Ethics Dunces: The Staff of Milford, Ohio Elementary School

A sixth grade boy informed his mother that his teacher and an aide at the Milford Elementary School had forced him to him to stand before his sixth-grade classroom as they put his shoulder-length hair in  ponytails, and then introduced him to his classmates as a new female student. Then the aide took him to other classrooms and did the same thing.

The mother has filed a federal lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, seeking  damages for the alleged violation of her son’s constitutional rights and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

Lawsuits by parents over reasonable attempts by schools to instill good grooming habits, pride in personal appearance and some semblance of respect for others in presentation and deportment are usually irresponsible and harmful to everyone involved, including the student. Not this time. There can be no excuse for such cruel, humiliating treatment of a child, by a teacher or a parent. The conduct of the teacher and the aide in this incident is outrageous abuse of power that shows rank incompetence as well.

The school’s personnel defend this incident by claiming that the child submitted to the treatment, which was a “prank.” A sixth grader cannot give valid consent to abuse by adult teachers. He is supposed to trust them, and may well fear them. One cannot “consent” when one has no power to say no.

As in most cases of jaw-dropping teacher misconduct, the proper remedy is to clear out everyone in the school administration and everyone it has hired, or, in the alternative, for every single student to leave the school so the so-called “adults” can amuse themselves by playing “pranks” on each other.

Such a school cannot and must not be entrusted with the welfare of children.

And they wonder why homeschooling is on the rise!

7 thoughts on “Ethics Dunces: The Staff of Milford, Ohio Elementary School

  1. Once again, sir, you are right on the money concerning schools. While I consider myself lucky (the most my school can do is incompetence in rescheduling for bad weather), the wrong sort of people are too often in control of youths, especially the youngest and most vulnerable who don’t know any better. Keep it up!

  2. “jaw-dropping teacher misconduct”

    That is exactly the right term … my mouth was hanging open as I read this.

    Consent, my foot! A sixth grader can hardly be expected to stand up to a teacher. The teacher should simply know that what’s wrong is wrong.

  3. “The truth is always somewhere in the middle.”

    Jack,
    This article is exactly spot on. With that being said, it sounds like the student took the prank in good stride, even asking to show other classrooms of friends and teachers. It was only when he went home that afternoon that his attitude changed. Perhaps he was a little thick about what occurred and his mother enlightened him and made him feel differently about the situation. If she had just chuckled like his friends, it would have never gone another step.

    I don’t think in the history of the world, there has been an ethical prank. Just unethical ones that turned out okay without further incident or aggravation.

    Pranks are okay in my book, but if you overstep and invoke further scrutiny, you better be prepared for the @?*! storm you’ve created.

  4. Holy, holy, holy cow. I am NOT litigious, and 99% of the time I tell my kids to suck it up, the teacher was right. On this count, if this was my kid, I would have raised absolute screaming hell. Jaw-dropping indeed.

  5. My own son was the victim of a sadistic fifth grade teacher who could not stand the fact that he was smarter and more knowledgeable that she was. It has taken him 4 years to get over it. And this was not a public school, but a private one.

    We know lots of kids (boys) who wear their hair long, though we admittedly lived through the ’60s and ’70s when it was par for the course… HOW DARE THEY HUMILIATE A STUDENT LIKE THIS? Go to the School Board, the ACLU, private litigation firms, anyone, and make the school pay through the nose for what they did to this kid. Also make them pay for putting this child into a caring, achievement-oriented private school, with teachers who have real credentials and who don’t waste their time on cruel, sadistic behavior. Such schools do exist: my son went to one for two years after his horrendous experience, and it was the best two years of his life.

    This is why the education system gets a bad rap: and it deserves it. It doesn’t matter what they pay teachers… it’s what they expect of them and what they do. No wonder in New York they have hundreds of teachers on full pay who are not considered “fit to teach” so are warehoused every day in a building to knit, do crossword puzzles, etc., on FULL PAY, because the teachers’ union won’t allow them to be fired.

    All this talk about “no child left behind” is just crap. Until the powers that be are allowed to clean out the public school system, pay teachers what they’re worth (and good teachers are worth a lot), we’ll have this kind of travesty continue… and we’ll continue to lag behind the world in education.

    The basic question in K-12 education is “What do we value?” If we want an educated electorate, a productive society, it begins in the public schools. If we let the teachers’ unions steal money (a la the DC teachers union), not allow bad teachers to be fired, do not evaluate teachers adequately, who suffers? We all do. Not just the kids. They are our future. If we value our children, and our future, then action must be taken. What happened to his poor kid at the Milford School is just the tippy-top of the iceberg, I assure you. Children are damaged every day by horrible teaching, ignorant teachers and administrators, poor curricula, and lack of discipline in schools.

    Let’s see Obama put his money where his mouth is. It isn’t “can’t we just all get along.” It’s who in hell is in charge?

    Complain all you want about the “elites” taking positions of power: until public schools can provide what private schools do, we are destined to having the products of private schools run the country. And frankly, considering our current economic situation, I don’t think that’s so great an option either.

    My heart goes out to that poor boy and his family. They need to fight against what was done to their son: and there are lots of avenues they can take. Others should jump in and help them. Where are the ACLU, the law firms, the local prosecutors in all this? No school system should be able to get away with sadistic behavior like this, though I’m sure they do it all the time. MAKE THIS A TEST CASE. CALL THE SCHOOL SYSTEM ON THE CARPET. WHO CAN HELP THIS FAMILY AND THIS CHILD?

  6. Pingback: More Outrageous Elementary School Abuse « Ethics Alarms

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