Perhaps Teachers Should Just Wear a Target Sign

Is it appropriate for an educator to throw food at a student? Absolutely not! Even when the student threw it at them first? That doesn’t make it any more acceptable.

But should a teacher lose their job over such an incident? It depends.

Especially when the student who initially threw the food gets off with nothing more than a suspension.

If you fire a teacher over retaliating then you must expel the student for initiating. You can’t send the message that students can throw things at vulnerable teachers and get nothing more than a slap on the wrist. Remember, students are being suspended nowadays for nothing more than  wearing the incorrect school uniform.

This story tells us that we can tacitly encourage our students to take aim at their teacher without any fear of a lasting punishment or a retaliatory response by the teacher:

A high school assistant principal has resigned following allegations that she threw a hamburger at a student in May.

Patricia Whitney, assistant principal at West Haven High School in New Hampshire, stepped down Monday. She was placed on administrative leave in May after she reportedly had a disagreement with a student when Whitney told the teen she was not supposed to be in the cafeteria at the time, WFSB reported. In response, the student threw part of her hamburger at the assistant principal, and Whitney allegedly picked it up and threw it back at the student.

The student was suspended, and district officials launched an investigation into the incident. The school board agreed unanimously Monday to accept Whitney’s resignation.

I’m pleased at how it turned out,” Superintendent Neil Cavallaro told the New Hampshire Register. “I think it’s best for both parties to move on.”

Students, however, said Whitney got along well at the school.

“She’s very nice, she comes out of nowhere, she gives people great advice, she helped me a lot,” one student told WFSB.

I am not defending the actions of Ms. Whitney. What she did was clearly wrong. But this story has wider implications. It says that teachers, in the wrong environment are moving targets just waiting to be the victim of the next food fight.

Click here to read ’5 Tips for Stressed Teachers’.

Click here to read ‘The Overwhelming Responsibilities of the Modern Teacher’


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