Sunday, December 4, 2011

How does fear of lawsuits drive school behaviors?

Central administration spends their time in meetings, crunching numbers, dealing with complaints and discipline issues, etc. Their priorities are skewed towards the group and protecting the institution. Teachers deal with small groups on the front line of program delivery and have a personal stake in their small world.  Who is consumed with a fear of lawsuits?  Administration.  I still recall the assistant superintendent castigating me for saying "I teach the flavor of the month" in reference to teaching a variety of subjects.  Even after I explained I meant no offense I was told that I needed to watch what I said and that I was lucky because it was only adults around to hear it.  Huh???  This article examines the role lawsuits play in all this.  I think it underscores the idea that laws and rules are not always a remedy and that the cure can be worse than the disease.

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