Unruly kids may have pushed one teacher over the edge. A Manhattan middle school teacher is accused of fantasizing about stabbing her students.
“I feel like stabbing some of these kids -- I have a knife here,” Jacqueline Baffoni allegedly said after becoming angered and exasperated by students who would not stop talking in class. A silly rant? Blowing off steam? It could have been viewed that way had students not claimed that she kept a blade in her desk for slicing fruit.
One pupil claimed Baffoni added, "I have a knife in this room, and I wish I could stab them!" Just the day before, supervisors had reportedly warned her they may not keep her on -- though it's not known why she was given that warning. Not surprisingly, she was let go.
For her part, the teacher insists that she's innocent. She called the claims "false allegations" and "slanderous rumors" in an email to the New York Post. "I would never wish to cause harm to any of my children," she added. Others support that defense. A former roommate said it was completely out of character, that Baffoni was a dedicated teacher, and that perhaps she was just venting out loud. Well, if so, couldn't she try for a less violent hypothetical? There are a bunch of scenarios that would have been a lot less scary than that.
In this frightening climate of school violence, this kind of thing cannot be taken lightly. Every threat has to be considered and investigated. It may turn out that this woman was just joking or did not say it at all. But until that can be determined, we owe it to those students and the community to overreact or else we may face regret and lost lives later.
Do you think the school overreacted to what this teacher allegedly said?
Image via SaminatorH/Flickr