Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
CHOOSING A CAREER / AUG. 30, 2014
version 2, draft 2

Is it Still Safe to Become a Teacher if Students can Destroy Your Career?

Years ago, students would often complain about their teachers among their peers outside at the jungle gym, inside the cafeteria or with their parents, who would often chuckle since they likely experienced the same thing growing up. In recent years, though, students’ disdain for their teachers has amplified.

Thanks to smartphones, YouTube and social media, elementary and secondary students are posting tutorials on how to get educators in the classroom fired. Only discovered in the last few months, students are giving others tips on how to get teachers suspended, dismissed or fired on the most frolicsome reasons.

One specific instance occurred in Feb. 2013 in which one video depicts two middle school-aged children explaining how the teacher disliked them and that they shared the same feelings. As the video goes on, one of the boys provided a detailed account as to what they did in order to vent out their hatred for the teacher.

“I had a camera hooked up right here and I showed the principal. We got her pretty good. I had a camera in my sweater and it kind of showed what the teacher was doing to us,” one of the boys stated. “We just kept going to the principal [and] sooner or later, we acted like we told our parents and they got into it and there was a report.”

Gayle Fallon, the President of the Houston Federation of Teachers, spoke with Fox News earlier this year and somewhat defended the children’s actions by purporting that they’re too young to realize that they’re actually hurting these innocent teachers’ lives.

“I don’t think at the age those students are they realize they can ruin a person’s home life, their family often turns on them, they ruin their career, they ruin their reputation in the community,” Fallon said. “They lose their profession and often destroy their families. If they are not members of a union that covers their legal costs they can face bankruptcy. We have cases that range between $50,000-$100,000.”

It isn’t just YouTube that’s hurting teachers’ careers.

In 2009, a history teacher had been attacked by a student in the chest. He reported the assault to the police and when he was asked to come to the station he believed he was going to be answering some questions related to the assault. However, that was not the case as he was accused of striking the child, according to an account from the 13-year-old pupil, and was then detained.

“Once a pupil makes these allegations the whole machinery rolls into motion,” Matthew Wren told the Daily Mail. “It seems a child’s word is believed no matter what. No thought is given to the teacher.”

Of course, these incidents are diminishing the quality of education.

Chris Tritico, a lawyer who usually represents teachers, described the online videos as “disgusting” and recommended teachers to limit their one-on-one contact and instruction as this could lead to all types of allegations and generate devastating consequences. Since some students need tutoring after class this could decrease good grades.

Some experts say perhaps teachers are to blame as well because they accept social media requests from students and hand out their cellphone numbers to their students, which Tritico suggests should never be done in any circumstance.

Teacher photo by Chicago 2016 via Flickr. Student photo by University of Denver via Flickr.

 

 

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