Answer Me This

I have some questions for parents who are currently raising or who have raised a child between the ages of 12 – 15.

What if your kid came home from school and told you, the teacher, man or woman, grabbed them by both shoulders and berated them because they kept getting the answer wrong on a question they were asked?  What if it the teacher was a female would it be okay?  How about if the teacher has known you and your child for three or four years and they felt like your kid had Nobel Peace Prize potential and because they want to motivate your child they grabbed her and yelled as motivation.

Would it make a difference if the student was not your child?  What if you were picking your kid up from school and you witnessed the teacher grabbing a kid by the shoulders and yelling at the kid, in front of you, other parents and all of this kid’s classmates?  Would you remain silent because it was not your child?  Would you say anything to that kid’s parent?  Would you sit back and wait for it to happen to your child?

Would any of the scenarios change if the kid that got grabbed by the shoulders and yelled at was the teacher’s pet?  I mean what if that kid, yours or a classmate, was the kid that got the prime seat in the classroom?  Would you trade your child being the teacher’s pet and whatever privileges that came with it for being grabbed an embarrassed in front of his or her classmates?

I am being a little facetious and somewhat rhetorical, because if you are like the people I posed this question then I already know what your answer to these questions would be.  The social worker, marriage and family therapist, family law attorney, youth coach and a few of my college coaching friends all said that any touching or grabbing a student in this manner would be cause for the teacher to be terminated.

How would any of this be different if it wasn’t a teacher that did the grabbing, but instead it was your child’s youth coach?  The coaching method was a page out of the Woody Hayes school of coaching, all in an attempt to motivate and get the most out of your child.

When is it ever okay to put our hands on a student in the manner that I am describing?  Teacher or coach.





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  1. As coaches you have to understand each child present ability, potential, and personality. You must be able to coach (in game) teach, motivate and discipline each individual separately. As a coach your verbal skills is the most important weapon you posess (power of the tongue) along with being creative with your coaching philosophy. This does not include putting hands on a child.

  2. Wow, I don’t think it matters who the authority figure/adult is or what role he or she plays in a youth’s life. Grabbing and berating is not acceptable. My kid or someone else ‘s. It would be my responsibility to confront the person, tell the youth’s parent, or report the incident to appropriate officials. It is not important to know details of why the incident is happening. Of all the ways to motivate and engage youth this is not acceptable even as a last resort.

  3. Thought about it. I suppose I don’t think it’s ever okay for a teacher/coach to lay hands. Unless it’s the kid’s own family. Maybe. Is it cause for legal action? I feel like it is illegal, which is why it should not be tolerated…
    If my kid, or any kid, were grabbed by the teacher/coach and it was not their father/grandparent/auntie/uncle then I would be pissed and want that teacher/coach fired.

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