Add this to the list of things that bureaucrats don't understand about teachers' lives.
So here's a situation.
A parent requested a conference with a teacher I know during conference time. This parent began yelling and gesticulating wildly during the conference, until the teacher asked the parent to leave. By the way, the teacher in question is so calm, he's practically a reincarnation of the Buddha. Parent stormed off and went to an administrator and made a bunch of wild claims about the teacher and then stormed out of the administrator's office.
So far, not all that unusual, right?
Here's where it gets interesting: the parent's kid approached the teacher a few days later, accused him of threatening the mother, and then threatened to attack the teacher. This was done IN FRONT OF WITNESSES.
Wow. Makes Race to the Top seem kind of insignificant and out-of-touch, doesn't it?
The assumption that students are all here to learn, that students are all cooperative, sane, and non-violent, is just not a part of the reality of teaching in a public school. That goes for parents, too.
And it's certainly true that the majority of students and parents do not behave this way. But this kind of family is becoming ever more common. There have been more assaults or threatened assaults on teachers of my acquaintance this year that any year that I can remember since I started teaching school back in the 1980s.
Now, luckily, the student has been suspended from school for the maximum allowed time, which is good, since it is known that the family has guns in the house. It is good to know that the administrators took this seriously.
So maybe Arne Duncan has some advice about this situation from his vast well of educational experience? If so, I'd like to hear it.