A few persistent troublemakers can disrupt learning and drive teachers out of the profession, says Teaching Interrupted, a study by Public Agenda.
Teachers in particular complain about the growing willingness of some students and parents to challenge teacher judgment and threaten legal action. But both teachers and parents support a variety of remedies, including stricter enforcement of existing rules of conduct, alternative schools for chronically disruptive students and limiting parents’ ability to sue schools over disciplinary decisions.
Nearly 8 in 10 teachers said their school has students who should be removed and sent to alternative schools. Teachers blame parents who fail to teach their children to behave, wishy-washy administrators who cater to assertive parents and lax colleagues.
More than 6 in 10 teachers (61%) and parents (63%) strongly believe that strictly enforcing the little rules sets a tone so that bigger problems can be avoided. Another 30% of teachers and 25% of parents support this idea somewhat. (Total support: 91% teachers; 88% parents)
More than half of teachers (57%) and 43% of parents also especially liked proposals for establishing alternative schools for chronic offenders, with another 30% of teachers and 32% of parents liking this idea somewhat. (Total support: 87% teachers; 74% parents)
Teachers would love to be able to hold parents accountable for their children’s behavior. Parents worry about misbehavior too, blaming other people’s children, of course.