I have a theory about teachers. Some people get into it because they truly love the job and are made to mold young minds. And then there are teachers like the so-called "educator" who is facing dismissal from her post for forcing misbehaving students to wear Elizabethan dog collars when they misbehave.
Physical science teacher Laurie Bailey-Cutkomp may lose her job for allegedly treating kids like dogs. Let's only hope. Because teachers like her put a pall on the whole profession.
We all want teachers who hold our kids' noses to the grindstone, because they get results. I know I learned a lot more from the teacher who had a militancy in his social studies classroom to the teacher who was flighty and floaty in her (subject shall remain nameless lest she navigate the interwebs) class.
But there are "strict" teachers. Then there are teachers who make school so horrific that our kids turn in the other direction. And what happened at Zephyrhills High School in Florida sounds like the kind of thing that would make a kid wake up in the morning and pitch a hissy over having to go to school. When they would misbehave in the classroom, Bailey-Cutkomp would allegedly force kids to wear that cone that vets use to prevent animals from licking themselves after surgery. They weren't just shamed. They were, quite literally, treated like animals.
I'm all for disciplining teenagers who think they're all that and a bag of potato chips. But there's disciplining, and then there is making a kid feel like she's less of a human being. Do that to my kid, and as much as I'd hate to defend her poor behavior, I would be mad. Because there ARE better ways to discipline. More homework assignments. After-school detention. Forced to clean the science lab. Really, you can punish kids and still retain their humanity.
So what did kids learn here? Their peers learned it's OK to treat someone like a dog. Gee, and we wonder why kids bully one another? And the kids themselves learned that humiliation is considered "OK" in a place that's supposed to be safe. Nice way to make sure victims buy into the victim mentality.
I put my kid in a classroom to be taught, whether that means being educated on science or on morals and ethics. I'm OK with my kid being disciplined when she's screwing up. But even then, I expect her to be treated like a human being.
What would you do if your child was put in this situation?
Image via Oakley Originals/Flickr