Texas Teacher speaks up.
Wednesday April 18, 2007
Dear Dr. Miller,
I have read some of your books and I am a total fan of yours. Your research has given me the information that has led me to be able to stand up to fellow educators who were abusing children.
I was working at a very large school district (Dallas Independent School District) and I witnessed widespread physical abuse that was not being documented. When I spoke with my administrator I was told to go back where I came from and to mind my own business. Then I started being harassed by the personnel office and other administrators. Fortunately, I was able to contact two attorneys who helped me to file a whistle blower lawsuit which I won. The school district spent well over one half million dollars defending the suit. Last year was the first year that DISD did away with corporal punishment.
Last school year I worked in a small Charter School that was founded by a Baptist Church. I was shocked to witness more physical abuse and reported many incidents. The teachers and administrators and parents quoted bible verses to justify their behavior. I contacted four journalists, two attorneys and Oprah Winfrey Show. Mr. Riak at Project No Spank was sympathetic and encouraging. None of the other contacts responded to me but I let the school know what I had done. I was immediately put on administrative leave and I was not able to get a full time teaching job this year due to the bad references that I had again accumulated.
I am not willing to let this issue go. I would like to publish these stories and expose this culture to the cruelty that our children are being subjected to in our schools. If you know of someone who could help me write I would really appreciate it. I do not want to be a victim, I want to fight back and show that when you stand up to abuse that you make a path to happiness for yourself and for others.
I think these stories would make a great movie too because there was quite a bit of drama involved.
This letter is getting long, but I think that I should add that I was physically abused as a child and so was my father and his father as well, and probably the generations before him. I want the cycle to stop with my generation.
Thank you, S. L. S.
AM: Congratulations to your awareness and courage. We need indeed much courage today to defend children from cruelty because most people are "on the other side.” Acting as if they still were in their childhood, they don't dare to question the ideas of their parents, in great fear that they would get another blow. They seem not to realize that as adults they will not be punished if they stop to repeat the nonsense that children need to be beaten.