Friday, April 27, 2012

open letter to the teacher who pushed my child today:

Honestly, what were you thinking the instant you reached out and put your hands on the back of my child's shoulders giving her a good two-handed shove?  You had a line of what looked like about 30 2nd graders, eyes all on you, waiting, watching. What you choose to do with what was most likely the one time you would have their full attention today was without so much as one word of warning shove someone smaller than you.  It would have been an easy event to have avoided.  My child had paused on the north side of the sidewalk near the main entrance & exit, an open double doorway.  She was turning back to see the building one last time as we headed to the parking lot over flowing with schooled-kids.  You and your students were lined up getting ready to go in.  In another half of a second my child would have been completely gone from the path.  You could have waited.  She is 4 feet tall & weighs 48 lbs soaking wet.  She wasn't actually blocking the sidewalk in front of you.  You could have walked right by her without incident.  But you didn't wait, you didn't walk past her, and you know why you didn't polite say pardon me? because she wasn't in your way.  No, what you did was step out, reach out, shove her, and walk off. Did you feel entitled to treat her body that way because you are in-charge?  Perhaps you don't value children.  And if you did that to my child in public, a child who doesn't know you, how do you treat your students when you are alone with them?
I was so surprised at what you did to my child I muttered, "Jesus Christ!  She just pushed you!!" The first 6 or so of your students heard me.  "I know."  My child said, not surprised and unfazed by your rudeness.  See, my child expects this from people like you, you can make your apologies to the good teachers about that later.  The next eleven kids walking in behind you heard me restate what they had seen: their teacher is a bully.  And those at the end heard some words they will go home and ask their older siblings about.  
I hope those kids give you hell today.  I hope they are unruly, out of line, and inattentive, not because I wish you a bad day (you, I could not care less about) but because I wish all of us a better future.  One which does not include leaders and teachers who are disrespectful, rude, mindless, and 'pushers'.  I hope they know better than to listen to someone like you.  I hope their parents have taken the time to teach them to wait their turns, to say excuse me, to look out for those who are smaller or younger than they are, & to question unearned authority.

You will never read this letter.  No one will track you down and figure out who you are and that is okay.  I don't really have anything to say directly to you.  You can go on pushing children around.  You may have shoved my child today (and thought nothing of it) but you were not able to touch her: funny how it rolled off her 8 yr old back like the water off a duck's feather.  She is well protected by the actions of the good adults around her.  I know one day you will push the wrong person, you may have already done it, and from your actions, somehow, you will have to face publicly who & what you really are.  I can't imagine the weight of your failings. They must trail behind you like that long line of school buses snaking their way up the road.  You have to live with yourself.  I get to go home with children who know pushing & shoving is wrong.


  1. Unbelievable! I am glad it didn't really bother Boo, but I would probably not have let the teacher off the hook.

  2. WOW! I am not sure I could have let it go so easily. Kuddos to both you and Beach.

  3. I have a very fast & over the top mommy-bear temper. I have 2 options walk zen-fully away or go to jail, & going to jail was not in the schedule :)

  4. This should be published in the editorial section of the Trib!

  5. How shameful to push around a child because you do not have one ounce of patience. I would have gone ballistic (mumma bear here too!). Too often there are teachers who think they have the right to be mean and nasty little people to the children they are supposed to be teaching. So glad to hear your daughter has been raised with enough confidence in herself that it didnt really bother her. And I am thinking this "teacher" is lucky you didnt ring the school she works for and put in a complaint or that you were not filming your little one at the time!