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SCHOOLS: What are they thinking these days?

Letter by Colin Guthrie, Puyallup on Sep. 17, 2012 at 3:59 pm with 25 Comments »
September 17, 2012 3:59 pm

I wonder what are schools thinking these days. One school (TNT, 9-16) has a teacher yelling at a parent to get off the property while he and his 4-year-old daughter wait for an older child to get off from school. Another school (TNT, 9-14) has an administrator telling two kids to take the fight elsewhere.

Policies do restrict staff from physically intervening when students get into fights. That is understandable. However when parents want to support their child in school and are there to do school things, the school should expect them to be there, not order them off campus. Parents should have full access to that child’s classroom at any time and unannounced.

I am guessing the premise to this is all men who are alone or single are automatically considered pedophiles. I see this in children’s behavior when they fear men and don’t know how to interact with men.

Leave a comment Comments → 25
  1. surething says:

    Well, clearly this instructor could have handled this much better….if nothing else, called the police and barricaded the door if she thought it was an actual threat.

    From several news sources I read that other parents were there. This just sounded like an idiot teacher that FAAAAAR overreacted.

    Always err on the side of caution, but c’mon…..

  2. truthbusterguy says:

    Teachers and staff at schools are not the same people we grew up with. Many are greedy, selfish and don’t care about anyone’s feeling but themselves. This is how their unions indoctrinate them to think.

    Look at the teacher at Gig Harbor and how the union and the school board tried to cover this up. That teacher deserves jail time and the Supt. deserves to be fired.

    Teachers act this way because their actions are protected by their unions.

  3. cclngthr says:

    I am guessing that a male who is alone cannot be trusted around children. Sure, it is a FAR fetched reaction, but c’mon, the guy was a parent.

    I see this sometimes when I teach elementary school age kids. Some kids don’t know how to interact with males. I am not speaking of males being absent here. The kids show fear.

  4. MyBandito says:

    Shouldn’t there be a system in place so that a parent can meet his child at school without having to explain himself to each and every teacher he happens to encounter? Can this be the first time that this has happened?

  5. BigSwingingRichard says:

    What this episode also points out is that the Tacoma School District has an abysmal record when hiring some of the morons they call teachers, and once they are hired, they are there for life.

    The HR department has been an embarrassment in the Tacoma School district, and some very well paid embarrassments at that.

    It all has to do will the seniority mentality in public schools. Principals think they are entitled to become an assistant superintendent of personnel after so many years even though they have no formal training in personnel hiring practices.

    Were not Ethleda Burke and Willie Stewart both principals who became Assistant Superintendents of Personnel in Tacoma? I am sure there are others.

    Anyone one else care to comment?

  6. cclngthr says:

    Not really, unless the parent is well known in the school and is recognized by everyone. That isn’t possible unless the parent is there a lot; which most of the time, parents are there at the end of the day, and only there for a short period of time.

    In Kindergarten classes and preschool classes, parents are generally known. With older kids, they are not, particularly at the beginning of the year.

  7. Colin Guthrie, Puyallup Unfortunately majority of known sex offenders are men.

  8. lylelaws says:


    Yes, I would like to comment.

    I served for nearly thiry years in the Tacoma School District as a teacher and an assistant principal, and I can say without any reservations that Willie C. Stewart was about the finest person I ever knew.

    He more than earned any promotions he ever received and was a great role model for all the kids and teachers he ever worked with.

    He served as a science teacher at Gault Junior High, and later as the assistant principal (who maintained order and disclipine there) before
    being assigned to Lincoln High as principal where he did an outstanding job.

    How much more well qualified could he have been?

    Just for the record, he also served his country in the military and was a Col. in the Reserves.

    Why don’t you think he was not qualified?

  9. cclngthr says:

    Why then are men automatically assumed a sex offender when the fact most men are not. I am not a sex offender and I find it very disturbing that I am considered one because of my gender.

  10. cclngthr says:


    What BSR wants to know is how the principals quickly get hired and have little, if any teaching experience, and the decisions they make in the hiring process. Are we really getting teachers who know that business of teaching; or are they warm bodies who obey the district bureaucracy without regard to students or parents. When we have a teacher not only yelling at a parent, but also grabbing that parent just because that teacher feels they should prohibit all contact with other people from accessing children, including the parents.

    Current requirements for principalships are only 3 years teaching or counseling experience. To be, that is too short, and should be a minimum of 15 years in the classroom.

    When we also have teachers with a zeal for having sex with students; I also wonder how they were hired without looking into their personal behavior before being hired.

  11. surething says:


    Perhaps you misread or misunderstood my post?

    “This just sounded like an idiot teacher that FAAAAAR overreacted.”

    Is your interpretation that I thought the dad was in the wrong?

    If so, reread my post. I think he was fine, the teacher overreacted. If it was that big of a threat or issue, call the police. If not, talk to him, get info. The reaction was over the top.

    Are we on the same page? Confused?

  12. surething says:

    “Why then are men automatically assumed a sex offender when the fact most men are not.”

    I don’t think that at all. I hope others do not either. I am just confused by your reaction to my post. :(

  13. cclngthr says:

    I knew you meant the teacher. I stated that the parent was supposed to be there, not be shunned.

    Men tend to be shunned by the school system, which is bias toward women. A principal at Geiger (about 12 years ago) was known to not hire men to be in the building because she felt men could not be elementary school teachers. Forget her name though.

  14. cclngthr says:

    I was at Geiger when that principal was there and was told I could not return because of the gender bias the principal had. TSD knew about it as well.

  15. MyBandito says:

    Although that Dad’s ten year old wasn’t there to witness this teacher treat her dad like some sort of deviant, his four year old daughter and he were separated from each other by that teacher. This wasn’t his first time there to meet his daughter, so why didn’t that teacher know who he was?

    Why didn’t that teacher ask?

  16. cclngthr? I don’t understand your position of being offended at the notion that people – teachers and children – would be wary of an “unknown man”. That’s the society we live in. Just look at the S.O. registry, and who commits the most number of violent crimes. I’m not saying women are not capable of violent crimes, but men need to wake up in society and realize the rules we have to live by. First of all, there is a sign in at the office if you must be on school grounds. Secondly, the playground is not the place to hang out an hour before school lets out and allow your four year old to play. Go to a park instead. The teacher was wrong in her reaction to this father and if there was a problem she needed to call the principal or security. But I think its a far stretch to find offense at people being wary of “unknown men” who lurk around schools (not that this father was).

  17. Just a thought….During the formative years for everyone in this country, eighteen of those years they are fed the notion that THE TEACHER is a major authority figure…It would seem many people never lose that silly idea.

    Teachers themselves grow big heads playing along with that authority figure role. I know a retired teacher once, who talked down to EVERYONE as if they were a ten year old kid! (I’ve heard similar stories from others as well)

    So, kids grow into adulthood never breaking away from that, so that now in adulthood, instead of ruling the roost in a classroom, they lord over the public like the authority figures they are not. Taxpayers need to remember that WE are the authority…not a teachers union.

  18. cclngthr says:


    It is the notion (of an increasing number of people) that ALL men are considered sex offenders, just because they are men. People assume this without looking into the behavior of men and how secretive sex offenders are.

    This notion also makes it doubly hard when men decide to work with kids; they are looked at with a higher scrutiny and that job choice they took is considered wrong. The same issue is raised when men have custody of their children. My nephew is raising his 3 kids and has full custody; awarded to him because the kids mother accused him and the family of sex abuse and it was found by the court not only did she violate state law on encouraging children to have normal relationships with both adults and other children, but it was found her mental condition due to sexual abuse by her father not only impaired her judgement in parenting and also continued allegations that there was sexual abuse and domestic violence by her attempting to obtain restraining orders even after she was ordered not to by the judge. Appellate court had no choice in giving my nephew custody. He also prohibited the children from visiting their mother without CPS supervision.

  19. cclngthr says:

    I was on Facebook, and saw an article on MSNBC that a RI school bans Father/daughter dances because of gender discrimination; but another aspect of this is our perception of fathers is such that either they are absent, or should not take part in a child’s life and take interest in their children because they should be feared.

  20. cclngthr- Just as women have to live with the fact that they are always going to be a target because of their gender, men have to live with the fact that they will be looked at twice. That is just a plain fact. Can this be improved? Certainly. But, if I’m walking in the park and am approached by a man who looks to do me harm I am NOT going to consider his FEELINGS when I move to the other side of the path. There’s no time. Now back to male teachers? Too bad. You took the classes on appropriate boundaries, if its too much for you? Do something else. Nobody is arguing that men cannot be nurturing. They are. I’m married to one. But he also understands that as a father of daughters, he has to be aware of how he is perceived. Just as women have to get men to quit judging them by their bossoms and posteriors alone, men need to be just as patient while people get to know them and see for themselves that they are not jerks. Deal with it. Women have had to for centuries.

  21. SwordofPerseus says:

    I think in this case everyone needs to take a minute to relax and take a deep breath. Some years ago now (early part of this century) my job revolved around a week on/week off schedule. So on my weeks off I spent a great deal of time volunteering at my son’s elementary school. The school rules we very explicit and strict regarding visitors to the classroom and school grounds. If at any time other than beginning of the school day to the end, no one was permitted on school grounds without first signing in at the office. Upon sign in you received a visitors badge which is worn necklace style at all times.

    I can understand that this is the beginning of the school year and perhaps the teacher and parent in this case had never met or the parent neglected to sign in at the office prior to his allowing the four year old daughter to swing. In any event this was handled very poorly on the part of the teacher. She should have inquired about the parents reason for being on school grounds before she assaulted him (it is illegal for non LEO’s to lay hands on with the exception of self defense of course). This simple action could have prevented all the hullabaloo. The rules of the school also have to be observed by the parents and hopefully there are provisions in place for parents to sign in and get an ID badge of some sort(ours were just laminated paper badges on a camper-style rope necklace). If not then I suggest some of the PTA members straighten this out pronto.

    Frida- wouldn’t it be rather inconvenient for the father to take the daughter to a park, when in fact he was picking up his son from school? Not really a practical suggestion is it? There is nothing wrong with this parents behavior, the professional teacher should have had better training, more sense, and mature response. Someone needs to mend the situation.

  22. Sword? He was an HOUR before school let out. Its called PLANNING. The school playground is NOT a park for non students to play in during school hours. Just as it is NOT an off leash dog park for dog owners to use during school hours. I never said the teacher was in the right. I said they should have called the principal or security. It is for the safety for all students that parents sign in and out up at the front office if they are on school grounds during school hours more than 15 minutes before school gets out. This does not include the pick up lane. The father needs better planning skills and the teacher needs a course in SOP.

  23. cclngthr says:

    Classes on appropriate boundaries does not cover perceptions that males are sexually overts or a predisposed as offenders and should never be with kids. It is this perception that men should NEVER interact with kids at all and should not be nuturing that I have a problem with. Those boundary classes only cover interaction with kids that is gender neutral.

    What I see as a result of this is children are inherently fearful of men because adults teach them that all men are sex offenders. They don’t have enough positive male interaction that is not only nuturing, but also positive. Children actually crave it.

    I also see the issue of the parent being there on official business and chose to wait there, rather than going back home to then return later.

    It is my view that parents; both mother and father have unrestricted access to their childs classroom and it be unannounced. Parents have the obligation to see what is going on with that child’s education and it be a suprize visit if necessary.

    I do know that my younger nieces husband, who is very involved with their 4 year old and 1 year old daughters, if he is ever separated from his kids at ANY time, he would make an option to pill his firearm to immediately stop that individual from separating his children from him. He takes an absolute ZERO TOLERANCE issue with that and will do anything to drop that person who is separating his kids from him. He also goes to the preschool unannounced and watches every detail of interaction between the staff and his kids.

  24. MyBandito says:

    He sounds a bit neurotic.

  25. itwasntmethistime says:

    I would pull my kid out of a preschool that allowed some nutjob father to hang out with a concealed weapon. He may be protecting his kid, but I’ll bet he freaks the other kids out.

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