School’s letter to parents goes viral on social media

We hear all too often about kids these days being rude and struggling in school. Some people blame the teachers,
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We hear all too often about kids these days being rude and struggling in school.

Some people blame the teachers, some blame the education system and some blame society itself.

But a letter going viral on social media is pointing the finger back at parents, driving home the message that education starts at home.

The letter, supposedly written by a school in Portugal, has been doing the rounds on Facebook – and it’s got plenty of people nodding in agreement.

It touches on manners, respect and honesty, among many things.

Here’s what it says:

“Dear parents

  • We would like to remind you that magic words such as hello, please, you’re welcome, I’m sorry, and thank you, all begin to be learned at home
  • It’s also at home that children learn to be honest, to be on time, diligent, show friends their sympathy, as well as show utmost respect for their elders and all teachers.
  • Home is where they learn to be clean, not talk with their mouths full, and how/where to properly dispose of garbage.
  • Home is also where they learn to be organized, to take good care of their belongings, and that it’s not ok to touch others.
  • Here at school, on the other hand, we teach language, math, history, geography, physics, sciences, and physical education. We only reinforce the education that children receive at home from their parents.”


While we’ve been unable to verify whether the letter was actually written by a school in Portugal or not, it’s certainly getting people talking on social media.

What do you think about the letter?

Do you agree with what it says? Should parents take more responsibility for educating their kids?

  1. Hels  

    About time!! I have always corrected my children when needed. I .now do it with my grand children. Kids learn by what they see and hear

  2. Shirley Reedy  

    I totally agree and hope more parents take note

  3. Elizabet Pandelis  

    The Jesuits used to say that if they had a child till 7, that child was theirs for life. We learn an enormous amount before we are even 5 – walking, talking, balance, dexterity, toileting, etc. How then can the home NOT take responsibility for teaching the basic foundations of morals, ethics and social intercourse?

  4. Diane Pigram  

    Agree by all means manners and such should be learnt at home

  5. Bridget  

    My children learn a lot more than maths, language history etc… at school. They learnt bad language, rejection, social exclusion, meaness, intolerance physical violence. We can teach manners at home and teach our kids to be good people but school exposes children to a lot more than just academic learning. Schools need to acknowledge this and take some responsibility for creating a culture/environment that counteracts the life altering social problems arising for some children at school.

    • Carol Smyth  

      I think most schools do genuinely attempt to reinforce good values and try to provide effective ways of dealing with those students who have not previously had the good fortune to be taught more co-operative and compassionate ways of behaving before they get to school. The Dunedin research in New Zealand, as I understand it, confirms that children who have not acquired sufficient language skills (both using and understanding) plus a degree of self-control by the age of three can be identified as being more likely to come to our attention for the wrong reasons at some point. So, as a teacher, I agree it is my job to encourage cooperation and collaboration as I help students to learn; and support with strategies to deal with problem behaviour. It’s the idea of the village raising the child – we’re all responsible for encouraging positive social behaviour.

  6. I agree there is nothing better than a child using manners and respect. On the other hand I totally agree with Bridget. Teachers are also supposed to help children through difficult times whilst attending school, and to be aware of bulling, violence and other situations concerning bad behaviour and take some responsibility.

  7. Marie  

    If home ie ALL homes taught the manners mentioned, there would not BE any bad language, rejection, social exclusion, meanness, intolerance physical violence. They would have been taught that these things are wrong AT HOME. Why is it that teachers are expected to teach these things when they could so easily be the norm in society.
    The latest news headlines show one very important reason children are not taught how to behave. If the parents don’t know, how can the children – and thus how can teachers over-ride home example. It’s a harsh call all round.

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