An elementary school teacher gets removed from her classroom and
placed on administrative leave. When parents find out why they are
outraged. They respect this teacher. They know she does good work with
their kids. They want her in the classroom, not sitting at home
wondering if she’ll ever teach at that school again.
So they form a picket line to protest the situation. Their protest
makes the news and puts the school’s administrators on the defensive.
In a newspaper article, the school principal tried to explain what they did and why. But from my perspective as a reader his response was lacking.
The whole thing smells of poor communication.
While I support our right to protest, I sigh in disappointment when
customers feel they need to resort to it. There should be a better way
for customers to deliver their message.
In this case I would ask, what channels of communication exist
between parents and the school’s administration? Maybe there are plenty
and the parents simply ignored them. Maybe they decided a good old
fashioned neighborhood protest was the best way to offer feedback to
But given the single-digit temperatures and the busy holiday season,
I doubt it. This is not something most moms and dads do unless they
feel it’s the only way to accomplish their goal.
It’s wonderful seeing this kind of energy and passion to support a
teacher. As the school principal I’d be proud of that. But I’d be
equally embarrassed at the protest. It says the management and
customers of this school are not communicating well.
How do you think this affects the relationship between the school
and these parents? And how does it affect the image of this school?
Now translate this to your business. What if your customers felt the
only way to get your attention was to stage a protest? It would be
great to have that kind of loyalty. But imagine the damage to your
brand if this happened?
Every organization that serves others needs multiple communication
channels. Every customer deserves an easy and convenient way to give
feedback to the organizations they do business with.
And that includes elementary schools.