1. I was told they hate boys.
And that was true. They treated boys like garbage. Granted, my son was difficult and we needed extra guidance, but the school culture was one where they made it clear your boy needed to be docile or you would receive constant phone calls. All available literature, and I bought and read a lot, stated that the system was not prepared to properly deal with boys.
2. Everyone was scared.
I did not learn to speak up for my son util his 2nd grade teacher humiliated him on the last full day of school. I learned that complaints to the Principal were 100% useless as I had warned her there was a problem, in writing, back in April. In June she agreed with me after this situation, but it was too late. After 3 years I learned to involve the parent advocate at the local district office.
3. I was warned that our Kindergarten teacher hated boys. I was told that at the beginning of the school year and had issues with her all year. Allegedly parents complained about her every year, all year. One parent had a letter published in the Wall Street Journal about this.
4. School politics.
One of our best teachers was our third grade teacher. She started out like a strict general and was told that was not the corporate culture out our school. We then began to recognize that she was one of the best educators that we would have. But she didn’t play the politics game. The moral of the story is, it is not enough to be a good teacher, you also have to Kiss a lot of Ass. This poor women was gone after the next year. That is a loss for the students.
5. Child Abuse.
With 6 weeks to go, I filed a child abuse case with the District that was escalated into an investigation. I witnessed a TA humiliating a group of students publicly and yelling at almost 2 full grades of students in the lunch room. I went right up to her and asked if she was allowed to do what she was doing and she told the truth, she said No, she was not. Complaints to the administration before this fell on deaf ears, I have the documentation. There were other adults working for the school in the lunchroom who had witnessed this behavior over the course of months and not one had spoken up as far as I was told.
In the end, I went through a load of crap for 6 years. I kept as much of it as I could from my son. And it worked, he loved his elementary school. That’s what is important.