Teaching is a wonderful career if people love kids, are passionate about their subject, like their work environment, and appreciate extended time off. They can inspire children and change the path of their lives with merely a sentence. Unfortunately, too many teachers do not like kids, are bored with their job, hate their work environment, and feel overburdened. That is when incidents like this happen.
In Madison, Wisconsin a teacher was charged with punching an 11-year-old girl and then pulling out three her braids by their roots at Whitehorse Middle School. Both parents and neighborhood leaders say it is time for a change. Clearly, students cannot learn in a hostile environment.
About 150 people, including parents and educators came to a Boys & Girls Club last weekend to discuss the issue. Boys & Girls Club CEO Michael Johnson said:
‘We are trained to de-escalate situations like that, and we just have to do better as a community.’
The school administrators put the teacher involved in the incident on leave until officials have had time to investigate the event. A number of Madison teachers who used racial slurs have been removed from the classroom.
Parents are fed up with this and other mistreatment of their children at school. Founder of the Progress Center for Black Women and an organizer of the meeting, Sabrina Madison said:
‘We’re demanding, we’re asking you to protect our kids. It was very collaborative, very emotional. Also, I think folks were sort of fed up.’
After a teacher yelled the N-word at her daughter just months ago, Ruby Clay said:
‘It’s still very hard. The wounds are still very fresh. We’re in the healing process, thing are still coming up, feelings are still showing up.’
It is not difficult to find out which teachers are doing poorly. Just go into the teachers’ lounge and listen to comments like these: “I hate these kids.” “Teaching is the hardest job in the world.”
Parents come to Madison frequently with incidents such as Clay’s child’s experience at school. The escalation predictably follows:
‘It doesn’t take long time before the next phone call, Facebook message or tag happens.’
No media was allowed in the meeting in order to give people a safe environment for speaking. The room was packed.
Johnson requested that people stay off of social media, too, so parents could have an “authentic, honest conversation,” and to “protect our kids:”
‘We asked people not to go on Facebook, quote people, not to go on Facebook Live. We wanted authentic, honest conversation about how we protect our kids.’
Johnson said she was pleased to see many teachers who came to the meeting, too:
‘I gotta tell you, it was heartbreaking to hear the emotion of some of the parents, but I was also thankful to see a bunch of teachers that came and said, “Here’s some things we can be doing better.”‘
The Progress Center for Black Women will organize the suggestions that arose from the meeting and will make them public. Johnson hopes to send those suggestions to area superintendents. He also wants to establish parent-child ambassadors within the schools.
The meeting allowed parents and teachers to point the way toward change. Parents like Clay were able to share their stories and felt heard. She said:
‘I felt like, yes, they hear us.’
At this time, the Madison Police Department continues to investigate the Whitehorse teacher attack on a child. The video has not been released.
Featured image is a screenshot via YouTube.