The Courts and Their Love Affair With Terrible Teachers

When a teacher gets fired for allegedly feeding crayons to an autistic child there are no complaints from members of society. The school was so confident these claims were true they spent $50,000 in legal fees trying to keep this teacher out of the classroom.

If only the courts let educators make these sorts of decisions without interfering:

A Florida judge has recommended this week that a local teacher be reinstated after losing her job for allegedly disciplining a special needs student by forcing him to eat crayons dipped in hot sauce.Lillian Gomez was fired from Sunrise Elementary School in Kissimmee back in February after district officials said she soaked Play-Doh and crayons in the spicy condiment to punish an autistic boy in her class for eating art supplies.Gomez has denied ever force-feeding the student and said she only used the hot sauce to prevent him from eating the crayons.

According to district officials, Gomez first placed jumbo-sized crayons in a cup, then poured hot sauce over them and she later moved them to a bag and labeled it with the student’s name, and let the art supplies sit for days.

A judge has ruled that while her behavior was inappropriate, the district failed to demonstrate that Gomez’s intent was to punish the student.‘I think she made a bad judgment in the way she went about it but her purpose was good,’said Gomez’s attorney, Thomas Egan.

Whilst I don’t have enough evidence to label Ms. Gomez as a “terrible teacher”, what I have read so far doesn’t leave me with great confidence in her abilities.

Even if you believe her account of the incident, would you be comfortable having her teach your child? Sometimes bad judgement calls warrant a dismissal.

Click on the link to read Can a Teacher Be Forgiven for a Bad Joke?

Click on the link to read Why are so Many Teachers Child Predators?

Click on the link to read Drunk Lecturer Forces Students to Sit 23-Hour Exam Without Toilet Breaks

Click on the link to read Shocking Video of a Student Being Beaten Up by a Teacher


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3 Responses to “The Courts and Their Love Affair With Terrible Teachers”

  1. John Tapscott Says:

    Let the courts administer justice. It wasn’t educators who dismissed this teacher; it was bureaucrats. From the information tendered it is clear that the teacher’s action was not intended to be punitive, but to deter the student from eating the crayons. This may not have been the best way of going about it but it is consistent with the purpose of making methylated spirits to taste bitter. Perhaps crayons are not as poisonous as metho but the intention is the same.

    Similarly coins were once coated with silver nitrate in order to catch a thief. The silver nitrate stains the skin and has to wear off as it can’t be washed off. This was worse than coating crayons in chili sauce because silver nitrate is poisonous, chili sauce is not.

    A deeper issue exists here, however. If the umpire’s decision is continually questioned the position of the umpire becomes untenable. The end result is trial by gallup poll, also known as a form of bullying, called mobbing. Do we really want to tread that path?

    There are enough structures in educational administration already to dispense injustices upon employees, at the whim of mean spirited bureaucrats.

    Besides this, can any of us say that we have never said or done something in the course of our employment that we wish we had never said or done? In the early days of my career a friendly word of guidance from a supervisor was all it took. We all make mistakes that we can learn from, thereby improving our performance. If we don’t learn from our mistakes then dismissal becomes an option and we can’t rely on the court to bail us out.

    In a democratic society we separate legislative, judicial and executive powers for a very good reason. We are all fallible. Separation of powers provides a system of checks and balances. The danger in today’s political climate is to allow certain entities to exercise more than one of these powers, so they become judge jury and executioner all rolled into one and justice is denied.

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