In May, Ethics Alarms opined on the reported story of a student who set out to embarrass his principal by “web-shaming” her regarding an assumed DUI arrest that was in fact an arrest for something less serious, and her subsequent reaction, which I regarded as excessive based on the published accounts. The principal, Jamille Brown, then endeared herself to this blog by taking the time to post her own account of what occurred, and also by showing grace and good humor in the process. Now she has given us a more thorough account of the incident from her perspective, in the form of a letter she has sent to the TV station that reported the story initially, WSBTV
In response to it, our own Grand Inquisitor, tgt, has carefully critiqued her account, making some perceptive points. Together the two posts exemplify the collaborative nature of our ethical explorations here, and I am grateful for them.
Here are the Comments of the Day, by Jamille Brown and tgt, on the post “Clash of the Ethics Dunces: The Web-shaming Student and the Angry Principal”.
First, Ms. Brown: Continue reading
This doesn’t make either of you look very good, guys….
Back when hitch-hiking was in vogue and both hitch-hikers and drivers were being warned about the various horror stories that the transportation transaction had led to through the years, I used to wonder if a murderous hitch-hiker ever got into the car of a homicidal driver, and what ensued. This tale from Riverdale High School (yes, the same school Archie and Veronica go to, apparently), in Georgia is a little like that, though no slaughters were attempted. An ethically inert school principal grossly abused her power in response to a gratuitously cruel student. I suspect this happens rather more often than my hitch-hiking hypothetical.
Student Keandre Varner, on a lark, decided to check and see if a mug shot existed for his high school principal, Jamille Miller Brown. Sure enough, he found one, so he thought the fair, kind and responsible thing to do was 1) post it on Instagram, and 2) suggest that the mugshot arose from a DUI arrest. Continue reading
“Kidding, kids! Just a drill!”
You see, there really are consequences to our political leaders’ irresponsible fear-mongering. People still tend to believe and trust our leaders, the fools, and when prominent ones like President Obama and Diane Feinstein, aided and abetted by hysterical media voices like Piers Morgan and blathering celebrities like Jim Carrey, exploit the deaths of small children in a tragic school shooting to use fear rather than reason to pass additional gun regulations, it isn’t surprising that members of the public get frightened. This is supposed to cause them to push their representatives for gun measures that, in truth, have little to do with preventing school shootings, but it also causes them to act irrationally. Reckless conduct and cynical legislative strategies have consequences.
At Pine Eagle Charter School in tiny (population 288) Halfway, Oregon, administrators thought the risk of another Adam Lanza shooting up their small school was so serious that it justified staging an unannounced massacre drill. Two masked men wearing hoodies and wielding handguns burst into a meeting room full of teachers and opened fire, with blanks. Not that the terrified teachers knew that, until it was clear to them that they had been shot and weren’t dead. Continue reading
The Curmie votes are in. This is Rick Jones’ annual prize awarded to educators who embarrass their (and his ) profession. Go to his blog, Curmudgeon Central, to see the winner and the vote totals. I don’t want to spoil the suspense. Check out the nominations here if you haven’t already. A couple of observations, though: Continue reading
I was tempted to make this jaw-dropping incident an Ethics Quiz, but my mind is unalterably made up. While mistakes are not unethical, staggering stupidity on the part of professionals is, even if one of the consequences of that stupidity is the good faith belief that a cruel and irresponsible act is the right thing to do.
Less than a week after the Sandy Hook shootings, Greer Phillips, the principal in East Harlem’s P.S. 79 decided that this was the perfect time to conduct an unscheduled, unannounced lockdown drill. Not a fire drill. A “a stranger with a gun who might kill everybody is in the school!” drill.
Thus at 10 am on December 18, a woman’s voice came over the Horan School’s loudspeaker and announced in shaky tones that there was a “shooter” or “intruder” in the building, and that teachers needed to “get out, get out, lockdown!”
Did I mention that the school serves students with special needs like autism, severe emotional disabilities, cerebral palsy and other disorders? Boy, I bet they were fooled! What a great drill! I mean, it scared the piss out of the teachers; imagine how those students must have felt! Continue reading
There isn’t much enlightening to say about the unfolding Atlanta teacher cheating scandal, but its implications must be faced, as difficult as that is.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal revealed this week that award-winning gains by Atlanta students were based on widespread cheating by teachers and principals. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation identified 178 teachers and principals – 82 of whom have confessed – in the biggest cheating scandal in US history. Not the first one, however; there have been a lot of them recently, across the country. The media is pointing to the U.S. education system’s increasing dependence on standardized tests as “the problem.”
I see: the testing made them do it. Continue reading
In Worcester, Mass, test scores at the Goddard School of Science and Technology have been tossed out because school staff “reviewed student work on the assessment, coached students to add to their responses, scribed answers or portions of answers that were not worded by students, and provided scrap paper for students to use during tests,” according to the state commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education.
School Superintendent Melissa Dillon wanted to make sure these findings weren’t misunderstood, and wanted to make certain nobody got the idea that her teachers were cheating. “The state did not use the term cheating, so I’m not using the term cheating,” she said. School Committee members agreed. “Calling it cheating I think is a little harsh,” committee member Jack L. Foley said. He described the problem as “probably too much coaching.” Continue reading