Friday, December 9, 2011

Parents Hold Incompetent Teacher and Colleagues Hostage

            No one ever said that being a teacher is easy. Teachers these days have to be able to control disrespectful students, competently teach the curriculum so that students can pass high-stakes tests, fulfill the paperwork and meeting demands placed on them by administrators, and communicate clearly with parents. It’s a tough job, no doubt about it, and teachers are bound to have some less-than-perfect moments.

Luckily, it is still highly unusual for a group of unhappy parents to hold a principal and teachers hostage in order to get a teacher fired. Parents of young students at the Notre Dame de Caderot private school in southern France claimed that the internee teacher “lacked authority” and was “behind in instructing the curriculum.” Wow! When was the last time you heard about an incompetent teacher and his colleagues being held hostage by parents? Um…never?

The local Catholic diocese agreed to fire the internee teacher after a stand-off of 17 hours. The parents “won” this battle.  You have to wonder, though, what their children learned about handling difficult situations from this example. Did they learn that people can work through problems by talking to each other? Did they learn that sometimes compromises have to be made? Of course not. The lesson taught here was “might makes right.” If student bullying becomes a problem at the school, the parents will have no one to blame but themselves. They have clearly demonstrated to their children that it is acceptable to use force to get what you want.