November 13, 2015
Some of the teachers are okay, but others seem prejudiced or to be harboring preconceived notions about certain things such as religion, still others undermine their own authority by giving unreasonable punishments for minor infractions.
For the record, my child had a stellar behavior record and had never received detention or office referrals before coming to Austin. Since the start of this school year, she got three detentions for a single infraction - which could have been avoided if the teachers had clearly communicated what to do for detention for a child who had never been to detention before in their life. Now my kid just doesn't care anymore and does not want to return to Austin next year because they see the teachers as second rate.
Last year, my child's first year at AMS, one of my child's teachers didn't like the fact that we are a non-religious family and when it came up in class (which it shouldn't to begin with) the teacher told the other students that perhaps we would "come around" to find a religion i.e. Christianity and showed support for a so-called Christian classmate who was harassing my child for not being religious. Not effective in teaching acceptance of others, especially those who fall into a religious minority. Besides, they are supposed to be teaching a STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering, Math - no room for church in that acronym. When I reported this to the school administration, they singled out my child and moved them into another class group (the AP or GT group) - citing a mistake they'd made during scheduling - but I think it was just a way of putting my child into a different group of kids without addressing the real problem - discrimination based on religion! I never heard if the teacher was reprimanded for her behavior, but she is still teaching there. After talking to someone else who attended Austin and is now in college, that particular teacher was known for being religious and having open opinions about religion being allowed in schools. She supposedly also had a cross hanging in her classroom until they made her take it down, according to this former student I spoke to.
I'm not saying there are no good teachers at Austin, but there is definitely a lot of room for improvement. When a student loses confidence and feels like their teachers don't like them for personal reasons, they've lost that student.
- submitted by a parent