March 15, 2013 at 6:00 AM
Conversation on school discipline continues
Parents aren’t always the problem
The first letter to the editor Wednesday [“Teachers aren’t parents,” Northwest Voices, March 13] makes an excellent if obvious point that students must learn good behaviors at home. However, it would be wrong to conclude that responsibility for children’s failures must automatically rest with their parents.
The second letter to the editor [“Students have an alternative”] mentions a student who admitted years after the fact that his disruptive behavior at school was the result of his illiteracy. He was so determined to mask the problem, which embarrassed him, that he substituted poor behaviors instead.
Misbehavior is not necessarily the result of poor parenting. In second grade, I misbehaved to hide the fact that I couldn’t see the board. Being an excellent reader and a normally well-behaved student, I was suddenly petrified that the teacher would accuse me of fraud. I stopped paying attention and when called on, became disrespectful. It was only when I was disciplined for these behaviors that my mom discovered the underlying cause — nearsightedness.
–Teresa Mosteller, Seattle
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