Sydney, Sept 18 : In an attempt to stop "helicopter parents" from hovering over schools and stalking teachers, some of the US educational institutes are asking the guardians to sign behavioural contracts.
Gene Batiste, from the US National Association of Independent Schools in Washington, DC, who was present in Sydney for the opening of a leadership centre for the Association of Independent Schools of New South Wales, said that parents were taking on adversarial roles with teachers and school administrators.
"Helicopter parents is the growing issue of parents hovering over schools," he said. "They are just around too much," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Batiste, as saying.
"It is putting on tremendous negative pressure, primarily on the classroom teacher and secondarily on administrators.
"Not only are teachers having to focus on lessons and teaching but they have this cloud of negativity when the parents come and demand so much of the teacher beyond what he or she is doing in the classroom," he added.
The parents not only wanted to analyse the approach teachers took with the curriculum, some were even taking special appointments to see teachers to view their resumes and verify the teacher's qualifications.
"A lot of our schools are having parents sign, as part of the contractual agreement for admission, parents' behaviour contracts," said Batiste.
"Parents sign this covenant that they will behave in a way that is appropriate," he added.
In case of breach of contract the consequences could lead to reprimand or the school's refusal to re-enrol a child.
However, Geoff Newcombe, the executive director of the Association of Independent Schools of NSW, said that while schools were not introducing the US approach, the parents were required to sign enrolment contracts that outlined their responsibilities to the school.
"I think it is really important that schools have very clear enrolment contracts that clearly articulate the responsibilities of both parties, particularly the parents," said Newcombe.
"The expectations of parents have increased considerably and, depending on the school, some parents want to become overly involved in the workings of the school.
"I don't think that is a good thing for the school or the parents. I think we are seeing more of that than we ever have before," he added.