Monday, May 7, 2007

So Much for Schools Claiming to Want Parental Involvement

The Washington Post has a couple of eye-opening stories today about parents being stonewalled by their children's schools after trying to learn the truth about teachers allegedly physically abusing students.

School officials claim that they are "required to hold back information because of privacy laws, union contracts and potential lawsuits." However, critics charge that "school boards often use inaccurate interpretations of privacy laws and confidentiality agreements to conduct important school business out of the public eye."

"As parents of children enrolled in the public school system, it seems that we're informed about issues that affect our children in one of three ways: too late, too little or not at all...It's as if there is an unspoken, unwritten code of silence keeping us at arm's length from being true participants in our children's education."

This type of "code of silence" allows bad apple teachers to get away with unprofessional behavior the same way that cops protecting their own allows corruption to exist within the police force. Sunlight is the best disinfectant and administrators should not cover up misdeeds by their underlings.

If students have been victims of physical abuse by their teachers, the parents absolutely have a right to know! Simply telling the parents that "the teacher no longer is employed at the school" is not sufficient. Sounds to me like the administrators are more concerned with covering their own fannies than with the well-being of the children :-(

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