Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Vengeance is Ours, Sayeth the School Board?

CD in Play: King Crimson, Red

Everyone should read newspapers from out of their area. Be it from another province, state, district or country. I try to read the Guardian Unlimited online from time to time and today I am glad I did. The Guardian had a story on students who make false accusations against their teachers and students who use the cell phones to catch their teachers in bad moments. As a someone contemplating moving into secondary education (Grades 11 and 12) I have had concerns over both issues.
Here in British Columbia, (and the rest of Canada) I have heard little on the debate other than a few news items. I doubt that there is much political will to tackle the issue. It seems that bodies within the United Kingdom are a little more anxious to take action. A Teachers Union in Belfast is calling to have students who bring false accusations against their teachers banned from schools and for parents of these students held liable for costs incurred over the course of the investigation. Draconian? Yes, but it its is a place to start.
False accusations can stick with you for the rest of your life. Sometimes an acquittal of abuse charges is less black and white "guilty" or "not guilty" and can be as damning as the Scottish Verdict of "not proven". Students need to be held accountable for their behaviour and need to account when they have stepped over the line. Sometimes children are not products of their environments - good chickens can lay bad eggs and vice versa - but most often times it could be safe to say they are. Parents need to be held accountable for their childrens' missteps, at least to acknowledge a responsibility to help fix the problem.
Perhaps the Belfast union's demands are too severe, but it is a good starting place to find a middle course that satisfies everyone. As for students with cell phones... we didn't need them in my day, they don't need them now. Students use camera phones to bully their peers and to harass their teachers. It is time to do something to protect peoples' rights in the places where they go to work and study. I have been wondering when a film of someone goading me at work will pop up on You Tube.


Blogger Sheila West said...

There is a severe teacher shortage in the US right now. It's so bad that Hollywood has come on board to try and help. Hollywood celebrities are doing commercials to encourage people to make a career choice to become school teachers.

So sad.

Why would anyone want a low-paying job where they are at very high risk to be verbally abused, to be set up for false criminal accusations, and possiby even to be physically assaulted?

12 April, 2007 18:26  
Blogger Thoth Harris said...

It's ironic. Because of this, the next generation of youth in Iraq, Pakistan, or mainland China will be better educated than those in Canada and the United States...or Taiwan. From my understanding, Taiwan also has not only a problem of shortage of teachers (especially English teachers) and manual labourers (thus the horrible and seedy gang-related human smuggling and illegal immigration that goes on) but will have, like Japan, a shortage of young people and doctors to take care of the old people.

12 April, 2007 19:11  
Blogger Geosomin said...

Just wear a hockey mask at all times...

13 April, 2007 10:52  

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