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