Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Student Cheating- Parental Reactions – Part 4

You may wonder why I got so upset over the removal of the student that I wrote about in my last post. While I recognize that the administration always has the final say in the disposition of students, what bothered me so much in this case was not the fact that he was no longer in my class, but the manner of his removal. In failing to insist that the parents first speak to me, as per procedure, in failing to inform me once she took the expedient course, and in overriding the guidance department, she was sending a very powerful message to students: parents have a great deal of power, and if you complain hard enough and loudly enough, you will get your way instead of having to learn from your mistakes.

To the staff, she was essentially saying that our professional judgment and standards were secondary to parental pressure, that when parental push came to shove, parents would be accommodated no matter what. You can well imagine what such aberrant judgment calls can do to staff morale. It affected me a great deal, not because my ego had been bruised, but because the entire process was so lacking in integrity. I literally lost sleep over it, until I realized there was only one way I could achieve catharsis in the matter. That will be the subject of my next post.

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