Recently, I had discussion that involved public school and some of the atrocious things a room-helping-mom witnessed. Apparently, the teacher (who one of my children had and loved years ago when the ratio was 20-1 instead of what it is now) became upset because some kids had forgotten to clear their plates. Not only did the teacher grab the children by their arms, but also she dumped all the trash (that had already been cleared into the trashcan) onto the floor and made the offending children clean it up! Furthermore, the mom who witnessed the incident is not a person who is good at confronting others, and did nothing (like report the teacher) other than tell other parents what happened.
There is zero tolerance for physical displays of aggression in our schools...at least for the children. Surely it is the same for teachers...but if no one speaks up, nothing will change. Alas, the situation may even get worse, as the teacher got away with her behavior, even though she did it in front of a parent.
I understand not liking confrontation. I don't particularly like it myself. But when it comes to my kids, any shred of reticence I have disappears and I spring into action like a freshly launched catapult. If a teacher grabbed my child's arm and forced him/her to pick up someone else's trash, I would not only confront the teacher, but also the principal of the school and the district superintendent. Needless to say, this teacher would no longer be instructing my child.
I now home school my kids and don't have to deal with these issues...but I have older children who DID attend public school for many years and over various decades. While I did witness a few teachers who spoke more harshly to the children (other classes, not my children's teachers) than I would have tolerated, I do not remember any incidences of violence. I'm not saying they didn't happen, just that I never witnessed them. Not surprising, since I imagine most abuse takes place privately. I know that my worst moments as a parent don't take place publicly either!
I've taken a lot of space here. My question is "WHY?" didn't the person who witnessed this teacher's behavior tell anyone? And why, even though she told this story in front of her son and he confirmed it, does she not realize that she is teaching her son NOT to speak up, NOT to confront (even though this did not happen to him) those who might abuse him? Not to mention the fact that by not speaking up, more children are bound to be abused.