Letter - Parents need to teach kids respectDennis Dalman’s article on bullying in the schools in the April 2 issue was very good. He is right in saying that teachers and administrators need to recognize and act when they see such activities occurring.
To the editor:
Dennis Dalman’s article on bullying in the schools in the April 2 issue was very good. He is right in saying that teachers and administrators need to recognize and act when they see such activities occurring. However, I would like to point out the reluctance that some teachers may have to act in certain circumstances for fear of action being taken against them.
Our son was recently let go by a charter school in Minneapolis. Charter school teachers are not under contract but are “at will” employees. They can be let go at anyone’s whim. Our son was let go because of action he took during an actual fire alarm (not a drill) at his school. While the students were outside, they began throwing snowballs and our son told them to stop. Seconds later, after getting hit by a snowball himself, he grabbed the arm of a 20-year-old student who was attempting to throw another. He did this in an attempt to prevent injury to anyone.
He did not hit the student. He did not tackle the student. He merely grabbed his arm to stop the throwing motion. The family’s only question was, “If our kid is being suspended, what did you do to the teacher?” After threats were made by the family to sue the school, our son was let go. The reason given was that he touched a student inappropriately. Our son may now be reluctant to become involved in future situations he may encounter in the school environment.
Changes need to be made in the schools to make everyone comfortable in dealing with bullying and other incidents. “Oh, but my child would never do that.” “Kids will be kids.” “No harm was done.” These are just some of the attitudes that need to be changed.
Parents need to teach their children respect for everyone. Teachers, students, people of all abilities deserve the same respect. The problem stars at home. Yes, the teachers need to recognize and act when situations occur, but they need to be able to do that without threat of retaliation.
Gene and Mary Rossum