Thursday, April 14, 2005

It's That Time Of Year Again

As just about every classroom teacher knows, the run-up to the end of the year is the the time that things around a school campus sometimes gets weird. For example, this is when the Angry Parent often comes out of the woodwork:
The shooting last week of a Texas high school football coach -- allegedly by a player's father -- was just the latest example of the threats and assaults that teachers across the country say they are being subjected to by parents.

''I know teachers really feel they're in a pressure cooker," said Aimee Bolender, president of Alliance/AFT, a Dallas teachers union. ''The respect for authority has definitely changed. Teachers are no longer respected in general.

"In Philadelphia in September, a woman slapped a teacher three times in the face after he told her she needed to get a late slip for her daughter, state officials say.

In Dallas on April 1, police say, a woman stormed into a classroom, grabbed a teacher's hair, and punched her and kicked her after the teacher scolded the woman's daughter for loitering outside a locker. The mother is herself a teacher in Dallas.

Educators attribute the growing number of assaults and arguments, in part, to a general decline in civility and the intense competition to get into certain colleges.

Carnival Of Education entrant First Year Teacher does a fine job summarizing the feelings of many of us classroom teachers at this time of year in a letter home to a "newly interested" parent.

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