Teacher Bullies Sick Student for Missing Standardized Test

dunce capI believe in a pretty firm approach when it comes to disciplining my children. In general, I don't want the educators and other adults in their lives to treat them with kid gloves either. I want them to call them out when they're wrong and punish them accordingly. However, I also want them to treat them with respect, which is the part a teacher in Florida missed in her recent dealings with a student.

It was the week of the FCAT, Florida's standardized testing, and eighth grader Thomas Cancellare missed school. He said he was violently ill with some sort of stomach issues and needed to stay home. When he went back to school the next week, he even had a doctor's note to back up his story.

His teacher, however, wasn't buying it.


Instead, according to Bay News 9, when he came back to school she ridiculed him, then invited fellow students to do so too by making him wear a sign around his neck that read, "I decided to come to school today, but I didn't come to school during the FCAT."

What the use of such a dunce-cap like approach was supposed to accomplish is unclear, but Cancellare says it succeeded in humiliating him. "She just made me feel like I'm worthless," he told the station.

Apparently when the principal saw the sign and students laughing at him she told him to take it off. She acknowledged it was wrong of the teacher to make him wear it, and the teacher has since written him a handwritten letter of apology stating  " ... it was ment (sic) to be a friendly correction more than a ridicule. I honestly thought that we had a good rapor (sic) ... " (The spelling mistakes are almost more egregious than the sign, but we'll stick to it for now.)

Is that enough? Cancellare's mother doesn't think so, and she told the station she's "flipping mad" about it.

There is a zero tolerance policy for students to bully each other. Well, how is there a no-tolerance (policy) if they allow a teacher to bully a student.

Do I think the teacher should lose her job over the incident? No, but I do think a stronger message needs to be sent to her. Maybe it's sensitivity training or some sort of research she needs to do about effective discipline techniques, but it shouldn't be brushed off as easily as just an apology note either. (A spelling class might not be a bad idea either.)

Do you think this teacher's actions were outrageous? Would you be upset if your child was made to wear a sign like this?

Image via Candie_N/Flickr




Read More >