Are parents doing enough?

TEACHERS have challenged a report which indicates that parents are shirking the responsibility of disciplining their children.

A survey of 800 Australian teachers released yesterday found that three-quarters believed parents had unreasonable expectations about the role of schools in raising children.

However, Queensland Teachers Union president Kevin Bates said teachers acknowledged that they shared responsibilities with parents.

Mr Bates said children spent seven to eight hours, five days a week and 41 weeks a year at school.

"The rest of the time, it is the parents' responsibility, but you can't say it's one and not the other," he said.

"I think the time with the children indicates an appropriate responsibility, but it's always shared.

"Most parents are doing what they should do."

However, Mr Bates said that parents sometimes forgot how important teaching their children by example was.

The survey of 816 primary and secondary teachers, conducted and analysed by Galaxy Research for Melbourne's Herald-Sun news paper, found:

Half of all teachers surveyed have been verbally abused by a parent

Three in five teachers say school students do not show them enough respect

Almost 80% of teachers say cyber bullying is a problem at school, but that students are still largely unaware of the dangers.

Most teachers said they would still choose teaching if they could start their careers again, but many said their job description was broadening rapidly.

Seventy-five per cent believed parents expected teachers to provide all the discipline for their children.

However, 67% said parents supported their authority in the classroom.

While teachers' perceptions of bullying overall were unchanged over the past two years, their concerns about the impact of cyber bullying were rising.

And the proliferation of social media meant that round-the-clock problems, such as cyber bullying, were taking up learning time.

Mr Bates said anecdotal evidence indicated that problems associated with cyber bullying indicated cases were increasing.

Parents and teachers had to remain vigilant when children were using computers, he said.

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