Bad Teachers: Now Faking Falls & Brain Tumors

classroom teacherThere are so many bad teachers in the news these days (don't worry, good teachers; we know you're out there!). It wasn't long ago that we watched a teacher beat her student on video and got word of a teacher-organized fight club. It seems like every other day another teacher is caught sleeping with a student.

So what are the bad teachers up to this time? Well, a Brooklyn, New York, high school teacher is said to have thrown herself down the school stairwell to avoid a review by her supervisor. Not bad enough for you? Well, a middle school special ed teacher in Middletown, Pennsylvania, faked a brain tumor to get time off.

And you were going to complain about your kid's teacher not being aggressive enough about algebra ...


We always expect that teachers, of all professionals, are going to be great role models for our kids. However, teachers are human beings and that means some of them are going to do awful things that our kids are going to find out about.

Bad behavior from teachers is kind of the ultimate life lesson for our kids, isn't it? Nobody's perfect no matter how much we expect them to be.

Bad Teacher Story #1

Ilene Feldman, high school teacher in Advertising and Media, pulled her own media stunt recently. In order to get out of her classroom observation by a supervisor, it is believed Felman faked a fall down the school stairway.

Feldman is a first-year, untenured teacher and an unsatisfactory review in the first three years of teaching can mean termination. And apparently she must have known she wasn't doing satisfactory work.

Unfortunately, the school surveillance cameras reveal a totally controlled fall, a complete fake-out. Feldman refused to watch the footage and then quickly resigned. City Department of Education officials said Feldman is now ineligible for employment in the city schools system.

Can't say she didn't teach students anything about the power of Media, now can we? Of course, maybe this really is a case of extreme job anxiety gone wrong. Should we feel badly for her?

Bad Teacher Story #2

If you thought Story #1 was bad, get this. We all know teachers are overworked and underpaid, but is it bad enough to fake an inoperable brain tumor to get some paid time off? I guess it was for Special Ed teacher Leslie Herneisey.

Herneisey has been charged with 12 counts of forgery for faking documents that stated she needed 8 weeks of chemotherapy for a brain tumor -- a brain tumor she did not have! It is also alleged that she took gifted money for a free trip to Disney World from her colleagues.

The really sad part of this story? Herneisey has been a teacher for over 25 years and was twice nominated for Teacher of the Year honors.

Herneisey admitted the fabrication and resigned in May. She was released on $10,000 unsecured bail and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for tomorrow.

Herneisey's attorney Terry McGowan says she's battling depression. "She's in counseling, and we're trying to get her to the right people. I just hope in the end whoever does the judgment on her takes into consideration all the good she's done," McGowan said.

Do you think we should hold teachers more accountable as role models than other professionals? Or do you think we need to understand that teachers make mistakes, too, and give them a break?


Image via Editor B/Flickr

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