The following is a response to the Sunday, 2-28-16 Press and Sun-Bulletin Guest Viewpoint entitled, “Find root problems at East Middle School”
The author seems confused. She begins by praising East Middle for being an “open and diverse community,” going on to state that ..”This is a model community for parents and systems…” She concluded by saying, “ East Middle is the school that will prepare them for this stage of life and high school.” In the very next paragraph, the author equates kid’s entry into East Middle with “a lions den.” From the highest praise to a lions den, really?
In the next paragraph, the author posits that simply sending their kids to school should be lauded as “parents trying to do the right thing.” And what a mighty effort it must be, are we to applaud? If the act of simply sending kids to school is laudable, what hope is there in that family for instilling the familial, core values necessary for actually doing the real job of parenting by preparing their child for school? If the act of simply getting them out the door is seen as tough, there is no hope that the real work of familial, traditional parenting will be attended to.
The author saves her thinly veiled wrath of accusing class envy and racism by questioning the motives of the teachers, administrators and staff. Oh yes, the lovely, quiet days enjoyed at East Middle definitely paint the picture of a nice resting spot for those so inclined to bide their time waiting for retirement. And the race card, are you serious? That dog just won’t hunt anymore. The author misses the point because to grasp it creates an inconvenient truth which is this.
There is a clash of cultures at work in East Middle School. One culture embraces family, education, discipline, order, respect, personal responsibility and the needs of others while the other culture fails in one or more areas to do so. When there is no well defined family, little or no structure, discipline, no order, no respect, no personal responsibility, no encouragement, no role-models and no heeding or caring about the needs of others, then no Blue-Ribbon band of super-educators is going to be able to magically fix that.
There is a solution, but no one has the guts to suggest it.
When students act out, warn them, sanction them and finally, remove them. If there is criminal behavior going on, involve the police and press charges. Create strong and positive environments for those who want to be in school and cater to them, help them maximize their potential. For those not willing to get with the program, they will not interfere with those who do.
Those causing all of the turmoil will seek alternatives to the main stream of public education so the majority of kids wishing to go forward aren’t punished for the short-comings of a few.
It seems that those who complain the loudest are more likely contributors to the problem than champions of solutions.
It’s truly ironic because in this case, I’m 100% behind the teachers; the issue is the culture outside the school and what it is producing at the school house door, not the teacher’s lack of ability, skills or willingness. However, in the teaching profession, as a whole, a long history of so called “political correctness” (PC) has defined the profession and its practices in many ways. It is in large measure PC that has contributed to a system that now disallows the slightest reprimand, discipline or other sanctions within classrooms. As a result, teachers are now stuck on the horns of their own dilemma, a situation perhaps lacking a cure because of their own actions in the effort to apply PC too far. This may be an example of what happens when certain PC sponsored and inspired ideas go to the full fruition of the unintended consequences.