Cathy Seipp approvingly notes a trend towards authoritarian parenting. Sad eh, that after all this time, many parents can't find it in themselves to think of any solutions other than either neglect (which includes providing poor information), or outright bullying of their children.
From a related story in her blog, she writes:
"Personally, I've always taken a hard line where this kind of thing is concerned. I first realized this made me rather an oddball when Maia was in first grade, and when I went to pick her up one day, Ronald the after-school playground director told me she'd gotten in trouble that afternoon for some minor infraction -- running when she should have been walking, I think it was. As he was telling me this, Maia began (in a rather sassy voice) to pipe up with her side of the story, and I snapped at her, "Do NOT interrupt when adults are talking!" Ronald looked at me in amazement. "Thank you," he said. What amazed me was that he was so amazed, but since Maia was only six, I was still something of an innocent then about modern parenting habits".
Perhaps Cathy remains an innocent, if for a different reason, for what she seems to have failed to consider is that her behaviour apparently logically legitimizes her child abruptly telling a younger child to shut up whenever she happens to open her mouth - something which is fairly frequently construed as being an example of bullying behaviour.
Of course, neglect in its various guises often results in equally difficult behaviour, but there is another course which can and does work with children who have been raised in the understanding that they will be listened to. The tentative offer of what seems good theories to our children can and does do the trick. So here, perhaps, "Maia, could I possibly get his side of the story first, and then I can listen to yours, without getting muddled?" If the relationship is trusting, if the child knows that the parent will not side with the teacher if the truth seemingly does not support such a stance, then this is most likely to work.