Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Howard Hates Helicopters

The Sun is certainly stirring it up with a story about "helicopter" parents, those who hover over their little ones and their teachers.

Here's how the article gets off the ground:

Carroll County school officials told a grandmother to stop coming to her grandchild's class after she spent two weeks studying the teacher. A Baltimore County teacher recalls being threatened physically by a parent who happened to be a boxer.

And in Howard County, overbearing parents are becoming such a concern that more than half the teachers surveyed say they have experienced "harassing behavior."

For the past two years, 60 percent of the teachers responding to a job satisfaction survey conducted by the Howard County Education Association reported that they have been subjected to harassment. Last year's survey specifically identified parents as the offenders in 60 percent of the cases. This year's survey, to be released in the coming weeks, will report similar results, said Ann DeLacy, the HCEA president.

"The workload is bad, but coupled with over-demanding parents, the job is horrible," said DeLacy, whose organization represents most of the workers in the school system.

Of particular concern are parents - dubbed "helicopter parents" for their tendency to hover over their children - e-mailing teachers, school officials say, with messages often excessive or abusive or both. The prevalence of incidents contributed to the Howard school system's decision to implement a civility policy last year and prompted the PTA to send a warning to parents about e-mail at the beginning of this school year.

"People were getting daily e-mails from the same parents," said Patti Caplan, spokeswoman for Howard County schools. "It got to the point that the employees felt that they were being harassed."

The Sun received several comments, some of which suggest that one person's helicopter is another's frustrated parent.

1 comment:

Iconic Xer. said...

The surge of "helicopter parents" and the effect on the school system is very much a generational issue. The generation of the kids, of the parents and of the primary leaders in the school system is a complex system of interactions between generational world views and values. And, it can be addressed and made more functioning ... rather than being fought and called wrong or bothersome.

I highly recommend reading "Millennials Rising" and "Millennials Go to College." Both are by William Strauss and Neil Howe.