When Teachers And Parents Behave Badly…

*Image Credit: perfectnannymatch.com

    This week, I sent a lengthy email to my son’s teacher about how displeased I am at how she’s dealt with a bully in the class who has targeted my son all year.  It seems the teacher has turned a blind eye to a lot of the bully’s behavior, in my opinion.  I’m completely fed up with the situation and I CC’d a copy of the email to the school’s Principal, who has yet to even acknowledge the email.  Below is a copy of the email that I sent:

Dear Ms. ______,This morning, as we were getting ready for school my son shared with me that he was again excluded from playing ball with the boys by ______.  He stated that ______ went up to you and told you that his parents said he couldn’t play with my son. It seems this boy is also rallying the other children to not play with my son maliciously.

Let me begin by saying that I find many of the comments that you have made this year to my son to be deplorable.  This includes saying that you were surprised the two boys were playing one day since they are supposed to “be arch enemies.”  As an educator myself, I can’t imagine that you think it’s appropriate to say some of these things to the children or in front of the children.

It’s quite obvious that you made up your mind about my son a long time ago for reasons I’m unaware of.  Ironically, my son has had a wonderful record at your school for having excellent grades and behavior, that is until he entered your class.  You have chosen to turn a blind eye to the fact that ______ is a bully who uses filthy language and terrorizes the other kids.

I actually know of other parents whose children have been mistreated by him in organized sports as well. But, since his mother  volunteers at the school, nothing is done about it.  Yet, you have made it your business this year to alert me that my son was not communicating positively.  I wonder, have you alerted the bully’s mother to her son’s bad behavior? He curses like a truck driver, hits other kids, and even throws food at other kids during lunch, as he did to another child yesterday.

Do you not find it disturbing that ______ would lie and say such cruel things to my son?  I wonder if you consider that to be positive communication.  Then you tell my son not to get upset when he has tears in his eyes because he is feeling marginalized.  I’m sorry, how should a child react when he is being shunned by his peers due to a mean spirited bully?

Frankly, my husband and I are fed up.  We can’t wait until this school year is over so our son will have a new teacher next year. We are hoping that the treatment he has received this year will not have a lasting effect on his view of school.  I have worked with you all year and corrected my son when I thought he was wrong and am appalled that this situation has been allowed to get to such a point.

I hope the Principal will address this issue of teachers fraternizing with certain parents and playing favorites while turning a blind eye to bad behavior.  I have another son in a younger grade and, rest assured, if I see that either one of my children is mistreated or allowed to be bullied like my son has been this year, we will address it right away.

Just because my son is bigger than the bully, does not mean he is the aggressor. Perhaps you should pay closer attention to the events taking place in your class.  My son has been at your school since he was 4 years old and I’ve never gotten anything but wonderful reports. All of a sudden, ______ comes to the school two years ago, and my son is upset all the time. Coincidence? I think not.

I pay just as much tuition as every other parent at your school and I expect my children to be treated appropriately while they are there.  Additionally, I expect that neither one of my children will be treated any differently by any staff member due to the fact that I have chosen to speak up about this issue.

I will continue to work with my son to ensure that he completes his work and stays organized.  Additionally, I will continue to encourage him to communicate positively despite the bad behavior being modeled by others around him. This is the first time that I’m disappointed with your school and I hope it will be my last.

Sincerely,

Maria Castro

    As you all can see, this is a situation that quickly spiraled out of control which sorely needed to be addressed.  Have any of you had to call your children’s teachers out for bad behavior?

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Comments

  1. Shelia Slusher says

    I have had to address a teacher before. There were little things my daughter told me were going on and i kept them inside my head until my daughter came home in tears one day over a test grade that she made an A on. Apparently the A was not high enough and the teacher called out all the students that didn’t meet her arbitrary number. I sent an email addressing this issue along with the other issues. I told her how unprofessionally it was that she called out the students this way; I was a teacher at the time (I stay home now). This teacher apologized to my daughter.

    I have a younger daughter that may possibly get this teacher next school year. I am not worried about it (as much) as this teacher knows I will not tolerate anything like this again.

    • Shelia, as an educator myself, it really made me feel badly that I would even have to address a fellow educator in this way. You and I are on the same wavelength because I knew that, not only did I need to address what was happening with my son this year, but also let her know that I will not tolerate this kind of thing when my younger son ends up in her class a few years from now. It is despicable that it even has to come to the point that we have to raise the battle cry as parents.

  2. paulakiger says

    Our situation (well the most recent one I can remember!) is somewhat different but it still involves parent/teacher communication. In 10th grade, my daughter’s world history teacher included a lot of reading out loud as part of his plan. That’s fine but he really made it like drama class, encouraging the kids to be VERY EXPRESSIVE. Anyway, my daughter had made comments throughout the year about his inappropriate behaviors (staring at girls’ cleavage, etc.) but it wasn’t anything concrete. One day when my daughter was reading out loud and he was encouraging her to “express,” he told her to “wrap your lips around the words like you were wrapping them around your boyfriend.” She left the class in tears. I immediately emailed him, stating that using that approach was ineffective to put it mildly. He left me a voice mail that evening (I did not hear the phone ring). I requested a meeting. I requested that the principal or assistant principal join us (the assistant did). We reviewed the situation and he said, “well I didn’t know she would take it that way – I’m a child of the 60s.” He acted kind of clueless and said he wasn’t sure what we wanted. I said it was simple: don’t use sexually suggestive language in front of my daughter.” I’m convinced (but can’t prove) that he has a pattern of these behaviors … he’s the union representative at the school for faculty so that probably helps him out. But at least by handling it this way there’s documentation and my daughter survived the year relatively unscathed. It’s all challenging; I hope your son’s teacher has a dialogue with you; I would not stop at this email if you don’t get a response. For sure. Good luck, Maria.

    • How awful, Paula! His comments to your daughter were inappropriate and disgusting. The teacher did actually email me back and was initially defensive until I made it clear to her that I wasn’t going to stand for having my son, who has always loved school, now hate going to school because of all these issues. She calmed her tone and tried to play the victim after that saying she feels caught between the kids and the parents. I’ve been a teacher for over 13 years and have never allowed bullying in my classroom. As a teacher, you have to be aware of what is taking place in your classroom. As far as the Principal, he is playing possum right now because he does not want to suffer my wrath, I suspect. 😉

  3. kSquaredGlamour says

    i haven’t experienced any of these situation thus far and i hope not to when my daughter starts kindergarten this year

  4. Frugal and Fun Mom says

    I’m sorry your son is going through this. I hope things will get better. Very nicely worded letter. Update us on the situation.

  5. Very well written letter. Whether or not a child is happy at school all depends on the teacher. Your son’s teacher is actually the real bully here for siding with the family of the bully. I’ve seem too many kids have a bad school year because of one bad teacher. And what drives me crazy is that principals almost always protect the teacher because of tenure. I hope your sons gets the best teacher in the school next year. And on the bright side, once they are in high school, they have many teachers a day, so one bad one won’t ruin the whole schooling experience.

  6. My son is just a toddler, so I’m not looking forward to running into problems as he gets older.

  7. I think this is a very well written letter. As a former educator it infuriates me when I see this sort of behavior by teachers. I have had to address bullying with one of my children before and finally wound up involving the police since the bully lived in my neighborhood.

  8. Misha Estrada says

    Good for you. This was a very proactive and assertive action, and I applaud you for it. I have 4 children. Both of my boys have special needs, so I am pretty involved. Luckily, they both have had great paras and teachers (and peers too!), who watch out for them very well. I actually have to look out more for my oldest daughter, who just finished seventh grade yesterday. There is just so much bullying, drama and cruelty in middle school. My son will be going to middle school in the fall, and I a fully prepared to be up at that school everyday if I need to. I’m sure they’re going to love me, lol.

  9. It’s so frustrating when teachers play favorites and turn a blind eye to obvious problems in the classroom. Good for you for directly addressing the situation. I hope you see some positive changes.

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