Sunday, February 22, 2009

"If you want us to raise your child, Press 6"

This is a hilarious true account and is a reminder that we sometimes expect teachers to do our jobs as parents.

The Pacific Palisades High School in California implemented a policy requiring students and parents to be responsible for their children's absences and missing homework. Following that, the school and teachers were sued by parents who wanted their children's failing grades changed to passing grades - even though those children were absent 15-30 times during the semester and did not complete enough schoolwork to pass their classes.

The school staff voted unanimously to record this message on their school telephone answering machine:

Hello! You have reached the automated answering service of your school. In order to assist you in connecting to the right staff member, please listen to all the options before making a selection:

To lie about why your child is absent - Press 1

To make excuses for why your child did not do his homework - Press 2

To complain about what we do - Press 3

To swear at staff members - Press 4

To ask why you didn't get information that we already enclosed in your newsletter and several flyers mailed to you - Press 5

If you want us to raise your child - Press 6

If you want to reach out and touch, slap or hit someone - Press 7

To request another teacher, for the third time this year - Press 8

To complain about bus transportation - Press 9

To complain about school lunches - Press 0

If you realise this IS the real world and your child must be accountable and responsible for his/her own behavior, class work, homework and that it's not the teachers' fault for your child’s lack of effort: Hang up and have a nice day!

If you want this in Spanish, you must be in the wrong country.

Too bad they never actually used it.


Alcovelet said...

Hilarious! What a punchy reminder to these parents (and us!) that the world doesn't owe us or our kids!

eunice said...

Hahaha... they should have this in the schools here. Many will be pressing 6

bACk in GERMANY said...

I think the parents in Sg would not outwardly admit to 6, even though it's obvious. Most would be frantically pressing 3 and 4, and sometimes 1 and 2.

Yep, wish we could use this message. Really.

Elan said...

Funny yet it must hit some nails on the heads! I like it.
Yes this is the sad state of schools and parenting nowadays. However, some teachers nowadays do treat teaching like a job they have to do and there is no calling to be more involved with their students pastorally.

On the other hand, I just received a long email from my sons English teacher this weekend. She is one of those dedicated teachers that keeps in touch with the boys by email even when she was on long study leave last year and made it her responsiblity to monitor what they were doing even though there was a good relief teacher doing her job.
She had made a mistake with an assignment from the GE branch and allowed the students to write biographies about famous people instead of interviewing family members. She knew that the boys had spent many hours already doing their research and working on their drafts . She humbly apologised and then set out a timetable and framework on what could be done to bring the assignment back on course and also suggested what the boys could do with their irrelevant research (use it for another assignment that was coming up). She set out exactly what they had to do and how we as parents could help and support them.

That is the kind of teacher that is a rare gem nowadays. I wish there are more like her.

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