Sometimes my school experiences really do give me an insight in to another world which makes me wince at times.
Take for example an and of term experience I observed. At the end of the final school day for one particular year six girl as she set off across the playground to go home for the very last time, I overheard her mother repeatedly goading her to "Go back and tell your teacher what you really think of her". The girl, to her great credit, refused and looked slightly embarrassed, but the mother continued to pressurise her daughter to tell her teacher "how much she hated her" and "there's nothing she can do now, she can't punish you because your leaving school".
The girl might have had little love for her teacher. As I explained to a mother once at a parents evening when she explain that her twelve year old son "doesn't really like you very much", teaching is not a popularity contest and as long as he is continuing to learn and is making good progress I won't be losing any sleep over it. As it happened, by the end of the year the boy had changed his view of me, but had he still not liked me I would have been surprised to get an earful of abuse from him.
This is the first time I overheard this sort of "parenting" before, but it is little wonder that some young people are brought up with a deep and entrenched inability to respect authority if some parents try so desperately to make their children behave as if it is alright to be abusive, rude and downright disrespectful.
We've all had a belly full of someone in our time and have learnt to bite our tongues. Over officious staff, a call centre that keeps you waiting, a policeman who stops you for no valid reason or simply a bloody useless boss (I have had plenty of them, but not at my current school thank goodness). However learning to deal with these people in a polite way is what makes society a more cohesive place. It is part of growing up to learn how to deal with people as human beings and with resepect.
Let's not blame the kids. It's those few parents who teach their kids to be so rude that should know better.