"You are the parent, the taxpayer, the CUSTOMER - it's their job to go out of their way for you and your child!"
Hmm, I cant say that I agree. If every teacher had to see every parent as a paying customer, nothing would ever get done, no policy would ever get put into place, and no child would get taught effectively.
I see it more as a partnership. The parent and teacher are partners in the child's education. If a parent is unhappy, the teacher needs to listen, consider the parent's point of view, and give her perspective. The teacher needs to follow school policy, and respond accordingly. Hopefully an amicable solution can be found to most situations. But with some things, the parent and teacher may just not agree. If the teacher is following school policy and is therefore acting reasonably, then it is her call. Otherwise you'd have 30 parents dictating what should or shouldnt happen in the classroom. Chaos.
When you put your child into a school, you have to have a certain amount of trust in the teacher. Certainly, you need to keep tabs on what is happening and do all you can to help out and communicate, and if you're unhappy, talk to the teacher. But one thing that is bound to get up a teacher's nose is being told that you believe that you are a customer and that they must please you. Aagh. Not a constructive attitude, imo.
As for the homework, I think maybe the teacher could have forseen an issue here and sent different words. However, I don't think it is a big deal - the word 'hate' is a word, and was being used in a common context. I'd use it as an opportunity for discussion. Why hate snakes? What sort of snakes would you be wary of? Why? Isn't it silly to say you hate snakes/spiders etc.
We don't use the word 'hate' in our house - although its not a conscious choice, it's more that it just doesnt come up. But dd knows it at the age of three. She doesnt go to school, so hasn't heard it there. But she has told me that she hates chocolate, that it's disgusting.
: Now, if she was saying that she hates someone, I'd be concerned. The fact that she is using and experimenting with language attached to emotions I believe to be a good thing.
I think the teacher responded appropriately. She sounds very competent and sensible to me. I certainly wouldn't be mad about it. Your dd wont' suffer from learning a word and discussing its meaning, along with its phonic rules.