El Dragon “The democratic school” by Pedro Abella Langa
This is the story in which a democratic school silences parents who disagree about issues related to school, its management and operation. In this first installment I attach the message addressed to the parents of the school, about what happened to my family with a 4-year-old child:
I am the father of Santiago, a student until now of DragonFly. I want to put our sad case in the families’ knowledge, and not be silent, as would be the wish of the Director and owner of this Center:
On February 13, on the occasion of the departure of Teresa, the teacher of our son, my wife and I publicly expressed our opinion by the parents’ chat, about the way in which the parents had learned about the departure of this teacher.
On March 24, we are notified by email of the revocation of the registration of our son Santiago, 4 years old, for the next academic year 2018, enrollment that we had already paid, therefor we were not even looking for another School.
That is to say, in the period of just over a month, for having disagreed with the school for the chat, our son has been expelled from this school for the next year, when his enrollment was revoked. The chronology is as follows:
After our opinion by chat, and given the turmoil that was caused, we requested a meeting with the Director of the center, Barbara Serrano, to clarify as adults this small (we thought) incident. To our surprise, Rubén Almansa (Administration), communicates by phone call that the Director, Barbara, refuses to receive us, unless we express public apologies for the chat. As we did not disrespect her, we refused to comply with his demand, and we are informed that we will NEVER be received by her. Given our insistence we receive the co-founder, Juan Morán and Professor Mara Alicia Sequeira, known as Alice, (it was not what we wanted but there was no other option, since this lady does not receive us or has received us today).
In the meeting, among other unpleasant moments, my wife is accused of “incitement to crime”, for her chat text, since they consider that she demanded that they reveal the reasons for Teresa’s departure. What my wife asked for was a prior explanation, since our son had created an emotional bond with her. I did ask the reason for his departure and I said I would deal with the address, but not for that reason we are criminals.
Already in that meeting we are “invited” to take our son out of school for being parents who ask for explanations and being annoying to the school, to which we ask Juan Morán: “are you going to kick our son out of school?” and he says no. Well, they have already thrown him out for the next academic year, when his registration was revoked.
Given this fact, we say to Juan Morán that the School in our experience is democratic for children, but not for parents, to which he replies that this is indeed the case.
The next thing we receive is a message in my mobile voicemail, from Director Bárbara Serrano, dated March 13, threatening to leave our “case” in the hands of the school’s lawyer, telling us that “she will contact us you our lawyer. “seems that, in her words, have been bad-mouthing the school with many families … funny … We did not know it was forbidden to exchange views with other parents or disagree with the Center on things of everyday, given it being democratic and all
Next It was the meeting of DragonFly, extremely unpleasant and sad for us, for several reasons:
1.- Regarding the issue of the snake, we consider that publicly mocking along with the faculty of the Center, the concerns and fears of some parents, is in our opinion, unacceptable, however unreasonable it seems to Barbara Serrano that fear. From our point of view is very unprofessional, the mockery made by this lady to this concern of some parents, both in the meeting itself, as in the e-mail summary of the same, saying that this question has given to write a comic.
In any case, they state in their summary e-mail that “as much as there may be snakes, but snakes!”, Although they also advocate the imagination of children in their games, what are we left with? Well to laugh at the parents, at least, we must document:
Royal Spanish Academy: the definition of snake that appears is: Latin colubra, as the first definition: snake. Also definition of the Spanish Royal Academy of snake: from the Latin serpens: large snake.
More info: “we can conclude that all snakes are snakes …” “The snakes are one of the diverse families that make up the large group of existing snakes”.
Link on the fauna of Torrelodones where it appears that in this town live the snout viper, vipera latastei, a species of poisonous viper.
News of Telemadrid on snake bites in the Community of Madrid, ie any, Hayles:
In any case, the same school in its Facebook, published in 2016 a photo of some students with a snake (so they call it, and not snake), stating that it was not the first time they were one.
In summary: the headmistress of a school publicly mocked the concerns transmitted to her by the parents, for us she says very little about her as such director of the center, but at least it should be documented, because the only thing she has ended up showing is his ignorance on the subject in question, and here we assume, that the comedy is over.
- The meeting was very sad for us, because of the first thing that Barbara Serrano did, it was to raise falsehoods against me, saying publicly to all the parents, that I was talking badly about school with many families, which is not true. To this day we do know that many families are upset and many are afraid to speak. In any case we are going to the same thing: are you forbidden to talk? Can not we disagree? It is clear that no. Although the director endorsed the phrase of a mother who came to say that you can live in discrepancy, I do not think that phrase is made for her, because who disagrees with her, is out, that has been our experience in this Center.
In this meeting and even being informative and questioning, we were told several times: one by Mara Alicia Sequeira, “Alice”, in a very abrupt and disagreeable way, saying that this topic should not be discussed in that meeting and that it was personal, even though most of the questions brought by other parents were also, of course, and again to my wife by Rubén Almansa, telling her that she could not talk to the father next to her. It was a collective meeting, despite the fact that many parents made comments with other parents that were next to them, as usual in this type of meetings and they were not silenced. The saddest thing is that Alice, in the same abrupt way, silenced Blake.
In the face of the falsehoods directed towards me, my wife defended me publicly, and publicly told this lady that she was lying. Well, the next thing we received on Saturday, March 24 (so you can see how they admit the discrepancy), is a mail communicating the revocation of the enrollment of the next year of our son Santiago of 4 years.
Given the treatment we have received, with falsehoods and pressure included and the treatment our son receives, de facto expelled with 4 years old when he is already adapted to school and has made his friends, we do not have faith in this school, nor trust in people that integrate, given also the comments that come to us about things that happen to children and seen that we have already proven the importance of our son for Barbara Serrano, we will not leave it in their hands the 3 months that are missing from school, for fear of the treatment you may receive.
Of course, we imagine that, like what happened with Professor Teresa, they will give you their version of us when we can no longer defend ourselves, giving us, we suppose, an image of “crazy and conflicting” parents. We know who we are and how much truth there is in our words and in our hearts, we are calm and available to any parent who wants to talk to us, just as we know families that are outside and inside and they are wrong, and they are afraid.
As a final note, we understand that, like us, you will have signed the document on Functioning and Rules, which implies that “you have been informed about the legal limitations for educational purposes of this School”. We were not informed of anything and even in good faith, we signed.
Finally, point out that as the school states in its e-mail summary of the Dragonfly meeting, not all Dragonfly teachers have a teaching career, and point out that “far from subtracting we consider it an added value”, explaining to parents, that success in life is not about having a university degree, a house or a car. We agree on where each one finds success, but, if I entrust you with the education of my son, what knowledge do you have in order to attend and accompany him in that educational process? Can anyone go there to take care of our children ?; we do not understand it well … however, the monthly payments do match those of Schools with qualified staff, as well as the facilities that, although bucolic, can not be equipped to those of other School, excellently endowed, after all, this School does not stop being a little house. We say this because in our meeting with the co-founder, Juan Morán, when we asked him about the reason for the rise in the fees, he answered us: “I do not have to explain why I raise the quotas”, to what We told him, man, if you do not explain it to us that we are your clients, to whom you are going to explain it? and he answered us: “my client is your son, not you”, and 2nd he told us that they were not tall, but that they are equated to those of the schools in the area … well, schools with very good facilities and qualified staff, which at least we do not consider the same.
Finally tell you that we are not just us, there are many affected parents and they can not shut up all of us. The fear of this lady goes beyond the School; we are not alone, and if they try to silence us, others will follow.
We say goodbye to all of you.