Constance Nonnenmacher: Parents need choices


Published: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 4:08 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 4:08 p.m.

House Bill 1191, The Parent Empowerment Act, is working its way through the Florida Legislature. It requires that school districts inform parents when their children’s teacher has been declared ineffective. The school district would also be required to inform parents when their neighborhood school is failing.

We deserve this information in order to make better choices for our kids.

We should know that online classrooms are an option. We need to know that we can join with other parents and select from approved options for turning around a failing school. We can change the school leadership, turn the school into a public charter school, or choose something else designed to bring about necessary change.

Parents have the right to know the characteristics and teaching quality of their child’s teacher. Our son had a teacher who took it upon herself to slam children’s heads down on a desk and hold their heads down for 2-3 minutes thus traumatizing all classmates. She also screamed in their ears and called them “stupid, idiot.” After learning what had been going on in the classroom for seven months, I pulled the teacher’s file.

Learning that this teacher was not recommended to be hired by the previous principal and assistant principal in another county in 1999 was upsetting. She was considered a management problem, frustrated easily, yelled, and was known to put her hands on the children. The one good quality noted about her; “she was receptive to coaching.”

Does your child deserve this? Why do taxpayers need to pay a salary to someone not deserving? We need teachers who want the best for the children, who are looking out for their best interest. Had HB 1191 been in place, our son would not need to be seen by a psychologist at $160 per hour. We have a lot of physical, mental and emotional injury to correct.

Teachers, principals, and politicians should treat parents like partners; we are on the same team after all.

Constance Nonnenmacher,

Weeki Wachee, FL

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