Problem Parents

Discussion in 'General Education' started by ladybugteacher, Sep 28, 2016.

  1. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    Last week we had parent teacher conferences and finally I was able to speak to both parents of the disruptive child I wrote about in another thread. The school counselor was present and I laid it our to them. I told them about his disrespectful attitude towards me and a few other students, I showed them his work and let them know he is hovering at a borderline failing grade in my class, and I shared with them my concerns about the inappropriate touching and his sexually suggestive comments.
    The response I got from them, especially dad was flabbergasting. He told me in no uncertain terms that teachers are just failures in "real life" and since "we can't do, we teach ". He then stated that my class, along with his son's art class are the most useless of all, and that he doesn't care what grade his son gets in any non STEMS related class.
    At this point I told him, "your son is currently on track to fail a 'useless class'". His response to me was that he himself failed "Engrish" rather frequently and now he gets "to sign documents with a stamp, consequently proving won all those teachers who said cursive is a useful skill". He then continued by asking me how well did a proficiency in language arts do me and stated that I will be making minimum payments on a Hyundai for the next 10 years.
    At this point I try to appeal to mom since dad seemed to be acting rather immature. I try to tell mom that no matter what career path their son decides to follow, communication, writing and reading skills will form the bedrock of her son's scholastic development, not to mention top schools will not look to kindly on a student with a series of F's on a transcript regardless of what classes they are in, and furthermore if her son does not adjust his disrespectful attitude he will be in for a lifetime of battles with professors, supervisors, and possibly even the criminal justice system. I also mentioned to mom that I myself started in the engineering college when I went to university and that I know first hand proficiency in mathematics and science does not excuse a student to do poorly in English class. Here dad jumped in with "so what happened? Did you realize it would require you to take the sausage out of your mouth and study at least a couple times a week, so you decided on an Mrs. degree rather than engineering. And do you go by Miss. J***, does that mean you failed to make use of said Mrs. degree so had to fall back on teaching". Of course both the counselor I was shocked and horrified by his statement (he didn't actually use the word sausage FYI if you know what I mean). This is when the counselor stood up and stated she was paging the campus security officer to sit in for the rest of the session. I would have thought that mom would have been put off by her husband's vulgar and sexist statement but she was in stitches laughing as if she were at a comedy act. She then makes a vague statement to dad about how maybe if I had a tighter mid section and did a "co-op work study at a couple of the frat houses" I would have "found a job with my Mrs. Degree". Then they started taking and giggling to one another in Spanish.
    When the campus security officer arrived dad greeted him as Paul Blart and asked him if they dropped the pushup requirement for the "kindergarten cop police academy".
    The counselor tried to redirect the conversation by saying that the focus of this meeting is the child's academic progress and that we are wasting time but that just caused dad to insult the counselor with a series of psychiatrist stereotypes.
    The campus security officer then told both those chuckle heads that if they were not going to discuss the child's academic progress they should just leave. This was when mom just bluntly reiterated dad's point that she doesn't care if her son fails mine or any English class. Her reasoning was that since she is a Latina and dad is a Hong Konger, and that her son is the son of first generation ESL parents, PC obsessed academia WILL excuse his poor grades in English. That coupled with the fact that he excels in math and science (apparently he is on track to take high school chemistry and algebra II next year) he is going to have Hispanic scholarship programs fighting over him. Dad then chimed in with "the Hong Konger in him will blow all those other sp*cs and bea*ers out of the water, it won't matter if he can't write pros".
    After laughing at dad's extremely racist remark mom proceeded to tell me to be careful because one day my husband may very well be begging her husband or her son for a job. She then corrected her self by adding that if I ever hope to have a husband I better "put the fork down". And finally she topped her self by exposing her midriff to show off her abs and telling my self, the counselor and the security officer that she had a kid and asked what or excuses were.
    So basically I think this kid is a lost cause for me. I am giving up on him and realizing that you can't force some one to take their own education seriously. I dont know if this is a generational thing. Dad looked to be in is late 20's early thirties and mom looked to be in her mid to late 20's. The one thing that really irks me though is that I can't help but believe that mom's statements are not without merit. I really do fear that because of his unique ethnic heritage coupled with his success in stems subjects his family will be able to successfully work the system which was put in place to help the truly underrepresented, there by allowing him to act the way he acts with impunity.
    It's situations like this that make me question if teaching is truly worth the sacrafices.
     
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  3. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I would have flat-out walked out of the conference waaaay early in. Wow. I am so sorry. I also would be speaking to your admin about the father's sexual harrasment toward you.
     
  4. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    Believe me, myself, administration, and the counselor were in an extended meeting to discuss this. We even included an attorney from the district. But the resolution was that there was nothing illegal about the behavior of the father. He seems to be one of those guys who knows exactly what he can and cannot say to be within the letter of the law. And according to the attorney nothing he said meet the Texas penal code legal definition of harassment or assult. I honestly felt extremely uncomfortable in that meeting, both parents came off as extremely threatening, derisive and dismissive despite always having smiles on their faces.
     
  5. jadorelafrance

    jadorelafrance Cohort

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    Did you realize it would require you to take the sausage out of your mouth and study at least a couple times a week, so you decided on an Mrs. degree rather than engineering. And do you go by Miss. J***, does that mean you failed to make use of said Mrs. degree so had to fall back on teaching".

    That is legal and doesn't count as sexual harassment? ?????
     
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  6. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    Unfortunately no, not criminally atleast. So if he worked for the school that would be grounds for immediate termination, legally it is protected speech according to the attorney. As the attorney puts it you can't be jailed for being an ass, if you could there would be no room for the murderers.
     
  7. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    Huh. In my state any patron of an organization is subject to the same sexual harrassment policy.

    To clarify, no, it's not criminal. But it would mean a change in professional relationship.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2016
  8. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    After the first comment, I would have stood up and declared the meeting over. I know I would have the complete support of my administration, board level administration and union. Out of curiousity, I looked up sexual harassment in the Human Rights Code of my province, and these points stood out:
    • using rude or insulting language or making comments toward women
      (or men, depending on the circumstances)
    • calling people sex-specific derogatory names
    • making sex-related comments about a person’s physical characteristics
      or actions
    • saying or doing something because you think a person does not conform
      to sex-role stereotype
    This parent would likely not be welcome back into a school here. At the very least, there would be no meetings without administration, union representation, and, perhaps, a SO present.

    The son sounds like a delight compared to dad.
     
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  9. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Here as well.
     
  10. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Obnoxious speech is protected, if there's nothing they want or need from you then there's not a lot you can do. Except appeal to the kid himself, I imagine.

    I'm a little confused, though - - this is a kid with his mom in her mid-20's who's preparing to take high school science classes, who is somehow also failing English? How old is he?
     
  11. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    Canada is a little different than the states. My experience with Canadians is that civility and courtesy are paramount were as in the States people see to go crazy when any one is perceived to be abridging "freedom"
     
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  12. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    Kid is 10, I said mom appears mid to late 20's. The kid is failing my class because he chooses to not do his assignments. Why would he since dad doesn't care if he fails English or not. I think the grandpa on the dads side is a retired aerospace scientist from China. Dad is a professional engineer him self. From what I understand he and mom got married young, they are both Mexican citizens.
     
  13. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    There's no way those comments don't amount to serious sexual harassment. I'd go to the district level and demand this student be removed from your class, or alternately, demand that dad be banned from entering school grounds.
     
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  14. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Also, pops is going to be severely disappointed to find out what colleges will think about cruddy English grades for a student who has been in the country for most/all his life, no matter what "PC" may be.
     
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  15. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    Already been done, mom and dad were both issued bans from campus. But this could be exactly what those nut jobs wanted cause it was extremely difficult to get them to attentions this parent teacher conference to being with.
     
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  16. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    Here's hoping, but I have little faith seeing as how dad has both a UT engineering degree and a professional licence along with this attitude I am not holding my breath.
     
  17. Leaborb192

    Leaborb192 Enthusiast

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  18. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    To
    He gets the mercy of being an immigrant. His kid doesn't.
     
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  19. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    With all of the issues you've had with this student, I think that moving him to another class would be a viable option.
     
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  20. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    Super unfortunate to say the least. So much potential but such a shitty attitude. Has any one else had a parent outright say a certain subject is not important and points to his/her own example as proof?
     
  21. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    I have given up on this kid. The way I see it is he can stay in my class or not. If he acts up he gets a detention if not great. Until the end of the year this is going to pretty much be a landlord tenant relationship. If he does the assignments he gets graded on them if not he gets a zero. I don't care any more if administration moves him or not.
     
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  22. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I am so proud of you for this.
     
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  23. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    I would like to believe that karma will teach this kid to change his ways but i am more convinced that this kid will grow to be one of those managers/executives who bully their subordinates and harass female employees and get away with it. Because let's be honest, for ever one who is punished many more get away. Just look at almost every sexual harassment/ethics scandal that crops up.
     
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  24. minnie

    minnie Habitué

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    I am beyond flabbergasted at these parents. The way they spoke to you is despicable and sick.

    The ONLY silver lining in this is that that meeting brought you to a "I don't care" mentality. At least now you can stop worrying over him and give your attention to more deserving students.
     
  25. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    I just wonder how many parents out there have so little respect for our profession. I have felt it from some parents by this is the first time any one came right out and said it. I guess a big part of what is really frustrating is that it is difficult to just write these two jokers off as crazies since they are successful, and respected.
     
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  26. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    This. I have no qualms with standing up, announcing that "this conference is over" and walking toward the door. Calling security was the right thing to do, I would have done it earlier, however. I'd have a real police officer outside the door of any future meetings with these idiots.
     
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  27. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    There will be no future meetings, they have been barred from campus and I have already made clear that I refuse to meet with them again. Which like I said, I think suites then just fine since dad had already made clear in the past my concerns were a waste of his time.
    I can't imagine someone making such a vulgar comment, right in front of his wife no less. I am not sure if the wife truly believes the things she says or if she has been conditioned by her husband. Like a commenter said in my last thread, the Apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
    Also our campus security officers are real police officers duly sworn by the state of Texas.
     
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  28. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Holy heck. My flabber is, indeed, gasted. I'm sorry you're being stuck as a placeholder until this kid is done with the school year. Or until he gets expelled.
     
  29. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    Like some one else said the kid is no where near as bad as dad (not even close) and he's been behaving of sorts. Still won't do most assignments and still writes about nonsense but now he is pleasant to me and brings me candy.
    I don't think he should be expelled per say also the focus of his band of merry men seems to have turned to target the parent of another child (that happens outside my class so I don't care).
    I am just more dismayed now that it seems there is so much more respect for STEMS fields than there are for the humanities. I seriously doubt that dad would get away with acting like he does if he were not highly skilled in a STEMS career. I wish people would understand that the humanities are just as essential. After all don't they call the humanities the humanities because they encapsulate the very essance of being human. (Now this is the reason why I chose a humanities field over engineering, not the ignorant garbage that the dad said).
     
  30. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I know this awful conference is over and done with and none of it is your fault. However, if I were in your shoes doing the conference over, I wouldn't have given the man-child any bait. You're passionate about your subject and that's wonderful. But the less said the better. Speaking so in favor of your subject pretty much gave him fodder to mock. He and his wife don't care, so I would have kept the matter curt and to the point. Again, totally not your fault, but I think I can see an entitled, self-assured person find the material to have a hey-day there.
     
  31. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    I appreciate what you are saying. It is still a kick in the ovaries knowing that this guy makes a ton more money than we do and receives a ton more respect than we do. And that the wife is just as bad but probably enjoys a level of luxury I probably will never experience. The fact that you think he is a man child and that I know he is a man child just further salts the wound. In short it kills me because his self asurance is validated by society. I know I shouldn't care so much but I will admit I resent the system that allows that behavior.
    Also, one of the adminis said dad went to high school in this district. I really wonder if we have any mutual acquaintances. Part of me wants to dig but the other part things it would just lead to more heartache.
     
  32. ms.irene

    ms.irene Connoisseur

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    What kind of "respect" is it, though, if all it is based on is his bottom line? I was having a conversation about this with some of my colleagues who were agreeing that most of society judges your "success" by the kind of car you drive. Well, personally, I don't give a flying "sausage" about the kind of car I drive. I care about doing something that matters with my life. I care about my students and the growth they make in my class. If someone doesn't think what I do is important because I drive a used Honda, I'm not going to lose sleep over it. I know what I do matters. So, hold your head up high. We chose this career because we wanted to make a difference, not just money.
     
  33. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    He may have "respect", but I wonder how many true friends he has if he truly believes he has the right to treat others so disrepectfully.
     
  34. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    I understand what you mean, it just still stings. That man is only an extreme example with what's wrong with the perception of public education especially in the humanities, a more subtle yet arguably more damaging example is how communities would vote yes on bond measures to build a new stadium yet consistently vote no on bond measures to improve school programs.
     
  35. 2ndTimeAround

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    sorry you're going through all of this.

    To answer your question - yes, I've had a few parents point out that my class isn't necessary (science) and they were right - they're successful despite their poor grades in science. Most people can be successful even if they do really poorly in certain subjects. They may not take a traditional pathway, or the shortest pathway to success, but they can get there regardless.

    The hardest battles to fight are the parents that are dropouts and are doing okay by the kids' standards. Or the families of certain cultures that are very much against the girls getting educations and tell you flat out that if you contact them again they'll just have the daughters drop out. And they do.
     
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  36. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    Yep,public school. And nope kid can't get expelled for the actions of a parent. Especially since as some one else pointed out, obnoxious speech is protected speech. Like I said I have given up on fixing this kid, I can't. But that thing the other poster said about people pulling their daughters out because they don't believe in educating girls, that's down right scary. This is annoying and hurtful at worst.
     
  37. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    Well, if you can appeal to the kid, maybe the first thing to do is to say sure, that you know he can do fine. He can get a job as an engineer. Of course, once you're on the job you're judged by quality, not by your latino background, but let's assume he's got pretty good quality. Let's also assume that renewed focus on STEM fields doesn't mean he has tons of competition. Let's also assume AI hasn't changed the field to such an extent where his specialized knowledge would have less value.

    The money will be okay, maybe even good by some people's standards. But should he really have the same standards as everyone else, if he's that good?

    But if he has ambition, he doesn't want to be some worker bee and make pretty okay or maybe even good money. He wants to lead a company, maybe change the world somehow. Truly stellar engineering skills in the right set of tools can make you a millionaire by themselves, sometimes. But the right tools is largely a matter of luck. Good verbal skills help you influence people
     
  38. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

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    Look for brochures to STEM school that he could transfer to and send them home with him in his take home folder!
     
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  39. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I don't know what to say. This is insane. :dizzy:
     
  40. ladybugteacher

    ladybugteacher Companion

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    This is exactly what I was trying to appeal to mom. However she was just as dismissive and immature. Seriously who thinks it's a good idea to show off her abs during a parent teacher conference. I am basically just letting the kid do what he wants now and if he goes outside the rules he gets a detention. As it stands he is spending the next 3 weeks after school with me, but I think it suites him. Also he seems to prefer his Chinese heritage over to his Latino one as. I only really found out he was part Hispanic when he got into a Spanish shouting match with the mom of another student.
    As I said before he had redirected most of his focus off of me and onto the mom of that girl so it seems him and his buddies have a new victim. I feel for her but since it doesn't occur in my class or is not my problem.
     
  41. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    The mom is controlled by her husband. She will never have an independent thought. Just do whatever you need to do for your other students and let this kid just flunk. He can sink or swim and it won't be your fault.
     

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