I was watching Dr. Phil the other day. He claimed that these parents were some of the most difficult guests he's ever had. They reached out for help because their two teenage daughters were out of control. Dr. Phil had provided help and they sabotaged his efforts, lashed out at him, and were generally rude.
I was trying to watch how he handled them. Let's face it, as a teacher, I often try to help parents with their difficult children only to have them sabotage my efforts, lash out, or be generally rude. While watching this show, I came to the following conclusion: I need a studio audience to help me deal with these types.
Whenever the parents would say something really crazy, Dr. Phil would just look at the audience and they would roar with laughter. The problem with these type of parents in a meeting at a school is that it's always closed door. I need a jury of my peers to make my point. Instead, you close the door and suddenly these parents are describing some illogical world where up is down and black is white. Their crazy reality suddenly has as many or more votes as actual reality. How can you talk people out of that? I mean I can tell them that another student looking at their child doesn't justify their child punching another student in the nose, but if they continue to insist that it does, how do you work with them?
Well, everyone who wants to reform schools, here's my suggestion, when teachers are forced to endure stupid meetings about crazy complaints they should get a studio audience. They just should.