Letters to the Editor

Parents' apathy worse every year

Once upon a time, 40 years ago when I began my teaching career as a band director:

Parents made their children behave. No more.

Parents made their children tell the truth. No more.

Parents would tell me at conferences that "if they [their children] got in trouble at school they would be in 'double trouble' at home." No more.

Parents would verify what their children were telling them at home with the teacher. No more.

Parents would thank the teacher for disciplining their children. No more.

Parents made their kids apologize to the teacher when they falsely blamed the teacher for something that wasn't true. No more.

Dad didn't abdicate, to the mothers, their part of the child-rearing equation. No more.

Students wouldn't threaten a teacher if he/she was disciplined. No more.

Students wouldn't "quit" if demands and expectations were "too high." No more, and today, the parents let them quit.

Students wouldn't scrawl all over the bathroom wall that "I am going to kill Mr. Femling on March 27" because he was disciplined the day before. Believe it.

Students, high on meth, wouldn't pull a hunting knife on a teacher. No more. That teacher was me. I disarmed him after a two-hour discussion. He was then arrested. Believe it.

Students in sixth grade wouldn't falsely accuse a teacher of inappropriately touching them, have the teacher suspended for six months, and then finally "fess up," only after the teacher's reputation was severely damaged. No more, and the parents bought into this lie and injustice. Believe it. It happened.

Good students would tell the teacher, in private, what kind of disciplinary sabotage was being planned by disruptive students so the teacher could predict and prevent problems. No more.

Good students would tell the teacher, in private, what transpired and who was responsible for disruptive acts. No more. Snitching is taboo.

Fathers (yes, in general) would "lay down the law," stop bad behavior on "the seat of our pants" and we were then taught to say "yes, sir," with respect, before we sat in the "big chair" and thought about our actions for one, two or three hours. Then we asked if we could get up and play. No more.

God help us as we relinquish control over our children. The U.S. will pay, sooner rather than later.

Don't blame teachers anymore, please.

The moral of this story: Discipline your children so we can go to school with each other, work with each other and live with each other. Period.

The writer lives in Myrtle Beach.

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