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Video showing teacher pulling chair away from student in outburst

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Short article + Video
http://www.nbc10.com/news/4245196/detail.html
School's Defense
http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/news/wab...rstfollow.html

Basically, during the National Anthem, this student refused to stand up. The teacher then went and pulled the chair from under him when the student replied that he did not have to stand up.

The school's defence is that the students were provoking him and that the teacher's right to privacy was invaded. The school is reviewing the policy of allowing wireless devices in school and the students invovled has been suspended, although it is claimed for some other reason.

Separate the Issues:
My take on this is that the claimed provocation and the teacher's actions are separate matters and should be treated separately. An example would be, if a wife were to nag at her husband and throw away his prized music collection, such actions would not justify the husband beating the wife.

Therefore even if the students involved are really rotten and the personification of evil, the proper actions to be taken is to expel the students and not to attack them. Thus even if the defense provided by the school is true that would not have provided any justification for the teacher's action.

If the teacher is indeed easily provoked then that would also not have provided any justification as it merely suggest that the teacher should go for some anger management classes.

Wireless:
Although this is not the main concern of the case, should schools really ban those video capable devices? After all without such devices I would guess that no one would believe the student's account.
post #2 of 24
Students have the right to not stand for the anthem or the pedge of allegence. The teacher had no right to pull the chair out form under the student. However the student should have respected the teacher and stopped whistling.
post #3 of 24
Wether or not the kids were out of line, there is no excuse for a paid adult who should be trained not only to teach but to deal with their class professionally to react that way. The teacher is wrong.

The kids are wrong for their behavior, but kids will be kids. That is like blaming a cat for scratching. Sure they need some training, but it seems to be to me that people are trying to blame the kids and over look the teacher's WAY out of line reaction to the situation.

Lastly, Yes the country has had its rough times, people died, people are at war and still dying, etc.. all that being said, if someone does not want to stand and salute the flag then they do not have to. This country was founded on freedom, no where does it say in our consituation "In order to be a citizen of the USA you must stand and salute the flag anytime the national anthem is played." Unless I missed that line or it was in small print. :P

So the teacher is wrong, needs to be trained how to deal with kids PROPERLY. The kids are wrong and need to learn how to respect their elders and each other. The school is wrong for trying to minamize the lack of qualified teaching staff and how they handle their disclipline problems. And the parents who back up the teacher need to get a clue and take care of raising their kids instead. -- Oh yeah, video phones, cameras, etc.. SHOULD be allowed in school. If they are not then it becomes so much like a cover up that it's not even funny. What is the school trying to hide? Why not put their own cams in classrooms so they can review teachers AND students. Office buildings have cameras, casinos have cameras.. pretty much everywhere.. might as well stick them in schools that don't have them yet also.
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by eburgess
Students have the right to not stand for the anthem or the pedge of allegence. The teacher had no right to pull the chair out form under the student. However the student should have respected the teacher and stopped whistling.
I thought the students DID have to stand, but didn't have to participate? That's how I've always seen it done, even as recently as last year when I was mentoring in an elementary school.

Either way, I think they were both wrong... the student was probably being a brat about the whole thing, but then again the teacher's reaction was over the top and there was no reason for him to yell and pull a chair out.
post #5 of 24
It sounds like that class was full of troublemakers and they got a kick out of making the teacher mad to the point of losing control of himself. I had a class like that too, in fact that one class was one of the reasons I'm not a teacher. (Had one kid ask me a highly inappropriate sexual question in the middle of class, mind you at a Christian High School. Another one brought a Mountain Dew bottle of urine to class. One of them called me a F**in' B-- when he was sent to the office...) So, sorry, I empathize with the teacher.

Probably shouldn't have pulled a chair out from under a student, probably shoudn't have yelled....but having been there, done that it is difficult for anyone to remain calm and cool under those circumstances. I don't have audio so I can't watch the video, but in the slideshow it shows one of the parents of the brat who took the video (who looked quite smug in the shots of him), with the quote:

Quote:
Peter Zappo, Student's Father: "Maybe they shouldn't have videotaped him but yet the teacher acted inappropriately - they put it on film - and it seems the only ones who suffered the consequences for this was the kids."
So, basically, his perfect little son couldn't have possibly been a thorn in that teacher's side for the entire year. I can almost guarantee that he never backed the teacher in any punishment, and perhaps even raised issues with the administration that the teacher was being unfair.
post #6 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkdaisy226
I thought the students DID have to stand, but didn't have to participate? That's how I've always seen it done, even as recently as last year when I was mentoring in an elementary school.
In my district they made it clear that we did not have to stand for the pledge.
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by eburgess
In my district they made it clear that we did not have to stand for the pledge.
Perhaps it's different in each state/district? The most recent thing that I can find regarding this is from Aug. 2003 and it states that Texas students must stand, according to a Texas law.

ETA: Just confirmed it with a friend that there IS a Texas law requiring students to stand during the pledge.
post #8 of 24
Both were wrong. The teacher sounds like he and the class was out of control. Kids can make you feel that way!

The student was wrong not to follow a simple request. What would it have hurt to stand? He was probably trying to irritate the teacher, and it worked. I'll bet they drove him nuts all year long. People don't normally yell unless they're frustrated.
post #9 of 24
I agree that both are at fault, but I too have been in the situation of having a class of 25 triyng to push your buttons and feeling pushed over the edge and thus can sympathize with the teacher.

I would assume that this video was shot recently. If this student had a problem with standing for the pledge/anthems of this country that should've been discussed with the teacher earlier in the year.

I think this teacher was dealing with a class that was out of control and knew how the get on his nerves. Pulling the chair out from under the student was not the best solution, but at the time he may have been doing what he thought was best to make his point known about respecting authority and our country. A better solution may have been to send this child to an administrator later on if there was a major issue.

Any idea what subject this teacher taught?
post #10 of 24
No doubt that the teacher's actions were wrong, but so were the student's.

As to whether cell phones and other electronic devices should be allowed - no. They are a disruption.
post #11 of 24
I work in a school (students are aged between 11 and 16) and find myself agreeing with those who are saying that the teacher should not have reacted like that. The trouble is that once you 'lose it' in front of the students, they will know that you can be provoked, and it will happen again and again, and the situation then escalates into a huge problem.

Oh, and in our school cellphones are supposedly banned, but all the students still have them because their parents insist on it. If they get caught with one though, it gets confiscated for a week.

Sue
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by bumpy
Basically, during the National Anthem, this student refused to stand up. The teacher then went and pulled the chair from under him when the student replied that he did not have to stand up.
On this issue I say that a person who does not show respect, is not worthy of being respected. I see I'm the only one who voted for the first choice.
post #13 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by yayi
On this issue I say that a person who does not show respect, is not worthy of being respected. I see I'm the only one who voted for the first choice.
Children need to be taught, not bullied, abused or threatened into showing respect.. at that point it is not respect anyways, it just becomes fear. There is just no excuse for that teacher no matter what those children did to him. That is why kids get sent to the principle's office when they are bad.

We have free will as humans given to us by God himself. As human beings we have founded countries based on freedom around the globe. Anyone who wants to tell me I MUST salute or stand to "support" that freedom is infact taking that very same freedom from me and apparently does not understand the true concept behind civil liberties and personal freedom. I do not see how anyone can argue with that.
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirque
Children need to be taught, not bullied, abused or threatened into showing respect.. at that point it is not respect anyways, it just becomes fear. There is just no excuse for that teacher no matter what those children did to him. That is why kids get sent to the principle's office when they are bad.
This was high school, not elementary. The teaching of respect for the teacher and the nation has long since either been ingrained or not. Having taught high school, trust me - they know exactly what they are doing. The kids' actions weren't about the National Anthem or Pledge of Allegiance, it was all about getting a rise and pushing the buttons of this particular teacher. It was a sport to them, obviously, since they brought a video camera in specifically to record the reaction, already knowing that he would be upset about how they acted the previous day with the sub. Don't think these were just innocent school children with a big bad teacher who was imposing his fundamentalist ideals against their civil disobedience. The kids know exactly how limited the school's power is in punishing them, especially if they have snowballed their parents into thinking that the teacher is just picking on them. Judging from the quote from that one father, I'd have to say that's the case. And in some schools (obviously NOT all!), getting sent to the office if you're bad is a joke...it's just an escape from being in class.
post #15 of 24
Both the teacher and the student(s) were out of line, but I have to agree that the kids sound like they were really trying to provoke the teacher, and he may have felt that failure to react would completely undermine any authority he may have had in the classroom. It was the way he reacted that I question. A verbal response would've been more appropriate.

As far as cell phones in classrooms are concerned, I don't have a problem with them, but insist that they are turned off and stashed away during tests. A few of my students have young children, and have to be "available" in case of emergencies. I also had one girl get a call from the police while she was in class. Her parents were away, and her younger sister came home from school to find that the house had been burgled, and went into hysterics.

One of my colleagues collects all cell phones when there's a test, because he caught one kid photographing his sheet and sending it as an MMS to another kid in the class. How's that for creative cheating?
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
...One of my colleagues collects all cell phones when there's a test, because he caught one kid photographing his sheet and sending it as an MMS to another kid in the class. How's that for creative cheating?
Much more high tech than in my day, when students cheated with their pens and palms!
post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by pinkdaisy226
Perhaps it's different in each state/district? The most recent thing that I can find regarding this is from Aug. 2003 and it states that Texas students must stand, according to a Texas law.

ETA: Just confirmed it with a friend that there IS a Texas law requiring students to stand during the pledge.
I'm surprised that hasn't been challenged yet.

We were not allowed to have cell phones in school, all thanks to the Philadelphia school system. I guess kids were busted for making drug deals with thier cell phones during school. I don't know what you would do with a cell phone in school anyway.
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by eburgess
I'm surprised that hasn't been challenged yet.

We were not allowed to have cell phones in school, all thanks to the Philadelphia school system. I guess kids were busted for making drug deals with thier cell phones during school. I don't know what you would do with a cell phone in school anyway.
Send text messages? I have mixed feelings about cell phones. I find that too many kids become "addicted" and pile up debts, with all the ring tones, games, messages, etc., but I also think they're safer having them. Suppose a fifteen-year-old misses the bus or train coming home late at night? Or a car breaks down? Many teenagers have old, unreliable cars. With a cell phone, he/she can call home for a ride, rather than waiting around in the dark for a half hour to an hour, or walking home. Maybe they don't need them in school, but I think they feel naked without them now, and being in the habit of having that "lifeline" with them at all times isn't a bad idea.
post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
Send text messages? I have mixed feelings about cell phones. I find that too many kids become "addicted" and pile up debts, with all the ring tones, games, messages, etc., but I also think they're safer having them. Suppose a fifteen-year-old misses the bus or train coming home late at night? Or a car breaks down? Many teenagers have old, unreliable cars. With a cell phone, he/she can call home for a ride, rather than waiting around in the dark for a half hour to an hour, or walking home. Maybe they don't need them in school, but I think they feel naked without them now, and being in the habit of having that "lifeline" with them at all times isn't a bad idea.
Having a cell for for your car is perfectly fine, don't bring them into school, leave then in the car. That is what we wre told. What can be sent in a text message can wait until classes change.
post #20 of 24
Teenagers in past years (before cell phones) did fine without them. In fact, we all did.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by eburgess
I'm surprised that hasn't been challenged yet.
I guess it hasn't because it's not that the child is being forced to say the pledge, just to stand and maybe respect those who choose to do so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
Send text messages? I have mixed feelings about cell phones. I find that too many kids become "addicted" and pile up debts, with all the ring tones, games, messages, etc., but I also think they're safer having them. Suppose a fifteen-year-old misses the bus or train coming home late at night? Or a car breaks down? Many teenagers have old, unreliable cars. With a cell phone, he/she can call home for a ride, rather than waiting around in the dark for a half hour to an hour, or walking home. Maybe they don't need them in school, but I think they feel naked without them now, and being in the habit of having that "lifeline" with them at all times isn't a bad idea.
I agree with you - it's very easy for younger kids to waste money making their phone "cooler"... I know that now I wouldn't want to waste a cent, my phone does it's job and that's all I ask of it. And I also agree that phones can come in handy when a student's car breaks down or something... and they are NOT needed in the classroom and should either be turned off or left in the car.

I think the issue with this particular school suddenly banning phones is because of what the student caught on his camera phone - a teacher yelling at a student. Instead of saying "well students are disrupting classes by answering phones or text messaging each other" it sounds like they're saying, 'we don't want phones in our classes because then students will catch our teachers doing stuff they shouldn't.' You know?
post #22 of 24
I understand that, but, as a teacher, I actually find cell phones rather convenient, so I don't insist that they're turned off at school, except during tests. I often have classes for two or three periods/lessons in a row. At times, a particular class is supposed to take a 90-minute test starting at 8:15, and somebody will tell me, "S. just sent me an SMS - she's stuck in a traffic jam, and will probably be 10 to 15 minutes late". So I can postpone the test till that particular student gets there, and it saves me the bother of making up a completely different re-test. Or I'm late, and can use the class telephone lists to inform 2 or 3 students that I'll be indefinitely delayed due to a suicide on the train line, etc., and to give an assignment they can work on till I arrive.
post #23 of 24
Re: cell phones in schools

Maybe people don't realize this, or remember it, but it was because of students having cell phones that the authorities were able to zero on on Eric and Dylan in Columbine while they were on their rampage. Students were calling 911 to tell them that they were in the library. They were able to call and say that they had barricaded themselves in a specific room, and there were wounded in there. Obviously, that's not to say that everyone should have a cell phone in school, but if the policy had been to leave the phones in the car there may have been more casualties (i.e. they were able to extract some of the wounded because they knew where they were because of the phone calls).

I agree that they should be turned off and stowed away during class. There's no reason to actually USE them in the middle of class. Even most "emergencies" that kids have can wait until the end of the period. And if they can't, call the school office and have the message relayed that way.
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
Re: cell phones in schools

Maybe people don't realize this, or remember it, but it was because of students having cell phones that the authorities were able to zero on on Eric and Dylan in Columbine while they were on their rampage. Students were calling 911 to tell them that they were in the library. They were able to call and say that they had barricaded themselves in a specific room, and there were wounded in there. Obviously, that's not to say that everyone should have a cell phone in school, but if the policy had been to leave the phones in the car there may have been more casualties (i.e. they were able to extract some of the wounded because they knew where they were because of the phone calls).
That's an excellent point, and the same was true when Robert Steinhäuser massacred 16 people, and then killed himself, in an Erfurt high school in April, 2002.
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