Feet on the ground – head in the clouds.

Teacher beaten by student in classroom, absolutely nothing happens as a result

with 4 comments

No teacher should ever fear for their safety inside the classroom. That is the mark of a school in need of resources, opportunities and a hard line stance. Above all in our school system we must make a shift to respecting and protecting our teachers better. These types of situations truly make me fear for a society where those who try and educate our children are subject to threats and attack. The nature of a good teacher is such an impossible thing to fake, and we’re constantly forcing the absolute brightest from our public schools to the corporate world, where they can make more money consulting or developing curriculum.

I know of at least three teachers who are losing their homes because they dared to live in the neighborhood where they teach. The way banks were pushing it at the time, these people ended up with either adjustable rate mortgages or fixed mortgages they simply couldn’t afford with the cost of inflation, but they will now lose their houses (at least two, the third is most likely in the same boat). These aren’t dumb or irresponsible people, they are teachers in many communities across America who can’t afford to live in the area where they work. Even with some of the tax incentives for teachers, police officers and firefighters people have a lot of trouble owning a home in the area of their work, forget about having a family. People talk about labor workers all the time who want to be able to afford to buy a home, send their kids to college and retire with dignity. Why can’t teachers, police officers and firefighters have that?

Teachers, for the most part, are the only profession not catching up in our major metropolitan areas. It’s not just the pay, it’s the respect of these jobs. Parents aren’t teaching children to respect anyone, let alone teachers and police officers. They see the education system as something akin to an auto shop, where they drop it off in the morning, they fix it up and you pick it up at night. Education simply does not work this way. Parents are responsible for reinforcing cultural education and social respect. Without parents help children are prone to making these types of mistakes where they never quite realize they are mortal. Like the girls who beat the cheerleader in Polk County, FL and the girl who attacks her teacher in this video, and the instances just like it all over this country.

This is a parenting and societal problem, something government can’t directly fix. Funding all public schools, not just those in affluent neighborhoods would be a start. Opponents always say “you can’t just throw money at the problem”, and I argue we’ve never tried to throw money at anything. I’m not for much federal involvement in our schools, but we’re regulating the hell out of school districts at the federal level while not really funding the schools. We’re just stuck feeding the bureaucracy while each state has their own beefy Department of Education so the whole system is redundant. Get rid of the Department of Education, force states to compete with each other and they will rise to the occasion. You know, the American way.

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4 Responses

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  1. Former teacher…

    The objective of school punishments is to change behavior, and school are unwilling to make children uncomfortable enough to change their behavior.

    Schools don’t demand performance standards for their students, and therefore school loses its education focus. At that point, if the parents don’t demand performance, then school has no immediate purpose. These students don’t learn that education has any value, and they show no respect to teachers or the school itself.

    Perhaps areas need to establish ‘boot-camp’ schools, where student privileges follow student performance. In the meantime, school suspensions and other punishments need to have sharp enough teeth to earn the respect of the students.


    April 13, 2008 at 12:19 am

  2. I personally have a hard time with the little, immediate problems like the fact that a school less than 5 miles from a $300 million football stadium does not have maps in their history classrooms. It’s funny how we sometimes hear teachers should supply those kinds of things while our tax dollars are spent on “fact finding” missions to the Cayman Islands and Bermuda. We foot that bill, they should buy a classroom full of material.

    It’s not performance standards, it’s the misguided aims of the public education system.


    April 13, 2008 at 12:25 am

  3. Each person makes a choice to fund that stadium whenever they purchase a ticket. If your local/state government pitched in a bundle just to woo a team, my condolences – they used your tax dollars for a corrupt purpose.

    Why don’t schools have proper supplies? Because government bureaucracies are by nature incompetent, and all too often unaccountable. Salaries are justified for positions that are unnecessary, while the administrators cry that there are no money for important materials.

    And the political correctness movement errs on the side of acceptance rather than performance, so the maximum number of kids attend rather than perform. In relation to this story, removing the top 5% of discipline problem would improve student performance much more, but schools nationwide simply don’t have the courage to admit that ‘giving every student a chance’ steals from all the kids.


    April 17, 2008 at 4:38 pm

  4. So incredibly right-on! I’ve long been a supporter of some programs like universal health care simply for the positive benefits. My experience at the MVD (or DMV for most states) yesterday made me really think about the logistics of such programs.

    A part of me believes programs such as universal heath care could work if managed properly. The problem is, nothing in the government is ever managed properly. No Child Left Behind, the postal service and driver’s licensing are all examples of how America works against its own principles.

    The basic idea of capitalism is opportunity and competition. While universal opportunity seems to be the target in programs like the NCLBA, it completely removes the competitive nature of life in the real world.

    Even in the example of that stadium (which was funded, in part, by public tax dollars) the NFL has a collective bargaining agreement, virtually removing any actual competition for an entire industry. The Cardinals (the team receiving undeserved tax dollars) haven’t had to compete on the field to make money, because this monopoly shares revenue.

    I agree if we removed the worst offenders the potential for learning would greatly increase, I also know that I’d have been removed from school under that program. Although I guess being expelled twice is pretty much the same thing. My disciplinary issues in school also opened my eyes to a problem your proposal would eliminate – some of the worst repeat-offenders end up earning a good rapport with principals and deans.

    I watched a student be given a day of in-school suspension for his 3rd gang-related offense, then entered the same dean’s office and was expelled for insubordination.

    My crime? Our school had a mandatory reading time for 20-minutes each day. Every day I was fine, until one day the dean in question was observing our class and it blended into this mandatory reading time. My reading material was the introduction (printed from the internet) of Kant’s Metaphysic of Morals. The dean placed a textbook on my desk and told me this time was for reading books only. I explained that I was and the dean said, “well, just read a book and don’t complain.” As he turned to walk away I slid the textbook off my desk. He heard it hit the floor, and removed me to the hallway.

    In the hall I explained more about what I was reading, and he refused to budge. He told me if I wouldn’t co-operate I’d be suspended for insubordination. I decided to go sit in the courtyard and continue my reading. A little later he and another dean came and escorted me to the office and sent me packing. The second time was more my fault, but again, insubordination. I was such a troublemaker.

    I’d hope in the top 5% program they’d weigh gang activity over reading Immanuel Kant.


    April 17, 2008 at 4:58 pm

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