Interesting article in the Boston Globe–connecting General McChrystal and the French soccer mutiny. In both cases, the players stepped outside their proper role–questioning authority in a way that society rejects.

Well, of course this story brings me back right to our schools. Ask: how can teachers teach when students question their authority to do so(with the threat of a lawsuit; you can’t touch me. I’ll call my lawyer, etc. etc.) when they try to bring order into the classroom, provide needed discipline, and actually get down to the teaching and learning for the day, etc. etc. etc. Quick answer: they can’t.

Let’s hope this article has legs into our nation’s classrooms. Hierarchy matters. There’s a right and a wrong way for students to behave in our nation’s classroom so they can learn and let others around them learn, also. So long as we have no clarity (and an ever-present fear of litigation) about the role of the teacher, the student, and the parent, our education will continue to suffer.

( Out of order–hierarchy matters).

About Miriam

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA—an expert in public education, focused on special education law— is a lawyer, author, speaker, consultant, and reformer. For more than 35 years, Miriam worked with educators, parents, policy makers, and citizens to translate complex legalese into plain English and focus on good practices for children. Now, she focuses her passion on reforming special education, with her new book, Special Education 2.0—Breaking Taboos to Build a NEW Education Law. Presentations include those at the AASA Conference, Orange County (CA), Boston College (MA), CADRE (OR), and the Fordham Institute (DC). Her writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Education Week, Education Next, Hoover Digest, The University of Chicago Law Review on line,, and The Atlantic Monthly on line.

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