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"Dad taught me everything I know. Unfortunately, he didn't teach me everything he knows."
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  Volume No. 15 Issue No. 6 June 2018  

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Front Page   |   Feature Stories   |   Search This Issue   |   Log In
Michelle Barrette

  By Michelle Barrette

   My youngest daughter is an elementary school teacher in El Paso County, and one tough part of her job is dealing with overprotective parents (or mean-spirited parents). They call them helicopter parents — overprotective or obsessively interested in their child’s school experience. When I went to school, my parents didn’t question the teacher’s authority nor did they interfere with school: not so much today. 
   Since the school year has begun, I wanted to do something fun for this column so I did a Google search on teachers dealing with helicopter parents. I found dozens of stories —  some beyond bizarre like the police chief who pulled a gun on a teacher (for disciplining his son). The police chief was later fired. Here are a few more tales from teachers on helicopter parents. 
   One mom informed the school that anything less than an A grade would not be tolerated because her son was “gifted.” The teacher said the mom would come to the classroom every morning and unpack her kid’s backpack; and at lunch she would spoon feed him. He was in third grade! 
   One teacher asked her student why she handed in a completely blank quiz. The kid smiled and said, “I didn’t read.” The teacher asked her to write, “I didn’t read" on the quiz, and she did. Because the student’s grade went from a C to a D+ mom came to the school furious, accusing the teacher of not supporting her daughter; and demanding that the teacher change the grade.  
   A music teacher who used “sad face” “happy face” for her kindergarten kids had this to say: “I had a parent sneak into my classroom during my lunch period and erase his son's name from the ‘sad face list’ … claiming that he ‘got a feeling’ while he was at work that his son was being mistreated at school. He could only believe that I had wrongfully accused his son of something, because his son was an angel. He picked the lock to come in and defend his son!”
   One mother came to every recess at her daughter’s school. Emmy was in fifth grade, and every five minutes mom would blow a whistle and tell Emmy she needed a shade break. Like clockwork, Emmy would have to go sit in the shade for five minutes, every five minutes. 
   There were so many more examples that I think we’ll use them for Monkey Business next month! The obsessive parenting didn’t end with elementary school. One mother slept in her daughter’s dorm room at college for weeks, until she was kicked out! 
   I hope you enjoyed these tidbits from teachers. 
   Of note this month, Angie Morlan’s Face to Face column is on hiatus just for the month of August. Angie has been in Minnesota helping her parents. 
   Welcome back everyone to the new school year. To the teachers, I say — best of luck! Remember, helicopter parents, they already have enough kids to deal with in a classroom — they don’t need “grownup kids” telling them how to do their job. Yikes. 
   See you in September! 
   - Michelle
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