Recently, I read an article about a 7-year-old boy that was reportedly assaulted by his teacher. According to news reports, the teacher grabbed him by the face, put her nose in his face and told him to pay attention. When she grabbed his face, she left scratch marks on him and was later charged with assault.
In an earlier case, there was an incident where two teachers were caught on tape bullying a special needs girl. In addition, to calling her names like lazy and dumb, they also poked fun at her intelligence and her appearance.
While these instances may point to just a few bad apples among a plethora of really good teachers, it doesn't mean we should ignore the issue of teachers who bully. We all want teachers that not only educate our kids but also provide a safe place for them to learn and express their ideas and their concerns.
Unfortunately though, some teachers view the classroom not as a learning environment but as place where they rule. As a result, these teachers become bullies by berating, harassing and intimidating students. And because of their position of authority, many victims remain silent about the bullying.
But parents and students need to put aside their fears, learn the facts about bullying and speak up when a teacher is not acting professionally. Likewise, administrators need to be willing to act when these issues are brought to their attention. Because when a teacher becomes the bully, the student has no one to turn to and this can create intense feelings of helplessness. And bullying - no matter who is doing it - can have serious consequences. It should never be ignored.
I encourage anyone who is dealing with teacher-student bullying to stand up and say something. Responding to teacher bullying will ensure that no student will ever feel afraid or humiliated in that classroom ever again.
Has your child been bullied by a teacher? Send me an e-mail or connect with me on Twitter.
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