When Gwinnettians attack

Kevin demanded that I respond to this article:
Gwinnett teacher who refused to alter grade is fired | ajc.com

Well.

This is very messy, and everyone involved deserves a spanking.

The football player should be spanked (Let me! Let me!) for falling asleep in class. And also for not taking his lumps like a man. Little punk.

The teacher should be spanked for using academic grades as discipline. That’s a no-no, county policy or not. Is everybody listening? Grades are a poor reflection of the assessment of a student’s knowledge in your class, but that’s what they must be a reflection of. Not “effort,” not “notebook keeping,” and certainly not behavior.

If you want to teach students that behavior has consequences, then either use the regular disciplinary procedures of the institution or institute a “life skills” grade in your class, if that falls within board policy. But don’t alter the record of a student’s achievement in your class just to get back at him.

We used to have attendance committees in this county, back when we were taking another stab at doing something about kids who didn’t come to school. Every semester, we’d meet and look at appeals from kids who had missed too many days of school and who were thereby automatically flunked. One young lady appealed her automatic failure in this one class, pointing to the A’s she made on all of that teacher’s exams. We gave her the grades: if she could miss half that teacher’s classes and still make A’s on the exam, somebody wasn’t doing their job, and it wasn’t the kid.

The teacher should also be spanked for not recognizing that insubordination is pretty cut and dried. You’re ordered to comply with well-established policy, you refuse, you’re fired. What a maroon. He should have done himself and his students a favor by knuckling under, then circling back around and gutting the football player another way.

The administration of Gwinnett County School System should be spanked, and probably for more reasons than this. Why did they allow this to get out of hand? Why did they expose themselves to the suspicion that after ten years of turning a blind eye to an outstanding teacher’s lameass grading policy, they suddenly pounce when a football player’s grades are in question? The article doesn’t say, but I’m betting that the episode threw the kid’s eligibility into jeopardy. And we all know that’s a no-no.

Above all, Gwinnett County, you don’t throw out perfectly good science teachers. You probably need them.

So, Kevin, spankings all ’round. And then after the spanking…

2 thoughts on “When Gwinnettians attack

  1. Yes, Dale, I know what comes after those ellipses.

    I’m not sure how much the ajc spin had to do with it, but the whole situation makes the school board look certifiably stupid for doing what (as Dale points out) was a legitimate course of action. Of course, by accepting his policy for all those years, they have placed themselves in a position to pay a hefty court settlement if they really want to fire him.

    The shame is, the guy likely is a pretty good teacher. I think I’m with Dale on this one. If I as the teacher broke a grading rule, I would drop back and punt the crap out of the kid the next time I caught him at something. A better sleeping cure might be to recite a few simple facts while he’s sleeping next time, and then call a quick Pop Quiz, asking the kids to write them down. Yes, Dale, I know that would not do much for educating them on science. But it would teach them that old age and treachery will defeat high school football skills every time.

  2. Oh, no, I totally agree: call a pop quiz while he’s asleep. That’s exactly the strategy I had thought of, and I would call that fair. When the kid’s behavior interferes with his assessment, then the assessment should suffer. But make sure the kid hangs himself. Don’t do it to him. It’s much more fun to let him twist in the wind when you have a clear conscience. Heh heh heh…

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