On Wednesday a group of parents protested outside Washington Elementary school in Compton. They wore t-shirts that read Basta Ya (enough is enough) on the front in Spanish and in English on the back - United for Students. The protesters charged that some teachers and other school staff were disrespecting their children and them. Maria Villareal, a parent who was involved in organizing the protest said that her daughter was bullied by a teacher as a form of retaliation because Ms. Villareal met with the school principal to complain about some teachers and other staff behavior toward her, other parents, and their students.
Another parent named Paul said that his student has a good teacher – but he was disrespected by security personnel during the current school year. He said that he also heard other parents complain about their student’s teacher’s tardiness and excessive absenteeism, causing their students to be taught by substitute teacher’s long term. In addition a female parent said that school security personnel screamed and cursed at her student.
A lead that informed this writer about the protest said that parents were also unhappy that the school leadership decided to not fund a critical position that works to involve parents in the school system and in the education of their children. The position titled Community Relations Specialist is one that the district uses to support parental involvement. However each school site determines the feasibility to hire such positions based on their school budget and how directly the position will impact student achievement.
Villareal said that the group decided to protest after visits to the school board yielded no results to their complaints. She ended by saying that “I don’t go to my daughter’s school to make friends – but for my daughter to get educated.”
From working inside the school system for many years I can tell you that oftentimes when parents and school staff have such problems as in this case – it can almost always be contributed to lack of civility on the part of staff, parents or both. A school is a place where all adults must display courteous and respectful behavior to demonstrate to children how we should communicate with one another. It is the cornerstone to effective communication.
Ms. Villareal said she has filed a complaint with the district. As in all cases an investigation will be conducted and findings shared with both sides. A request was made at the front office for the principal or a representative to respond to the protester’s concerns – but the request was denied.
View pictures of protest here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?id=100000403783851&tid=35391254139377...