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Teachers behaving badly: Troubling allegations of abuse

Teachers are expected to be good role models for our kids, taking care of their learning and well-being while they are away from us. However, these teachers aren’t exactly good examples of that.

Most teachers are kind, generous and love to help kids. These teachers, however, are in trouble because they aren’t exactly proving themselves to be good teacher material.

Child with autism abused with push pins

A teaching assistant has been accused of a heinous crime — sticking push pins into the arm of a 13-year-old student with autism. Two teachers are being investigated because they were overheard conspiring to cover up the incident. This is sad and disturbing, but thankfully they were reported and are facing charges.

Third graders had to pay to potty

Parents in Vancouver, Washington, have complained to their school district after two kids came home from school after having potty accidents. Normally we would think that yes, accidents do happen, but the teacher in this case is being investigated because kids say they had to use fake money to be able to use the restroom.

The district says that this is not their policy and kids aren’t restricted from using the restroom if they need to go, but third graders having potty accidents makes those claims suspicious. Managing a classroom using fake money is fine, but requiring kids to use it to gain access to the restroom is not. My daughter’s kindergarten class had restroom access restricted (they were only allowed to go during organized breaks) and she had a few accidents. I understand trying to get kids on a schedule, but using the toilet is a basic human need and restricting its use is cruel.

Teacher accused of slapping student

A California teacher has been accused of slapping a student’s hand down, which wound up striking him in the chest. The female teacher had an altercation with a seventh-grade student and administration says that his hand was in her face first when she smacked it down. He wasn’t injured but his parents were upset enough to contact police and request an investigation, and it’s unknown whether the teacher felt threatened. However, putting your hands on a student is not acceptable, and this teacher has to know that.

P.E. teacher accused of harassment

Physical education is a subject that some kids find difficult, so adding a bully teacher to the mix is a recipe for trouble. A Florida P.E. teacher is accused of inappropriate behavior, including trying to kick a student in the head and addressing a Hispanic student by a common, yet incorrect, Spanish name. He is also accused of verbally berating the kids, calling them stupid, losers, annoying and idiots. It’s also being reported that he tells his students to shut up. Not exactly a nurturing learning environment, is it?

Middle school teacher arrested for drug dealing

You don’t want your kids using drugs, but you certainly don’t expect any of their teachers to be involved in distributing drugs, do you? Unfortunately for parents in Battle Ground, Washington, they found out that a teacher employed by Tukes Valley Middle School was arrested for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute as well as possession of heroin. We do expect teachers to be above drug dealing, but all humans are capable of making bad choices. A substitute teacher is in place until her case is resolved, but it’s understandably upsetting for the parents of kids at the school, one of which notes that she was really disturbed that she had to find out about this on Facebook

What to tell your kids

Your children should be taught to respect and obey their classroom teachers, but if they see something that they know is wrong, such as outright abuse or rules that result in pants-wetting, they need to speak up. Encourage and empower them to talk to you about their day-to-day lives, both the good and what may not be so good. School is the one place that we can confidently send our children, entrusting their care to a group of relative strangers, so we need to be sure that we hear about what goes on in the halls of our neighborhood schools.

More on kids in school

Common core controversy
School humiliates hungry students over their parents’ debts
We’re losing our kids to virtual worlds

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