There’s a particular news story that is making the rounds of the autism blogs. I ran across it because I’m a regular reader of A Life Less Ordinary, a blog who’s linked on Good Fountain, another regular read. Both are fellow Moms with who happen to have atypical kids and a gift for writing.
Anyway, this story about a teacher in Florida and what she did to one of her students makes me extraordinarily angry and sad. The teacher thought it would be a good idea to ask the students in her kindergarten class to state out loud what they disliked about a specific student and then to vote about whether or not they wanted him to stay in their class. The child has some behavioral issues (he’s currently being diagnosed with Asperger’s), but I don’t care. Instead of taking the opportunity to teach her students about tolerance and differences she chose a much more harmful lesson.
They voted the five-year-old boy out of his kindergarten class, and he spent the remainder of the school day in the nurse’s office, where his mother retrieved him at the end of the day. Bless the two children in the class that refused to be so cruel. I hope that my Son has the courage to go against the grain and walk the walk, too.
I don’t understand how someone can choose the profession of teaching, and choose to do this to any child. I don’t think teachers have to like every child in their care, but they shouldn’t purposely harm them. What made this teacher want to humiliate this child? What?
When it comes right down to it what this teacher did was bully this child. There’s a great deal of talk about preventing our kids from being bullied in school, but what chance do our kids stand when the teacher not only condones the bullying but is the ringleader and forces the other kids in her care to bully someone, too?
This teacher not only should never be allowed to teach children again, she should get her tubes tied. There are certain varieties of human which should not propagate, at least in my opinion.
This wasn’t a “mistake”. A mistake is getting dressed in the dark and putting on one blue sock and one black sock. This was a deliberate act of harm. It was extremely poor judgment. If this is not cause for termination it will make me wonder how much harm is enough harm before it is harm enough.
No one knows the long-term harm this type of bullying causes. This story immediately brought me back to my own childhood and the difficulties I experienced in the new school I attended after my parents’ divorce and our subsequent move. I was different. I wore dresses and bows while the other kids wore jeans and sneakers, and I didn’t cuss. I wasn’t good at sports, and I was smart. So the adjustment was difficult. I was bullied.
It wasn’t for long, but it seemed like an eternity. In those days no one really came to your rescue, not even your parents. It was just something you dealt with. You sucked it up and moved on. But even today when I think about it I re-experience the humiliation, pain and helplessness of those endless days. And I vow my son will never have to experience it.
If my nemesis had been a teacher…just thinking about that betrayal makes me want to cry.
But at least my bully was a kid. I kid who today I feel sorry for. He had a really, really bad home life, and nobody did a thing about it. He later dropped out of school and got heavily involved in drugs. I’d bet a million dollars that today he’s dead or in jail.
He paid the price. I hope this teacher pays her price. And I hope this boy can somehow, some way learn to trust again.