“Don’t call my teen a tart!”
Should these parents have run to the courts instead of talking to the teacher?
(Jade Photography)
A friend of mine teaches maths to Grade 12’s in one of our smaller cities. A couple of days ago she found herself in court having to defend a case of slander and assault against a female scholar.

Here’s her version of what went down. She was teaching when she suddenly heard a commotion in the corridor. When she went out to have a look she found two girls in heated “debate”. One of the girls was screaming at the other one. She reprimanded them both and told them not to behave like common tarts.

To which one of the alleged tarts took great offence and screamed back at her that she was in-fact not a tart. Teacher dearest then explained that she was telling her not to behave like a tart, not that she was one. And when the alleged tart walked off in a huff, teacher grabbed hold of her shoulder saying “I’m not done with you yet.”

And that’s when all hell broke loose and the verbal exchange and manhandling ended up in a very public arrest and hauling before the courts.

Based on my friend’s version of the events I assured her that she had nothing to worry about and that the courts have better things to do that to prosecute this kind of incident.

My prophecy was proven right when the case didn’t even make it onto the court roll. After discussing the matter a bit more it came to light that our alleged tart comes from a rather aggressive family who enjoy making sport of taking people to court. At no point did they attempt to engage the teacher before resorting to the courts. In fact there has been no direct contact with the teacher whatsoever.
Look, no one gets to call my kid a tart or that she’s behaving like one for that matter. But running to the courts to resolve this is like taking a sledgehammer to a mosquito. And now the learner has suffered acute embarrassment and alienation at school, since obviously the whole school knows about the incident. The teacher also now has a cloak of derision and scorn over her reputation.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, bad communication is the cause of the demise of all relationships, be it between parents and kids, teachers and kids, lovers or even companies and countries (read Bush and Hussein). Teachers calling kids tarts is clearly not on, neither is parents setting an aggressive example for their kids on how to resolve disputes. Methinks a nice cup of tea and a few "Eet Sum Mors" around a table would have sorted out this little storm in a tea cup much better than wasting the time of the courts, Lord knows they’ve got bigger fish to fry in our country.

Read more by Marlon Abrahams

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