So yesterday I talked about how one of my students threw an orange at a staff member in my classroom. Today I’d like to talk about how that situation continued to affect me. As part of our discipline process, when a student is sent home for such behavior they need to come back the next morning with their parent (or support person) before school to process and problem-solve. Until that meeting happens, a student is not allowed in school. For 99% of parents, it’s not an issue, but this morning the orange-throwing-student’s mother said she was not going to miss work to do the meeting and that I should just allow the student back in school. After re-explaining the policy to her, she expressed her frustration and anger and then said, “If anything happens to [student] today then I’m holding you personally responsible.”
What do you do when a parent is clearly unsupportive of the situation? As teachers it often falls on us to teach social skills as well as subject matter. When parents don’t support the education process as a whole, or when they think that teachers are “power-tripping” how do you handle it? How do you continue to work with a parent who is passing on a message of “being treated unfairly” to their child?