Cheating Kids Drive Out Biology Teacher
"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored." Aldous Huxley
Letter written to reporter by Karen Horwitz
I am a former teacher who has become an educational activist after experiencing abuse as a teacher. I was listening to WLS about the teacher from Piper School in Kansas City, who quit in protest after the School Board went against her decision to give her students zeroes for cheating.
I had a student who was tardy 27 times in a 60-day grading period. I had the choice of giving her a plus for excellent, a slash for satisfactory or an X for needs improvement. I chose the latter. The parent insisted on meeting with me prior to the issuance of the report card so she would know what grades to expect. The principal ordered me to meet with her. I told her about this X. The parent came to my room after school and threatened me that I had to change that grade or else. She then went to the principal who ordered me to change the grade. I refused after being assured by the union that it was my right. There was no way I could consider being tardy and disrupting the class almost 50% of the time as satisfactory. I was accused of insubordination for this. (They were in the process of making a case against me because I had spoken out and they were trying to get rid of me. I stayed on with the abuse so I could document it and write a book. So this report card issue was only one of many outrageous issues.)
I am currently working on this book about teacher abuse since I believe it is the number one reason our schools are so dysfunctional. I know that some people believe the problem is parents, but the parents are only problems because the administrators and/or School Board refuse to support the teachers as professionals. Thus, we cannot expect to keep or attract quality teachers and the profession is rapidly becoming a non-profession. Beyond that, many school boards and administrators support outrageous, self-indulgent parents so they can maintain support, as many parents are unhappy about the dumbing down of the schools and many other issues. This way they have some insulation from the parents who are rightfully disgusted about what is going on in the schools. The best insulation is parents who operate from greed as the administrators do. Also, by keeping the teachers in their place, leadership can put programs into places without the fear of any insiders speaking out. They are too afraid.
It is wonderful that you wrote about this issue. Schools have had a free ride for far too long and for some reason the media has not closely scrutinized the leadership. Whether it is this situation or Columbine, it is far too simplistic to only blame it on parents. There will always be ridiculous parents. Schools need to be the professionals and the leadership needs to support their teachers. Look beyond the surface as to why parents like this are being supported. Don't let them fool you. All the money and power is at the top of the profession and maintaining an uneven playing field is key to the greed of those in charge. Dubious leaders are not going to draw support from critical thinking, ethical adults. They need those self-indulgent parents on their side and so they capitulate on issues that do not affect their selfish needs and line up their soldiers.
If you are interested in publishing any more articles about education, I would be happy to share my experiences and insight with you or any media person wanting to help bring our schools back to our children and upstanding citizens who are currently out of the power loop. I have significant documented proof that our schools are unethical and dysfunctional. Do we have to wait until a situation equal to planes ramming into buildings to shake up our educational leadership the way we had to wait for that to make our airlines secure? That is the direction in which we are heading.
COMMENTS FROM THE AUTHOR
Several months ago, I sent the above article to the reporter who aired this issue on her talk radio show. She responded immediately saying she wished to interview me. I never heard from her again. I wrote her again to inquire why I hadn't heard from her, and still have received no reply.
It is difficult to know the underlying reason why the media ignores abused teachers, but every NAPTA member has complained of an inability to get the media to report this. Therefore, we pray that Oprah or Donahue or someone big enough as a person and as a vehicle for change in our society will take this on the way the Boston Globe took on sexual abuse in the Church. We have faith that they will as our voice grows. That is why we need your stories.
We have to believe that the media's resistance to our plight is also partially due to the disbelief factor - the predator's motto that no one will ever believe the victim is based on reality. I personally ran into that when speaking to at least one reporter. She stated that it was hard to believe I didn't do anything wrong. Later when I referred to her prior statement, she couched it with a statement that she had no reason to believe this was going on all over the country, i.e. not worthy of investigation. Well, start believing. We will continue to add stories of brave teachers who want the truth to come out to take back our schools for our children so that what was once an "it couldn't be", will become a "we are so sorry we ignored you."
As I mentioned, the unions are a powerful force against us. My book, Teacher Cleansing in America, will reveal this phenomenon in more detail. Also, we will be constructing a Link to this site with more information. Just as campaign reform is needed to stop corporate control of our public officials, we need reform to stop the unions from maintaining teacher abuse as a method of keeping our schools in their pockets. (This is done by looking the other way, as well as by sabotaging teachers who try to expose it.) One has only to observe the unions' priorities of stopping vouchers to understand that they are about defending the monopoly of public schools that is failing us. There are extremely powerful lobbyists in Washington, DC, yet you never hear a word about teacher abuse. They know it exists. Every one of our NAPTA teachers have begged them to do something about this and they have consistently kept it hidden. THEY CANNOT BE ABOUT GOOD SCHOOLS, GOOD TEACHERS, AND CHILDREN, IF THEY REFUSE TO REVEAL TEACHER ABUSE. Thus, it is impossible to know whether the unions keep the media under cover with their financial power, or whether the media is simply hampered by lack of funds to investigate. Either way, these two issues play upon each other suggesting both have kept TEACHER ABUSE A DEEP DARK SECRET.