In essence, a high school student's parents were called into the school to visit with a counselor. This family is from the south. In most southern states children are raised to respect their elders and to be mannerly. Their son was raised to say things like, "yes, maam," "no maam", etc. And in the south, if you didn't (or don't) show that respect, you were disciplined.
Here's the kicker of this story. The parents were told to advise their son NOT to use those expressions when talking to a teacher. They were told that around here it is not a term of respect, but rather more like being a smart aleck, showing disrespect to the teacher!
If I had been this boy's parents I would have gone Harper Valley PTA all over that counselor, the teacher who griped about it, the principal, and the school district. I'd have written a letter to the local newspaper and whatever else I could have done to expose this kind of behavior from the educators and school personnel.
If anything I feel kids, anywhere, should be taught to show more respect, for elders especially - and just generally kinder and more respectful to each other!! Maybe kids wouldn't be so ill behaved if they were taught common courtesy, and manners! I am floored that this happened. To be told to hold your tongue for fear of being bullied and showing lack of respect to a teacher by using "yes, maam" ... c'mon.
I have friends from the south, I've worked with people from the south; I love southerners and the southern culture. I mean, listen to the tone of voice - I would think even who is not very bright should be able to sense and hear the difference between using those expressions with respect, or being a smart ass.
I am very disappointed in hearing about this ... shame on the school, the principal, the school district, the teacher that complained (or showed concern, whatever), and the counselor who, in my opinion, ill advised these parents. I know people raised in the south, who have lived around here for years, and they still say "yes, maam," and "no, maam"!
Am I the only person who sees this as wrong, on so many levels? Sheesh ...