Teacher Lets Bullies List Classmate's Faults on Blackboard in Bizarre 'Tolerance' Lesson

girl bullied

An eighth grade girl is getting bullied. So what does their teacher do? Rather than punish the bullies, she allows them to explain why they dislike the bullied kid ... in front of that student. Is it any surprise this teacher was fired?

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It all started on May 30, when the teacher, Madeline Luciano at Manhattan's PS/IS 18, responded to the bullying by asking the bullies why they did such things, and suggested they write down their reasons.

At that point, all the students started yelling out their reasons for disliking the girl, like that she was "stupid" and "ugly." One student wrote these reasons on the chalkboard ... all the while the bullied girl sat there and watched.

Once news of this cruel exercise reached the principal, an investigation ensued which led to Luciano being fired.

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Granted, the teacher claims she never meant to harm the bullied student, and I believe her. I also feel a little bad because I know kids can certainly get out of hand. Still, though, I'd say that based on the evidence, she lacked enough judgment and control of her class that I'm glad she's no longer in a position to inflict further humiliation on kids. 

Because here's the thing: You don't ask bullies why they bully. That's like asking al-Qaeda leaders why they hate the U.S. It subtly suggests that these bullies' "reasons" for disliking someone have some sort of validity ... and sorry, reasons like that someone's "stupid" or "ugly" are not productive.

In short, this "exercise" just gave those bullies a pulpit to keep on bullying and further demoralize that poor girl they dislike. My heart goes out to her and her parents. And the teacher, too -- I would have to imagine she feels bad about what happened, and has learned an important lesson.

Do you think kids who bully can be reasoned with?

 

Image via John Gomez/shutterstock

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