Letter: When Is Enough, Enough?

When Is Enough, Enough?

I moved to Nashville in 2011 upon completion of my time in active service with the U.S. Marine Corps. As a Marine, I served my country without prejudice to preserve our freedom, rights, and equality that we share as American citizens. Recently, I have come to feel that I am once again fighting a war, one in which it seems has no end and I cannot win.

My children attend Nashville Grade School and have been Honor Roll students since moving to Nashville. To date, my children (whom are bi-racial) have had to experience (and still do) an extreme amount of racial prejudice from other students and staff while attending this school. I feel my children have become an object of abusive treatment at this school.

Since first enrolling my children in Nashville Grade School, I have had over fifty telephone conferences with the Principal; three with the Superintendent; as well as countless notes, emails, phone calls and face-to-face meetings, which all revolve around or are labeled as “poor behavior”. My son alone has received over 100 school detentions from staff. Recently these meetings have escalated into arguments that revolve around racial slurs, physical attacks by other students, and blatant abuse of power and authority by teachers.

This year has been extremely difficult and more outrageous than previous years. My son in particular has had to endure more abuse from his teachers and the Principal than ever before. As a result he has been unjustly labeled and that label has made him a target.

The teachers my son has had to date while attending Nashville Grade School accept no responsibility for poor behavior such as exclusion, isolation, ridicule, belittling, and other tactics. How many other children have fallen victim to this abuse of power? Who do they have to call upon when it is the very people meant to teach and protect them that are abusing them? Many children are being unjustly labeled by the staff.

On October 15th, after receiving a notice regarding my son, with a picture attached to it (taken by the Art/Music teacher with her personal cell phone) and in class punishment by verbal reprimand, isolation from the other students, and further humiliation by removing his chair and being forced to stand for the remainder of class – I have to ask you..when is enough enough?

I am horrified that the Superintendent is aware of the behaviors of the Principal and teachers but does nothing to reprimand them. The type of critical behavior exercised by the Principal and teachers undermines creativity, damages productivity, and causes social problems.

The behaviors exhibited by the adults at Nashville Grade School have been allowed for so long that it has become a toxic situation for our children. The Nashville Grade School staff, the Superintendent, and the Board of Education need to be held accountable for their actions. Something needs to be done to stop the chronic bullying, the abusive treatment of students and illegal infringement of student’s rights that are currently being violated.

Katherine Williams

Concerned Parent