Teachers complain about behavior of LASD parents

At last week’s Los Altos School District Board of Trustees meeting, the Los Altos Teachers Association registered a complaint about some parents’ rude behavior toward teachers.

Elizabeth Leach, president of the teachers association, called herself an “up-stander” in the beginning of the statement she made at the Feb. 12 meeting. She said that while 90-95 percent of the parents are “fabulous,” there are some who have shown disrespect to teachers.

“It’s one thing to have a discussion about what your child needs, to have a conversation openly – the teacher welcomes that conversation with parents,” Leach said of a recent incident. “It’s another thing to personally attack a teacher. It’s another thing to walk into the classroom and tell the teacher that they are a terrible teacher.”

Leach noted that there is a civility policy in the district, but she wonders whether parents, teachers and administrators truly understand it.

Based on her 16 years of experience in the district, Leach said parents’ disrespectful behavior toward teachers was rare in the past but occurs more often these days.

“This happens more and more frequently, across the district, at different sites,” she said. “You can’t specify a specific site having problems with this more than another.”

Leach urged district officials to review the problem and seek solutions.

“This is something that needs to be solved, because our newer teachers will leave if they are under fire like this,” she said.

In response, Superintendent Jeff Baier said the district would work with the teachers association to develop a plan to ensure that teachers are supported.

“We are committed to creating an environment where our teachers are able to do the very best work for our students,” he said.

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