When teachers are the bully's target
Researchers said teachers often are victimized by students, kids' parents or colleagues, but many don't report the incidents.
March 11th, 2013
05:00 AM ET

When teachers are the bully's target

By Stephanie Goldberg, CNN

(CNN) - Several years ago, Brendesha Tynes was taken aback when she received an e-mail from one of her former students.

The note directed her to a Facebook event for an all-night bar crawl - an event with which Tynes, an assistant professor at the time, had nothing to do. But it featured an offensive image and listed Tynes as the host; another former student had set it up.

As an educator and researcher, Tynes had spent years looking into cyberbullying. Now, she was a victim.

Tynes said she was prepared to tackle the eye rolls and sharp tongues that can come with molding young minds, but being publicly humiliated by a student wasn’t in her lesson plan.

Reports from teachers say her case isn’t an anomaly. A 2011 study, "Understanding and Preventing Violence Directed Against Teachers," reported 80% of about 3,000 K-12 teachers surveyed felt victimized by students, students’ parents or colleagues in the past year.

Teachers reported that students were most often behind the verbal intimidation, obscene gestures, cyberbullying, physical offenses, theft or damage to personal property.

But few teachers or researchers are talking about it.

“People are very eager to talk about (teacher victimization) amongst co-workers and amongst friends, but they’re very hesitant to report it to authorities or to the media,” Tynes said. “People want to protect their students, even though they’re being victimized by them, and they’re worried about the reputations of the schools they work at.”

Dorothy Espelage, a professor of educational psychology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, ran the 2011 study and found little research available regarding violence directed toward teachers.

Only 14 studies have been conducted internationally about violence directed at teachers, Espelage wrote in a follow-up report published this year in the journal American Psychologist. In the new report, she suggests developing a national, anonymous database for teacher victimization to help researchers pinpoint “the how and the why” about violence against teachers, prevent it and better train educators.

Bullying among students and peer groups is a hot topic, Espelage said, but talking about teacher victimization is considered taboo.

According to her 2011 study, 57% of teachers surveyed said they brought an incident to the attention of administrators.

The study found that 44% of teachers said they’ve experienced physical victimization. Men who participated in the study were more likely than women to report obscene remarks and gestures, verbal threats and instances of weapons being pulled on them. Women, on the other hand, were more likely than men to report intimidation.

Educators: It's not just disrespect, it's bullying

Because there’s so little information available, Espelage said she can only speculate about the gender differences: Male teachers might be more likely to break up fights between students, subjecting themselves to more acts of violence, while women might be victimized in other ways. Espelage said she’s had students demean her gender, and make obscene gestures and sexual remarks to her. A student once wrote on an exam about having sex with her.

Despite feeling disrespected, Espelage said she, like the majority of teachers in her study, didn’t report the “low-level stuff.”

Staying quiet doesn’t make sense for teachers, she said. Her research showed that the No. 1 reason teachers leave the profession is because “they can’t handle the disrespect.”

MetLife’s 2012 Survey of the American Teacher revealed that job satisfaction is the lowest in more than 20 years. The survey reported that 29% of teachers said they are likely to leave the profession. That’s 12% higher than the number of teachers who said they would leave in 2009.

“It’s intimidating to walk in front of a group of students,” said Bill Bond, a former teacher and high school principal who’s now a specialist for safe schools with the National Association of Secondary School Principals. “They are going to challenge you academically, socially, and I hate to say it, but they will even challenge you physically. Kids just want to see where the limit is.”

Bond said young teachers especially might be afraid to talk with a principal about being victimized in the classroom because they believe it means “they’re being ineffective somewhere.”

But a good principal or mentor will be there to help that teacher look at the issue at hand and correct it, he said.

Teachers aren’t innocent, either, he said - it’s more common for a teacher to humiliate or bully a student than the other way around. When students feel disrespected by a teacher, they’ll start to challenge them and eventually, they’ll make it personal, Bond said.

Mutual respect is key, he said.

“It’s tough to take control of 30, 35 teenagers with their hormones raging and all their opinions,” Bond said. “The key to surviving is having peers you can go to and help you master your craft.”

Tynes, now an associate professor of educational psychology and psychology at the University of Southern California, said being cyberbullied in 2007 left her stressed and anxious. Tynes said a mentor helped her to report the incident, and the student who created the Facebook event was required to complete diversity training.

“People were incredibly supportive,” she said.

Tynes said she has learned from experience that opening the lines of communication between teachers and students’ parents can prevent teacher victimization by students - and by their parents. The 2011 study found that 37% of teachers who reported they'd been victimized felt that way because of a student's parent.

Keeping pupils engaged will also prevent an imbalance of power between teacher and student, she said. When a teacher constantly hands out work sheets and offers little support, she added, it can make students feel like the teacher doesn’t care, and that’s when they disconnect.

The cyberbullying experience fueled a desire to understand better how bullying affects young people. Through her research, she’s found that young victims of cyberbullying often experience depressive symptoms and anxiety, just as she did once.

Despite the struggles, there's no better time than now to be a teacher, she said.

“We have so many technological tools and new media at our disposal,” she said. “We can really enhance and promote learning in more ways than we could in the past.”

Have you experienced bullying, threats or violence in the classroom? Share your story in the comments, or tweet us @CNNSchools.

Posted by
Filed under: Bullying • Parents • Students • Teachers
soundoff (320 Responses)
  1. Concernedforus

    While as a parent I feel it is my responsibility to send a well behaved kid to school, I understand that other parents have other priorities. This is where the school administration needs to step up and preserve a safe productive school environment. My wife teacher high school math. She was at a rural school where the administration always sided with the teacher in cases of he said/she said. Discipline was rarely needed but when it was it was swift and purposeful. The suburban school she is at now has an impotent administration whose main purpose seems to be to do nothing that jeopardizes their over-paid job. Students sent to administrators for throwing objects in classroom, hitting other students, making threatening remarks to my wife are talked to and often return classroom at next session. The impotent approach to discipline leads to high rates of repeat offenders. The admin also likes to move students to a different teacher until they get someone that will just pass them.

    March 21, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
  2. easterbunny

    I would live in a lean-to down by the river before i become a teacher and deal with other peoples children. the "if you teach them right, this won't happen" mentality of parents is what gives theses psychos power.

    March 18, 2013 at 5:28 am |
  3. Bourne

    I remember distinctly that a bully in my 10th grade maths course would bully the teacher, one point so violently that it was to the point where she broke down in tears. He was a vicious little devil, and tore into her personal life, commented on her appearance, etc.

    Seeing her tears was too much, so I told him in a matter-of-fact way that if he didn't clamp his dirty mouth, I'd be happy to break his jaw with a blunt object. The administrators of the school clearly weren't going to do anything and the teacher wasn't able to. Coming from a girl, apparently the message was received and though he tried to intimidate me, he eventually backed off.

    It's a real problem as far as I can tell, and kids who are going to be a terror in the classroom probably should just be deported to McDonald's. I don't see any use for them.

    March 13, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
  4. Hugh Jass

    I love bullies. They taste like chicken. My favorite was when the new kids would come to school and decide I was a possible victim. Man, do you have any idea how much a guy with a speech impediment enjoys beating up bullies? I had a lot of repressed anger, and a nice new punching bag was always welcome. Dance with the devil in the pale moonlight, aggressive kids. Your ear will never look the same.

    March 13, 2013 at 9:56 am |
  5. Hugh Jass

    Parents don't want their kids educated, because they learn not to be narrow-minded bigots. Luckily, you can "home-school" your kid and teach him that science is a lie, computers don't work, and Noah had dinos on the Ark. He'll end up working fast food all his life, but he won't "get any funny ideas."

    March 13, 2013 at 9:47 am |
  6. Sarah

    This happened to me and my administration told me that it was my fault. My lawyer told me a judge would grant a restraining order in a second. Not cool. I'm looking for other jobs as we speak – OUT of the classroom.

    March 12, 2013 at 10:02 pm |
    • Bruce

      I too have left the classroom. I find that parents are the bullies, and perpetuate it through their children.
      When a student is asked why they have the grade they have or why they have misbehaved, students are prone to avoid getting in trouble, "It is the teacher's fault." Then, the parents while hot under the collar, address the situation with the teacher–usually e-mail, voicemails, or call administration immediately. Communication then becomes a hostile one from both sides.
      The worst one I had that made me decide to leave teaching, involved a student with many absences. Since the administration ignored the student's excessive absences, it must be my fault for the low grade and lack of understanding of the material in the course. (one parent was a teacher at the same school-the other parent was a teacher at another high school).
      They removed the student from my class, and my final evaluation for the year reflected these parents ignorance of not correctly assessing the situation and helping their daughter. (sidebar-moved to a popular teacher's class whom sleeps through most class periods and hasn't left his desk for twelve years to teach–"just pick up the computer when you walk into class"). The student had lied about my not willing to help her to avoid the parents' disappointment. They taught their daughter a great lesson: lie with no consequence and no conscience, like they do.
      Too bad that teachers can be bullied by the parents without any consequence for them or their student.

      March 13, 2013 at 1:44 am |
      • No Respect

        Children these days have no respect for adults/teachers because as someone has said before, parents have a deep influence on children behavior! Especially when it comes to respect. I feel bad for teachers, I am a student and I have to see other students bully professors. I just don't get it. It's not going to make the class easier, it's gonna make it harder.

        March 17, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
    • fportelos

      They attempted to bully me and failed http://www.workplacebullying.org/2013/03/01/portelos/

      March 17, 2013 at 9:22 am |
  7. wilber

    Look around at the idiots roaming the hallways and streets. We are now occupied and we are the prisoners.

    March 12, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
  8. ThatOneGuyBehindYou

    I think that Bullying is rude and uneccetable. I have been bullied before, and I know how it feels. But this story is WAY diffrent than regular bullying. This bullying is teacher to student not like kid to kid. However, I LIKE TACOS!

    March 12, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • Beth

      Bullying teachers is like bullying kid to kid. If you are treating another person like trash, then there is a problem. This is why I had to leave teaching after just four years. It wasn't any one incident, it was an ongoing problem. The children I worked with (aged 14-16) felt like they had a right to treat me like garbage. I was able to brush it off for a long time, but, after a while, the abuse got to me. People moan about why they can't keep teachers in the profession, and yet they want them to let their own children run amok.

      March 12, 2013 at 9:56 pm |
  9. Amy

    I have been teaching at a public high school for 15 years. I teach 17 and 18 year old 12th graders. Just last week a student created a fraudulent twitter account pretending to be me. Thank goodness I have thousands (literally) of former students who have my back and alerted me to it within hours of it going up. The comments on it were rude, I was being mocked, and a few of the comments were even threatening. After we were able to get Twitter to close down the account, and were able to determine who the creator of the account was, I informed my administrators that we had better get on this type of thing as SURELY I am/was not the only one experiencing this type of bullying. I have a very strong feeling the punishment will not fit the 'crime' here (I am meeting with my Administrators this afternoon). I was told that. 'Kids make mistakes.' Yes they do. But, intentionally creating a fake account with the sole purpose being to harass and humiliate someone who is working hard to help them succeed in the world is not a 'mistake.' It was created with malice of forethought and education codes as well as cyber bullying laws need to adapt to the changing times.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • Mark

      Good luck Amy, might want to talk to a lawyer about defamation and see if you can sue the school for creating an unsafe working environement.

      March 12, 2013 at 9:12 pm |
      • Amy

        Thanks, Mark! When my administrator told me today that the perpetrator is getting a two day suspension and will be in another teacher's class upon her return to school, I asked why the punishment was so light. He responded that he had gone to the district and in turn they had gone to the county office of education. The county office of education stated that the two day suspension was the highest level of punishment that they would allow, according to the education code. (If the school gave a higher punishment and the parent questioned it, the county would not back up the school for fear of a lawsuit.) It seems that the education code has not kept pace with the emerging technology and that fear of lawsuits by parents puts the rights of students ahead of the teacher's rights, safety and security. Anyone know a good education lawyer or one who could handle a defamation/hostile work environment case in Los Angeles county??

        March 12, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
      • Amy

        Well, make that a ONE day suspension. The entire faculty at my school is up in arms. (Well, not the ENTIRE faculty... the newer teachers who are still eager to make nice with the administration aren't up in arms... yet...) We have rules for cyber bullying when it comes to students doing it to students. But, apparently, when it comes to the teachers, we can be bullied as quickly (and as often) as the students can type into their twitter accounts... And NOW they know there will be no punishment. The lunatics have indeed taken over the asylum, ladies and gentlemen.

        March 13, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • Jay

      Unfortunately, I have been told at conferences that the court system will not support administrators. We are told that since we are public officials, we should expect this type of behavior, (fake Facebook accounts, etc). As an administrator, I am more of a target than my teachers and the courts provide fewer options for administrators.

      March 14, 2013 at 9:56 am |
  10. JMS

    I don't like the term bully. It brings connotations of someone who overpowers his/her peers and takes the lead. That can be a positive outlook in a twisted sort of way. It makes a "bully" proud to be a bully. I think a more appropriate term would be psycho. That is exactly what the behavior we call bullying is. It's psychopathic behavior. We should drop the term bully and instead use the term psycho. Their is nothing positive or that one can be proud of when being a psycho.

    March 12, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
  11. Christine

    "Keeping pupils engaged will also prevent an imbalance of power between teacher and student, she said. When a teacher constantly hands out work sheets and offers little support, she added, it can make students feel like the teacher doesn’t care, and that’s when they disconnect."

    This is a fallacy. Many people assume that students–and I speak for the 14-year-old through 18-year-old faction here– want to talk to teachers and want to engage in conversations every day. Come to our classrooms and watch what happens when we try to have those meaningful conversations and provactive discussions about real life and culture. It's painful. My colleagues and I know the kind of classroom management that SHOULD be fun and engaging without downplaying the ability of teenage minds by force feeding notes and worksheets, but even our attempts at treating them like responsible, informed, creative young adults is failing because they show no desire to be informed–there is little to no intellectual curiosity and no meaningful input or work coming from the majority. It's terribly depressing.

    March 12, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Sky

      Many adults have no desire to be politely, intellectually engaged. I can't imagine where the children must learn it from.

      March 12, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
  12. karen

    Twice in my years at a highschool, I reported incidents of bullying by students. One student outright threatyened to "get me after school" and another swung his body into me and nearly knocked me down after he had been corrected ( he said I was his 'spinning board." ) I reported both incidents to the administration who just pooh-pooed me. Since they did not want to act on it and have a 'strike" against the school, I took matters into my own hands and went to the school safety officer, a policeman, and filed official legal complaints. Suddenly, I wasn't being pooh-pooed anymore. Administration sweated that I would have arrests made. I told both the students and the Administration I would use my right to take up to 1 full year to decide. Both students did end up in a 10 day out of school suspension with a Superintendent's hearing before being allowed back. I couldn't care less that Administration didin't like me. Either we enforce a zero toleranence policy with bullying or we don't. If the Administration won't do it, exercise your legal rights. No one, including teachers, should have to tolerate any kind of bullying.

    March 11, 2013 at 11:05 pm |
    • Chris

      Glad to hear that the problem was taken care of despite ignorant administration.

      March 12, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • chris

      This is ridiculous. Students should be scared of their teachers, not the other way around. The system has been relaxed to the point that there are no longer consequences when students act up or make threats, etc. When I went to school, you didn't dare pull any of this crap, unless you wanted to spend evenings in detention or get suspended. What happened?

      March 12, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
      • Michael

        I dont want them scared of me. I want them respectful and willing to listen. Sadly, for many of them they only respect and listen to people that they fear.

        March 12, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Hugh Jass

      Just have someone catch them on their way home, or at the mall. Fix them up off campus.

      March 13, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
      • Raveninred

        That's just great. And just another way of perpetuating the mindset of bullying in general. Plus, you want an adult to "catch someone after school" What the heck kind of insane reasoning is that? Or you want an adult to somehow coerce a minor into performing a violent act on their behalf, thereby commissioning a crime? That's just the most patently absurd product of thinking, and an indication of your gross unintelligent mindset and thinking processes and – yes, I'll say it – poor life education.

        March 23, 2013 at 2:22 am |
  13. JamesFoley

    You guys [CNN] should bring on Dr. George Thompson, author of Verbal Judo. It would be great in this anti bullying context.

    March 11, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
    • Guest

      Unfortunately, he died about 2 years ago

      March 12, 2013 at 1:32 am |
      • Another Guest

        AND... Is that a problem?

        March 12, 2013 at 8:10 am |
  14. Double Pulsars


    March 11, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
  15. weary teacher

    After more than 30 years teaching I thought I had seen it all, but apparently not. I had a 17 year old student expose his genitals to me. (I am female.) The principal, who was male, gave the student minimal days out of school suspension and then I had him right back in my room.

    March 11, 2013 at 10:06 pm |
    • DMG2FUN

      Just point and laugh.

      March 11, 2013 at 10:14 pm |
      • JamesFoley


        March 11, 2013 at 10:16 pm |
    • JamesFoley

      you could have just told him you weren't into small talk. or you could have emasculated him and said, "Oh they're so cute; they're like tiny little raisins. Does your mommy have trouble finding you underoos in an extra small or are you still wearing pullups?" 😉 or "oh no that won't do. When I said sound off like you've got a pair, I was only talking to the people in class who actually have a pair." or "[Insert idiots name here], put that spider outside."

      March 11, 2013 at 10:15 pm |
      • DMG2FUN

        Some women have also said they just say, you call that a penis.

        March 11, 2013 at 10:39 pm |
      • mrsdeh

        obviously, you are not a teacher – we are not allowed to be rude to students or retaliate in any way

        March 11, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
      • Matt

        That would actually cause a lawsuit and the teacher would lose her job. Teachers have no power today and it's even worse when the administration doesn't have your back.

        March 12, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
      • cking

        That would be considered bullying by the teacher – kind of a d*mned if you do d*mned if you don't situation

        March 12, 2013 at 12:12 pm |
    • Nick

      That incident warrants at least a 30 day (out of school) suspension and a subsequent transfer from your school (pending a parent conference) for obvious reasons. So, now that this student is back in school, do you think he's saying to everyone "Oh man, Im so sorry I didnt mean to expose myself, Ive learned my lesson!"....uhhh, hell no, he's the talk of the school and now the system has usurped your authority. Welcome to the profession of teaching in 2013!!! Unfortunately, teachers deal with a lot worse and horrific incidinets and this incident is deemed minor. I hope everything works out for you.

      March 11, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
      • weary teacher

        Thanks, Nick. It originally got 3 days until I complained; then it was increased to 10. I've enjoyed my years of teaching, but will retire this year and look for a job in the "real" world!

        March 11, 2013 at 10:27 pm |
    • Nick

      3 days? If this 17 year old exposed himself in the street he would be arrested and facing charges (in some states at least). What the heck was that all about? Whats next? A student tries to force himself upon you and gets 5 days out of school....Im sorry to hear you had to go through all this.

      March 11, 2013 at 10:33 pm |
    • Hugh Jass

      Point and laugh. "Looks just like a dick, only smaller." Then tell everyone how he was hung like a hamster. Change his name to Filbert.

      March 13, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
  16. Lucretia_Borgia

    My husband (with 3 degrees who cannot find work in his field) drives a school bus for a wealthy school system in Hamilton County, Indiana. He has had middle school girls try to get him fired for enforcing the rules on the bus–she said, "He touched her". Turns out he had stopped her in the bus aisle to tell her not to duck under traffic barriers because it was dangerous and she brushed into his arm.

    He's had to call (wealthy & educated) parents about behavior that could result in the student's being suspended from FREE bus service. They refused to come to the school to witness the digital recording of their darling's activities because my husband and the school would somehow have altered the recording to make the child look bad. After all, little "Johnny" didn't do that at home.

    Just a couple of weeks ago, he got between 2 boys on lunch room duty who were spoiling for a fight. One turned on him but before it got out of hand, two police officers interrupted. The same boy refused to calm down and was lead away in hand-cuffs to receive a two-day suspension from school.

    Younger colleagues have told me about knives, weapons, and drugs that were routinely brought to school when they attended high school. Luckily, I personally never entered into teaching and am so glad I did not. Although, I do fear for many bright kids today who want and deserve a good education–one they may be prevented from receiving by disruptive students.

    March 11, 2013 at 10:05 pm |
  17. JamesFoley

    I highly recommend doing 2 things...one, to see where our society may end up, watch the movie Idiocracy. It's an excellent example of the phrase, "If the village elders won't stand up and take charge, then the village idiots will." Two, read How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. It's a fantastic, easy read that has some excellent strategies and insight into how to deal with all manner of people, young and old, effectively 😀

    March 11, 2013 at 10:01 pm |
    • JamesFoley

      There's also another great book called Verbal Judo; The Gentle Art of Persuasion... it gets to a point where it's not so gentle 😉

      March 11, 2013 at 10:37 pm |
      • Another Guest

        What you getting royalties? knock off the advertisements.... I will never read that now.

        March 12, 2013 at 8:15 am |
  18. rh

    Teachers bully students MUCH more than the reverse. Parents bully kids more than fellow students do. Siblings bully kids more than fellow students do. Yet there is so much focus on "those kids who are bullies" and ignoring bullying teachers and other adults who bully.


    March 11, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
    • Honestly?

      Shouldn't ANY bullying be addressed, whether it's student-student, teacher-student, or student-teacher, etc? And based on the article, this is an issue that has had little attention brought upon it, so why the big problem with it coming to light?

      What would you know about it, by the way? My wife was a teacher, and she had to deal with intimidation from students and parents all the time. So why don't you just get off your high horse and accept that ANY bullying should be dealt with, and stop whining about how teachers being bullied shouldn't be an issue just because YOU feel that way.


      March 11, 2013 at 10:13 pm |
    • guest

      your kid must be a bully.

      March 12, 2013 at 1:26 pm |
  19. LB

    How about when the teacher is the bully?!

    March 11, 2013 at 9:55 pm |
    • b

      I remember when I was accused of being a "bully" and a "racist" when I was teaching. All fabricated. Glad I QUIT on my own terms. Now I'm a normal person again and no one accuses me of anything ever. Magic.

      Litigate over discipline with your kids, crybaby.

      March 11, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
  20. martin

    In the US, teaching is a blood sport. Many people in society don't respect teachers ("Those who can't do, teach," etc.) Teaching IS doing and it isn't easy either. The entire system has to change and change radically.

    March 11, 2013 at 9:37 pm |
    • stillgullible

      YES and thank you!

      March 11, 2013 at 9:42 pm |
    • Beth C

      Yes. Kids are very rude and disrepectful because their parents allow it and make excuses for their children. Seriously I think parents should remember the adage " Spare the rod and spoil the child".

      March 12, 2013 at 1:54 am |
    • Matt

      Yes and Yes.

      March 12, 2013 at 12:02 pm |
    • Hugh Jass

      It will change into "training." Teach basics, it's over in a week, they learn only the basic facts, and they can go get a job running a buffer right away. Nobody has to listen to why some teacher thinks Shakespeare or Poe is important, nobody will be led to question any established ideas, and nobody will know who George Washington or Albert Einstein were. We can get educated Europeans for the management jobs and use Americans as cheap, dumb labor. In fact, we are already doing this as of 2007.

      March 13, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  21. Tone Loc

    You can only be bullied online if you actually go online to see the stuff. Otherwise, it has no bearing on my life or how I feel. I actually think it is funny that people think an "online" presence is so important. Try being real and turning off the computer, enjoy the outdoors or get some exercise. It truely is funny to think someone can reach through a computer and physically threaten you, anything else would just be ego tripping.

    March 11, 2013 at 9:23 pm |
    • JamesFoley

      Hey tone, someone just walked up and nutted you in front of everyone. You're right though... just ignore it. It's not like it influences others to treat you as disrespectfully right? 😉 Computers don't bully people,people bully people 😉

      March 11, 2013 at 9:50 pm |
      • oldchathambob

        Tone – Ignorance is bliss. Meantime those students with the funny smirks in your class are enjoying the stuff being posted about you. You are a very easy target. But don't worry, they will get bored with you eventually. And those posts will live on and on and on.

        March 12, 2013 at 9:00 am |
    • Cynic

      Very shallow response. It's obvious that you do not work in IT or have any notion of the issues associated with an internet presence.

      Yes, you might turn off the computer and forget about it, but there will be plenty of people who will not. If someone defames you over the internet, whether true or untrue, there will be more than a handful of people who will be exposed to the slur. People have lost their jobs, have had their marriages ruined, have had their reputations damaged, have committed suicide, have committed homicide, and have even been arrested over rumors, photos, and comments distributed over the internet.

      This is 2013, not 1963. Cyberbullying is very "now," very real, very cruel, and very damaging. It claims more victims everyday. How can you call yourself informed about the events in this world and this nation and not know that?

      March 12, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
  22. 7th grader

    I'm only in 7th grade this year has been so far the worst i'm in all honors and one of my teachers gives us a lot of worksheets and makes us feel bad by saying to one of my friends that she shouldn't be their because she asks to many questions.she's always so rude and their was one sub that was Facebook and twitter and on his email through the whole hour. He sent kids out saying they threatened him but that was a lie. Of course I know we kids are very rude and disrespectful I see that in my classes as well but that is not all of us and I know that not all teachers are rude and disrespectful but I think both sides work for not being rude not just one side of the other. OH and for the person that said kids now rule the world i doubt that there wouldn't be any teachers trust me.

    March 11, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • JamesFoley

      Let me guess...Honors English right? Your grammar is impeccable.

      March 11, 2013 at 9:52 pm |
      • JL

        I was just thinking the same thing. It is truly embarrassing to read what passes for written communication these days.

        March 11, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
      • Roman

        Here we have a 7th grader expressing thoughtful, empathetic thoughts that extend adult-level understandings that are usually difficult for ADULTS to manage, and we have adults here responding to that 7th grader to criticize his grammar. A 7th grader. But okay, that's fine, here's what I have to say to you: you're criticizing the wrong thing. There is nothing wrong with this child's grammar. Does it break rules of phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, or pragmatism? These are grammatical rules. What this author lacks of an adherence to proper orthographical rules. Your knowledge is impeccable.

        Source: I'm an English teacher and a Linguist.

        March 12, 2013 at 9:12 am |
      • WOW Foley Great Job !!!

        Here we have a 7th grader who is entering into an adult forum, being honest, vulnerable, thoughtful and provides some valuable perspective to the discussion. His reward? He gets degraded by you just because you felt like it. Please remind me, was this a forum about rules of grammar or bullying?

        You just demonstrated why bullying will never go away, ignorant people like you who can clearly see fault in others, whine and complain to everyone that will listen, but then, without batting an eye will turn around and inflict the same exact behavior at every opportunity they are presented with.

        Way to rise above the fray and be a hypocrite. Thanks for providing us with a textbook demonstration of bullying.

        March 12, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
    • mrsdeh

      You (and students like you) are the reason most teachers put up with the disrespect and frustration they experience every day. We want to encourage and support your growth, we want to share your wonder when you have that Aha! moment, and we want to instill a love of learning and a curiosity about everything. Unfortunately, we also need to provide you with the skills to protect yourself from all that is evil – that includes critical thinking and problem solving. Many students today are not learning those skills, for a variety of reasons, and when they are confronted with a challenge, react the only way they know how, with the most primitive response – flight or fight. Seventh grade is a tough year but I hope that the rest of your year goes well. You will remember the teachers that inspired you and forget the ones that did not do their job well so try not to dwell on the bad experiences. I wish you the best and look forward to leaving the future in your good hands!

      March 11, 2013 at 10:12 pm |
    • JamesFoley

      Seriously though, find your center. Look for heroes and then become one. Develop a persona that only you know about. Your own personal superhero you, and try to think logically about how you can get to that.
      It's a little like magic... and a little like acting... three seconds before you have to step up... BELIEVE.
      I read a geat fantasy novel called Soulforge, about a magician who was faced with a final daunting test... it was merely to write the affirmation... "I Am MAGUS" [I am Magic]. He had to write the words though, as if they WERE magic. He accomplished it, and they burst into flame on the paper... without destroying the paper. You have to do that a bit for yourself in 7th grade. YOu have to almost will yourself into being as you want to see yourself.

      March 11, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
    • James Crafford

      Sorry, kid, you can't spell.

      March 11, 2013 at 10:50 pm |
      • Roman

        Punctuation aside, this person made three mistakes: "their" -> "there" (twice) and "to" -> "too." These are errors common in adults and, honestly, not a concern with a 7th grader. There are no spelling errors. Get off your high horse and stop insulting kids for things you don't know anything about. It doesn't make you a bigger person.

        March 12, 2013 at 9:22 am |
      • newgirl12

        Roman...you are awesome. Thank you for your thoughtful and honest feedback. These other jacks are just being rude. I think that 7th's letter was thoughtful, insightful and honest. I appreciate what he had to say and I am glad you felt the same way. I'd say that child is well on his/her way to bigger things and I am glad s/he's in honor classes. I work with master engineers who can't manage a verbal analysis and produce a constructive sentiment like 7th did. I am glad you said so, as well.
        Well done, sir. 🙂

        March 12, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
  23. sciline

    Events are beginning to verify that "Our technology, [with its all-consuming Greed, and its concomitant Sociopathy] is surpassing and replacing what little is left of our humanity [along with our diminishing Social Interaction!]”. ALBERT EINSTEIN

    March 11, 2013 at 9:19 pm |
    • capit

      although that's an interesting quote, it was not written by einstein.

      March 11, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
  24. mtbeau

    When society ridicules the American leaders, say that the government is bad and teachers are losers, what do they expect from their kids?

    March 11, 2013 at 8:35 pm |
    • stillgullible

      When I taught in one part of the country, beginning in the 90s, there were some disruptive kids but they were few and never in the way that I found when I returned to my birthplace a few years ago. I was bullyed, threatened (including by a couple of parents, most were great) and even the principal who is much larger than I (he was a football player and coach years ago). It is particularly difficult when the offenders are personal friends with administrators or on the football team.
      I left crying and never returned for the rest of my stuff. Many parents complained to the district but politics being what they are and me being an outsider since I had been living in another region of the country (aka I was now a Yankee) plus not of the same political or religious background of administration, it was a complete losing battle.
      Despite being fully qualified for the sciences (not biology) was not important, it was about CYA, nepotism, and cronyism. I swore I would never return to teaching, have not, will not even though we live on poverty wages now. Doesn't matter, I attended college in that other region of the country so I can't get work even as a entry level worker plus I am now middle aged. Even so, I am happier now and many of my former students from almost two decades ago keep in touch and are so respectful. They remind me that not all students are negative or bullies.
      It is not just me, either. One of my children came home from a college class here and told me what some of these former high school bullies did to a professor who had overcome incredible adversity in her life to get an education, etc. I have said for years that public school's problems will be passed on to colleges. It is happening from what I have heard and observed.
      I guess it is karma or "reap what you sow" in a society that seems to encourage pure selfishness for what the founding fathers called freedom and what is encouraged by the powers that be now, at all levels, political, entertainment, corporations, and even some religious denominations.
      You can say it doesn't take a village to raise kids, well, here is your outcome. Enjoy

      March 11, 2013 at 8:55 pm |
  25. Nick

    Whatever happened to the notion that your teacher is like your second parent at school? If kids dont respect their friends, teachers, parents or themselves, they do not respect life. If you dont see education as a pathway to freedom and success in life, then you could care less about a teacher telling you to complete a hw assignment or behaving in class. I speak from experience in the classroom. Boy, sometimes I wish I could've recorded my interactions throughout the years. If you dont love your students and behave as a role model, you cant be in this profession. The relentless assault, disrespect and degredation you face professionally is atrocious. The reward is in the success of my students at the end of the year. Then, all of the trials and tribulations are worth it. Parents, promote love and respect for teachers who care about your children.....That's all I ask. Have a nice evening.

    March 11, 2013 at 8:28 pm |
    • anna

      Well said...unfortunately, too many students are reflective of poor parenting and disrespect at home. they learn what they live most of the time

      March 11, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
    • stillgullible

      Well said. Thank you

      March 11, 2013 at 8:58 pm |
  26. Galvan

    Job satisfaction is the lowest in the past twenty years? You think it may be due to the fact that we keep funding our military, which has more spent on it than the next 12 leading countries combined, and not investing in our education system, which is breeding the stupid and violent?

    March 11, 2013 at 8:24 pm |
  27. Wanda

    I would NEVER these days be responsable for someone else child, a small scratch or a look will get you thrown in jail, reguardless if it was a teachers fault or not. Kids rule the world now. Look at all the "for the kids" laws.

    March 11, 2013 at 8:14 pm |
  28. YeahItsMe72

    I think there's some confusion over bullying and having someone act like a jerk towards you.

    Bullying involves an imbalance in power that renders the recipient helpless to stop it. This might be the obvious physical imbalance that someone is just much bigger and stronger than you, but it could also be a social imbalance. That is a popular person could have influence over what parties you attend or where you sit at the lunch table.

    This is different from someone just behaving like a jerk. What was described in this article doesn't sound like the teacher being bullied to me. It sounds like a teacher dealing with some jerky kids who she could choose to have suspended, or at least dragged in front of the principal with their parents to let them know it's unacceptable. I can't think of any imbalance in power these kids would have over a teacher that would cause her to feel she has to accept being treated like this.

    Not that dealing with jerks is fun. It's just not the same as being bullied.

    March 11, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
    • Teri

      the imbalance of power comes from teachers not being supported by their admins. Teachers do not have any true power when it comes to disciplining students And the students know this.

      March 11, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
      • Nick

        Exactly. Discipline? What's that.....?

        March 11, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
      • Amy

        That is indeed exactly where the imbalance is. Although, to be fair, the administration at my school has their hands tied to a certain extent, as the fear of being sued by a parent if you actually deign to punish their child for being disrespectful is overwhelming. Additionally, it IS bullying as it creates an atmosphere of disrespect. As the teacher is no longer seen as the authority in the classroom, chaos can and will ensue.

        March 12, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
    • agathokles

      I agree. I had the same thought as I read this article. "This isn't bullying. It's just bad behavior." That doesn't make it any nicer, however.

      March 11, 2013 at 8:45 pm |
    • Louisiana Educator

      The behavior in the school I've taught in for the last two years is atrocious. I have control of my classroom this year but too many teachers come ill-prepared for the disrespect and defiance in the classroom. I have watched students in Kindergarten refuse to do school work, run around the halls unaccompanied, and last year, personally had students stomp on my feet in defiance. Students rip up work, hit other students, and even refuse to sit down. What are teachers to do? Pick up the students and place them in the chair... perform brain surgery and infuse knowledge inside their skulls?

      Students must WANT the education they're receiving. Yes, teachers are responsible for providing inspiration and motivation for that learning. Yes, parents too are responsible for that inspiration and motivation.

      It is only through a partnership of schools and communities that many of these issues will be solved.

      It is both mutual responsibility and therefore mutual blame. We must accept that we all have a role to play and rise to the occasion.

      March 11, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
  29. JohnnyInSNJ

    Everybody's a victim.

    March 11, 2013 at 7:55 pm |
  30. Speak up

    The new bully is even more powerful. Guess who degrades and bullies the teachers now....billioninaires, politicians, TFA dropouts: Rhee, White, Huffman, etc. Broadie trained privatizers.....all of these people have one thing in common...they do not teach and if they did it was for a year or two and they left. They anointed themselves experts of a craft they never perfected. They have the lingo down to kill the profession and they are capitalizing on the country's hatred of teachers and unions. These are the .bullies and there is a special place for all of these frauds. Your day will come.

    March 11, 2013 at 7:43 pm |
    • Lib4lyfe


      March 11, 2013 at 8:00 pm |
    • Marilyn Hemingway

      I agree.

      March 11, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • Debbie

      Unions are not the same as teachers. Don't try to make this a union thing. People have a lot of good reasons to dislike our union. As a teacher, I'm willing to admit that the union is not always a positive force for education.

      March 11, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
  31. David Pfister

    Then the bully is baller!

    March 11, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
  32. cliffster

    I am old now, so perhaps my thoughts are not valid with this cyber bullying.

    I remember my 1st day of High School. Three people were standing at the door to my math class, asking for .25 cents to join their 'protection club". I declined.

    After class, I was accosted. I was shoved against a locker, threatened, and verbally humiliated.

    I put all 3 of them in the hospital. I was a 3rd degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I highly recommend it to any parent.


    March 11, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • Sabrina

      I shouldn't laugh, being a parent of a teen myself, but good for you!!!

      March 11, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
      • cliffster

        Get your teen into a good Martial Arts class. It teaches respect, honor, and self-confidence. It also brings bullying to a grinding halt.

        I was never bullied again.


        March 11, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • Crystal

      Good for you. It's dumb that most schools nowadays won't even let the bullied fight back. Most bullies just need their butts whooped.

      March 11, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
    • chad

      im not that old, 34 next month. however, I was bullied my entire elementary school life. before the 6th grade I started lifting weights and boxing to end that bullying. needless to say I learned a great deal about bullying, because now I bullied those who had bullied me. I learned that being bullied is less about a bully and more about how the bullied person acts, or reacts to being bullied. stopping bullying starts with building self esteem in your children. youre never going to get rid of bullies themselves, but teaching a child how to overcome bullying can be a life changing lesson.

      March 11, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
      • cliffster

        That's an excellent point, Chad.


        March 11, 2013 at 8:08 pm |
      • Caroless

        Or, try my son's trick. Going from a skinny, undersized elementary student to graduating at 6'7" at 215 lbs. All bullies should remember this..... it's amazing what "victims" can morph into.

        March 11, 2013 at 8:48 pm |
    • Susan Salway

      It's a shame you had to resort to that, but good on you!

      I taught high school for 11 years. At a school in Michigan, two of the basketball jock stars went out into the parking lot and re-wired my Jeep for me, to the tune of $700 in damages, then did it again, and the second time, even the dealership could not fix it. The school administration just said, "Boys will be boys, hee hee" and did nothing. One of the 'boys" was the school board president's son. I am old now, but left the profession for the business world. There was no love of learning there.

      March 11, 2013 at 10:17 pm |
  33. Jim

    Teachers are given more responsibility than the authority needed to do their job. I quit after five years even though I love to teach. I heard you really have to love kids to be a teacher. I didn't love them that much.

    March 11, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
    • stillgullible

      I still love teaching and learning (which I also did as a teacher with some fantastic students who made me think about something in a different light). I cannot tell you how many great teachers I have met across the country who discovered that a love of teaching is not enough in such a dysfunctional and increasingly, physically dangerous system. I now support home schooling for all of those great kids out there if administration can't get the cajones to do their jobs (my late father was a teacher and principal and I am glad he isn't here to see what it has become).

      March 11, 2013 at 9:14 pm |
  34. kevin

    From my experience, it's more often true that teachers are the bullies and the students the victims.

    Most teachers are excellent. Some are sociopathic tyrants.

    March 11, 2013 at 7:08 pm |
    • John

      You, apparently, have had very little experience. There certainly more thug students out there bullying teachers than there thug teachers bullying their students.

      March 11, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
    • Caroless

      Well, isn't that true of the general population? Not just teachers?

      March 11, 2013 at 8:50 pm |
  35. Teri

    Dr. Franklin Perry, former superintendent of Twiggs County High School bullied and harassed me and other teachers in ways I never dreamed an admin could. We were told by the principal, 'The walls have ears" and teachers taught in a state of intimidation. I was so stressed out I had trouble teaching. The BOE finally bought out Dr. Perrys contract to get rid of him. Today I am angry that I never pressed charges against him. So angry that I don't care that I am putting his name out there for the world to see....

    March 11, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
  36. Mike

    I am a teacher, and I have definitely been bullied by students. They found out quickly, however, that it gets them nowhere with me. One of the biggest problems is that the power to punish has been taken away by administrators. Teachers have essentially been castrated and can no longer defend themselves from unruly children. I have been fortunate enough to earn my students respect, which goes a long way towards heading off problems with today's kids. As a parent, I have made a point to my son to let him know that he should always be respectful. I have seen first hand how kids who don't learn respect never show any. Punishment needs to be more effective to serve as a deterrent. When a student is destroying a learning environment, there needs to be some recourse that teachers use. Usually, the kids are sent right back to the classroom and told to "apologize". Yeah, that teaches a lesson (sarcasm).

    March 11, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
  37. Smarg

    Southern white teachers have been enduring bullying and threats from the fatherless welfare garbage known as young Obama voters. Millions of white families in the south have had to go to private academies as a result of black on white racism.

    March 11, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • Monti

      In Puerto Rico, back in the 80's, it was a matter of student and teacher meeting at the basketball court to solve the issue. Believe it or not, most of the time the teacher ended up winning the fight and...respect would follow. Those times are gone...

      March 11, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
      • smargisright

        well, there proves Smarg's point, the only brown solution is a violent one.

        March 11, 2013 at 7:12 pm |
    • Pat

      Republican moron.

      March 11, 2013 at 6:52 pm |
    • Hate morons

      Now that is great baiting. Now shut up and go away.

      March 11, 2013 at 6:53 pm |
    • kevin

      Your wording has the tone of the kind of bullying we're talking about. You are a bully.

      March 11, 2013 at 7:09 pm |


      March 11, 2013 at 7:12 pm |


        March 11, 2013 at 7:13 pm |


      March 11, 2013 at 7:18 pm |
    • John

      Smarg: Another White Racist Conservative. You lost - get over it.

      March 11, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
    • B

      Most private (white) academies were created because most Southern whites couldn't stand their children being told what to do by black administrators and teachers due to intergration, similar to what we see today with the creation of the Tea Party and obstructionist Repub congressmen.

      March 11, 2013 at 8:17 pm |
    • Caroless

      Oh please! What a load of BS! You seriously think people are going to believe you? Whiner!

      March 11, 2013 at 8:52 pm |
    • stillgullible

      While I can agree with some of what you are talking about, the problems I had, as a white female teacher, were with upper middle class white kids whose parents moved away from the schools of which you mention. I live in an area where most white kids go to private schools and there, the smart kids who go on to be successful doctors, engineers, etc rather than rednecks (and I farm now) are treated like crap by these good little Christian white boys. BTW, I am also a Christian but don't believe it ramming it down other's throats like those good little bully white boys/girls and mamma and daddy (assuming even they know who daddy really is).

      March 11, 2013 at 9:20 pm |
    • kim

      I have to disagree with your comment.I went through school in the seventies and eighties in the rural south.Some of the best teachers that I had were black.As a matter of fact, the white teachers were rude,mean and acted like they were above the students. Some of my best school memories involved black teachers.

      March 13, 2013 at 12:33 am |
  38. MrG

    Doesn't take much for a student to put a teacher out of job. They have a lot of power today. I've been a sub for almost two years and have to say that I've seen parents question a teacher's integrity on a regular basis–even if their student failed to complete the minimum requirements for a class. I've seen every kind of excuse for not turning in simple classwork–forget any kind of homework. I've seen parents ridicule teachers for giving their kids too much homework–not allowing their kids to participate in multiple sports at one time. Yes–students have a lot of power today and many parents do a good job of teaching them how to avoid responsibility.

    March 11, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • Teri

      I have had high schoolers tell me, "I'll have your job" and they knew, and I knew that they were speaking the truth. Let a teenager get mad at a teacher and become determined to get rid of that teacher and teacher is gone. Parents, admins, and BOE will believe student, or else admins and BOEs go along with the student because they simply don't want the publicity and want it all to just go away.. So, Teacher Gone, student happy.

      Happens more than people know. Never happened to me, but I have seen it happen to other teachers. Scares the hell out of me.

      March 11, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
  39. #thoughtyou'dneverask

    Finally, someone besides Valerie Strauss of the Washington Post is reporting something from the teacher's perspective. There is an entire workforce of dedicated, hard-working teachers out there (less the few who shouldn't be teaching) who are receiving abuse and blame for all of the societal ills being manifested in the name of test scores. Shame on the national media (minus Valerie Strauss) for believing the misguided notion that "schools are failing our children," because of faux educators such as Michelle Rhee, without asking the question: Why is it only the teacher's responsibility for students to succeed?

    March 11, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • Nick

      Well spoken, my thoughts exactly. The burden of educating falls on teachers, as well it should. However, we have minimized all the discipline measures and accountability on behalf of students and families is has disappeared. Whatever happened to the notion that your teacher is like your second parent? Where has THAT respect gone?

      March 11, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • b

      I thought about that alot before I quit teaching. You can't just "be" a teacher. You have be a truly amazing human being to attain even mediocre results. In retrospect, it's better to just get paid more for less work and take on less liability in the private sector.

      March 11, 2013 at 10:48 pm |
  40. bulldog63ify

    Teachers can't be bullied unless they allow it!! What moron posted that? The worst of the bullying is often NOT from the students but rather their parents and the lily-livered administrators who kowtow to the School Board who kowtow to the parents of the kids. The system is rigged against the teachers–they have NO advocate. But maybe I misspoke. The NRA wants to put guns in our hands so that we might live to fight another day. God help us when the National Rifle Association becomes our salvation.

    March 11, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • Rara

      The parents are very much a problem. My mother is a retired elementary art teacher. One time when I was in HS she received a phone call from a parent. She interrupted our dinner. The parent was very abusive to my mom, yelling and swearing at her. She was so loud I could hear her from the other side of the room. Her problem – my mother called her younger son by the older son's name. My mom is a very strong person and gives back as much as she gets. Her reply " I see 600 students a week. Your lucky I remembered the families name." My mother had every elementary student in the school district from K – 6th grade, for over 25 years, with an average of 600 students a week in two elementary schools. I really felt sorry for those kids. With a parent like that the kids lives must have been awful.

      March 11, 2013 at 6:44 pm |
    • Rara

      An older retired teacher who was subbing put the situation like this – The teachers are afraid of the administration. The administration are afraid of the parents. The parents are afraid of the kids and the kids aren't afraid of anything. The results are bullies for parents and kids.

      March 11, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
  41. Blah

    Legally speaking, a teacher can use all necessary force in order to defend themselves. If I was a teacher and some puke teenager put his hands on me I would put his head through the wall

    March 11, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
    • Deej59

      And guess how fast you'd lose your job and get sued by the (more than likely rotten) parents of said "puke". In fact, you'd go to jail, at least for the day. It's rigged.

      March 11, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
      • Teri


        March 11, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
      • kat

        Absolutely Deej59. People talk big about things they've no clue about. My mother, a 4'11" 60+ year old teacher, nearly lost her job after being assaulted by a student and the school administrators weren't the ones trying to help her. If there hadn't been a few brave students who had witnessed the attack and come forward, she would have lost her retirement over some lying knucklehead who couldn't keep his hands to himself. I feel for these teachers- they catch hell at either end.

        March 11, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • Mom C

      Your head would spin at how fast you will be out of an income, out of insurance, out of a profession and out of friends if you dared to touch a child, even a 6 foot, 190 pound one! You would certainly spend more time in the legal system than you think possible. Ask my daughter – she was raped by a student and the legal mess continues on and on.

      March 11, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • TeenageWasteland

      sure. The kid would probably slap you and then pull some type of UFC move he learned from video games.

      March 11, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
    • Michael

      Dear "Blah", What makes you think that you as a teacher have the right to keep people imprisoned in your classroom pretending to believe the mass of goverment lies you are peddling? Your moniker mirrors your teaching style: BLAH! I hope your students have the political sophistication to cut school and learn something factual. Your students are giving you what all fascist apologists have coming, a kick to the posterior. Seek productive employment, because you are a prison guard.

      March 11, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • Jim

      You could do that once.

      March 11, 2013 at 7:34 pm |
  42. Rediranch

    When I was in high school was when they stopped allowing teachers to use paddles. They didn't use them very often, but they were in plain sight all the time in some classrooms, and they helped keep kids in line. I don't recall anyone in my school bullying a teacher, that was unheard of.

    Now not only are the kids still bullying other kids, but the teachers too? We have lost control of these kids because the punishment is no longer a threat or painful (either physically or other).

    The situation in public schools is why we are homeschooling. The teachers and administration did nothing to curb violence and bullying, even when we tried to speak to the bullies parents.

    March 11, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
  43. justamomsview

    As a child I had teachers that could handle their students or couldn't, what makes my child's teacher any different? We also had students who's parents did't do their jobs as parents and teach their child to behave. What makes the children different? I had some amazing teachers as a child, but a few needed to find a new job. With a drop of a book, class shut up, a close of a door, we were in our seats mouths shut. If not they where sent out to office or (the one that hurt the most) a chair outside classroom door, if needed a paddling to warm our butts. Others used bullying, (yanking students out of their chair, (left bruises) threw windex bottles, (shattered on a girls shoulder) anything they could find to throw, scream and call names. As a parent I have went on 90% of my children's field trips, dealt with almost all of my children's teachers (middle school, high school, brought "Go away a little mom" college was "Mom who") and found teachers are the same as when I was a student, the children are the same as they were when I was a child. After yrs at same school the teachers learned from other teachers to give me their "hyper students" because they heard I never had trouble with them on other field trips. I wanted to be there, I wanted them to have a blast BUT they knew if they didn't listen sitting beside me the whole time would be NO fun, it worked EVERY time. They had/have some of the most amazing people at their schools, went out of their way for the students, parents and siblings. You know they love their job!! They are the ones that can control almost any child, some ARE beyond controlling. But like any job, some were there just for a pay check, some were racist, others had anger, nerves, headaches, etc.. problems and should not be in a room full of 20+ whinny children in elementary school, back talking middle schoolers and know it all high schoolers. One day field trips proved I made the right choice (nervous wreck and BIG time headaches) by becoming an electrician, lol. Teaching is the second highest under thanked, under paid, most rewarding job, being a parent is first, you either love it or you don't. If you don't want to be there ur students are going to act like your NOT there. The students who don't want to be there should be sent out so the students who are there to learn can. The teachers who shouldn't or don't want to be there should be weeded out so that someone who deserves to be there can.

    March 11, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • kat

      Nice anecdote, but you have to know that though you may be having one experience, that it is possible that a millions of people in this same country are experiencing something terribly different.

      March 11, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
  44. Judy Parker

    I have personally experienced bullying as a student, a teacher and as an administrator. The worst was the administrative bullying. We are told over and over to not accept bully behavior in children. People are making millions from programs meant to teach children to stop bullying, it continues. What is not understood, or maybe not accepted, is that bullying is not going to stop until the adults practice what they are preaching; until the media does not support it; until the people in power stop. My career was ruined due to individuals who felt that bullying was the only way to deal with a person who wanted to do good for kids, who did not like that adults were allowed to break the rules, abuse/bully children, disregard laws and mandates. I would love to participate in a program that works on adult bullying.

    March 11, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
  45. potrzebie

    This is the only case where a teacher should be allowed to carry a gun. Some punk student is bullying you? Shoot them in the kneecaps!

    March 11, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
  46. Blah

    Easy, just bully them back until they snap and start cutting themselves

    March 11, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
  47. William

    Teachers being bullied? That is a new one. Usually i am reading on here how our Public School teachers are bedding their students.

    March 11, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • phearis

      William, you're a F@$#ing idi0t.

      March 11, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Glenn

      William: You don't know what you're talking about. You sound like one of those who probably expect to be given a free ride or else you would falsely accuse them of wrong-doing. People like you are dangerous to society.

      March 11, 2013 at 5:56 pm |
    • Caroless

      Spoken like a true predator

      March 11, 2013 at 8:56 pm |
  48. Anne

    Good this is coming to light. All true. Years ago, I found out about this "hidden culture" of intimidation when I volunteered to help with a class. I was young and was shocked to discover how rude, offensive, and downright cruel the students could be. The answer, I believe, is two-pronged. 1.) As a society, we need to re-establish the value of good manners and common decency, not to mention kindness and compassion. and 2.) In the meantime, while we are waiting for better behavior to re-emerge in our culture, we must be courageous in confronting unacceptable behavior, stopping it in its tracks, and basically rooting it out of the fabric of our society. Do not be afraid to report people, and let the chips fall where they may. Have Courage.

    March 11, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • C

      So true, Anne, and well-said.

      March 11, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
  49. Bluedestiny

    I remember in '78 in High School, walking to a class and passing a teacher, a nice math teacher, bookish, skinny, about 6'-2", a quiet guy who was just a good teacher, probably late '30's in age. As I'm walking by – a student, known troubled family, he and his sister were always in trouble for fights, they were poor, poorly clothed, poor students, if you looked at them funny you were likely to find yourself the subject of physical attacks – who's just as tall as the teacher, or a tad taller, walks up and gives the teacher a right cross to the side of his head. Clocks the teacher.

    It was the most appalling and troubling thing I can personally recall in my life, that a student would so viciously attack a teacher, someone we were taught to respect (they were real teachers in the day, not the union lepers of the union systems of today).

    There was no question these kids were troubled, and trouble, and that's what we get when there's no ZERO tolerance for violence rules, when any idi0t can be a parent with no license required. I was the target of the girl once, who attacked me from behind, had me by the hair pulling me backwards to the ground. There was no doubt in my mind these kids were abused by their parents and their family environment. I had nothing but pity for them, and thought the system failed them.

    March 11, 2013 at 5:13 pm |
    • nathandf

      real teachers – not union lepers? Tell that to every teacher who puts themselves in physical danger every day – and sometimes die for their students – just to provide educational services to students like you. Funny how one pathetic comment can tarnish your whole post.

      So, what's your solution?

      March 11, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Caroless

      Union leper? How clueless are you? Mouth overloading brain, was that your major?

      March 11, 2013 at 8:57 pm |
  50. Don Litton

    Because our form of education is free, which it should be, and because kids can do just about anything and there is little real consequence for them (which should not be the case) we will have kids who will ratchet up the game against teachers. Because, sadly, that is what school is; just a game for some students. Even after they have done some offensive thing, and have been punished, where do they end up? Back in your classroom ready for another round. It is really a minority of students, but I believe as a teacher I should have the right to say "that student has crossed a line and he may not come into my room again, not just for my sake, but for the sake of all the others who are really there to learn.

    March 11, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • C

      ITA. As a former public school teacher, I think that there should be 2 kinds of diplomas, one for the serious student who wants to go to college and another for the less serious students who don't wish to attend college. As it is, the classrooms are full of students with various agendas. Some want to learn, and some want to avoid having to do any classwork.

      March 11, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
  51. Bill

    One of the major problems here is teh desire for school systems to attempt to graduate as many students as possible. What they do not realize is they are guaranteed to make the problem worse. If a student who threatens or bullies a teacher, or is a problem in any way beyond what can be expected, they shoud immediately be expelled. If a teenager no longer wants to be part of the school system, by all means let them go. They are a distraction for the students who want to be there, and a problem for the teachers. In the end, they will realize that more will actually finish school, since accountablility will be returned to the system.

    March 11, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • Nick

      Why is everyone searching for all of the victims, and who hurt who's feelings. If you are a teacher you should expect to deal with the wiles of teaching young people in this ever more rebellious nation. Zero tolerance is a foolish objective in any regulation,but especially when dealing with young humans who constantly make and learn from their mistakes. How many kids do you want with criminal records? There used to be a time when boys could be boys, now anytime a couple of adolescents slap each other they end up being charged with assault. Stop crying and moaning about being a 'victim' and do something about it. If we continue on this course we will continue to "Pussify" America, progress and evolution occurs because of a need to adapt, if we hide our youth away from the realities of life then they will become weaker intellectually, emotionally, and phyiscally. Just be prepared to have a nation of whining brats.

      March 11, 2013 at 5:24 pm |
    • Teri

      but schools can't do this because it will mess with the almighty NCLB numbers...

      March 11, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
      • Sarah


        March 12, 2013 at 10:22 am |
  52. Reasonably

    Three simple rules:

    A) Parenting – it's not just for breakfast any more
    B) smaller class sizes
    C) see A)

    March 11, 2013 at 4:52 pm |
  53. joet

    As they say "The apple don't fall far from the tree". If the kid's a bully, take a look at mom or dad, in most cases, they're bullies themselves. Bring up their offspring's "issues" to the parents and they'll be in your face in a blink.

    March 11, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  54. cpalmer1

    I get the impression that some of the people blaming the teachers are either remembering a time in the past when they were in school, or went to school in a rural, middle class area with students who were mostly not 'at-risk'. Many of the incidents involving violence against teachers today occur in poorer, urban areas with students who are learning below their own grade level. If you have not been in these schools and you do not know what the environment is about, you cannot possibly understand what it means to be a teacher today. Consider, some of the best, most experienced teachers in America refuse to work in theses areas/ schools. Often, you have younger, inexperienced teachers dealing with these situations. And this isn't even to say the experienced teachers would fare any better. It just compounds an already overwhelmingly bad problem. Either you have been a teacher in these areas, and can comment soundly, or you need to visit a poor urban school and sit in the classroom for yourself. I urge many of you commenting without experience to volunteer and understand what is happening to your nations education system.

    March 11, 2013 at 4:14 pm |
  55. Me

    Maybe they should be more anonymous at work, give false names. When my son was in preschool we never knew his teachers last name, it was Ms Sarah or something like that. Also, lawsuits are your friends, don't hesitate to sue the crap out of the kid and his parents, when that kid realizes he is going to lose his Xbox and other crap he owns maybe he will think twice. Sometimes just the threat is all it takes..

    March 11, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
    • Reasonably

      Yes – because our world needs more litigation.


      March 11, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
    • Brett

      Any teacher who sues a student is not going to have a job in the spring. I have seen tenured teachers lose their job solely because they sued a student. How? Insubordination. The principal inevitably orders them not to file suit, and when they do, they are fired.

      March 11, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
  56. Lady Chris

    I had a phase where I was repeatedly rude and disrespectful to certain teachers. I wouldn't consider it bullying, but it was completely inappropriate and indicative of issues that I was having in school (bored with too easy coursework) and at home (parents always busy). My parents handled it with punishment (none of this "NOT MY LITTLE ANGEL!" b.s.), counseling, and being transferred into more challenging classes. Seemed to work rather well.

    In other words, this behavior needs to be addressed with multiple approaches before it gets out of hand and turns into bullying, harassment, or worse.

    March 11, 2013 at 4:05 pm |
  57. Paul

    Taught for 35 years. Bullying was a problem in the '70's, but it generally, administrators helped the teacher. Teachers are the victim, now, but are treated like the criminal when there is an incident. It is a societal problem now. Schools can't cure it. I'm glad I'm out. I burned out at the end.

    March 11, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • C Max

      I know a lot of teachers who burn out in the end. It's hard to watch the changes that are occuring in society evident by the behavior of kids going through school and see that les and less is being done about it. Very disheartening!

      March 11, 2013 at 5:06 pm |
  58. TGreat

    One of my sons bullied a teacher for almost an entire year before I was notified. Saying nothing means nothing will be done to help stop it. We had plenty of other trouble with this particular child and took the necessary steps to stop his bullying. His explanation: "she never told me to stop." That was no excuse and we didn't tolerate his behavior at all, but the teacher, acting the victim, indirectly encouraged more bullying. Parents need to know that their 'darlings' are terrors at school so they can put a stop to that type of behavior asap.

    March 11, 2013 at 3:57 pm |
    • mp

      TGreat, I can tell you that as a former teacher, I met many "supportive" parents who assured me that they didn't accept poor behavior from their children, but when they received a call or note about inappropriate behaviors in the classroom became enraged tigers–"My baby said..." I can't tell you how many times an adult assured me that their 6 year old never lied to them, and had explained the behavior–which actually meant that they thought I was lying about their child, although they never said that out loud. One year I was harassed so severely by a parent that my health broke down..and interestingly enough, she lost custody of her child two years later to her sister who was able to control the child's outrageous behavior. Over 8 years, I met maybe 5 parents of children with problem behaviors who were actively concerned about the behaviors and attempted to change those behaviors in a positive way. Every year there were also maybe up to 5 students who had no inappropriate behaviors that would prevent them or their fellow students from learning or me from teaching. Our system of education is bleeding...great teachers are leaving every day. No matter how much you love children, no matter how desperately you want to help them find a successful future, eventually the horrible hours (because most teachers put in 50-80 hours each week), low pay, stress to family life, and emotional stress wear you down. Poor urban areas have difficulty hiring and retaining experienced teachers, even though most districts now offer higher pay to teachers in those schools, because the stress is unrelenting... Mediocre teachers are left to fill the gaps, and they stay–because they don't give the job their all, and therefore, don't get worn out. I was very sad to leave the classroom, and I know that I was a good teacher...on my way to being great. I also know that another "bad" year would kill me. So, I'm doing something less fulfilling, but my marriage is safe, and my blood pressure is under control. I'm sleeping through the nights again, and I actually have free time–no huge bag of papers to grade following me everywhere I go. I pray everyday for our schools, our teachers, and our students; but until parents understand that even a "good" child will tell them a lie to get out of trouble, and that adults in the schools are not out to get them or demonize their children, I don't see our system changing for the better.

      March 11, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
  59. Josie

    Growing up I would never had thought of doing anything harming to a teacher. But even I admit I had helped pull a "prank" or two through out going to school Thankfully, except for one teacher, the others got a kick out of it. I found out my science teacher one year hated spiders. BUT she had caught two trantula's that year and allowed us to interact with them. Needless to say to her her go off whenever one of us got to close was enough for us to sneak up on her. Thankfully she had a kid a year or so older then us who did stuff like that home and could laugh it off. Another time a kid in a class drew a very offensive drawing on the blackboard in the back of the room. We had a sub and this teacher was disliked by all (staff included). Typically stuff like that would be erased at the end of the school day. The next day we (my class hour) find out the first class hour got the brunt of the teacher's anger and all had detention because none of them would take responsibility for drawing the picture. My class got off completely, and needless to say we apologized to the students but never did any of us step forward either. Bullying goes both ways. I had a teacher who if a student forgot anything for her class, she would kick you out. If she didn't like how you talked, you were gone, and needless to say I spent more time outside in the hall then in the class. She never explained an assignment and even had the nerve to tell my parents I would flunk high school and she would make sure of it. We moved following that year and I passed high school with no problems! Yes students are handful, and yes they can be violent. But I can tell you that it isn't always nor should it be the teachers job to keep a bunch of kids in line, that is up to the parent as well.

    March 11, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • thomas wolf

      i had a teacher in 3 and 4th grade, i remember her shaking me by the shoulders in the classroom and saying i wouldn't amount to anything in the world...when i got out of the military i started working for a phone company and went to college at night. in 1984 i had two associates degrees and one bachelor of arts. she was still alive at that point, i copied all three degrees and sent them with a letter detailing my memories of her teaching skills.....justice served

      March 11, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
  60. Paul

    As a parent I will say this. My son was signaled out for bullying and accused of it by the school administration. Hauled in and repeatedly tried to be made to confess to something he simply did not do. Mind you at the same time, he had witnesses and proof of the opposite happening to him and his friends by others. When attempting to show school administration what was happening to them they refused to see it. (They had actual text messages of the bullying happening to them.)

    The administration said they couldn't tell me or my son who the accuser was. When it finally did come out, it was in fact the people who had been bullying him and his friends accussing him of it.

    It wouldn't have come out if I didn't show up, open mouth, and become very loud that the principal stood up to take notice at was going on. I explained they hauled my son in and were accussing him of things and never contacted me or had me there. Nor informed him he had the right to not speak and have his parent present.

    They tried to tell me he didnt have those rights. I informed them otherwise, turned to him and said if they ever pull you in again don't say a word and tell them to contact me first. They were a bit shocked at this as well.

    On the other hand, had there been proof he HAD in fact been a bully. I can gurantee you as a parent, he will have wished he had never done it.

    I will stand up for my kid against corrupt administration but on the same token I won't tolerate such behavior of my kids and they better show teachers the respect they deserve. More parents should be instilling this in there kids.

    March 11, 2013 at 3:30 pm |
    • sweetness

      I don't have kids, but I can tell you as an educator. Helicopter parents are the worst thing about education. I'm sorry for happened to your son, but I feel that when parents get loud, yell, and threaten, then there is probably more to the story, or they are out of ideas. Good luck to you student.

      March 11, 2013 at 3:48 pm |
      • Paul

        I never threatened. I just raised my voice because what they did to the 3 boys was unacceptable when the boys were the victims and tried to show there innocence and were not listened to. I didn't helicopter, and the other parent who was in the room thanked me for being that way because if it wasn't for me being loud, the principal would have never known and the change in policy informing parents would not have come into place. That administration made several mistakes. Further as I mentioned, had my son actually done something wrong, he would have been corrected as I wouldn't tolerate him being a bully or disrespectful. I'm not biased to my kid is perfect, but I won't stand for him being accused of something he didn't do either.

        And here is a twist, when we said we suspected this girl as being the one who falsey accussed my son. The principlas eyes got big and she had to admit it was not her first run in with that family. It was determined she lied and to make it worse, that students parents were both teachers I was informed of, and constantly stood the ground of "oh my precious little girl wouldn't do that..."

        Educator or not, accuse my kid of anything I will defend them. If you tell me they are acting out in class and misbehaving I will see to it that it stops and you are treated with respect.

        March 11, 2013 at 4:06 pm |
  61. NorCalMojo

    The story about the bar crawl seems petty to me. I had one teacher who had to leave because he was accused of molestation. It turns out it was false, but the damage was already done.

    He was a good teacher, too.

    March 11, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
  62. Barry G.

    Years ago there was discussion in the social work literature, about licensing parenting.

    The argument went like this: A person must have a license to have a gun, to own a pet, to go fishing, hunting or to operate a motor vehicle–and yet there are virtually no parenting standards or requirements, for those who become impregnated.

    A social work policy professor, who himself is a minority, commented about this and said: "You know this will never happen, and you know why!

    March 11, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
  63. Barbara

    I left the profession after teaching for over 20 years. In that time I have seen a definite change in student behavior. Parents no longer respect teachers and students are allowed to do whatever they want with no consequences. If I reported something to the administration it was my fault and the students got away with it. I have also seen many instances of administrators who bully and intimidate teachers. Teachers are forced out just because a new principal comes in and wants to change everything. I fear for our future.

    March 11, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Teri

      in one school I had five principals and three superintendent in four years... Two of those principals bullied me and one super made my life a living hell. They try so hard to hold onto their tenacious jobs that they attack their teachers in an effort to "pass the buck".

      March 11, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • Jim

      It does not help for students to see parents and the media take on the entire profession for perceived failure to correct social problems.

      March 11, 2013 at 7:40 pm |
  64. JT

    Some kids just don't fear any consequences, no matter how seemingly severe. You could probably bring back corporal punishment and they'd still act up.

    My mother told me about kids that would start fires, assalt other teachers, and in general do anything they felt like doing. You could write them up every day and short of expulsion there's nothing that will get rid of them for any length of time.

    There's a difference between a snot-nosed brat back-talking or making facebook pages and a 180 lb 13 yr old that feels the need to physically assalt a teacher that gave him a bad grade or detention.

    I can't with good faith reccomend anyone pursuing a career in teaching unless you're wealthy beyond need and somewhat of a masochist

    March 11, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  65. Barry G.

    I wonder whether this had something to do with bad parenting and a parent who was a pregnant teen, when this child was born.

    March 11, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • sam

      Sure, Barry – if only those whores would keep their legs together, brats wouldn't happen.


      March 11, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
  66. Joy

    Somehow my first longer post got deleted or I forgot to hit post. Just a bit more from Joy. I bet Laurie is a brute herself. No one could possibly believe that teachers must be terribly tough to want to teach school today. How could you not support your peers Laurie?You do not have to be tough to be respected. I was only bullied a few times, and I was generally a kind person who truly cared about her students. Laurie, you seem to be angry. You mocked another person for their writing. Who are you to talk so rudely to many who might be your peers. ?I loved almost all of my 39 years of teaching. But when we got a principal who bullied some teachers so badly they are still scarred, and that was 3 years ago, that was over the top. And yes I was one of the ones bullied. Probably because they wanted to stop paying me so much! 🙂 Kids today learn , that if they get away with bullying or have their parents bully the teacher or other students for them, they can rule the world one of these days. I never let on to anyone that I felt bullied. But I am beginning to see now that it has become a HUGE issue that is being addressed. Sadly bullies become bullies because they are bullied. Ever met their parents.? So I appreciate the kind and thoughtful responses from other educators who have experienced this sad and intolerable issue. You do not have to be weak to be bullied. And you do not have to be a brute to stay in public education. You just have to have a heart and realize that by helping one child in need you have done your job. But don't stay quiet about bullying. Speak up and move up in the hierarchy if you don't get results. You are there to teach, not be bullied.

    March 11, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
  67. David

    As a NYC public school teacher for almost 10 years, I have been physically attacked/struck by a student six times. I have been punched in the mouth, tripped, slammed into a wall, strangled, punched in the shoulder, and bitten by students. Each time the school administration did not react at all. There have never been consequences for the students. It is insane. I have been desperately trying to get out of teaching for five years, but have not been able to land a job in graphic design. Teaching makes me cry, and I am in therapy for depression due to the job.

    March 11, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
    • Jerry

      David, learn some fighting/self defense skills and use them as needed. Liberal fools are in charge of that school system and turn a blind eye to the behavior of these animals.

      March 11, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Joy

      As I read these sad stories, like yours David, it makes me sick. Teaching used to be such a noble and enjoyable profession. I hurt that many of you have been treated so badly. Something has to change to keep teachers from dropping out. I loved my jobs for 35 of 39 years. I am thankful that when I began the career teachers were respected and loved. Sadly for you younger folks, you might not have any of those wonderful memories, but maybe , just maybe, you will realize you have helped one student in need. Good luck, but leave the job if it keeps taking your serenity .It isn't worth that. I do hope all of you have some good memories and experiences.

      March 11, 2013 at 3:19 pm |
    • Michael

      I hear you loud and clear. As a mental health tech and youth care worker I have seen the worst of the worst in school and living environments.
      Due to my size and strength and having dealt with aggressive tendencies and restraining people on a regular basis, that stuff does not bother me anymore. But then there are also the verbal intimidation that kids are just as effective at. These kids will say horrific things to adults, to women, to each other, to teachers, to police officers, it just goes on and on.
      I would never encourage physical force to try and gain control over a child that has a foul mouth, but when it comes to kids and teenagers saying things about your family and personal life and spreading rumors about you on the internet like with what we saw in this story, you really want to just tell them off in front of everybody. But then again that is discouraged in schools or with dealing with troubled individuals and could very well cost you your job.
      I wish you the absolute best of luck in getting out of teaching. In the meantime, find a good hobby and stay away from alcohol. I know, I've been there.

      March 11, 2013 at 3:21 pm |
    • LastoftheZucchiniFlowers

      Why don't you press charges against those who attacked you?

      March 11, 2013 at 6:50 pm |
    • Jim

      Sorry to hear that. I wonder if teaching in prison is safer.

      March 11, 2013 at 7:41 pm |
      • Teri

        Jim, no it's not...

        March 11, 2013 at 8:20 pm |
  68. The Truth

    Really?? Teachers are now this pathetic and weak? A teacher is never bullied by a student unless the teacher allows it. You are the adult in a position of authority they are a child or relatively new adult, so get a backbone and do the grown up thing and handle the situation. In class crap write them up and/or throw them out of class. School activities crap kick them off the team/club. Cyber bullying, really, explain how they can bully you on the internet. Their not your friend or coworker so option 1 ignore them, option 2 report all their internet wrong doings to the proper authorities. I personally favor give them enough rope to hang themself scenerio, ie let them get themselves expelled. See easy, now go do.

    March 11, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
    • Dell

      Truth, it appears to me you are not a teacher. Nuff said. Until you have been in a classroom, with 150 distinctly different personalities and you have been the victim of the abuse I have endured through over 20 years of teaching; you need to please not make such sweeping opinions.

      March 11, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Riiiiiight

      Spoken like someone who has NO idea of what it's like to really work in a school...Kick them out of class, huh? To where? Not allowed to send kids into the hallway where they will be unsupervised. Send them to the office and they get sent back. Write them up? The kids don't care about a write up because nothing really happens. Detention? Who cares. Suspension..hey, a day off! Expel them??? That's up to the school board, and is pretty much reserved for drugs and weapons. Some kids are just jerks, usually because they are raised by...or should I say live with...jerks, and teachers have to put up with it for 10 months, case closed the end. Rarely will a kid be moved to another class, where they'll just be someone else's problem. How about you teach for a year, then comment.

      March 11, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
      • Carla

        Yeah Right! At my school, they don't EVEN get Expelled for drugs! There are known drug dealers going to school and they're free to stay in school for what? Recruiting?

        March 11, 2013 at 4:01 pm |
    • Joy

      hahaha! You are not THE TRUTH! You are ASSUMING that someone higher up in the food chain will back you up if you report or throw this kid out of class. You have some kind of illusion that teachers are in control of their classrooms today. WRONG! Kids are in control. Do you really understand public education today? Rarely will higher ups back you up. That is the TRUTH! They are too afraid of lawsuits.

      March 11, 2013 at 3:23 pm |
      • larkwoodgirl


        March 11, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
      • Teri

        double amen, You took the words right out of my mouth.

        March 11, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • AWalker

      It's not about teachers growing a backbone, it's about a teacher keeping his or her job. A few years back in CO there was an incident which involved a violent student attaching a teacher (he broke her arm) in front of her class. When she filed a complaint with the school the parents of the young man threatened to take civil action against the school claiming their son was a special needs child and deserved to stay at the school The school fired the teacher and kept the kid. What a great way to support bullying.

      March 11, 2013 at 3:29 pm |
    • Jessica

      To "The Truth" (an ironic name if I every heard one): You are incredibly naive. Teachers today don't have the power they once did. I can have a child strike me or spit in my face, but if I touch them in self-defence, I can potentially face a lawsuit. And frankly, sometimes the administration just doesn't care. I had a student go to the bathroom where he had a knife pulled on him by an older kid, and he came back to the classroom terrified. I immediately called down to the principal to report the incident, and sent the student down to fill out a report. What happened? The principal put the knife in his drawer and sent both students back to class. My last year teaching, before I quit, I started the year with a seasoned cop. He loved his job, but it was in a dangerous precinct and he and his wife had had children so he took a pay cut and decided to try something safer. He was a big guy who was used to dealing with hardened criminals. By Christmas he quit and returned to policing because he said teaching was too hard; at least as a cop, when someone broke the rules, he got to do something about it. But as a teacher, the rules we had to follow regarding OUR behaviour made us powerless. The only thing he was looking forward to was arresting some of his former students some day in the future when he DID have the power to do something about it. People who aren't teachers don't understand the rules we have to follow, and the limitations. You think you could come into a classroom and whip kids into shape? Don't make me laugh.

      March 11, 2013 at 3:41 pm |
    • Jim

      Low income teens get free lunches even if they attack the hand that feeds them.

      March 11, 2013 at 7:48 pm |
  69. robert

    Port Jervis Middle School, Port Jervis New York. This was a cesspool of education. The horde of students were the most difficult individuals I had ever met. But what made these students stand out was the verbal, and physical abuse the teachers took from these kids. The administration did nothing. It former assistant principal Richard Andree eventually was dismissed. He was a piece of work. Verbal abuse and physical altercation on teachers became his trade mark. A principal who eventually left for a near by school was just another worthless individual who was more interested in protecting himself was just par for the course.

    March 11, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
  70. Joy Collins

    I read most of the comments. Fortunately most of you agree with me. And most of you disagree with Laurie. Yes, as one of you wrote, where does it say by law that teachers must put up with bullying? That was never in my contract anywhere in all 5 school systems in which I taught.

    March 11, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
  71. maria

    What about when teachers are the bullies? I had one teacher in University who was a complete bully to me!
    She was so mean, and disrespectful and would constantly put me down even though she was completely wrong! The last time I met with her I left her office in tears because she was so mean! For some reason she had it in for me and would treat me different than other students. What bothered me the most was that we couldn't do much about it, why? because I was just one student and this teacher had been in her position for a while! Shouldn't we get the same rights as the teachers? I completely understand that some students are lazy and when they don't get a good mark they complaint about the teacher, but my case was completely different! Now I regret not talking to someone about it, or even recording the way she spoke to me!...

    March 11, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Dr. Don Burk

      I taught 32 years – 15 elementary and 30 university. 1) at the U you are not equal as a student, 2) correct, you should have recorded several hours of your experience, 3) you can talk to most profs, but leaving her office crying indicates that you needed someone else to talk to (dept head?0. I once inadvertantly criticized a friend of one of my profs – she immediately put me on her list, but I produced such good work after that, that she couldn't flunk me. My last year teaching kids, I was surprised that they swore at me, but I soon realized that their speaking out was an opening for convincing, and overlooked the way of speaking. I picked up one child and carried him the the principal's office while he declared he would kill me – but with the help of the principal we soon became friends. I've never been against corporal control, and have likely used it more than necessary, but I was neither disrespected nor fired.

      March 11, 2013 at 4:13 pm |
  72. SJL

    I think as soon as a student lays a hand on you, the teacher should be allowed to treat them like an adult, respond in kind with physical self defense. My female psychology teacher got punched once in high school and she laid the guy out (she was a larger lady) we all supported her and backed up her story, she never got punished and that guy learned his lesson.

    March 11, 2013 at 2:43 pm |
    • larkwoodgirl

      In my school district, if a teacher hits a student for any reason, they will be fired.

      March 11, 2013 at 4:41 pm |
      • 6packmuscle

        Too bad for your school district.

        March 11, 2013 at 5:37 pm |
    • Blah

      You are correct. Legally, if you as a teacher are attacked you may ise all means necessary to defend yourself. The lady that was fired from the comment below should have sued, she wouldmhave won. If I was a teacher and some puke laid his hands on me I would put his head through the wall

      March 11, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
  73. wnyguy

    I was a 10th grade history teacher for many years and finally gave it up. I had students slash my car tires, the prank phone calls, I was physically assaulted twice and placed in the hospital once. (the parent had asked me what I did to get her son so upset....I gave him a F on a test...he never completed it and all he wrote was his name and F%^& You on it. I was asked by the schools lawyer to try and be nicer to this kid since they didn't want a lawsuit. I ended up getting suspended for 90 days because I defended myself by fighting back! The guy outweighed me and had a knife. )

    Students are in school to learn and teachers are to teach. It's the parents who should have lessons on how to raise their children before they have them. It was rare when a parent agreed with me over their child in parent/teacher meetings.

    March 11, 2013 at 2:42 pm |
  74. Heinz Doofenshmirtz

    We all share the blame for this. It is likely that the young people who resort to this only do so after years of being ignored and under-served by their teachers. You really cannot blame the children. After all, who are the adults here?

    This shows laziness and lack of creativity on the part of the teachers. This reflects most poorly on them.

    March 11, 2013 at 2:34 pm |
    • Jennifer

      Or perhaps they are modeling their parents' behavior.

      March 11, 2013 at 2:41 pm |
    • nowthatsrigh

      It is incredibly uninformed to blame teachers for being bullied, classic example of blaming the victim. The root cause is lack of respect and the 'not my child' syndrome when families are confronted with the behavior of their children in school.To think that teacher behavior is the main factor here is beyond naive...........

      March 11, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Sick of It

      IT IS THE FAILURE of anyone holding these kids responsible.
      KIDS screw up... accidental or purposefully but they screw up.. it's how we learn many of life's lessons.

      But too often these kids are let off the hook.
      when we say "It's all right – it's not your fault" we are also saying "now continue on and never mind the lesson you might have learned here."

      March 11, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • some guy

      If only the "dont beat your kids" rule is abolished in america.....otherwise this will lead to the ruin of the nation. nothing dters better than a crisp face palm.

      March 11, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
    • Agent P

      When teachers "get creative" with classroom discipline, that's when the angry parent phone calls start. How dare you make my little Johnny stand in the corner?! How dare you hurt his self esteem?! The creative teachers get shut down by administration first.

      March 11, 2013 at 3:36 pm |
    • t3chsupport

      Yes, make excuses for them, that will turn them into better adults. It's not their fault they act the way they do, it's everyone else around them at fault!

      It's their parents at fault, and the perpetrators themselves. Teachers are NOT the parents and are not responsible for teaching manners and basic human decency. They are there to teach subjects.

      March 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
  75. Knucklehead

    Maybe we should go ahead and arm the teachers...

    March 11, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
  76. sybaris

    The best teacher I ever had was about 5'5" and might have weighed 120lbs.............and HE was in control of the class at ALL times. There was absolutely no talking unless called upon, no moving about and no tardiness. The first instance of any disrespect or misconduct and you were out and down to the principals office. His policy was ZERO tolerance and it worked and we learned.

    Perhaps part of the problem with the teachers from the article is NOT reporting the low level incidents

    March 11, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • NorCalMojo

      My best teacher's first words to us were "my classroom is a dictatorship."

      March 11, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Frances

      Ah yes, those good ole days when one need only send that errant child "to the principal's office." That requires a principal willing to (a)accept the referred child, (b)back the teacher, (c)be willing to speak to the parent who will nearly always (in my experience) back the child and blame the teacher.
      Students know there are really no consequences for anything. Teachers can't do anything of any importance to them. Assign more work? They won't do it. Make a call home? The folks will defend them. Report the incident? "Go ahead. Big deal," is their response. Society has made these students fearless. They "mouth off" to a police officer. Do you honestly think they won't do the same to an English teacher?

      March 11, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
      • Teri

        a teacher cannot maintain a "dictatorship" and zero tolerance in a school where the admins do not support their teachers. A teacher might as well hang up his/her teacher hat if said teacher comes up against a non-supportive admin and BOE.

        March 11, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
  77. Knucklehead

    These kids are just concerned, politically active young adults who are making a statement against teacher's unions.

    March 11, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
  78. b Jones

    Among middle school and high school students, the disrepect that is shown on a daily basis especially in metropolitan schools is absolutely horrific. Imagine going to school and at least once every half hour being yelled at, threatened, made fun of, etc....... The parents are even worse. The administrations, being too afraid of law suits, do nothing to punish the students. There is no support for teachers from either the parents or the administration. You wonder why most teachers quit before 5 years? Who wants to be pushed around and get zero support.

    I have been punched, bitten, scratched, head butted, etc.... and what does the parents say? Well he never acts like that at home, what are you doing to him? Excuse me, trying to help him! What does the administration do? Nothing.

    Most people have absolutely no idea what goes on in the schools. It's a problem that is bigger than our schools. Our society is at a point that if people don't teach their children limits we are going to have really serious problems in the coming years. Parents need to be held accountable for their children. Period!

    March 11, 2013 at 2:30 pm |
    • Frances

      Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes.

      March 11, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • Teri

      yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes!!!

      March 11, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
  79. Prof

    This story is important but glosses over a serious problem. The initial report here is from a Professor at the University level. The entire story is about the trials faced by K-12 teachers and it never returns to the discussion of College settings. Professors teaching at the College level are TEACHERS, even if they are often excluded from this category. The behaviors described do not stop because children turn 18 or go to college. This needs to be addressed as well.

    March 11, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • JT

      The difference is that high school teachers are dealing with minors that they have the unfortunate responsibility of watching over 7 hrs a day.

      A college professor that feels physically intimidated needs to call university police, have the student arrested, and then removed from the college. If they are being harassed they can flunk the student no questions asked. They have a lot more options at their disposal than K-12 teaches, or at least it would seem that way to me.

      March 11, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
  80. Mom C

    Teachers have always worn a target on their backs but the difference now is that students are not held accountable for their actions (not in California) and being suspended for a couple of days is a badge of honor! Parents can sue the district! As a teacher I was shoved, choked and threatened by students and only one of them ever got expelled. I had good backing from my district but when my children were threatened I got the police involved. Young teachers don't get trained and they walk away from the profession because these problems are overwhelming!

    March 11, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
  81. I'm confused

    Exactly when & WHY did we as a nation decide that being called a derogatory word or any word outside of the name your parents gave you makes someone the "victim of violence"? If this teacher wants to refer to her experience with this seemingly harmless prank her former student played on her "cyber-bullying", I guess I can understand that but in the absence of aggressive & unwanted physical contact imposed on her by her bully how was the woman a "violent crime victim"?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

    Unfortunately, I think I know the answer to my own question... I think our current national obsession with making women feel like they a "violent crime victim" every time someone addresses them in what they perceive to be a less-than-respectful manner is the primary cause of this nonsense. The federal "Violence Against Women Act" that President Obama just renewed last week allows any American man to be treated as a criminal by our judicial system based on nothing more than a woman alleging that she feels threatened by that man POINT PERIOD (i.e. with not a single shred of evidence or even a reasonable explanation supporting that there is any actual legitimate reason for her to feel that way).

    It is not going to be long before we pass legislation in this country that makes it an actual crime to possess a Y chromosome... I personally view the "Violence Against Women Act" as effectively/functionally doing just that in a slightly less overt manner and I can't imagine the more overt (i.e. something like "Criminalization of the Y Chromosome Act") to be too far behind!!!!!!!!!!!

    March 11, 2013 at 2:28 pm |
    • Yup... you're confused.

      My wife and sister are educators. Our social circle includes many more. Physical violence directed at teachers is not uncommon. "Abuse" and "victim" are quite accurate.

      March 11, 2013 at 2:44 pm |
      • I'm confused

        If a teacher is every physically assaulted, she is well within her rights to call 911 and report the assault directly to the police department without first consulting her school administration... I guarantee you, the police WOULD show up and WOULD arrest the child no matter how young if they did actually physically assault the teacher. I realize this may not be the best political move for the teachers career but it is absolutely the correct thing for them to do if they are EVER physically assaulted.

        My comment is simply that there is nothing violent about the "cyber-bullying" this teacher experienced as reported in this article. If there is additional information about the incident that wasn't included in the article, I very well may feel differently. However, based on the information provided this teacher was NOT the victim of violence and it is dangerous for us as a society to continue moving in the direction where we label a man as a violent criminal just because he said or did something that a woman felt was disrespectful to them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        March 11, 2013 at 3:34 pm |
      • brian

        To I'm confused - you know nothing of what you are talking about. If the police don't see the assault, they generally will not arrest. That's the way it works at my school. And then you have to get the prosecutor to purse charges, which our prosecutor seldom has done in the past.

        March 11, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • sam

      We're all sorry you can't get laid, ok? And lots of extra exclamation points make it so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      March 11, 2013 at 3:02 pm |
      • anne112

        My thoughts exactly!!!!!

        March 11, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
      • I'm confused

        Hi samantha,

        Thanks you very much for your very well thought out response to my comment...lol! Your impeccable logic kind of reminds of arguments I used to have on the playground in second grade in which my favorite response was "I'm rubber and you're glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you".

        So run along back to the school yard child because your pathetic little excuse for an "argument" will not be dignified by any legitimate response beyond my foregoing sarcasm.... =)

        March 11, 2013 at 3:25 pm |
      • sam

        @I'm confused – you are confused. I know it's hard for you to understand how come all these bitches get to keep persecuting you.

        I don't know what's funnier – your dumbass opinion, your idiot attempt to look serious by adding!!!!!!!!!!! lots of these !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! or your passive aggressive bullshit followed by a smiley face.

        Grow up, fool.

        March 11, 2013 at 4:16 pm |
      • I'm confused

        Hi again Samantha,

        Guess my initial impression of your comment was somewhat incorrect because you're obviously & surprisingly a dude rather than the chick I mistook you for....lol!

        I am very well aware of why I was "persecuted" by ONE bltch (i.e. I'm not too stupid so I learn quickly from my mistakes) is because I was stupid enough to agree to marriage before I was familiar with the Violence Against Women Act and how unscrupulous divorce attorney's leverage that completely discriminatory garbage law to financially destroy innocent men in divorce courts all over this nation. I'm guessing the reason you aren't familiar with the divorce process in our nation today is because the only thing that chicks view a pathetic loser like yourself as is, at best, a potentially good lay, which is why you've never been married clown...

        Oh & btw, if a little fairy like you were to pop off at the mouth to me in person the way you are so bravely doing while hiding behind your computer screen, I assure you there would be NOTHING PASSIVE about the aggression in my entirely physical & legitimately violent response..... Have a nice day f@ggot =)

        March 11, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
      • sam

        Shit, son, how can you be a homophone AND a woman hater? Now you got nothing to get you lucky but your hand. I doubt they want you either. Enjoy that blow up doll, I guess, she can't say a thing.

        Poor internet tough guy. If anyone popped off to you IRL, I'm pretty sure you'd piss yourself. You're one of these little pudgy guys who likes to pretend to be a big dog. Thanks for the laugh.

        March 11, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
      • I'm confused

        Ok Samantha,

        What ever makes you feel better about being unemployed and living in your mom's basement.... Do you live anywhere near Dallas, TX? I'd be more than happy to meet you in person & see what you've got to say to this " little pudgy guys who likes to pretend to be a big dog"....

        So what's up clown? Anywhere in the DFW area, you're more than welcome to come & see if you can't make me plss myself.......

        March 11, 2013 at 6:31 pm |
      • sam

        Ah, that explains it – you live in the asshole of the US. I've been to Dallas, and now I just feel bad for you. You definitely got the bad end of the stick, son. No wonder you're such a bitch. I hope you make it out someday.

        March 11, 2013 at 7:32 pm |
  82. Laurie

    If you can't take it, you're not cut out to be a teacher. Bullying is unacceptable behavior, however, students need a safe learning environment because they HAVE to be there. They're education is their right, and it's their right to be safe in that. A teachers job is to educate, both morally and academically, and they need to be up to that task emotionally, physically, and mentally. We can't purge schools of bullies (they have more right to be in school than the teacher, tenured or not), so we have to purge our schools of teachers who can't deal with this problem head on and positively.

    March 11, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Robert

      Please direct me to the provision in law and the education code that indicates that a child or parent has the right to bully or threaten a teacher. In fact the opposite is true and it is a crime to threaten a teacher.

      March 11, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
    • Marie

      Come on lady. Make your kid behave and do well in school and you won't be so bitter.

      March 11, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • RedRant

      what you said above is whats entirely wrong with the american education system today. As long as these kids or anyone treats education as a right rather than a privilege which it actually is, no one is going to value it or take responsibility be it the parent, student or teacher.

      March 11, 2013 at 2:32 pm |
    • b Jones

      You obviously don't work in a inner city or metropolitan school. Walk a mile in my shoes. I'm still there because I have a love of teaching and most kids are worth the trouble but it doesn't negate the fact that there are serious problems in our schools and sweeping it under the carpet won't change the situation.

      March 11, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • F. C.

      Without a respectful environment, one cannot have teaching or learning. This is not about choosing between student and teacher. It is about establishing respectful boundaries, so that the process of education can continue. This is true for most business or service interactions.

      March 11, 2013 at 2:33 pm |
    • Patrick

      I taught for 5 years back in the 90s and I couldn't take it. Getting out was the best decision I ever made. You just don't understand what it's like now because you've never been in the classroom. But there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer and educate yourself with firsthand knowledge before you make offensive statements. Public schools are so geared towards making sure "no child is left behind" that even regularly violent children with violent parents are often given a 3rd, 4th, 5th or 16th chance back in a classroom that they will disrupt after only 5 minutes back. And then there are the 20% that seldom even come to school and never turn in homework but you're supposed to pass them because if you fail them it means "you're a failure as a teacher". About 5% of all teachers actually have class for the rest of them because they have "the look" that kids are actually scared of. The rest of us have to rely on our Principals for backup on discipline and if the Principal is weak and wants to blame the teacher, there's no discipline and 95% of the school is a free-for-all. Parents regularly sue school districts and when they do, it's the Principal who pays the price and s–t rolls downhill onto guess who? The classroom teacher. Public schools are a joke.

      March 11, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Zac

      As a current teacher, I have to disagree with you completely. I'm not sure if you teach or not, but the responsibilities and expectations within the profession are more than enough to contend with on a daily basis. The problem currently is that while students have a right to an education, they DO NOT have a right to be disrespectful and create a tense, antagonistic relationship with the teacher. The fact that you expect teachers to "take it" is ludicrous and sad on your part. When you take on this profession you don't sign a waiver that says "must have zero backbone-must take verbal abuse from students daily and take it." Its this narrow-minded thinking that keeps teachers at the bottom of the pay scale/public opinion.

      March 11, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
    • Mike

      Education is not one of "they're" rights. Educsation is a priviledge and should be treated thusly. The consideration of education as a "right" is part of what has been going wrong with our system for the last few decades. It wasn't long ago that kids went to school with the idea that if they graduated, they could get better jobs. Oddly, there was a real fear of flunking out back then and doing nothing with your life.

      This whole "Rights" argument is used far too often about way too many things, and it isn't seriously considered when speaking of actual "Rights".

      March 11, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • CompassRose65

      "They're education is their right, " *Their.

      From a grammar nazi of a teacher who loathes enabling parents. Learn to spell and use syntax and semantics properly so you can be a decent model for your child, and stop enabling your child, and have a nice day!

      March 11, 2013 at 2:45 pm |
    • Laurie

      I hope you aren't a teacher. Your writing skills stink.

      March 11, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • nowthatsrigh

      See my comment above, once again, to think that bullying, assaults on teachers, etc. is OK in any way, shape or form or inevitable and that we should rid our schools of teachers who cannot deal with it is pure insanity. That is like saying death is going to happen so why bother breathing?...........What is needed is more effective parenting, more accountability for student and teacher behavior and true consequences for dangerous behaviors by students1

      March 11, 2013 at 2:53 pm |
    • tnteacher

      Sad but true. I've taught for 15 years. You can't be timid you you walk into a high school classroom. Do you think the lion tamers are timid with the lions? They'd get eaten. Most people really aren't cut out to be a good teacher. In high school anyway. It takes cajones.

      March 11, 2013 at 3:15 pm |
  83. mcasey

    Social media makes this problem much harder to deal with, as kids now have very powerful PR tools literally at their fingertips, and no mature sense of the power of these tools. I am amazed at the rate at which teens are given iphones etc to bring to school; they are the last group that should have unlimited access to such powerful tools. Yet I teach at a HS and 98% of my students have iphones and, despite blocks, use facebook and twitter relentlessly, sometimes in cruel ways. We try to be so careful giving medicine or weapons to teens, yet there seems to be no compunction in giving HS kids these phones etc, despite the almost constant abuse and cruelty that occurs on them.

    March 11, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • Matthew

      I used that to my advantage actually. I told them if they finished all their work and were well behaved, they could text and listen to music on their phones (if they had headphones). I got a quiet classroom and all papers turned in as a result. Perhaps some of them rushed through it but others worked really hard, asked questions, etc.

      March 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
      • Teri

        and if an admin walked by my classroom in Georgia and saw kids texting or with earphones on I'd INSTANTLY receive a write up.. no matter if they had completed their work or not.

        March 11, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
  84. Lisa

    When I was in 8th grade (in a private religious school) we had a teacher who had only ever taught 6 yr olds before, and was also just coming out of a bad marriage. Her ideas for keeping kids motivated involved getting to put stickers on the calendar each day and other things aimed at small children. She was doomed from day one, and it was terrible to watch. I couldn't believe how cruel some of my classmates were to her, to the point of making her cry several times. Someone even stole her suit jacket and destroyed it. It was terrible, and the administration did nothing. I was one of about 4 kids in the entire class that she trusted (because we weren't disrespectful) and so we were in charge of walking all the other bad students to the principal's office, where absolutely nothing happened. That poor woman should never have been allowed to teach a class of vicious 14 yr olds.

    March 11, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
  85. Robert

    The lack of respect for teachers pervades the entire community. Students take their cues from their parents, who feel that teachers are appropriate targets for threats, verbal and physical assualts and public humiliation. Teachers have no place to turn, the school administrators ask teachers to not press charges in most instances and the school district police and regular police are reluctant to take a report of any teacher threats. It is difficult to get the teacher union representatives to support their teachers in these situations. My father, wife and child are teachers who have borne the brunt of multiple verbal and physical threats.

    March 11, 2013 at 2:19 pm |
  86. Matthew

    I subbed for a little while, you are going to be teased, the best thing to do is laugh and get them back in a way that doesn't insult you. Then they learn to respect you. Really nothing they can do should bother you and you have to show you are fair. Defend the kids in your class that cannot defend themselves but also even listen to the bullies because sometimes they in turn are taking heat from other kids. Nothing they say should bother you. You have to have thick skin. I work in corporate world and subbing was great training for that.

    March 11, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  87. jessicarj

    Reblogged this on Jessica Jorgenson and commented:
    A recent article about teachers as being the targets of bullying from students.

    March 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
  88. Erogenizer

    I was bullied in school. I formed a team of victims and devised a plan. We beat the you know what and then some out of ALL the bullies, one at a time, in one day, publicly. Problem solved, until the next one came along. You must fight fire with fire. Make them bleed, break some bones, put them in a wheelchair.

    March 11, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
    • Matthew

      LOL No. Just blow them off or stand up to them. Sometimes kids that bullied you in 5th grade for example may become a close friend in 11th grade. Stand up to bullies and don't let the words hurt you and they go away. It isn't fun to tease someone if they are not bothered by it.

      March 11, 2013 at 2:25 pm |
      • You people don't get it...

        It would be bad enough if it was simply verbal taunting. But it's not... it's assualt. Here's an example – teacher confiscates a cell phone from a student. Student starts threatening the teacher if she doesn't give it back. Teacher refuses. Student stands up, grabs the teachers neck, and pins her to the wall. This happend last week. The student is still in that school.

        March 11, 2013 at 2:54 pm |
  89. Oh Yeah

    When a teacher is engaged in the material and trying to help over 100 students, they are vulnerable to one student
    who's sizing them up and looking for an angle to "bully them." It takes an administration to go right to the problem,
    but unfortunately, some tip toe around confrontation with parents, possible litigation, etc. I don't have the answers to
    differing scenarios, but I empathize. Schools create the healthy "backbone" of a community. Shrug it off all you want,
    it will come back to bite everyone's behind.

    March 11, 2013 at 2:10 pm |
    • Mom C

      Yes it will! Most teachers don't go into the profession to be policemen/women. I've had plenty of well-trained professional military folks say they wouldn't dare stand in from of a high school class for any amount of money. It isn't for everyone but fewer and fewer stay beyond 5 years because they cannot command respect from the folks who do not understand the meaning of the word.

      March 11, 2013 at 2:38 pm |
  90. High School Teacher

    Several years ago a student's mother bullied me for months when she believed I was not giving her child A's based on the color of her skin. It was very offensive, to say the least. Parents need to remember that their children earn their grades, teachers do not arbitrarily hand them out. The sad thing is that this mother's beliefs were handed down to her children who will perpetuate the behavior.

    March 11, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Stoltz

      And part of the problem is the "everyone gets a trophy" treatment we have today. Thirty or more years ago, an "A" meant exceptional, and a "C" meant average. Today, an "A+++++" is exceptional and an "A" is average. Anything less than a "B" today is looked upon as being a failure – by the parents, by the students, by the school, and by society as a whole.

      March 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
      • AnotherAnnie

        As a junior high teacher, I have had parents complain if a student received a zero for work not turned in because, "I saw him do it!" I've had parents explain away their child's rude and disruptive outbursts in class with the statement, "Boys will be boys!" I have had parents threaten to have me fired for marking their child tardy every day (which I did because the child was consistently not present at the beginning of class), which resulted in that child receiving an after-school detention for too many tardies. These, fortunately, were the exception, not the rule. Overwhelmingly, I have found parents to be supportive of me whenever I've had to call concerning behavior or grades. Personally, I think I received a LOT of parental support because I frequently communicated with parents on a regular basis – letting them know about what we are studying, upcoming test dates and projects, sometimes just calling to check on an ill student, or to say their son/daughter really impressed me in some way. Parents almost always knew how much I cared for their children, so when I did ever have to call and report squirrelly behavior, most parents believed me and were supportive of me. Sure, there were a few who felt their darlings would never – could never misbehave. There were even some who argued with me in defense of their child while the child was in the room, only to tell me after their child left the room that they actually believed me, but they didn't want their child to feel like his parents didn't believe in him (that one still makes me shake my head). Ultimately, parents today do not necessarily teach their children to blindly respect authority, so I agree with the person who said earning students' respect is a two-way street. Furthermore, teachers need to remember – parents don't keep the good children at home with them and send you the bad ones; they are sending you the BEST they have. They expect you to nurture and educate them to the best of your ability, and they hope that if their children mess up with you one day, you will respond with mercy and grace the next day. They are, after all, only children.

        March 11, 2013 at 3:27 pm |
  91. Gerard

    If a teacher can't command respect and control a classroom ( K-12 at least ) then he or she does not need to be teaching.

    If a teacher is having this issue solely due to the administration's lack of control, they need to report it to other parents or find another job.

    March 11, 2013 at 2:05 pm |
    • tibs

      In all fairness though a lot of teachers have their hands tied by an administration that's too afraid of lawsuits to let them actually take control of their classrooms.

      March 11, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
    • b Jones

      Please tell us. Have you been in a classroom recently???? Try working in innercity or metropolitan schools. This might have worked 20 years ago but it's unfair for you to say this if you havent faced this situation. And the remark about speaking out, gets you fired and blacklisted.

      March 11, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Mr. M

      It's important to remember that it doesn't take an entire classroom upheaval for one student to be abusive. In this dying profession, those kids are called culture-killers.

      I'm a teacher in a pretty rough school (cleaned blood off of my shoes from breaking up a fight last week). I've had my fair share of run-ins with kids who have gotten violent with me, these things just happen. My issue is when a student takes a swing at me, is taken out in handcuffs and is back in a classroom 20 minutes later (and this happens more than you would be willing to believe). This is the clearest way I can think of to let students know that they have all the power.

      For this and many other reasons, Chicago will be down one more high school teacher next year. Not to worry, I'm sure my replacement will have all the answers, though!

      March 11, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
    • Michael

      Can I live in your fantasy world? Sounds a lot better than the real one. How did you solve poverty, tell people, "Just dont be poor!"?

      March 12, 2013 at 3:35 pm |
  92. Smayer

    "Disrespect" is not a verb, except in the informal...

    March 11, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      "You can verb any noun.

      March 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
    • Learning64

      From the OED
      Disrespect, v. trans. The reverse of to respect; to have or show no respect, regard, or reverence for; to treat with irreverence.

      1614 WITHER Sat. to King, Juvenilia (1633) 346 Here can I smile to see..how the mean mans suit is dis-respected. 1633 BP. HALL Hard Texts N.T. 11 If he love the one he must disrespect the other. 1683 CAVE Ecclesiastici 231 (Basil) To honor him, and dis-respect his Friend, was to stroke a man's head with one hand, and strike him with the other. 1706 HEARNE Collect. 26 Apr., He was disrespected in Oxford by several men who now speak well of him. 1852 L. HUNT Poems Pref. 27 As if..sorrow disrespected things homely. 1885 G. MEREDITH Diana I. 257 You will judge whether he disrespects me.
      As for "Disrespected":

      Hence disrespected ppl. a., -ing vbl. n.

      1631 GOUGE God's Arrows i. §45. 75 A dis-respecting, despising, and vilifying of Gods mercies. 1640 H. GLAPTHORNE Ladies Privil. IV. Wks. 1874 II. 140, I meane not..To save a dis-respected life. 1791 PAINE Rights of Man (ed. 2) I. 101 Reflecting how wretched was the condition of a disrespected man. 1876 G. MEREDITH Beauch. Career III. vi. 105 Treating her..like a disrespected grandmother.
      So it had a long history but seemingly died out by 1900 until revived recently.

      March 11, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
  93. Robert

    Th worst case of teacher bullying came in the 70's with the band Lynyrd Skynyrd mocking their old high school teacher with the name of the band.

    March 11, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • UncleJohn

      They made him famous. Did he sue?

      March 11, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
      • dkl1968

        He couldn't sue. His name was Leonard Skinner. Different name, although he was the inspiration for the band's name.

        March 11, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Buck

      Your are incorrect. Leonard Skinner benefited from the fame and actually became friends with the band. He even allowed them to use one of this pictures for an album.

      March 12, 2013 at 12:39 pm |
  94. candycoatedapple

    So many people want to deny God and make jokes but the reality is, this new generation is a Godless generation... there is no respect for self or anyone else. As a nation, we have turned out backs on god and this is a result of that movement.

    March 11, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
    • gladiatorgrl

      this has nothing to do with imaginary people it has to do with HUMAN behavior

      March 11, 2013 at 1:52 pm |
      • candycoatedapple

        Don't look for God in the sky; look within your own body.

        March 11, 2013 at 2:17 pm |
    • gager

      Since secular humanism (common sense) is no longer taught in school, this is the result.

      March 11, 2013 at 1:53 pm |
      • candycoatedapple

        Humans are flawed... secular humanism is what we've asked for, and it's what we've got. It's not working.

        March 11, 2013 at 2:18 pm |
    • AdamRo

      @candycoatedapple: Your thought is just another way of saying, "it's not our problem to deal with". Way to displace our responsibilities to some other debate, there.

      March 11, 2013 at 1:56 pm |
      • candycoatedapple

        the bible provides great insight for raising children... maybe more parents should read it... and the rest of us... it takes a villiage.

        Proverbs 22:6
        Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

        Proverbs 29:15
        The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.

        Proverbs 22:15
        Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.

        March 11, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
      • sam

        Deuteronomy 5:9
        Thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God [am] a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth [generation] of them that hate me.

        Hosea 13:16
        Samaria shall become desolate; for she hath rebelled against her God: they shall fall by the sword: their infants shall be dashed in pieces, and their women with child shall be ripped up.

        That's great.

        March 11, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • lhmrk

      Oh please, get over yourself.

      March 11, 2013 at 1:58 pm |
    • Jake

      Actually, God created this problem! Therefore, whenever you blame the "godless" society, you're basically blaming everyone else but the parents. The parents are the ones that need to discipline their children...god cannot control the parents, therefore parent can't control their children being manipulative. Candycoatedapple – maybe you don't see the "full" picture outside of "god-controlled power of the mass"....

      March 11, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
      • candycoatedapple

        For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

        March 11, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Godless Heathen

      That's a vast oversimplification. It doesn't matter if you teach children that there's an invisible man in the sky or not. It's about teaching them right and wrong and knowing how to treat people.

      Believing in God is not a prerequisite for being a good and kind person.

      March 11, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
      • candycoatedapple

        @Godless Heathen, Obviously not, the proof is in this article. There are too many people out there who are not inclinded to do the right thing.

        March 11, 2013 at 2:11 pm |
      • sam

        Godless, you said it much better than I did. Sadly, I don't think it's possible to get through to this one...

        March 11, 2013 at 3:10 pm |
      • Lula Robinson

        I am an atheist and a teacher. I raised two children who never disrespected a teacher, they stood up for bully victims, volunteered at homeless shelters, made good grades, went to college, and now live quiet lives in their chosen professions. They were taught to be decent human beings without the aid of "Sunday go to meetings"...because of this, they are much more tolerant and loving people. Like me, they work and pay taxes, respect the law, are registered democrats, and aren't offended by the word "liberal". I would much rather have my atheist liberals as children than some of the fine conservative Christian hate mongers who post here. Thanks, Godless Heathen. We need to start a club.

        March 11, 2013 at 10:44 pm |
      • Michael

        Amen! ::rimshot::


        March 12, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
    • Stef

      You are so right! We need to instill upon our children a respect for a higher authority. Without that, we become narcissists who are hopelessly doomed.

      March 11, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
      • Michael

        Funny, I find that ethical people who don't have an invisible friend to be far better than a believer who can justify anything because their invisible friend says so.

        March 12, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • danielwalldammit


      March 11, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
    • Matthew

      Very true although it is the godless parents that are the problems. In many ways when I was subbing, I found kids that were far more mature then their parents. When the 1960s – 1980s gens die off, I think our country may get a little less selfish. Very bad generations for our nation and will go down in history as such.

      March 11, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • anne112

      I remember one of my god-fearing teachers (4th grade) who would routinely bully certain kids in his classroom (of which I was one) to entertain the rest of the class. Often he'd make the bullied kid stand in front of the class and let the rest of the kids have at it. This was back in the early 70s. So much for christian charity.

      March 11, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • Dirtlawyer

      So what do you do when the darling child is ignoring the work being done by reading the Bible? I told him that if he could show me the Theorem of Hypocrates in it he could could continue reading; otherwise, pay attention.

      March 11, 2013 at 3:06 pm |
    • sam

      Just as many supposedly god fearing kids are just as bad if not worse. Putting some deity into things does not automatically teach morality.

      March 11, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
  95. NotYoDaddy

    Regardless, there is just no excuse for Bad Parenting.

    March 11, 2013 at 1:28 pm |
    • Jake Marley

      Baloney. One of my most obnoxious students was the brother of the girl who was the class valedictorian two years ahead of him. You think you can control the way your kid shows off to his peers. But that's just YOU showing off to your peers. It;s time for somebody to ho-ho-hold YOU responsible. Generally it's the kids of right wing chest thumpers who get sucked into this kind of behavior. Grow up. Or slam the door as hard as you like on your way out to the vice-principal's office.

      March 11, 2013 at 2:00 pm |
  96. D

    To DrG,

    Fun fact. Zach Morris "Saved by The Bell" (SbtB) scored a 1502 on his SAT's in one episode. Second, SBTB is over 20 years old so these current kids wouldn't know who they are. Even the SBTB kids had more respect for their principal Mr. Belding then our current kids. It is within the last 10 years that these current kids have gone of the deep end. Thanks Jersey shore, Kardashian, and "Reality Tv", for accelerating the degradation of children.

    March 11, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
  97. Susan

    As long as sites such as "Rate the Professor" are allowed to proliferate, bullying of professors will continue. All it takes is one student writing a complaint to one of the sites because he/she earned a low grade and the professor's reputation is ruined. Or, as in my case, a group of students told other students how to evaluate me so that my course evaluations were substandard. I found out about the plot, told administration, there was sympathy, but it's still be used against me for tenure.

    March 11, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Andy

      Susan did you ever stop to think that maybe the evaluation you got was accurate, and instead of assuming a massive plot you could have looked at yourself and used it as an opportunity to improve as a teacher.

      March 11, 2013 at 1:49 pm |
      • Susan

        The students, when called before Judicial, admitted to it. Other students came to my defense. Nonetheless, the mean scores for each semester are used in the teaching part of the tenure decision.

        March 11, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • JimSmith

      You don't deserve tenure anyway... no harm, no foul.

      March 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • susan is wrong and dumb

      Studies have shown that the reviews on ratemyprofessors (RMP) correlate strongly with formal student evaluations of their professors. My anecdotal experience is that the reviews are helpful. Readers need to take what's written with a grain of salt. For instance, just because a teacher is hard does not mean he's bad; often it's quite the opposite. But so many professors are disengaged and disinterested in teaching, and sites like RMP can aid students in finding professors that are good at teaching, not just publishing research.

      I'm sorry that you had a problem with your students. But the way you frame your post suggests you're small-minded and not open to criticism. A single student rating you poorly on RMP will not "ruin your reputation". But if students are consistently giving you bad marks it suggests that there is an issue with your performance in the classroom. It's no different than if a student consistently gets bad grades. It suggests he or she needs to do something differently to improve his or her score.

      March 11, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
  98. curtissmith003


    Always in the end, it is the teacher's job and fault. If you want the school to raise the child, then turn the responsibility and authority over to it. If not, then force the parents to do their job and raise responsible and respectful children. Children today know that they can and will get away with outrageous acts. Parents are enabled to blame everyone, but themselves. Respect is two way, but it mainly comes from the school to the child and parents. Yes, there are bad teachers, as in any profession. However, as a whole, we need to support and respect a profession that gets little. That is the example we need to set for our children to help with this problem.


    March 11, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • DrG

      You hit the nail on the head. The whole movement of kids disrespecting adults started a few generations ago, does it surprise anyone that the children of that generation are as rude and uncultured as their parents? There are plenty of good kids out there, most of the time these kids have good parents who taught them to be respectful and studious. The majority of kids out there now were raised by the "Zach Morris" generation of lazy, ignorant, idiots whos' IQ's are lower than their BMI's.

      March 11, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
      • BlueCornMoon

        You & Curtissmith003 are exactly on point !! I come from a family of educators & believe me there's been a whole turnaround in the way parents raise their kids & how education is viewed. Kids come to school with no manners & respect for teachers starting as early as kindergarten. They refuse to do their work,talk back & curse. A pal sent me a cartoon showing a cringing kid in the 60s being scolded for bringing home bad grades,then a fast forward to today. In that scene parents towered over a cringing teacher demanding why the kid got bad grades while the kid grinned in the background. I've seen parents threaten school staff with legal action because they wanted bad grades changed, even when the kid did no work. Parents want their kid to be free to anything to anyone at anytime but of course no one must do that to their kid. I was in school in the 60s & there were rules backed up by parents & school. You DID NOT talk back,bring guns or act the fool all day. You did your work & behaved. All that's gone with many families. I am planning to retire this year because it's only getting worse in public education. All the fun of it is gone 🙁

        March 11, 2013 at 2:13 pm |
      • The REAL Truth...

        So true... Factor in parents looking for any excuse to sue the ISD too..
        I know a kid (friend of one of my kids) whose parent is a lawyer. Since 1st grade she sits and waits for ANY and EVERY opportunity that arises so she can sue the ISD. It's ridiculous that we have to spend ISD $$ to defend the suit, usually ending up in an "out of court" settlement (read: $$ payout to her) as it's cheaper than fighting it.
        With parents like that, who needs real problems..

        March 11, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
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