Archive for the ‘School Rules’ Category

The Disgraceful Decision to Fire a Teacher for Trying to Break Up a Fight

May 7, 2014

 

The teacher in this video was unfortunately fired for her attempted intervention. I find this to be an outrageous overreaction to what was a most challenging situation.

 

I have the following points to make:

1. How many of us teachers were ever trained on what to do to break up a fight between students. Do you try to intervene? Do you simply wait for security? Do you take a proactive approach or a passive one?

2. This is not your average student fight. This is ultra violent and extremely serious. When the teacher chose to intervene, it was at a point when the child on the bottom looked like he was about to have a serious concussion.

3. I’ve heard people argue that she should have called for security and left it at that. Really? Can’t you see what is going on? What if one of the students involved got a blow to the head which left him brain damaged? How would we view the teacher if all she did was send a child out to alert security?

4. A television reporter suggested she should have physically restrained the fighters. Are you serious? We are teachers not bouncers! She was brave enough to do what she did. Getting in the middle of the fight wouldn’t have been wise. In fact, it would have been suicide.

5. I’ve heard comments made about the unacceptability of hitting students with a broom. This very argument was made by one of the students at the school:

Bernard Barton III, a 19-year-old senior at the school, said the teacher went too far.

“The lady she should have never grabbed the broom. She could have just grabbed the security guard,” Barton said. “He could have got hurt from her hitting him with the broom like that and she should have gotten charged for it.”

Firstly, do you honestly think this teacher goes around hitting her students with brooms? This was an absolutely exceptional case that required a response that goes against the natural character of the teacher involved. Secondly, she didn’t use inappropriate force, she used the bristles for goodness sakes!

6. By firing the teacher they again make the teacher the focal point. This is quite disturbing. Surely the fighting students must be the story here, not the desperate teacher.

7. I want the people that fired her to not only explain why they fired her but to explain what they would have done in such a situation.

Fire this teacher? I would have given her support and guidance, offered her counseling and considered a raise!

 

Click on the link to read One of the Greatest Teacher Pranks Ever Recorded

Click on the link to read Don’t Fire Caring Teachers

Click on the link to read Should Teachers Allow Students to Call Them by Their Christian Names?

Click on the link to read Let’s See if you Can Work Out Why This Teacher was Suspended

Click on the link to read Why Healthy Eating Laws in Schools Don’t Work

Click on the link to read You Can’t Have Your Lunch and Eat it Too

One of the Greatest Teacher Pranks Ever Recorded

April 7, 2014

 

 

I can understand the frustration this teacher must have had with being constantly interrupted by students leaving their mobile phones on in class. The rule he imposed forcing students to answer their phones on speaker was probably a bit of overkill, something he realises upon overhearing the following phone call.

 

 

Click on the link to read Don’t Fire Caring Teachers

Click on the link to read Should Teachers Allow Students to Call Them by Their Christian Names?

Click on the link to read Let’s See if you Can Work Out Why This Teacher was Suspended

Click on the link to read Why Healthy Eating Laws in Schools Don’t Work

Click on the link to read You Can’t Have Your Lunch and Eat it Too

Click on the link to read How Many Teachers Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb? (Part 1)

Don’t Fire Caring Teachers

April 2, 2014

 

Jennifer MittsI am not advocating taking students off campus without permission, but surely by doing such an honorable thing for her student she deserved a bit more leniency?

A popular Red Bank High School teacher is out of a job and now there is public mud-slinging over whether she was forced to resign or if she left to prevent a second suspension.

Bring Mitts Back is an online petition to get Jennifer Mitts back her job. She taught at Red Bank High School for 14 years until abruptly submitting her resignation letter.

According to the website, school officials forced her to resign but assistant superintendent of human resources, Stacy Stewart says Mitts was only facing her second suspension within three years.

“Instead of taking the suspension, she opted to resign and we allowed her to do so. She has mentioned being forced to waive her rights to due process and that’s incorrect,” Stewart said.

It all started when Mitts reportedly took a student to a medical facility and even paid the medical bill. It seems harmless, but there’s a catch.

“Ms. Mitts was officially warned in writing back in January of 2013, not to take students from campus in her car without permission,” Stewart said.

According to Mitt’s personnel file, she has received several warnings, reprimands and even an 5-day suspension for other incidents that raised administrative red flags. There was even a letter from a school administrator explaining how her good intentions were putting the district in jeopardy of a potential lawsuit.

“It’s a liability issue. It’s an issue of insubordination after doing something you were officially warned not to do and doing it again. It’s an issue of neglect of duty because the classroom was left unattended. There’s several issues,” Stewart said.

WDEF has reached out to Mitts through her Facebook page and even showed up at her home but never received any response.

 

 

Click on the link to read Should Teachers Allow Students to Call Them by Their Christian Names?

Click on the link to read Let’s See if you Can Work Out Why This Teacher was Suspended

Click on the link to read Why Healthy Eating Laws in Schools Don’t Work

Click on the link to read You Can’t Have Your Lunch and Eat it Too

Click on the link to read How Many Teachers Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb? (Part 1)

Should Teachers Allow Students Call Them by Their Christian Name?

March 11, 2014

 

sean

I don’t want my students to call me Michael because I believe it is important to remind them that I am their teacher and not their friend. This is important, because if you want your advise to be respected, I think it helps to have a more formal title.

Still, I think it is over the top to suspend a child for 5 days for referring to you by your name outside of school. Sure it was rude, but it amazes me how badly punishments fit the crime nowadays:

A boy has been suspended from classes for five days after he called a teacher by his Christian name outside of school hours.

Sean Roberts, 14, has been banned from Wellington Academy in the mornings and in the afternoons he must attend the school’s ‘department for naughty kids’.

The school in Tidworth, Wiltshire, is sponsored by Wellington College and its executive head is political historian Dr Anthony Seldon. Yesterday, Sean’s mother Julie Roberts, 42, demanded her son be allowed back in class ‘as the punishment is over the top’.

She claimed the Academy was ‘making an example’ of her son.

Hairdresser Mrs Roberts – who has already lost 106 pounds in wages staying at home to look after him – said she was only told about the punishment in an evening phone call from the teacher Head of Department Barry Seymour

‘This happened in the village where we live – it was outside of school. My son was walking home and my son shouted out to him Hi Barry. Barry followed him and challenged him at school the next day and my son said he did it.

‘Then I had a phone call telling me my son was not allowed in school for five days but I have had nothing in writing and no official meeting. The night he called the punishment was due to start the next day.

‘The teacher involved said to me your son shouted my name in a way that made me feel small and undermined. I said to him because I know this guy ‘come on Barry he is a 14 year old kid – you should not be intimidated by a 14 year old. Is that all he said and he said yes.

‘I would have thought if they were sanctioning something so serious then I would have been called in for a meeting and laid out on the table what was going to happen – a structured plan. But I have had nothing – just a phone call from the teacher involved. I have had nothing in writing.

 

Click on the link to read Let’s See if you Can Work Out Why This Teacher was Suspended

Click on the link to read Why Healthy Eating Laws in Schools Don’t Work

Click on the link to read You Can’t Have Your Lunch and Eat it Too

Click on the link to read How Many Teachers Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb? (Part 1)

Click on the link to read Girl Faces Expulsion for Being a Victim of Bullying

Let’s See if you Can Work Out Why This Teacher was Suspended

February 25, 2014

 

kelly mascio

A teacher is suspended after she found two 5-year-old students in the bathroom naked claiming that they were “having sex” with one another.

What did the teacher do wrong you may ask.

Did she fail to alert the Principal?

No. She did that straight away.

Well then, what did she get suspended for?

Your guess is as good as mine:

A kindergarten teacher has been suspended from her job after two of her students were found ‘having sex’ while naked in her classroom’s bathroom.

Kelly Mascio, who has been teaching for more than 15 years in Mullica Township, New Jersey, has been suspended with pay since the incident on September 30.

According to a police report, Mascio found the two five-year-olds – a boy and girl – naked in her in-classroom bathroom. They told her they were ‘having sex.’

Mascio immediately reported the incident to Principal Matthew Mazzoni, who in turn advised the Police Department and the state Department of Youth and Family Services.The teacher was immediately suspended, while police investigated the case.

 

Click on the link to read Why Healthy Eating Laws in Schools Don’t Work

Click on the link to read You Can’t Have Your Lunch and Eat it Too

Click on the link to read How Many Teachers Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb? (Part 1)

Click on the link to read Girl Faces Expulsion for Being a Victim of Bullying

Click on the link to read Cancer Sufferer Claims she was Banned from Daughter’s School Because of her “Smell”

Why Healthy Eating Laws in Schools Don’t Work

February 10, 2014

 

health

The late great Dale Carnegie wrote:

There is only one way under high heaven to get anybody to do anything … Yes, just one way. And that is by making the other person want to do it.

It’s a shame that policy makers and school administrators don’t seem to have read any of Carnegie’s work because had they absorbed the quote above, perhaps they may have come up with something better to offer students.

People think that school represents the perfect place to undo parenting errors. They think that by bringing in a new school rule or program, that children will be set for life. Some of the rules and regulations in a school near you include:

– Anti-bullying programs

– Sex Ed programs

– Junk Food policies

– Playground no hugging rules

– Toilet rules

– Drug programs

– Anti-gambling programs.

 

And it goes on and on ….

 

Is this really a bad thing? What’s wrong with scrapping junk food from school?

Of course nothing is wrong with instilling healthy eating habits, teaching children about what constitutes bullying and how important it is to avoid drugs.  But to be successful you’re going to need more than a worthy cause.

The problem with schools taking on these issues is that schools already have a stigma for most children. Whether we like to admit it or not, most kids hate school and they hate what they are taught at school. So whether it’s a math or science lesson or its a discussion about the dangers or excess sugar consumption, the chances of breaking through are difficult. It requires a positive and creative approach.

And let’s face it, the programs eluded to above often look and feel like schoolwork. They often consist of worksheets and paired activities and feature mini-quizzes. Why do the people who put together these programs think that if they put an animal mascot on the front of the pack and crossword on page five that kids will warm to the content? No child has ever been fooled by such a gimmick.

And inflexible rules are worse. Sure, it’s not ideal for kids to be eating chips or popcorn at school, but taking away their treats is yet another way of reinforcing the stigma that schools are overbearing, ruthless and prison like. I just read that Brussels want to ban yogurts and cheese from school lunches. If I was a school kid in Brussels I would want to go home and douse myself in cheese just out of spite!

It is such a breath of fresh air when a great anti-bullying initiative or healthy eating idea surfaces. One that captures the students’ imagination and encourages rather than bans, nurtures rather than smothers.

If you want children to listen they must want to listen. Don’t shove draconian rules and anti-bullying packs down their throats. Give them something that doesn’t look or feel like school work.

 

Click on the link to read You Can’t Have Your Lunch and Eat it Too

Click on the link to read How Many Teachers Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb? (Part 1)

Click on the link to read Girl Faces Expulsion for Being a Victim of Bullying

Click on the link to read Cancer Sufferer Claims she was Banned from Daughter’s School Because of her “Smell”

Click on the link to read Top 10 Most Unusual School Bans

You Can’t Have Your Lunch and Eat it Too

February 1, 2014

Imagine ripping lunches away from students because after serving them they found that their parents haven’t yet settled the cafeteria bill. One second the children have their lunch tray, the next they have been confiscated and are ordered to take an orange instead.

The school now apologises for this, but sometimes a sorry isn’t good enough. Sometimes you have to reflect on what they were thinking to rationalise taking lunch from hungry children. Their actions caused embarrassment, made children go hungry, caused needless food wastage and made children responsible for an issue that had nothing to do with them.

Earlier this week, school officials threw out the lunches of up to 40 students at Uintah Elementary School because of unpaid balances on students’ meal accounts, according to The Salt Lake Tribune. After having their lunches discarded, the children were instead given milk and fruit.

According to the outlet, officials intended to withhold lunches from indebted students. However, because district employees did not learn who owed money until after lunch was served, they ended up taking back those lunches from students and throwing them out.

“So she took my lunch away and said, ‘Go get a milk,’” fifth-grader Sophia Isom told Utah outlet KSL-TV of what happened. “I came back and asked, ‘What’s going on?’ Then she handed me an orange. She said, ‘You don’t have any money in your account so you can’t get lunch.’”

Erica Lukes, Sophia’s mother, says she is outraged over the incident, and that she was previously under the impression that Sophia’s lunch balance had been paid.

“I think it’s despicable,” Lukes told The Salt Lake Tribune. “These are young children that shouldn’t be punished or humiliated for something the parents obviously need to clear up.”

On Wednesday, the district posted an apology on its Facebook page. The apology notes that officials are investigating “what type of notification parents may or may not have received prior to this week.”

The meek apology just proves that they completely missed the point.

Click on the link to read How Many Teachers Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb? (Part 1)

Click on the link to read Girl Faces Expulsion for Being a Victim of Bullying

Click on the link to read Cancer Sufferer Claims she was Banned from Daughter’s School Because of her “Smell”

Click on the link to read Top 10 Most Unusual School Bans

Click on the link to read Rules that Restrict the Teacher and Enslave the Student

How Many Teachers Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb? (Part 2)

January 28, 2014

 

light bulb

Earlier today I posted a very comical answer to the famous light bulb joke. I recommend you read it, as it is extremely funny and perceptive.

Part 2 is devoted to the actual answer. How many teachers does it take to change a light bulb?

None of course. We are not allowed to:

A REFRIGERATOR lightbulb retailing for about $3 at a hardware store ended up costing a far north Queensland state school almost $500 after Queensland’s Public Works Department sent an electrician to install it in a teacher’s government-owned home.

Doomadgee State School, on the Gulf of Carpentaria, was billed $200 for labour alone after the teacher was told workplace health and safety regulations prevented any staff member from buying and replacing the bulb themselves, The Australian understands.

Don’t even get me started!

 

Click on the link to read How Many Teachers Does it Take to Change a Lightbulb? (Part 1)

 

School Makes Children Pay to Use the Toilet

January 19, 2014

 

pay

What is it with obsessing over the learning time lost due to toilet breaks? Either these breaks are legitimate in which case it is our duty to ensure that our students have access to the toilet, or it is an excuse the child makes in order to get out of the classroom. If it is the latter, the teacher should see it not as an abuse of trust, but rather as constructive feedback. The child is clearly telling the teacher that the lesson is boring. Teachers that successfully engage their students don’t have an issue with needless toilet interruptions.

For those schools considering toilet policies such as making students forfeit class money or privileges in order to get a toilet break, I wish to remind them of the following:

1. Teachers should not play games about something as serious as a child needing to go to the toilet.

2. Children should never be made to feel guilty for frequent trips to the bathroom.

3. Surely there are bigger fish to fry than time wasted on toilet breaks.

4. How would teachers like it if they were charged for toilet breaks during staff meetings?

5. Schools share too many similarities to prisons as it is, yet you don’t hear of prisoners having to give up privileges in order to go to the toilet.

 

I am glad that a class rule obligating students to part with their fake class money in order to claim a toilet break was scrapped. What disappoints me is how that crazy rule was allowed to be enacted in the first place:

An Oregon elementary school came under fire this week after one parent objected to a policy requiring students in some classrooms to “pay” to use the bathroom during class. (The policy has since been revoked.)

Melissa Dalebout, the mother of first-grader Lily, told local news outlet KATU that her daughter had an accident recently at Cascades Elementary School because she didn’t want to use her “Super Pro” bucks to go the bathroom.

The bucks were a form of fake money that children at the Lebanon, Ore., school earned for good behavior. Bucks that weren’t spent on bathroom breaks were redeemable for toys at the school store.

“I just feel my children should not be punished for having to use the bathroom,” Dalebout told KATU.

Mommyish blogger Maria Guido wondered if this type of policy might send the wrong message to kids.

“I don’t want my child to develop strange bathroom habits because teachers have him on a bathroom rewards program,” Guido wrote. “Not okay. I understand rewarding good behavior, but this bathroom break policy does not sit well with me. If my child wet his pants because of this, I would be pissed.”

Cascades Principal Tami Volz told KATU that the Super Pro payment plan, as well as strategies where excessive bathroom users lost part of their recess time, were imperative for classroom management.

 

Click on the link to read When Standing Up for Your Students Gets You Fired

Click on the link to read Girl Faces Expulsion for Being a Victim of Bullying

Click on the link to read Cancer Sufferer Claims she was Banned from Daughter’s School Because of her “Smell”

Click on the link to read Top 10 Most Unusual School Bans

Click on the link to read Rules that Restrict the Teacher and Enslave the Student

When Standing Up for Your Students Gets You Fired

January 11, 2014

 

prin

If this Principal got fired for doing nothing more than trying to end a humiliating policy, the decision makers involved should be banned from ever being involved with school policy again:

A former Colorado charter school principal is claiming she was terminated from her job after attempting to halt a practice that embarrassed students.

Noelle Roni was the principal of Peak to Peak Elementary School for more than eight years before being abruptly fired last November. Roni says that higher-ups at the school became angry with her when she demanded that cafeteria workers stop stamping the hands of children who did not have enough money in their account to pay for lunch, according to CBS Denver.

Although the charter school is allowed to set its own policies, other schools in the Denver area notify parents when students do not have money for lunch, rather than stamping their hands, according to Colorado outlet the Daily Camera. Roni reportedly was told that some children were too embarrassed to go through the lunch line because of the practice.

“The kids are humiliated. They’re branded. It’s disrespectful. Where’s the human compassion? And these are little children,” Roni said to CBS Denver.

An attorney for the school, Barry Arrington, told CBS Denver that Roni’s claims were “baseless.” However, he would not go into more detail about the matter.

Some parents at the school were upset over Roni’s firing. Following her dismissal, the parents organized a group, Concerned Parents of Peak to Peak, which says it works to “restore trust of our teachers and staff after [Roni’s] abrupt termination.” The group also hopes to recall two school board members for their handling of the firing.

“Regardless of whether Ms. Roni can be reinstated or not, members of this group want Peak to Peak to take steps to restore her reputation in the educational community, a reputation that has been unfairly tarnished by the events of this fall,” says the group’s website.

While these school officials bicker, kids in need still go without. If this story angered you, check out Feeding America’s Backpack Program to help provide meals for families who can’t afford enough food.

 

Click on the link to read Girl Faces Expulsion for Being a Victim of Bullying

Click on the link to read Cancer Sufferer Claims she was Banned from Daughter’s School Because of her “Smell”

Click on the link to read Top 10 Most Unusual School Bans

Click on the link to read Rules that Restrict the Teacher and Enslave the Student

Click on the link to read This is What I Think of the No Hugging Rule at Schools


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