Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Administrators are beholden to parents

See what Chaz says

 Poor Administration: Many of the small schools have had "Leadership Academy Principals" in charge and quite a few of them lack the necessary classroom skills and mentoring to help their teaching staff. Furthermore, these principals have been taught to not collaborate with the teaching staff and will use intimidation tactics to get their way. The result is high teacher turnover and an unstable school environment. Finally, many of these principals tend to ignore student discipline issues and staff morale suffers. More than one Principal has told their staff that they will call in any student accusations to the investigative agencies OEO, OSI, and SCI no matter how frivolous it may seem to be.


For the most part, admin has a tricky path to walk between teachers, parents, students, the board, etc.  But my issue is that they often choose expediency over truth and justice.  Not once did I witness an administrator hold a student and parents to task for unfounded accusations.

My second year in the dixon unified school district, a student who had been increasingly disruptive claimed I slammed his head against the brick wall.  According to him I sent him outside and did this while class was going on, then he came inside, resumed class but told teachers in subsequent classes I had put my hands on him.  Then he went home and never mentioned it to his parents.  Does something seem out of place here?  It should.  People don't generally "get on" with  their day after having their head slammed against a brick wall. (Gee. Maybe I did it softly?)  I had made the mistake of trying to talk to him outside and I instinctively put my hand on his shoulder as he began to walk away from me.
" Teacher's not sposed to touch dey student," he said.

I told him to take a minute or two and come back in when he was prepared to behave.  I walked back into the room and heard him kick the wall with the sole of his shoe about a minute later.  The principal caught wind of his accusations and asked me to call the parents over the holidays.  I did.  As I've already said, this was all news to the parent.  "Did you touch my chile?"
When I admitted I had put my hand on his shoulder the woman really lost it.  When school resumed, the parents came in and the child was moved to another class.  An investigation began and I found that one student claimed the big bang on the wall happened as I was outside.  What never seemed to occur to the investigating authorities was that if someone gets their head slammed against a brick wall their tends to be some evident trauma.  The investigation did reveal that some T.A's had witnessed me talking to this kid and saw no sign of violence. The most the principal would concede in the end was that there was not enough evidence to conclude that I had committed this egregious assault.

This is true.  But it should have been obvious by his behavior and the lack of physical evidence that he was not being truthful.  Of course, the administration did not want to do this, but I think they should have taken a moral stand on it. Vindictive complaints based on hearsay should be called just that.  The district opens itself up to even greater threats when parents and students think they can throw such unfounded, false accusations around with no consequences to themelves. But this is the system now in place.  Teachers are lame ducks under this situation.  It is only a matter of time until one of these groundless accusations takes them out.

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