Recently, in a social media group I am a member of, someone posed a question asking if they should take back a student whose family left their school unhappy about a decision that was made. Now, the family that left is not happy with their new school and wants to re-enroll. The person who posted was wondering if the family should be welcomed back.
I was surprised that the majority of respondents said, “No”. Some responses were much more colorful than a single word and others appeared to have strong feelings attached.
My response was, “I would take them back. I’d definitely have an intake meeting, be very welcoming, and ask, How can we make this new experience better for you? Here’s an opportunity to have the parents learn a lesson.”
I made the assumption that the issue was with the parent, and not the student. I believe part of our job as educators is to work with challenging and difficult parents and come to a solution that is best for the student. Is it always easy,? No. Does it take time? Yes. Should we punish a student for the behavior of an adult? No. Should we be better, take the high road, and perhaps help others learn a lesson? Yes.
I know my opinion might not be popular, but after thirty-six years as an educator and twenty-one years as a principal, I’ve found the majority of situations involving an angry parent can be managed by listening, meeting face-to-face, collaborating, and focusing on what’s best for the students.
Yes, I’d take them back.