A spokesman for Western Australia’s public high school principals has a simple message for parents behaving badly at schools.
“Stop treating schools like they’re the enemy and start working with them.”
Armando Giglia is the new president of the WA Secondary School Executives Association (WASSEA), which represents principals and deputies at the state’s 166 public high schools, reports ABC news.
In his first comments in the role, the teacher of almost 40 years has taken aim at pushy and disrespectful parents, claiming some see schools as an easy target and often spoil for a fight.
Mr Giglia said while 95 per cent of parents did the right thing, the remaining 5 per cent had become a significant problem for school leaders, putting them under unnecessary strain.
“They’re sometimes quite fired up and they’ll abuse front office staff, they’ll abuse anyone who comes within reach of them basically,” he told ABC NEWS.
“They’ll post things online, rather than coming in and talking.
“They’ll try and send things through to a regional office or to the minister’s office without actually bothering to come to the school first, which creates its own angst for the school, when really a civil approach to the school in the first place would have worked it all out.
Mr Giglia said while this group of troublesome parents was happy to “argue the toss on anything”, they mostly complained about their children’s results, homework and the meting out of punishment.
“Some of the parents don’t understand the things their kids could get up to,” he said.
“‘My little Johnny is never wrong, my little Johnny would never do that,’ and yet we know that they do.
“I’ve been in situations where we’ve actually shown parents video evidence of something happening … and they still deny that it could have been them or [they believe] somebody must have pushed their child into doing it.”
“They don’t want to accept responsibility.”
“If parents have an issue with their children’s schooling, we encourage them to raise their issue with the principal or other school staff so it can be addressed, but we ask they do this in a respectful manner,” a spokesperson for WA Education said.
“We understand that when you are talking about people’s children emotions can run high, but we urge parents and other school community members to treat teachers, principals and other school staff appropriately.”
We shared a message from one school principal recently who told parents they need to ‘chill’ and stop treating teachers like their servants. Read his story here.
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