Years ago, I heard a legislator say out loud, "Some parents are just dumb and lazy." And I thought to myself, "Anyone who said the same sentence about teachers would be out of office in a matter of months, if not hours. "
Why is there a difference?
It isn't because the sentence about parents is true and a matching sentence about teachers (principals, superintendents, school board members, KDE staff, or legislators) would be false.
It's because it's safe to insult the weakest of parents, and not safe to insult the weakest members of the other groups. The other groups stand up for their own.
Parents, though, are comfortable with insulting other parents. We do it ourselves, and we let other people do it. We think that we can bond with educators and other people with power if we join them in speaking rudely about other parents and people without power. I can't remember having made my own cracks like that, but I can certainly remember hearing others do it and letting them think I agreed.
I shouldn't have done that. I shouldn't side with the strong against the weak.
Neither should Signe Wilkinson. Her recent education cartoon, siding with teachers and administrators and against parents, is out-of-keeping with her usual efforts to support a respectful and inclusive society.