Teachers in Trouble, Parents Ignored — Part I

Jay Matthews:

I have written several columns about clashes between educators and parents, a subject that rarely gets much attention because it is so personal. Those involved are often reluctant to give details. Over the last few years I have been saving material on some particularly interesting cases in which parents feel school officials froze them out of the process of dealing with their children’s teachers. A few months ago, less-detailed versions of these episodes were reported in The Post. Today, and in the next two columns, I will describe four cases at more length, and follow with a column of reader reactions, and one on how experts in parental issues think these cases should have been handled.
What do you think explains these communication meltdowns? What can be done about them? Two of the cases I will examine are about teachers who allegedly abused students and were eventually fired, with parents unable to get the full story. I will start however with a different situation: a teacher who was fired for reasons that made no sense to the many parents who loved her work. They tried to influence the decision, but found their views rebuffed.