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Why Are Parents of School-Age Kids Doing This Totally Awful Thing?

Photograph by Twenty20

It’s that time of the year again. We anxiously check our mailboxes every day, waiting for that special package from the government.

Nope, I’m not talking about our tax returns. I’m talking about something much more important.

I’m talking about the letter that says who my child’s teacher is going to be next year.

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This is actually our first time experiencing this phenomenon. Our little guy is entering kindergarten in a few weeks, so this is all new at our house.

I’ve noticed something in the past during this whole phenomenon—and I’ve always thought it was kind of terrible. Parents go on community Facebook boards to ask the all-important question: “HAS ANYBODY HAD MR. SMITH FOR 1st GRADE? HOW IS HE? TELL ME EVERYTHING YOU CAN!!”

And then the comments go wild.

“Mr. Smith is awesome.” “Mr. Smith is terrible.” “Mr. Smith voted for Obama.” “Mr. Smith smells like cheap cologne and bourbon.” “Mr. Smith has a weird eye.”

These types of comments got me thinking… WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?

Do you not realize how inconsiderate and inappropriate this is?

Mr. Smith is a human being. He is not a public figure. Why are you commenting about him on a public forum? Do you not realize how inconsiderate and inappropriate this is? If you need to know about your kid's teacher (and I totally get that you need to know about your kid’s teacher), ask your friends PRIVATELY!

In all seriousness, my wife and I are SHOCKED at how people think that it’s OK to speak openly—and often obnoxiously—about teachers on public forums. It's incredibly rude and beyond disrespectful to the people who teach our children.

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And don't get me wrong, I'm as insane as anyone when it comes to making sure that my child is being well taken care of and educated properly, but leave the goddamn teachers alone and do your research in a more respectful way.

Perhaps the irony of all this is that many of our friends are teachers. We were hanging out with them a lot this past week, and you know what they were talking about? You guessed it. They were talking about who their kids' teachers are going to be this year. That subject made up approximately 73 percent of our conversation over the last week.

But you know what they didn't do? They didn't go on public message boards asking strangers to publicly comment because that's rude and inappropriate.

So be appropriate, and don't be rude. Stop talking about teachers on the internet.

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