On AJC columnist and blogger Maureen Downey’s “Get Schooled” blog, I wrote the open letter to parents in response to the remarks of another poster on November 5, 2015:
“If a student refuses to obey a directive from the teacher to leave the classroom, from the principal to leave the classroom, and from the resource officer to leave the classroom, all of the other students have observed the power play at work. Teachers and principals must have some leverage in classroom control. Did you see the violent physical way that the resource officer ended up forcing the student out of her desk? That may be worthy of a lawsuit, but sliding a desk of a student who will not obey an authority figure to leave a classroom out of the classroom is not worthy of a lawsuit because the student’s infraction was severe enough to demand control. Your thoughts would further make teachers and principal ineffective in controlling classroom behavior.
Parents, be careful for what you wish for you may be creating a monster in lack of discipline in our public schools. That recalcitrant student needed to be shown who had the ultimate control in the teacher’s classroom and the other students needed to know that also, not through violence but through isolation. If the student suffers emotional damage because she had put herself in a position to be isolated, then she had created her own isolation and humiliation by her stubborn refusal to recognize that the teacher has the right to control the order of her classroom so that all students will be served well through instruction in a harmonious atmosphere.
Teachers may need to work together for the right to an authentic teacher’s union in this state in order to regain classroom control. What is happening now is totally unacceptable in the schools’ administrations collectively being afraid to address class disciplinary problems, when addressing them is obviously called for, from fear of parental disapproval.
All 35 students in a regular classroom should not have to remove themselves from a classroom because of the willfulness of one recalcitrant student. Setting that extreme precedent for handling disciplinary problems would be far more dangerous to the students’ safety throughout the school than isolating the one disobedient student. There is not enough space in the school building to remove 35 students from all classes in the school building when one student of 35 in every classroom will not respect the directives of the teacher, the principal, nor the school’s resource officer.”
“. . . teachers have political power in this state when they stick together. It has gotten so bad for teachers that working toward real teachers’ unions in Georgia should be seriously considered. First step, vote out of office state Republican politicians, and vote into power in this state, representatives of the NEW Democratic Party, the People’s Party, in Georgia.”