kids'

A Houston mother, who said her daughter was well-behaved at home, was worried about what was going on in her child's classroom because the girl had been suspended four times for bad behavior.

So, Diana Mijares decided to secretly bug her daughter's backpack and was shocked to hear what was on the tape.

Megan Mijares' digital tape recorded mostly mundane moments at Memorial Elementary School's prekindergarten class, but then it captured the teacher yelling at the group of 4- and 5-year-olds. All of it happened without Megan's or her teacher's knowledge.

"You're just a bad kid," the teacher says on the six-hour tape. "You're mean to me, so I get to be mean to you."

This is where things get really sad.

In response to the allegations, the Houston Independent School District is investigating the case and the school's principal has reassigned the teacher.....

The teacher has a history of parental complaints. Another mother told ABC News Houston affiliate KTRK that the teacher yelled at her young son and then slapped his face in December.

Houston school officials confirmed a slapping allegation was reported to the principal. After an investigation, the principal found evidence the teacher slapped a student and she was disciplined.

"She was suspended for one day without pay back in December," said district spokesperson Terry Abbott.

Why is someone like that in a classroom with a bunch of little kids? The really scary things is that parents of the other children were so oblivious to the problem. How long would this have continued if the parents of this little girl had not investigated on their own?

This is one of the reasons my children do not attend government schools. I do not entrust my children into the care of strangers, especially when they are too young to articulate what happens in the classroom.

Technorati tags: homeschooling, homeschool, home school, home education, parenting, children, education


christinemm said...

Thank you for blogging this. I had not heard it. This is a crazy story.

I was going to blog it and link to you. However as usual there is something odd with your blog setting that it is very hard to get a permalink to one post. On my blogger blog I just click on the title of my post and I am sent to the URL for that post. I don't know why yours doesn't do that. Can you tell me how to get a permalink to your individual postings?


Janine Cate said...

Wow, I don't know. I will have to ask Henry.

Henry Cate said...

I don't know what the problem might have been. Maybe Blogger was a bit goofy?

Normally when I click on the date at the bottom of one of our posts, I get the permalink.