Your thumb breaks a sweat as you channel surf all day with your “remote,” a grain elevator must be called in to weigh you, you smoke like a chimney in a Beijing industrial park and you won’t get your butt off the couch to take your prescribed insulin. Your bad health spirals out of control. This is obviously the doctor’s fault. His job was to cure you and he didn’t. If it weren’t for the American Medical Association’s powerful protective lobby, this incompetent doctor would lose his license. Someone whispers in your ear to sue in court and so you follow that American dream.
But when a teacher identifies what is ailing a child and prescribes parental involvement (among other remedies), and that parent is a no-show at conferences, does not reply to alerts from educators, can’t be bothered to monitor their child’s study habits or academic and attitudinal development, but opts instead to dodge the bullet of responsibility and passes the buck for their child’s lack of progress wholly to teachers, it becomes a “cause celebre” and ignorant people come on board as plaintiffs in lawsuits against teacher tenure. Their grief is the baseless sentiment that teachers are the weak link among professionals and our laws shield them from accountability.
It makes neglectful and passively abusive parents feel good about themselves when they can divert their liability and thrust it on teachers as their proxies. It’s easier to get credibility as a parent that way than by doing the hard work at home. I will not speculate in print about the backgrounds or motives of the parents who have loaned their names to a copycat lawsuit against teacher tenure. None dare call them “useful idiots.” But if investigative reporters were permitted by their editors to independently discover the panorama of truth, it might be a neat revelation to learn more about who these folks really are who have thrown tons of kitty litter upon the evidence of their claims in exchange for 15 minutes of fame. And I bet an unveiling of the rogues gallery of their patrons and benefactors would be a spectacular eye-opener!