Years ago I had seen a YouTube video about an absurd, but hilarious video of a school answering machine message to parents with a very sarcastic tone. It was on the machine of the Maroochydore High School, in Queensland, Australia. Yesterday it came across my Facebook news feed and is shown below…
Depending one which side of the message you sit (teachers and schools or parents), you might be cheering or jeering, maybe a little of both.
Anyway, the story is that the parents were so upset they sued the school.
On my good days, I try to look at all the evidence and see things from BOTH sides by using accurate thinking and uncovering “the facts.” Being a parent, you learn this can be your best friend. So when I saw this video I just laughed. I had looked at both sides. But I didn’t yet have the facts.
I thought this would make a juicy post to get things going today so I did a little research to get more details. Because I didn’t “doubt” the message was fake, I never thought of checking Snopes first.
I spend a lot of time tracking things down on Snopes, especially during an election year. The more outrageous things sound, the less true they usually are, so accurate thinking comes in handy. It turns out, Snopes had the facts about this message that was originally attached to Pacific Palisades High School in California. It was fake for that school too. If you want to read the facts about this school answering machine message you can find them here: www.snopes.com
This brings me back to an important point about accurate thinking. At back to school night we got a chance to meet all the teachers and hear their requirements and expectations for the new school year. This is important for parents to attend because you get to hear “their” side of the story. If you don’t attend, you’ll only hear your child’s side of the story. I’m not saying our children will ever lie to us about school and homework – at least not always.
But what the teacher “tells” them at the beginning of the year, and what they actually “hear” might not be the same thing. With the distractions of seeing friends for the first time in months, a little over-stimulation, confusion about new surroundings, and a touch of a learning disability, the full message might get scrambled during the delivery. I take notes, pictures and video of every classroom and teacher I visit because I can’t remember it all myself.
Having all the facts about what is actually required of your child for the school year will help as the year progresses. And when your child says they don’t have any homework because the teacher never assigns any, you can check your own notes to see what the truth is. Taking pics of the board or overhead will make your job easier at home. Just show them to your child. It works for me.
Don’t take everything you hear or read as truth no matter who is saying it until you hear both sides. This is true for politicians, teachers, other parents, other kids, telemarketers, car salesmen, or even your own kids. Quite a few parents were talking about this very idea at school. The kids say one thing but the teacher says another. Get both stories before taking sides.
Now, I’m certainly not saying everything we hear is a lie or that everything we hear should be scrutinized. That’s ridiculous. But hearing both sides and getting all the facts on the important things will make our thinking more accurate and better prepare all of us for school and life.
Now that we have the facts about the video we can all laugh at it because it is pretty funny.