By Coy Bundy
A ninth-grader was in the hallway walking with a vice-principal and a student was on his cellphone, the vice-principal said, "Put it away or go home." The kid responded,"Okay. Okay." The vice-principal said "Get your butt to class and stop being an a**hole."
A Des Moines ninth-grader told me this. After this, the vice-principal and the student kept exchanging words. Do you know what these teachers, advisors and principals are saying to your kids?
This to me is an outrage. It is very inappropriate for teachers or anybody in the school district to speak to our children in this manner. Another instance happened in a middle school. A kid reported to me that a teacher bet a kid $500 they wouldn't make it past the seventh grade. Wow, I wonder why the majority of our minority students struggle in academics? Why should they try if their teachers are already condemning them to be nothings?
In another instance, an eighth grader was having a dispute with the teacher. The teacher told the student if we were outside it would be a different story. Implying that if they stepped out of the school they would be fighting. This was a child, somebody's child. Do all the school's employees speak like this or is it just the urban community? It is hard to believe that all this is happening right under our noses. We as parents need to listen to our children when they tell us an adult was disrespectful to them. Our children have rights, and we have the right to voice our concerns about how our children are treated.
Another instance is a vice-principal telling a student that he overrules her mother's decisions. What exactly does that mean to us as parents? Does this mean that the school can just tell us what they are going to do with our children and talk to our children any way they feel? We have a voice. They are our children. We pay their wages through our taxes. We have more say than they want us to believe. We do not bow down to the schools, we raise up and defend our children. I'm not saying that they have to let our children speak to them in any form and fashion. I just want them to be the adult and show it by example. If I called their child out of their name and bet them they couldn't make it to the next grade, would they like that? I think not. If we don't talk to our children like this, why would we want some total stranger to speak to them like this?
Parents if your child comes home and tells you that they were spoken to in this manner, this is what you have the right to do:
1. You have the right to call the Vice Principal at the school to report the abuse and get a follow up.
2. If this does not work you have the right to have a meeting with the Principal, Vice Principal and teacher who offended your child.
3. If this does not work, you can call the Superintendent's office for your school district at 515-242-7911 (Des Moines.)
4. Usually this is the last stop because the Superintendent's office is really good at listening to the concerns of parents (I know from experience).
5. If all else fails you can go above that office and request to speak to the supervisor.
6. Go to the school board meeting to complain. Call or email school board members.
Please don't turn your ear to your child when they report this to you. This behavior toward your student can affect them in their future. They will have difficulty trusting teachers and they will loose academic self-esteem.