ISR has received an eye-opening letter from a teacher describing an extreme situation that we feel merits discussion among the International Schools Review community. We share this letter with you here and invite your comments:
Dear ISR, I’m currently in South America at a school that caters to wealthy locals and I have encountered a situation I’ve never been forced to confront in all my years teaching overseas. Here’s what happened….
Last Saturday I parked at the mall and as I made my way toward the entrance, the smell of marijuana coming from a BMW was so overwhelming I couldn’t resist turning my head to see who would be so blatant as to be smoking in such a public place, especially here in South America where very distinct laws are in place. I was shocked! In the front seats I glanced two of my high school’s students, one with joint in hand. They both saw me looking and I continued walking without looking back or saying a word.
Monday, before class, one of the boys came to see me, although he’s not a student of mine. He told me his parents are aware of his activities and should I report him to the school, his wealthy and well-connected parents will make ‘trouble for me’. He also brought up my son (also a student at the school), and I clearly got the idea that he was making a not so veiled threat. These kids here are rich and their sense of power and entitlement is off the charts. For all I know, his parents are in the drug business, possibly big time.
I did speak with the director but kept the incident hypothetical. His response was that unless something takes place on campus, “It’s none of our business.” I am stunned that these kids have the power to do as they please and threaten me into silence.
I’m feeling abused, helpless and vulnerable, for both my son and myself, and at this point I am seriously considering leaving for home. If this incident is any indication of how things operate here, I don’t care to be around at report card time!
Any comments or advice in any way, shape, or form from educators with a similar experience as mine, or thoughts on this topic would be very reassuring at this time.
Thanks ISR for being here for us. Sincerely,
(Name withheld by request)
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