Ask the Experts

Embarrassed by the Teacher

“My daughter’s teacher embarrasses her when she is slow in answering a question or when she gets something wrong. Can I prevent this from happening by putting my objection to it into her IEP? Or is an IEP just for academic challenges?”

An IEP is not just for academic challenges. It can address emotional or social issues, as well. A teacher should never embarrass a child. Before bringing this matter up to the IEP team, speak to the teacher and explain your concerns. If you have already done so, or you believe the teacher may retaliate by making things more difficult for your child, raise the problem with the principal. You also need to determine whether the teacher is acting inappropriately or whether your child is unusually sensitive. The answer to that question doesn’t change the fact that your child is feeling picked on or your need to take action, but it may help you decide on the steps you will take.

A well-written IEP contains strategies for dealing with your child’s difficulties answering questions in the classroom, but a teacher who embarrasses a child may not be inclined to follow an IEP, even if it deals with these challenges.

If bringing this problem to the school administration and discussing it with the IEP team do not resolve it quickly, you may need to insist that your daughter be moved to a different class or consider having her placed in a private school, at district expense, where she can receive an education that meets both her educational and emotional needs.