One day my superintendent walks outside and tells me a parent has written them a detailed letter of things that I had done wrong to their child. I was extremely lucky that this superintendent had been in the game for over 40 years and understood the chain of command. He told the parent that they would have to meet with me first. If they were not satisfied with the events of the meeting then he would step in.
This same scenario happens in education all the time. Parents and guardians skip right over the teacher and go to administration. They do not care about a chain of command or if there is a policy that lays out the steps explicitly in the student handbook. This has always perplexed me. Why would you not speak to the person you have an issue with? Is this indicative of our society that leaves comments on social media that they would never say to another person face to face? Maybe it is easier for a parent to speak to an administrator instead of the teacher. Perhaps they feel they will get quicker results going straight to the top.
In the case of my story, I met with the parent and they quickly found out there was a gross misunderstanding between their child’s interpretation and my actions. I would imagine that in most cases things would work out much the same way it did in my case if only parents would approach the teacher first. I understand in certain instances things need to go right to the top; however, those times are few and far between. Schools need to establish a chain of command that is adhered to, instead of just wasting away in the student handbook.
Q1: Does your school have a chain of command?
Q2: How has it been implemented?