Less than 100 years ago, children were the property of parents and could be sold into a form of slavery called servitude. Children of the poor often ended in factories and coalmines as young as five years old and labored twelve-hour days six days a week. Then in 1938, the child labor law was passed and the pendulum swung the other way 180 degrees until today, we see incidents such as these taking place in American classrooms.
I knew an eighth grade English teacher that was knocked out by a student. The student ended with five days of suspension then was transferred to my English class where she walked in tardy one day and lifted a leg to fart in my face in front of about 34 students before sitting down. I never met the parents.
Between 1999 and 2000, 135,000 teachers were physically attacked by a student and over 300,000 elementary and secondary school teachers were threatened with injury in the United States. Source: Lib.Umn.edu
American teachers are not alone.
The Guardian in the UK reported, “A quarter of school staff have suffered violence at the hands of a student and a third have been confronted by aggressive parents.”
What’s needed is to swing the pendulum back half way and return to dunce caps and stools in the classroom corner, corporal punishment and fines or even jail time for parents and/or students of all ages.
Of course, we could swing the pendulum back to the 17th century when some of the American colonies had laws on the books that allowed the courts to execute children that did not change unacceptable, rebellious behavior by a certain age.
Maybe we should include the parents of those children too.
However, instead of the situation improving, President Obama wants to take away job security for public school teachers and no one in Washington D.C. mentions the parents or the students when academic performance is not improving.
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