Three Tales of Ethics-Free Horror in American Schools

Common sense-free, too!

Today we have three tales to drive you to private school, home school, or to move to Bolivia. The first poses a challenge for readers who object to “The Naked Teacher Principle.” I call it…

“The Porn Star Teacher Corollary”

In Oxnard, California, rumors were flying at Richard B. Haydock Intermediate School that one of the teachers could be seen in at least one porn film. Eventually other teachers  came forward and showed administrators an X-rated video on a smartphone that appeared to confirm  that the educator, who teaches science to seventh- and eighth-graders, was moonlighting in the pornography industry. She is on leave, and don’t bet that the teachers union won’t fight to protect her job. Meanwhile, the school district decided to make certain that as many kinds as possible would find Miss Brooks doing God knows what online, by sending this message to parents:

“It has been alleged that one of our teachers is depicted in at least one pornographic video and possibly others on the Internet. These allegations do not involve any Oxnard School District students… We are asking teachers to discourage the children from searching for and/or visiting these inappropriate sites. We ask that you be particularly vigilant over the next few days with respect to the Internet content being accessed by your child on his or her telephone or other Internet-ready device.”

Yeah, that should work.

Oh, I almost forgot. What is “The Porn Star Teacher Corollary”? It’s simple, really: “If you are or were a porn star, don’t teach in secondary school. If you teach in secondary school, don’t start making make porn films…whether you’re naked in them or not.”

The next two horrific sagas show school sensitivity at its rock bottom worst. First we have…

“Mother’s Day”

The Wingate Elementary School in Gallup, New Mexico discovered that 15-year-old student Shantelle Hicks was pregnant, so it kicked her out. This a school cannot do in 2012, and when a terse letter from the ACLU got her back into the 8th grade, the administrators had to get creative about how they would deal with this bad apple corrupting the good students. Two weeks after her readmission, they forced Shantelle to stand up in a  school assembly and announce her condition.  She says that until then, none of her classmates knew.  After that, according to her law suit, school officials told Hicks she was a detriment to her school mates, and requested she attend another school.

You just can’t train school administrators to come up with solutions like this.

It has to be an innate talent.

Finally, we have a chiller about another school that is alien to the concept of fairness, which I have dubbed, cheaply but appropriately,


St. Scholastica High School in Chicago expelled a senior for disciplinary problems that included not listening to her teachers, ignoring directions, and failing to respond to requests.

“This pattern of poor behavioral performance is an indication to us that she is unable to meet our behavioral standards,” Principal Colleen J. Brewer wrote in the girl’s expulsion letter.

You guessed it! The girl is deaf. She has hearing aids in both ears. A doctor who examined her found that her hearing problems were “severe enough that, even with hearing aids (it would) affect her ability to not only appreciate the spoken word but also nuances and interpretation of speech. This may lead to an attempt on her part to react to her on interpretation of a communication without realizing she is misinterpreting part or all of a conversation.”

And yes, there is another law suit here as well. Law suits, however, at best only get money for the damage done by teacher and school administrator incompetence. The damage to the children involved may never be repaired.

22 thoughts on “Three Tales of Ethics-Free Horror in American Schools

  1. We had a porn star working as a long term sub in our school district. Right or wrong, I showed my son (some) of the pics to confirm it was his teacher (he and his friends are still thanking me.) I also reported it to a female
    board member who reported it to the female superintendent. Their message back was “Oh, this is not unusual for young teachers. They should really “clean up” the internet before taking jobs. To which I replied, “Does the school district do any “due diligence” prior to hiring? Maybe just “Googling” the prospective hire’s name?”

    Not only did they not fire this “girl” but they offered her a full time job the following year!

    • %&$#*(*&^!!!

      I have no problem with hiring a former porn star as a teacher, as long as, indeed, the internet is “cleaned up.” Having a teacher with current porn shots available to her students is irresponsible, and violates the “Naked Teacher Principle” straight out. Students should not be encouraged or assisted in seeing teachers as sex objects, sex partners, or sex fantasies. It undermines the teachers’ ability to teach and be respected, I would say fatally.

      • Jack, what about a teacher who operated a website, or was a contributor to a website, or formerly operated or contributed to a website, like that Wisconsin Sickness site that the husband of a Girl Scout troop leader was connected with? Violation of the NTP?

  2. I heard on the radio this morning, that some students at a high school of predominantly [one particular skin color and presumed ethnic origin of students] have been either suspended or expelled, after chanting “U-S-A!” at a basketball game between their school and another high school of predominantly [different particular skin color and presumed ethnic origin of students]. The chant, evidently, was received (or perceived, by someone) as a reflection of racial bias.

    I forgot to say: both high schools are in the U.S.A. Same state, too.

    I think I’m going to go to a local high school game, and whip-up students into chanting, “Demo-cratic Party!” (with fist pumps, of course), just to see what happens. I can hardly wait to see the looks on people’s faces, never mind whatever disciplinary action is threatened or carried out.

    • The U-S-A chant was perceived by everyone who heard it as racist, which is exactly what it was. A group of white students from a predominantly middle-class white school were taunting the team of Latino (primarily Mexican-American) players from a relatively poor, almost entirely (over 85%) Hispanic school, telling them clearly that they were not Americans. It was a nasty exhibition of both race and class prejudice. … But no naked teachers were involved.

      • First of all, it’s a sorry state of affairs when the patriotic chant of ‘USA” becomes considered racist. What WAS racist, however, were the “white” taunts that preceded it from the Edison benches. USA is a term for America. If some people consider that racist, then I’d suggest that they’re in the wrong country. This is a flat out double standard.

          • If anything, it was nationalist. Alamo Heights is right there in San Antonio, one of the most heavily Hispanic cities in America. While it’s high school may be majority white, it also contains many Latinos in its student body as well as on its team. I submit that they were not so much reacting to racist jibes from the Edison benches as they were the non-American attitude. San Antonio had a long history of Anglos and Latinos living together in peace. This “Mexico” attitude, however, is taking hold. Did I also mention that San Antonio is traditionally one of the most patriotic cities in America with a large population of veterans?

      • I understand what Steven is referring to is true: the initial chant emanated from the Edison-partisan crowd. I heard one account on TV that it was “Alamo white” or something like that. The Edison chant evidently provoked the U-S-A chant.

        “The U-S-A chant was perceived by everyone who heard it as racist, which is exactly what it was. ”

        Penn, that seems like quite an overstatement – more like a falsehood. If everyone who heard it perceived it as racist, then there must have been some mind-readers on the scene who could immediately verify that the chanters themselves were thinking, as they chanted (U-S-A), “I hate [fill in the race],” or “My race is superior to [fill in a different race].” So now taunting-speech by “white” people is automatically racist? Yeah, right.

        I understand how the Second Niggardly Principle perhaps applies to future U-S-A chants in similar circumstances. But nevertheless, the sensitivity of certain people, who take offense at the chanting of “U-S-A” by anyone in any context within the territory of the United States, betrays a pathological pettiness, plus a form of paranoia, plus possibly an aggressive, menacing, threatening, censorious, self-righteous, and not-cleverly manipulative racist bias.

        • I must be missing something. I can’t see any reason to chant “U-S-A” under the circumstances other than the one given. Do you suppose the chanters thought they were at the Olympics?

            • Alamo students (some of whom I saw on TV myself, with graphics subtitles to indicate that ethnically at least, they are not “white”) said they have done the same chant at other events. So every time they have done the chant, and ESPECIALLY, EVERY time they do it from hereon, they are unkind, spiteful, taunting RACISTS, right? (I don’t think so.)

              So now we’re going to have a law – or worse, some ethical principle – that dictates that chanting “U-S-A!” must be confined to events at Olympics?

              Pathological pettiness.

              • Consider this, folks. Alamo Heights and Edison high schools are old schools (in different districts) and have been rivals for God knows how long. Both have long had many Latinos in their student bodies, as San Antonio is the ultimate TexMex city. This was never an issue until recently. Now, you have a new and antogonistic racial/national mentality being enforced on young Hispanics… many of whom are recent immigrants. During this intense playoff game, some members of the Edison representation chose to deride their school’s once-respected rivals with cries that sparked an angry reaction.

                Alamo Heights, BTW, has a traditionally large number of veteran parents. In fact, it was started as a virtual housing area for Fort Sam Houston long ago. (That’s why the school’s mascot is the Army Mule… a unique monicker dating back nearly to frontier days.) This sparked the retaliatory cry of “USA”.

                I don’t blame them, either. If these Edison kids- whose school was named for a great American inventor- hold loyalties to other than the country which has nourished them… and in a number of cases, undeservedly- and hold American kids in such contempt as to display it openly in a sporting event, then they are in the wrong country. For those familiar with Texas, they will note the disparity in attitude between Texans of Latin descent and Latino immigrants. It can be profound. This is a case in point.

  3. Are teachers still so underpaid that they have to get into the pornography business? When I taught school plenty of teachers were moonlighting in bars and night clubs etc. to make ends meet. They were not supposed to do that, but as long as they performed well as teachers, the school board just ignored it. I had plenty of pregnant students in my classes during the years, but never called attention to them and continued my instruction as usual. Sometimes they called attention to themselves by throwing up in class. That was rough on me, because even though the janitor came in and cleaned it up, the smell lasted all day. There were also pregnant teachers at school too. One of them had her water break at school. …..I feel so sorry for the deaf student.

  4. “You just can’t train school administrators to come up with solutions like this.

    It has to be an innate talent.”

    I doubt it, I think they are trained to think like this at their conferences, in their professional newsletters, and in their continuing education courses. I am assuming this is the Dilbert Principle at work (making them Dilbert Principals, I guess). I assume we are promoting teachers to principal the same way we promote workers to supervisors. The current supervisors promote the people they want to get rid of (we NEED to get this woman out of the classroom) and they eventually become principals. These nobodies puffed up by impressive titles and diploma-mill EDD’s start to give presentations on school administration at conferences and the other principals take it seriously.

  5. Having teachers (or students) in a school after they’ve participated in porn to any degree should be a no-brainer. It’s a matter of character and example, to which school kids are notably affected.

    Query: In the case of Shantelle Hicks… what’s a 15 year old kid (pregnant or not) doing in the 8th grade?

    • A kid who starts kindergarten at 5 will turn 14 in eighth grade or the summer thereafter.
      Assuming she has already had her birthday this school year (not unreasonable in March), she’s only a year behind standard. Given how many parents hold their kids back a year at the beginning, this is not unusual at all.

        • Not so far behind – I turned 15 in my freshman year, and therefore started my sophomore year at 15. That’s normal. Ms. Hicks will probably start her freshman year at 15. There’s a range of 12 months in a given grade level even without any kids being pushed ahead/held back. A kid who has a later birthday and is also held back one year could be almost two years younger than another kid who just barely missed the date for the grade ahead. 15 in eighth grade sounds old to me too, but I’d guess it’s not at all uncommon.

          To get back to the point of the original post, from grades 3 to 8 I attended a church-run school. It was policy that any student who got pregnant would be expelled. I don’t know if this is still legal at private schools, or if it was legal then. It never came up as an actual issue while I was at the school, at least to my knowledge, but I remember thinking later in high school that it was terribly unfair that the policy said nothing about a male student who got a girl pregnant.

          • Sheesh, I really do not understand the expulsion of pregnant Ms. Hicks. I went to high school decades ago – public school, suburbs. Either my junior or senior year – memory has dimmed – a girl in my grade, cheerleader, got pregnant. She simply hauled herself all about campus the whole time through, right along with the rest of us, like that growing bump on her belly wasn’t even there. No expulsion, no suspension, no isolation, no shunning or other ostracizing was evident. She wasn’t the only one, either. There were at least two other girls I can think of who took it in stride just like the cheerleader – and so did all the rest of us students, as far as I could tell. I’m sure there was plenty of gossip; I probably engaged in some tiny part of it myself, but can’t even remember. It was a grades 9-12 high school. The pregnancies just were not a big deal. Maybe we teens were oddly benefitting from some Free Love burnout or other “zeitgeist” numbness.

            I suppose, but can only speculate, that if a girl had become pregnant in the 8th grade, there might have been different repercussions and (re-)arrangements. But I just don’t know.

  6. You guessed it! The girl is deaf. She has hearing aids in both ears. A doctor who examined her found that her hearing problems were “severe enough that, even with hearing aids (it would) affect her ability to not only appreciate the spoken word but also nuances and interpretation of speech. This may lead to an attempt on her part to react to her on interpretation of a communication without realizing she is misinterpreting part or all of a conversation.”

    Refrain from attributing to malice what could be attributed to sheer incompetence.

    Clearly, the organization has functional deafness.

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