There is a level of frustration and passion bordering on anger that inevitably bubbles to the surface when I read that families are threatening educators at schools across Tasmania in record numbers.
Verbal and physical aggression often born of frustration are not responses appropriate to environments determined to model and build community. In fact, they are not appropriate in most environments.
Fight for your kids, but do not fight those desperate to make a difference - our teachers and support staff.
You are not UFC legend Conor McGregor; you are your child's partner in education and along with love this partnership is the most important role you will ever play.
My upbringing was dominated by education - I was fortunate.
Wasting a day by mucking around, being overly cheeky, talking too much, or skylarking at school was wasting an opportunity.
And heaven help us if my brother and I were ever in trouble at school. It was not the consequence in the principal's office we feared, rather, the multiple consequences at home.
Most importantly it was not the slipper we dreaded; it was mum's disappointment.
We were not gifted, we were not privileged, we were not exceedingly popular, we were just us - respectful and polite and it did not cost a penny.
Nonetheless, not all our teachers were brilliant, some were rather average, and while we did not openly question their averageness, we did find ways to make change. Through talking with trusted educators and school leadership teams we addressed unfairness and unkindness.
The leadership that we displayed, often collectively, was underpinned by respect and politeness.
Ironically, the most famous fighters, the Samurai, had a moral code known as Bushido that guided their interactions both at battle and in peace.
In December 1904 politeness was defined by Bushido, The Soul of Japan, written by best-selling author Nitobe Inazo when he described the virtue:
"Politeness is a poor virtue, if it is actuated only by a fear of offending good taste, whereas it should be the outward manifestation of a sympathetic regard for the feelings of others. It also implies a due regard for the fitness of things, therefore due respect to social positions; for these latter express no plutocratic distinctions but were originally distinctions for actual merit."
What is most telling about this definition is that politeness is not telling people what they want to hear, rather, it is expressing views in a meritorious and respectful manner.
Just imagine how different the profession would be if we all lived this virtue when inevitably entering a discussion or a disagreement between family and educator.
The Examiner (13th July)shared education data revealing 6790 students received a suspension last year.
"Some of the reasons included bullying, physical harassment and abuse of another student or teacher and stalking of a teacher, other staff members and students."
In my experience suspensions are used sparingly once options have been exhausted, sending the strongest message to the school community about anti-social behaviour.
However, I agree with long-term disability advocate, Kristen Desmond. There are systemic issues at play that are not the fault of schools or individual educators.
At the Tasmanian Branch of the Australian Education Union, we have been relentlessly prosecuting the case for 100 per cent Schooling Resource Standard. Currently at 91 per cent whilst all catholic and independent schools are already at 100 percent is simply outrageous. A social worker, psychologist, or speech pathologist for every 900 public school children is outrageous. Families forking out up to $200 per hour in the private system, desperate for help because they are stretched to breaking point, is outrageous.
The glib one liners from politicians who bang on about record investment in education does not read the staffroom nor the front bar at the pub.
Piles of money thrown at year 11-12 extension schools in urban areas shows when it suits the government's political agenda, they can spend big on education.
Funding should be directed according to student need, not political ideologies, particularly when our colleagues and students in the critical primary years remain nine percent below the minimum funding standard every child deserves.
Every student is worthy to have their education fully funded and to have the political priority of their government.
When students are forced to wait years just to be assessed by a school psychologist or speech pathologist, let alone begin treatment, you know the government's funding priorities are out of order.
The most recent year 12 retention rates tell us so.
Let us collectively raise the issues with our state government, not directly rage and fight with individual schools and individual educators who are doing their utmost to drive change through investing countless hours supporting our youngest community members.
The Schools Resourcing Standard is legislated as a minimum benchmark.
91 percent should outrage us all and no matter our background or choices we make for our own children's education, it should remain a priority for us all as Tasmanians.
Until families receive the funding they deserve, let us not rest.
A steely resolve with the politeness of a samurai will be required, but I have no doubt we are up for the fight.
- Brian Wightman is a former Tasmanian Attorney-General and school principal