My suggestion is if you are a fan of the Catholic School System, don’t read this because it may ruin your future experiences and this article candidly portrays my thoughts. Talking to people all over the place we have found many of the same types of stories, just in different schools, which is disturbing.
As you might have read, my boys were subjected to horrible teachers that were in a private catholic school. What aggravates me the most, is that my first interaction with the one teacher had been very negative, but she was well protected by the then principal A Nun. Unsuspecting that the tone of the school would be negative, harsh, demeaning to the children and very controversial at points in time we signed up years back and stayed. I was not really aware of my options, but after really getting in touch with my strengths, and watching 175 people leave the school in the last year, and 5 very personal struggles of families with the same circumstances we were battling we left! We paid dearly for the abuse, mentally and other that has gone on, and even after addressing it at all levels, we got nowhere because these teachers are protected from everything! While old school might have accepted the behavior these teachers are laying out, it is NOT acceptable anymore, nor has it been for years. Maybe I should back up and tell you the story of lavishly living out loud battling a Catholic School for my children’s best interests and NO ABUSE! This is my my story!
Here’s the deal, I can’t just sit back and accept what happens, I don’t. Anyone that knows me knows that is both my short-coming as well a a strength. I say what I mean, and I mean what I say, and I go full throttle when I am sure that I am right. I will gladly say what I think and today is not different. It is with a heavy heart I write this story, but I have heard stories that are just as bad and sometimes worse from within the same school and I know there is something wrong. The biggest piece of wrong is that nothing is being done to get rid of those less than lustrous teachers that are wreaking havoc on enrollment because their reputations proceed them. The bad teachers, that bully kids are ruining it for that batch of actual good teachers that are mixed in at these schools, because Our Catholic School Teacher is a bully!
Catholic School Teacher Is A Bully
Just this year, our school cut out the 2 full time aides for Kindergarten, made our gym teacher part time(he goes between a few Catholic Schools), has no language department, no real math teacher(she just hands out worksheets 6,7,8th grade) only a part time art teacher and they had taken away the librarian(they should have left her go)and then somehow, miraculously found funding for her again(would have been no loss, she is mean). You would think with all the cuts, the teachers that are there might add an extra smile or be a bit more kind so that word-of-mouth gets out that the school is cool, but a handful of teachers is ruining it for those that are not bad teachers and there are some really great ones here as well!
I should have known something was wrong when I attended open house and out of 30 parents in a class I was one of 3 that showed up, because everyone has just given up on listening to the bully talk!
With a Teen son, communication is not always what it should be, because as you know this age is difficult; independence is budding, and the want to just ‘handle’ situations that happen from peers to personal issues with teachers. Our problems root deeper than any teen could possibly hope to handle and as 175 other families before us this year and most recently 3 other families in the last few weeks, we left the Private Catholic School for Public. Many of these families as well as mine have been putting up with 3-4 really bad teachers that are allowed to stay and teach, no matter how mean they are to the children, no matter how demeaning and no matter how disrespectful they are when discussing a child with the parents. Let’s remember folk, Catholic school is supposed to be teaching respect, working on every level and I assure you the teachers that we were dealing with don’t even know what the word RESPECT is, but they sure do know what disrespect is!
Kick It With A Cushion
The first teacher we dealt with was a third grade nightmare. She was one of the most negative, mean people I have ever met. Upon receiving my son, she told him that she, “had 3 boys, and brought them up right and he better straighten out or she would straighten him out!” We moved there in need of some warmth, a better learning situation after coming out of a harsh situation, and all we got was a cold door, slammed on our frost-bitten toes. To make matters worse, the vixen at the heart of it all was the nun running the school, who we initially thought was the most saintly person we had ever met, au- contraire a few year later and quite honestly, after she was removed(or retired herself) the school really jumped downhill as the Diocesan placed a puppet in place of the school. Once the Nun retired and left, so did this teacher.. guess what, no one misses her meanness, constant negativity or her everyday presence. The school did hire a great new teacher to pair up with the other good teacher in this grade, unfortunately we were already through this grade and had suffered the dirt this teacher dished out as she did not like our son, or anyone’s son that passed through her class, she was just there to be mean!
Dress Profession, Act Professional
When the new principal came on-board, no one really knew much about him. Of course the rumor mill was at work, and at that point my concern was that my kids were not getting stuck with any of the bad teachers that were available and that they were just able to maintain. I saw this person, hardly dressed appropriately, a shirt slinking out of the back of his pants, that were about 2 sizes too big and tennis shoes, guess what.. that’s the Principal. He has the kids in the school dressing in appropriate uniforms, tucked in with shirts and looking clean and he, dresses without setting the tone, amazing to me, so I guess this was clue number one we were in for a bumpy ride. Dress professional, act professional and lead by example was just not present here. Not that this is relevant, but it is funny… My one friend calls him a jelly fish, he just flaps his arms and solves nothing.Half the problem here is the Principal does not understand he is in a position of authority so he just lets everyone walk on him and the school is quickly plummeting!
This year, my child with other children went to see the Principal, asking him for ADULT help against the one 8th grade teacher, who was bullying, picking on, calling kids out as she felt like, keeping them in from lunch, scolding them for picking up someone else’s binder off a floor or GRABBING THEIR WRIST when it was time to leave for an early dismissal. My son was part of one group that she was picking on, a few others had left already because they just could not take anymore. The one parent wrote a letter to the principal asking for help, stating that she non-stopped picked on his son and guess what? NO answer and nothing done to the teacher. These children, were just singled out, for NO reason, as a matter of fact, they each are kids that are quite respectful, work in all the different functions for charitable hours and never get paid. Why was this BULLY teacher picking on them? Possibly because the other 80 year old teacher, in 7th grade that has had endless complaints filed against her for bullying and mistreating students paved the path and made it possible. We could discuss the music teacher that teachers in this school and calls the kids, “vial little brats” –, Excuse me, are these vial little brats the same ones that pay your paycheck your miserable highness?
Last year, I explained to the Principal(via email) that this 7th grade teacher(80 yrs old) was bullying my child, picking on him endlessly and even went as far as to send me an email, when I sent her an inquiry with my NAME on it(same as my son’s last name) asking me if I was a parent of this child! For God’s sake, this lady needs to retire, she picks on kids all day long, screams at kids walking in the hallway in lower grades and can’t even remember names, not to mention all the SPAM emails she sends because her personal email gets hacked all the time. SENILE is the word that comes to mind here and what’s scary is they won’t get rid of her. She is a mean person, she tells kids they are stupid, lazy and never going to succeed. Really, Professor Smart, you made it real far as I see, picking on kids, sitting as judge in jury in a classroom, thanks but you don’t belong there and who are you to tell a 13 year old boy he is stupid, lazy, and never going to succeed, under you lead possibly, but under a great teacher that does not ridicule I bet they do succeed!
Need more of this tale? Let’s go to the 8th grade where Ms. Fast Chatter is the star, that’s her nickname. My son had an early dismissal, because of his rib, and this was communicated to the school via a note! 1) The teacher got mad at my 1/2 piece of paper and told my son she was going to buy me some real paper and how annoying my note was on 1/2 sheet of paper. 2) When my son went to leave the room to come to me at the office where I was signing him out.. SHE GRABBED his wrist …. all I am seeing is red at this point, however, I was not told about this and about 10+ other incidents that followed, until my son could take no more and I said I am going in. This story is gone into in great detail in a letter my son wrote to the principal.
I emailed the Principal and told him I wanted to meet with him, and his response was a question as to why, when let’s cut to the chase, my son had just been in to see him about this teacher hollering at him non-stop in the classroom, asking for ADULT HELP and he failed on every call. In fact, he failed so bad that a week before another student who was told the same thing: “you are lazy, dumb, not going to succeed in high school and ignorant” left the school. So why do you think we are coming in to see you and want a meeting?
Ms. Fast Chatter, got mad when my son asked for help on anything, stating, ” I already taught it and I am not going to help you again” then during study periods when he would ask a friend for help, she would NOT ALLOW this told him to shut up and get out. The same student she hollered at has effectively written up a 6 page description, of all the horrid actions of abuse she assaulted him with from verbal to the physical abuse— pretty good for a stupid child, who is not going to succeed in life right? He fluently, vividly describes her disgusting verbal and mental abuse and misuse of power because she feels she can. The answer to everything at this school was, if they don’t understand them, just ‘flunk em’ I guess school is not for learning or for teaching it is just for handing out bad grades and collecting a paycheck.
Here’s the school’s answer:
No they won’t hire a monitor, to watch her, even though this class has continuously diminished in number this year and she is the cited reason over and over and has been for many years. They don’t have the ‘funds’, but they do have the ability to keep taking OUR money to pay this nasty teacher’s paycheck!
Their answer: a 9-12 week assessment of the teacher, that allows her to stay in position, treat kids like they don’t matter and continue to throw her front room power around, abusing students. At the end of 9-12 weeks, they hope to have the teacher on a ‘leash’ and under control, managing her behavior. Sorry, but this dog can’t be taught new tricks, in fact, quite the opposite.
We left, the other families left. I have called the Diocesan, that is useless as well and they wonder why people don’t want to go to Catholic Schools for stay part of the Catholic Church, I can clue you in here …. communication and help, something that they are failing on in every way.
We announced we were leaving, and hardly were they surprised in fact the miserable secretary practically opened the door and was more agitated than normal, if that is possible. If you know anyone looking for a job that at least knows how to crack a smile, send her to our former school because she needs replaced too!
Now that we have left, the teacher has baked cookies for the kids, asked the kids for a ‘new start’ and said she was, “just trying to get them ready for high school”. Trouble is hot on her heels, yet, How is she not fired? She has been complained about as has her 7th grade counterpart and yet they remain. Mean, nasty ADULT bullies, who only know how to insult and pick on kids. I don’t know of any high school that tells kids they are stupid or would dare talk to a student with the things she has said to mine and so many others. I am sickened by the fact that the Principal knows this is all going on and has failed to act and then we found out, it is not the Diocesan, or the Principal alone, it is the Pastor of the parish, well, gee there is a new plot in this twist. The board does not exist, it is the pastor and the pastor alone who dictates what happens at this school, what an atrocity! I sense that he needs to go drink a bit more, and fly back off to Ireland, maybe that would do us all some good!
I can tell you this, there is no forgiveness for a teacher, an adult that mentally and physically abuses children. My claim in not alone, but the school keeps telling everyone that they have no paper trail. What the school is failing to realize is that we are not the only parents talking, there are others, lots of others and lots that left. We are all talking about the on-goings and all the complaints lodged. This can’t be good for the school, can it? If this were in public school she would have been fired, and all over the news, but she remains in her job, even though the kids, and the families are all complaining about her. How is this possible? I can clearly tell you, next time that basket for Catholic Schools is passed at church, or when they discuss Catholic Schools closing, I will pass on listening because I already know why.. their total lack of compassion for humans, people, and their parishioners is a turn off!
As for us, a new fresh start, and we will never look back. I will not let this destroy my kids and the fact that she baked cookies and is trying so hard to cover up her badness means someone is listening, just not acting. Maybe in 9-12 weeks she will be gone, because bad apples always turn back up, over and over, and I know this one is a tart as is her partner in crime in 7th grade!
That’s our story of lavishly living life out loud and defending our children from a few teachers that feel that bullying, insults, degrading students, and grabbing wrists is fine. Thanks for reading.