Parish teacher crossed the line in custody battle

Dear Editor,
I am writing this letter because I believe that the people of St. Charles Parish should be informed of what happens when home disagreements spill over into the school.

As a parent, I have always placed my trust and had the utmost confidence in the school system and those people who chose to educate our young. However, after a recent incident, I find myself doubting that everyone who becomes involved in certain situations understands the impact of their actions.

In a recent custody battle, it became clear that the educators in our parish need more “educating” themselves when it comes to how far to involve themselves in home affairs. A teacher at a local high school helped this child write letters to the judge in the custody case, going so far as to offer advice on how to write it, correct grammar and punctuation, and offer revisions so that the letter would be more effective when read by a judge. This teacher did not bother to find out all the facts in this case, meet with the parents, or even whether or not she had overstepped herself in the process.

When confronted by the administration, the teacher confessed to the fact that she had, in fact, helped the child on school time, using school equipment to write what turned out to be a letter that we considered full of blatant lies.
However, the damage had been done.

The letter caused undue stress and strain and irreparable damage to the family relationships, as well as the relationship this family has always had with the school system. Prior to this, the school system, teachers, and administrators had always seemed like true professionals, doing what they can when they can, and always involving family when necessary.

Not only was this not the case, but the teacher refused to meet with the parents who were both astonished and appalled by what the latter contained. The administrator of this teacher defended this action. When pressed, school board staff and officials promised to take care of this problem. However, no action was taken as far as the parents know, as no notification of any such action was given. Because of the things written in this letter, and the help she received at school, things quickly got out of hand, involving the authorities when there was no need to do so.

All contents of the letter were disproved and the letter was found to contain no merit or anything of value.

Although we understand that educators are trying their best to serve the students of St. Charles Parish, where do we draw the line? How involved should an educator be and to what extent should they go to find out the truth before becoming involved in family matters?

In closing, the actions of these few have ruined what was once a wonderful relationship with a school system who has always seemed to have the best interests of all at heart. There is now, for some, a lack of faith and trust. Due to the actions of a few, much hearthache and sorrow ensued. Someone needs to hold the responsible people accountable. Morally and ethically a line was crossed.

Cindy Robert


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