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Everyone knows “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”
And even though most of us learn this at a young age, it’s always a nice reminder this applies to everyone — not just children.
In this issue of the Beacon, you’ll read how one set of parents met with several teachers and administrators of Jessie Mae Monroe Elementary School regarding a disciplinary issue with their son.
This meeting was audio taped and given to the media. While listening to this tape, I—along with several co-workers—was shocked and at times appalled at the tone the teachers and administrators used toward concerned parents.
While the parents were heated at times during the discussion, several teachers raised their voices, too. One teacher asked the parent, “What’s the point?” of the meeting, as he did not understand the extent of the issue.
The same teacher told the parents they “simply do not understand,” and sounded upset he needed to explain himself to the parents.
Now I was not at this meeting, and neither were my co-workers, but from listening to the tape and not personally knowing many of the parties involved, we could tell from the tone of the teachers and administrators they were not happy to meet with the parents.
The tone and language used was belittling, aggressive and completely unprofessional.
A letter to the editor in today’s edition comes from a Waccamaw parent who said a teacher mocked her child who has a speech impediment.
Teachers are in schools to educate and inspire children, not to tear them down and embarrass them in front of their peers.
While covering different events at schools throughout the county, I have witnessed firsthand that language used toward students is not always appropriate.
My own ears have heard several teachers tell students to “shut your mouths,” and compared their behavior to “babies.”
I can understand the stress teachers go through and how hard of a job it must be, but that’s not an excuse.
Teachers, administrators and others who work in the education field are role models and always need to conduct themselves in a respectable manner. Students look up to their teachers, and they do not need to be embarrassed, humiliated, or belittled.
Parents trust and respect those teachers, and do not need to be treated poorly, either.
Everyone gets stressed and can get caught up in the moment, but my mother always taught me if I say something I don’t mean, or if I say something that wasn’t necessary, an apology is in order.
As far as I know, none of these parents or students have received one.
It seems contradictory to me to send children to school to learn good behavior and manners when those teaching them exhibit the opposite behavior.
Even adults need to be reminded to watch their Ps and Qs.
KATHRYN JACEWICZ is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or firstname.lastname@example.org.