Parent Stupidity

<p>A recent thread asked parents to chime in with stories of school stupidity. If parents believe that schools have a monopoly on stupidity, they are sadly mistaken. In the interest of fairness, therefore, I thought that I would solicit tales of parent stupidity. I'll start the ball rolling with two stories of my own:</p>

<p>1) A young student on the wrestling team was molested by an older wrestler in a sick type of hazing incident. Was the mother of the older student mortified? Embarrassed? Concerned for the well-being of that poor sophomore? Concerned for the psychological well being of her OWN son? Of course not! No, her interest was in keeping her son on the team, and preventing his expulsion from school. To this end, she hired a lawyer who is now suing our school district. Ah, yes, it was the SCHOOL DISTRICT that was wrong, right? Now that's stupidity!</p>

<p>2) Then we have a young man who earned a tennis scholarship to a major university. During the spring semester of his senior year, WHILE he was failing a course that was a graduation requirment, and AFTER the teacher of the course warned the father that his son was failing, good ol' Dad excused him from school to attend camps and to take a nice vacation to Hawaii. What's that, you say? Right! That's stupidity!</p>

<pre><code> But wait, it gets better! After the kid fails the class, good ol' Dad brings in a lawyer to try to strongarm the teacher, principal, and superintendent into giving Junior a diploma. Ah, yes, once again, it's the SCHOOL'S fault, isn't it? (You know the drill by now: That's stupidity!)

<p>I am just as repulsed as you all are at some of the crazy things that have gone on at your schools. Even though I am a school district employee, I won't justify any of the nonsense, especially the ridiculous dumbing down that several of you wrote about. But any teacher who has taught for any length of time will have stories about parent stupidity that will easily match any story of school stupidity.</p>

<p>A parent who works in my building. Her daughter was suspended for 10 days for fighting. </p>

<p>Parent seemed almost proud (in a bizarre way) that her D was the talk of the school. Also commented well at least she can catch up on her sleep. Allowed her to go to the mall a couple days on suspension.</p>

<p>Why are there at-home suspensions? If the suspension were at school, it would have been torture for the girl. Instead it was a vacation.</p>

<p>Why have Baby Boomers (I'm one) been such knuckleheaded parents? We were so intent on not repeating the mistakes of our parents. Well, I guess that is one thing we succeeded at!</p>


<p>You want knuckleheaded??? Here's a different spin on the generational hex, underscoring the opposing approaches:</p>

<p>I am the oldest of four babyboomers dropped on this orb in the early 50s by a Child Psychiatrist and a Pediatrician...needless to say they were <em>practicing</em> on us from the very NY state, the most liberal of states in the 60s and 70s (where the drinking age was ONLY 18!!!). </p>

<p>Fast forward 30 years...their offspring are 145-180 degrees away from their laissez-faire approach to child-rearing...</p>

<p>How bad wuz it??? I recall one party from when I was 18, where I actually was the BOUNCER at a country club teen party...and got so wasted by sneaking off into the bushes for pick-me-ups that I was the only one who had an accident that I was wending my way down the long curvy driveway as the party broke up, a big ol' Oak jumped out into the road and hit my dad's car right in the middle of the radiator (with me driving and the only occupant). Well, the car was completely immobilized, and the first one to run down from the party that was breaking up was my dad's insurance agent! Oh noooooooo! </p>

<p>Yur honer (hic), where wuz my parental controls???</p>

<p>Needless to say, mi esposa and I are quite the martinets towards our kids! I guess it's a generational thing...and we have had numerous wonderful discussions with my folks about the <em>suggested</em> child-rearing patterns of that era vs this one.</p>

<p>Oak tree yer in my way! One more drink, fool would drown you, hell yeah!</p>

<p>What song is that?</p>

<p>Palidad, that's an interesting story. I knew a few kids in those days whose parents were permissive. But don't you think that the vast majority were strict, even Puritanical? And I know most of us didn't want to be that way, but we all turned out to be pretty good folks, didn't we? Just clueless parents!</p>

<p>How about the parent who in a meeting with me and principal was blaming me for her som failing and that I hadn't continually called - 180 students and all that entails, and 2 phone calls weren't enough, and when I brought up that I sent home a progress report, she said she hadn't gotten it. Wanted to see it, then in tears ran out with the forged progress report so sonny boy wouldn't be in more trouble. She withdrew him next week and sent him to the "you pay for the A" private school where he graduated early. BTWm he was failing all his classes at the time.</p>

<p>How about the parent who told me it was my fault that her son didn't turn in his homework - that I should call her every day with the assignment and I hadn't.</p>

<p>Or the parent who insisted on a meeting with the principal and me because I was "picking" on his D because I kept sending her down for dress code violations - the last for wearing a t-shirt with a naked girl on it. She should be able to wear whatever she wants.</p>

<p>Or how about the parent who I notifed that S was failing and that his mind seemed to be only on the rodeo coming up and preparing for it, and needed to find a balance between his EC's and classwork. He wanted a meeting with principal because I was belittling the rodeo! Kid is training to be a bull rider, (yes, we are in TX) and showed his ripped jeans where the bull's horns caught him last week. (He hasn't turned in an assignment in 3 weeks and basically turned in a blank test).</p>

<p>And the list goes on and on and on...</p>

<p>Now you've got it going, Evita! How about this one: I had a parent who insisted that her daughter be allowed to use notes during exams, and brought in a psychologist to back her up. She just couldn't understand why I would not allow this!</p>

<p>that sounds reasonable to me, even in college they allow open book tests in some classes- if the test is written well, it won't matter if they have the book or not.
If a student has an IEP or 504 that indicates they need extra time, or a test that is written differently, a scribe, not be graded on spelling errors or they need to use a calculator, those are legal documents and you must allow them.</p>

<p>Shall we just agree that some parents are stupid sometimes and some teachers are stupid sometimes?</p>

<p>Please? I'm tired of this. </p>

<p>Most parents love their kids AND are pretty rational; most teachers are pretty good.</p>

<p>I agree, dmd77, and I probably shouldn't respond, but I find this interesting:</p>

Why have Baby Boomers (I'm one) been such knuckleheaded parents? We were so intent on not repeating the mistakes of our parents. Well, I guess that is one thing we succeeded at!


Personally, I'm not willing to classify myself as knuckleheaded. What I wonder about is how very differently the boomers were raised by their own parents, who were children of the depression and world war. I have no quarrel with calling those folks the Greatest Generation, but if the boomers are SO messed up (spoiled, materialistic, self-centered, whatever else we're supposed to be), how did the Greatest Generation let that happen? If parenting conventions were so effective when the GG was being raised, why would they themselves have parented so differently, with more leniency/indulgence/tolerance? I'm sure economics explains much of it, but I also believe that each new parent seeks to address the needs left unmet by his/her own parents. We'll seesaw back and forth forever - or as long as humans last, anyway.</p>

<p>I don't consider myself a knucklehead either, but I've made a few, very typical knuckleheaded child-rearing decisions! </p>

<p>I read a phrase in a book a few years ago that stuck with me. It went something like: "baby boomers were raised as second-class citizens and now they're determined to be second-class citizens with their own kids."</p>

<p>Since every generation has complained about the one younger, it implies that we all have some sort of collective amnesia about our own younger days. </p>

<p>Makes sense to me.</p>