Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What is the world coming to?

I have a friend who works in an elementary school. She teaches second grade. She is a dedicated, first class teacher.
She has child in her class that was supposed to take a note home to his parents. She told the child to put the note in his backpack and to show it to his parents. He put the note in the backpack, but didn't show his parents.
This went on for a couple of days.
At the end of the day, she taped a small note to the kid's sweater that said something to the effect, "Please see note in backpack." It was not a large note on his sweater. It was a small post-it sized note. It was not pinned to the child or his body. It was taped to the kid's sweater.
The child left her classroom and went to his after care classroom where he spent another 2.5 hours. Not one person said a thing. Not one teacher took off the note. The kid was not bothered by the note - because if he were, he would have taken it off. He played with his friends all afternoon without a single mention of the note on his sweater.

The next day, my friend got a call from the parent telling her that they were going to sue her and the school system for "psychological damage" to their child because she taped the note to the kid's sweater. They said the note was like a "scarlet letter". They told her they were going to the media. Obviously, they have not done that because if they had, you'd have heard about it and the issue would be over and done with...

The principal of the school, who had just met with my friend the afternoon before about her lesson plans and the goings on in her classroom and had only kudos for my friend, told my friend that she was now on administrative leave.
Just to be totally obnoxious, the parents of the kid turned my friend and her family into DSS. Fortunately, DSS has better things to do and and sent her a letter stating that they were not going to do anything about this issue because there is no issue.

That afternoon, my friend got an email totally unrelated to this issue from a parent. She typed up an answer and forwarded it to her idiot principal with a note stating that she wasn't sure if she should answer directly, but that if he would like to forward her answer that would be fine. He told her that the response she typed up was wonderful and that she could go ahead and send it to the parent. (Excuse me? Isn't she on administrative leave because she's such a bad teacher?)

My friend was then called into the Superintendent's office. He had never met her. He just told her that she was an awful person and that it would be best if she resigned. She has not yet resigned. I hope she doesn't. She didn't do anything wrong. She retained a lawyer who told her that the county did intend to go forward on her case and get rid of her.

So... she has 15 days to decide if she wants the issue investigated by a 3 member panel. She picks one member, the family picks one member and then those 2 members choose a 3rd. After that, they have 30 days to investigate and decide her fate.

She did not hurt the child; she did not rape the child; she simply taped a note to the kid's sweater.

So the county that this woman works for is going to lose a terrific teacher because of some stupid parent. The kids in her class are losing because their teacher isn't in the classroom - they have a long term sub. Oh, yes, that's so much better... NOT!

Those of you who teach in public school - don't tape notes to your kids' sweaters... It supposedly scars the kids for life.

So - what do you think? Should this teacher lose her job for taping a note to a kid's sweater?

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