If a Walmart worker poured pencil shavings down the throat of a customer, he would be fired. If the CEO of Boeing poured pencil shaving down the throat of a company accountant, he’d be out the door before he could utter the word, “Seconds?” If a pediatrician poured pencil shavings down the throat of a patient, she’d lose her license, and if a veterinarian poured pencil shavings down the throat of a kitten, he’d be arrested.
Yet in the Arlington, Texas, School District, the teacher who poured pencil shavings into the mouth of unsuspecting Marquis Jay, a 13-year-old eighth-grader at Boles Junior High School, is back on the job after less than a month’s suspension. She apologized, you see. She said that she wasn’t thinking right.
Yes, I’d say that’s a fair description of her actions. But I’d also say that a teacher prone to harming her students in those periodic moments when she is “not thinking right” is a continuing risk to the children. If fact, I’ll confidently state not only that a teacher who attacks a child in this manner—and an attack is what it is—has to be fired, if a parent of a child attending the school involved is to have any justified faith that the school is properly concerned with the welfare of its students, isn’t recruiting instructors from the violent ward at the local Home for the Bewildered, and, in short, doesn’t have an administration staffed by moonlighting Hell’s Angels members.
Such an irresponsible, impulsive, potentially catastrophic act is signature significance personified: no trustworthy teacher would do this even once, ever. In fact, no trustworthy teacher wouldn’t be horrified to hear about it. Apparently the school really had to explain to the teacher, who exists in a George Costanza state of ethical and logical fog, that “no,no, no.—it is wrong to pour little pieces of wood down a child’s throat!”
If you have to explain that kind of thing to a teacher, then that teacher is in the wrong profession. I will go further: any school administrator that wouldn’t resign and give a news conference to the local press and TV outlets if such a teacher was allowed to return to the scene of her crime is also in the wrong profession, and needs to investigate whether any bait shops are hiring. This is an example where parents and the public earn the kind of schools they get: no parent should send a child back to a school that employs teachers this untrustworthy, and the proper response to a school allowing such a teacher to return is to empty that school of students, and to demand the removal of every decision-maker within it as well as an independent review of every teacher employed there. This undoubtedly will require telling the teachers union to go suck an egg: good.The union apparently won’t allow the name of the teacher to be revealed, so innocent people on the street can be on alert for run-by pencil shaving assaults. To the contrary, her face should be broadcast on the local news.
No, this isn’t Sandy Hook, but unlike Sandy Hook, the path to protecting the children is crystal clear:
- Don’t tolerate teachers who pour pencil shavings down students’ throats.
- Don’t tolerate school administrators and unions that do.
- Don’t send your children to schools the continue to employ such teachers.
Simple. Logical. And essential.
Facts: CBS DFW