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Unhappy with Son's Teacher

Toddler and Teenager Expert Advice from Carleton Kendrick, Ed.M., LCSW

Q: I've heard some disturbing news about a teacher at my son's school. This info has been given to me by other teachers at the school. I voiced my concerns to the principal as to where I wished my child -- a very active boy -- to be placed. He came back to me in a very demeaning tone that I had no choice, that if I even tried to change his class in the beginning of the school year that he would deny the transfer. What can we do? My child's well-being is very important to my husband and myself.

A: I am sure the principal would say that you have no proof of these allegations about this teacher and that if he changed every kid's class placement because of rumors, chaos would ensue.

See what happens with your child in this teacher's classroom. Take appropriate action to get him out of there if you deem it not in his best educational and developmental interests. You can also go to the principal plead your case in a civil, calm manner. If you believe that you are being treated unfairly, politely inform the principal that you will be taking the matter to the superintendent of schools. If you believe that every administrator in the school is treating you in a demeaning, uncooperative manner, I would call your local PTI (Parent and Information Center) your local Office for Children, and your state's Department of Education. Also please read articles written on our website by our legal/education expert, Robert Crabtree -- he is a lawyer specializing in educational matters. Try not to lock horns with the school, but if they do not even want to give you the time of day, then you have to use whatever means you can to insure the best educational environment for your son. Thanks for writing.

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Carleton Kendrick has been in private practice as a family therapist and has worked as a consultant for more than 20 years. He has conducted parenting seminars on topics ranging from how to discipline toddlers to how to stay connected with teenagers. Kendrick has appeared as an expert on national broadcast media such as CBS, Fox Television Network, Cable News Network, CNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio. In addition, he's been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Reader's Digest, BusinessWeek, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and many other publications.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.


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