Before my own teachers' union got busted, I saw some of the negatives of a strong union, including the protection of ineffective and even immoral colleagues. While this was the exception rather than the rule, it did happen. On the other side of that coin is the private school teacher experience, where enrollment numbers and parental "concerns" can lead to calling for someone's job, especially in an atmosphere of choice where parents and students are willing to transfer to the next school willy nilly. 

A recent example of this flawed parental attitude includes two types of parents requesting one teacher's job (with the full support of an uninformed school board). One parent is the typical helicopter mom, worried that her baby is not getting enough attention. The other parent is the typical excuse mom, making excuses for her underachieving kid. These two moms don't always agree, but when they do, then you've got a perfect storm for a school board that might think it has more power than it does. 

As a reminder, school boards generally make policies in small, private schools. Principals create procedures for those policies. Based on a teacher refusing to follow policies via procedures, a school board might have the right to not renew a contract, but that's not really the case in tenured teachers. Many public and private schools have special considerations for tenured teachers, and school boards are better off finding some other teacher to harass than to fight this battle, especially if we're talking about appeasing moms who try too hard for their kids who need to grow up. 

Anyhow, school boards, principals, and parents do try to go after teachers in private or charter schools. It seems to be a perceived right for those who are at smaller schools. But it's an awful practice, really, as it's more likely you are friends of friends or fellow church members. It's bad enough in the big public school when parents go right to the principal or board with teacher issues, but parents at a small school really need to address concerns with the teachers. Not with other parents to stew, not with the principal, and certainly not with the school board. The attitude of forcing teachers to change or threaten to pull your kids is childish and selfish of parents, and it's little wonder that their own kids are underachievers or feel bullied by the other kids. 

The good news is that most charter schools and private schools either have internal rules to follow or are forced to use the local public school rules when no teacher handbook or documents exist. Parents may not realize how much protection teachers actually have in most cases. And it's really for good reason, since it doesn't take a lot of effort for some bored, work-from-home mom who thinks she'd be God's gift to homeschooling to judge a real teacher who's trying to deal with twenty kids rather than just her one little angel. 

Bottom line is parents need to address concerns with teachers. Be respectful and helpful, like volunteer to be part of a solution. "I think my loser kid is being bullied at lunch. I'd like you to keep an eye on things, but maybe it would also help if I came in once a month to sit with all the kids at the table." Or, "You seem to give the kids a lot of work. I'd love to know why they need to do so much work and if maybe some of it could be done in class rather than be graded." Instead, parents want to complain to administrators that teachers are targeting their kids or teaching poorly. I was a teacher. We mostly try to teach well. We certainly could care less about bullying your kids because we have to deal with real life. We just misjudge sometimes. Assignments, relationships, etc. Parents can help us, but they tend to want to blame us instead. Blame your husband for having no internal drive and blame your hairdresser for that haircut, but don't blame your kids' teacher for the fact that you've been a shitty parent who expects others to do your job for you. 

As a public school teacher, I generally didn't have to listen to this kind of crap from parents, though you do have to be careful with IDEA parents and teachers looking to score one as a future administrator. Small schools do have a problem when it comes to how much power stakeholders believe they have (or deserve to have), and a transparent document might be necessary for all those involved in these schools to feel safe.