The scandal at Rutgers University has recently flooded our news media. It is but one example of a long standing issue that most of us have had some experience with. What is acceptable conduct for coaches, educators and school staff?
Moreover, how do we, Consumers of the educational system, have our voices heard when these behaviors warrant the firing of such individuals. Yes, we are PAYING for the education of our children in one form or another.
We (parents, taxpayers, students) pay either fully or in part for the education of our students (both public and private) either directly or via taxes taken at the state level. Therefore, one can argue, we are in part “employers” of these educators. However, unlike other “employers” who are empowered to swiftly and directly eliminate an ineffective, abusive or inappropriate employee, ousting an educator at any level is no easy task.
Who hasn’t heard of or had an educator that has no place in the lives of children? How many parents have scratched their heads and whispered among themselves; how did that person get tenure? How many children have been scarred, shamed, and simply NOT EDUCATED by these same emotionally unstable folks? Why would the administration allow a person with severe anger issues or poor behavior continue to teach year in and year out? What recourse does a parent/student have if they have been the brunt of this abuse?
Why would Consumers continue to remain quiet in the face of this common problem without issuing a complaint? Why is it when there is a complaint, often these offenders are allowed to remain in their positions?
Tenure, bureaucracy and the lack of effective review policies often contribute to keeping on staff that has no place in any workplace, particularly in schools where poor behaviors directly impact the lives of impressionable young people.
When the President of Rutgers university was first shown the tapes of the abusive behavior of Mike Rice (former basketball coach), he opted to send Mr. Rice for anger management classes, hoping to remediate Mr. Rice. This remediation did nothing to change Mr. Rice; however, he was allowed to continue his employment with this University. He was allowed to continue to brutalize students. The parents at this institution were paying over $25,000 per year to allow for a mentally ill individual to Coach and represent their school.
It is only because videotapes of his sick coaching techniques had been leaked to social media, that this egregious situation has finally been brought to light, and he was terminated.
Social media continues to play a powerful role in catching and forcing those in leadership positions to realize they are not above the law, nor above a moral standard of acceptable behavior. It is our hope at Consumer Angel that parents and students continue to realize that they are a powerful force for change. If you are a victim of an abusive person, even in school, the first option is to speak to the Principal or head of the University. If this yields no results, document all behaviors, words, actions. Have fellow students and parents cosign and also document such behaviors, if possible. If you are still being ignored, the power of social media is becoming a fast growing outlet for rapid attention and change. We no longer need to accept, unacceptable behavior….Particularly when we are paying for it!!
Social media has given us, the Consumer, great power the correct bad behavior no matter where it occurs, whether in the classroom or a retail establishment.
We have the power; We just need to use it.
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