As I finished reading the June 13 front-page article “Hope Amid Turmoil,” I felt such a wave of frustration and anger. The article is full of despair and failure amid the stories of two young successful students. The way the environment is described by both teachers and students is a sad statement on our classrooms today. Students are allowed to have cell phones, iPods and food and drink in the classroom, thumbing their noses at the rules that are rarely enforced. Why, you might ask? Because the teachers in the classroom are told to deal with these problems themselves, taking time away from the students who want to learn.
The administration does not want to deal with it. I have heard this from a number of teachers. Our schools have to make a stand, once and for all, and enforce the rules in the student handbooks. Quit being afraid of vocal parents who think their children are “special.” Quit being afraid of being sued by these ridiculous parents.
The article said the school board is thinking about banning cell phones in the classroom, but one of the school directors thinks there will be backlash from parents. Who cares? Give them a copy of this article if they protest. Administrators must tell them that “These are the rules. They are enforced to give your child the best environment for learning. If you don’t like it, pay for your child to go somewhere else.” End of story. Without structure and discipline, learning will not be accomplished.
Give the classrooms back to the teachers and give them the support they need to reach these students. They are not police officers, counselors, psychiatrists or baby sitters. Parents, if you don’t want your child to be disciplined at school, then get the job done at home. Some may say that a lot of these students don’t have parents who care or they have horrible home lives. This may be true, but all the more reason to teach these students that there are rules in life that have to be followed, life is not fair, hard work is the only way to success, and you must respect people in authority. And above all else, you are not entitled to anything in this life unless you earn it yourself, and school is a great place to start.