The children lose a friend, keep a screamer
A letter to PTAVE from a teacher, May 13, 2006


I just got fired from working in a Boys and Girls club afterschool program for protecting the children from verbal abuse, very loud earpiercing screaming by an afterschool tutor who also ordered them to put their heads down continuously for no reason whatsoever. If there was a reason, this still should not have occured; it was very unprofessional. Nobody spoke up for these children except for me.

They came to me begging me to not allow them to go into this room alone with this tutor. I am not the director and could not do anything about it. I have spoken to the director several times about other abuse going on also and she seemed to not want to believe it. So, I decided to speak up to the woman who was going crazy screaming at the top of her lungs to these third and fourth graders. She frightened me also with her screaming, so I can just imagine how the kids felt. I am proud of what I did, but unfortunately they lost a loving, caring person because I defended them. The children always came to me and gave me hugs and said I was the nicest person in there and that all the other staff members were mean. I worked very hard with the children showing them patience and understanding all the time. I feel very badly because they do not have anyone to be truly kind and respectful now.

They have all touched my heart and I am sad that some schools and afterschool programs allow this. The kids were always being put in "time out" for just being a kid. They were made to sit for a while and be shamed instead of being talked to. Since all the other staff members in this afterschool program treated the kids like this and I approached discipline matters respectfully and appropriately, I had nobody to back me up or even care about protecting these kids.

I am jobless right now, but I am sure proud that I made a stand about this. Do you have any suggestions about what I can do or who I can go to to report this and hopefully somebody will stand up for these kids? I do plan to call the school district next week. I am so glad I found your web site.

I hope to hear from you.

Kathy Falkowski

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