Letter: Now is the time to teach respect for the rules

About the teacher/pupil incident at Baker Middle School:

My! How times have changed!

When I was in eighth grade and my teacher had stopped me on the hall and asked me to put my shirttail in, I (a child) would have smiled and said, “Sure, Miss teach.” And obeyed. End right there.

My behavior would have reflected the manners and sense of respect for an adult, especially my teacher, that my parents and elders had taught and instilled in me as a child. I would have brought this home training to school with me.

Fast forward.

Reportedly, we have a teacher making a simple request of a eighth-grade student. A child. This student cops an attitude. “You don’t tell me what to do” (in thought).

He goes around the teacher and enters the room. This was a blatant act of defiance, an act of utter disrespect for one in authority. I suppose the teacher was so shocked, she just acted on impulse. According to the media, she did not hit the student. She did not abuse him.

I wonder just how many parents take enough interest in their children to visit the school on open house? How many will attend a PTA meeting? Some parents will never set foot on the school grounds until an unfortunate incident like this one happens.


Parents who don’t or can’t teach their children respect for authority, respect for rules and law may find themselves in for some troubled times. Many of these young people are the ones who fill up our jails and prisons. If their parents, teachers, and others can’t teach them, life will teach them the hard way.

All must assume our responsibility in the positive development of our children — the home, the church and the community.

Cleveland Bailey Sr.

retired teacher

Baton Rouge