Bad Parents: The Story of a WhatsApp Tribunal

Departure for physical education. A fourth grader insults the other and is vigorously insulted back. The expression falls: “You’re a penis with ketchup” – then the fight begins and the young sports teacher, let’s call her Ms. Kuchenbecker, decrees that the two troublemakers should stay at school. But on the way, the insults continue: A girl who gained quite a bit of weight during the Corona period is called “fat and stupid” and “double Big Mac”.

Arriving at the sports hall, the teacher says: “So! That’s enough! We’re not doing physical education today, we’re going to talk about good behavior.” As she unlocks the door, an unwilling comment is made on her announcement: “No physical education, that’s full of shit! Mrs. Kuckebecker is full of shit!” A boy hisses at him: “Shut your dog’s face, she can hear it!” The answer was: “I haven’t got a face, I’ve got a face.” Then: “Shut up, don’t be cheeky before I come and break your nose!”

Ms. Kuchenbecker gathers the class in a semicircle and gives a lecture on non-violent communication. The children calm down, after twenty minutes Ms.kuchenbecker gets the balls out and lets them play a game of Brennball. At the end of the game there is another small fight. Then the teacher’s patience snaps, she screams: “You guys really suck. But you know what? I don’t care if you go down the wrong path! Because in six weeks I won’t be working at this school anymore anyway!”

The children are silent, look at each other in embarrassment. They didn’t expect such an outbreak. Not long after that, the first mothers were scolding Mrs. Kuchenbecker on WhatsApp. This cheeky teacher actually dared to call her kids “crappy” and says she doesn’t care if they go down the wrong path! Impossible! That is not how it works! This woman must have chosen the wrong profession.

No student, only the teacher is summoned to the principal

Some resent the fact that their innocent children are lumped together with the guilty children over and over again – and then punished collectively. “Yes exactly, that has to stop!” writes the mother of the boy, who is one of the biggest aggressors in the class.

Others are demanding that the teacher be summoned to the headmistress to apologize. The parents’ spokesman seconded and promised to try to talk to them in the next few days. He is suffering, because last year his somewhat small son had to endure that his classmates secretly peed on his gym bag. Twice he had to buy new sports shoes for his son because the peed on them smelled so bad that he could no longer wear them.

Suzanne Schleyer

The Column

Eva Corino writes for the Berliner Zeitung about her heart topics education and family. Her column deals with educational topics that have a “subcutaneous topicality” and get under the skin of modern families.

Anyway. Only on the fringes of the chattering back and forth are there a few reasonable voices reminding us that the class behaved in an absolutely disrespectful manner and that it should actually be the task of the parents to sensitize their children to non-violent communication.

Days later, the parents’ spokesman said that he was able to speak to the headmistress, but Ms. Kuchenbecker did not respond to his calls. They say she’s on sick leave for a while. –

Why am I telling this story? If problems have accumulated, the teachers can no longer get very far with the disciplinary options they have at their disposal. In the past, parents would have thrown their children over the bench if the teacher told them they were being disrespectful to her. Today – figuratively speaking – the teacher is laid across the bench by the parents. Of course, I don’t want a return to caning. But you can feel that something is out of balance here.

Today’s parents spend more and more time with their jobs, sometimes neglect their children, but then approach the “service provider” school with an insane attitude of entitlement. That can’t go well in the long run. After all, value education is a joint task of the home and school.

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