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Where’s the Respect at School? [AUDIO]

Schools may be wise to introduce a class on respect, but teachers should sit in on it as well. A new poll of thousands of adults across the nation finds respect in school has dropped in all areas.

The Harris Poll asked participants to recall their K-12 education days and compare the level of respect with schools today.

School Teacher
Chris Hondros, Getty Images

While nearly 80 percent of Americans said students respected teachers when they were in school, just 31 percent said student-toward-teacher respect still exists today. A major decline was also registered when participants were asked about parents’ respect toward teachers. Only 49 percent of Americans believe teachers get respect from parents today, down from 91 percent who cited such respect in the past.

“We have gone from a time when parents believed what the teacher said in regards to their child’s behavior and reacted accordingly, to the present where parents stare in disbelief and think of a million excuses as to why their child misbehaves,” said Marybeth Harrison, a public school speech therapist in Hunterdon County and children’s author. “Teachers are sadly the first to be blamed.”

However, teachers weren’t the only victims in the poll. Just under two-thirds of respondents said teachers respect parents today (down 27 points when compared to the past), and roughly six-in-10 adults believe teachers today respect students (down 25 points).

“There’s a lot more conversation around whether the school’s doing their job, and whether a parent’s doing their job, and those lines are blurring,” said Linda Schulz, senior vice president of School Pulse Research for Harris Interactive.

“Respect among principals, teachers, students and parents is an important aspect of a successful school ecosystem,” added Jen Loukes, School Pulse vice president. “Adults and children alike desire the respect of their colleagues and peers in order to perform at their best.”

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