Teachers: Should They Be Held To Higher Standards?
Teachers: Should They Be Held To Higher Standards?
December 31, 2020
Walk through any school across the United States now and what you will not see are students. What you will see are statements on kindness and anti-bullying supported by teachers.
Bullying, back in the day came down to this: a bunch of he said/she said, tattling, and ultimately, a match in the school yard during lunch or after school that settled the score. If teachers or administrators got involved, it is usually because a parent intervened. In my experience, the favored child was the one whose parent was more active within the PTO. Sad, but true. This left me to settle the score on my own.
“Settling the score” back in the day was not the best way to end an argument, but it got the job done. Enter social media. Everyone has an opinion. Even educators. Some put their focus on the students and keep their social media void of any politically divisive remarks. Other teachers say whatever they damn-well please and get away with it.
This story comes from former 2019 “National Teacher of the Year”, Rodney Robinson. Robinson made some truly ugly remarks on his private Twitter page ever-so-recently, that he since deleted.
2019 National Teacher of the Year pic.twitter.com/0PQTDxos3v
— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) December 31, 2020
Robinson, a teacher in Richmond, Virginia, said this upon learning of his nomination last year:
This year I hope to be the voice for my students and all students who feel unseen, unheard, unappreciated and undervalued in America.”-Rodney Robinson
Yeah, well, many of those “unseen” students are actually more “unseen” now because schools have been closed on-and-off since March but that’s another story? Or is it? Teachers are the “front lines” to our children’s education. They are, in some cases of the marginalized, the one, constant source of encouragement and consistency. They are, for some of these kids, the voice of reason when there is no reason at home. Robinson’s remarks are not out-of-the-ordinary or in the least bit shocking coming from the very left-leaning profession.
Robinson has no one to blame but himself for his irresponsible Tweet. But who does he blame? Conservative “bots”:
Ok bot 😉 pic.twitter.com/F1tuXtOd3a
— LB (@beyondreasdoubt) December 31, 2020
Whatever happened to teachers teaching accountability for one’s actions? Not to mention, Mr. Robinson, 2019 “Teacher of the Year”, teaches at Virgie Binford Education Center, a school inside the Richmond Juvenile Justice Center. Wait, what? A teacher at a juvenile justice center. A teacher who, blatantly, on Twitter, condoned a similar form of violence that occurred when neighbors roughed-up Senator Rand Paul.
According to the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), Mr, Robinson was cited as “creating a positive school culture by empowering his students – many of whom have experienced trauma – to become civically-minded social advocates who use their skills and voices to affect physical and policy changes at their school and in their communities.”
Hoo, boy! Empowering students of whom may have been traumatized to create more trauma? To administer beat-downs? What part of breaking multiple ribs and leaving a person lying on the ground is civil? Oh, it was just a “yard dispute”. I guess that’s how they deal with it in prison, huh? So much for dispelling the school-to-prison pipeline in a juvie center.
2019 “Teacher of the Year”, Rodney Robinson was an advocate for mental health services in schools as well.
I want school counselors, I want conflict mediators, I want restorative justice, I want people to come in and actually work with the kids and not just put a kid in handcuffs whenever there is a minor disagreement.”- Rodney Robinson
Counselors coming in and working with the kids would involve teachers coming in and working with the kids, too, don’t you think?
Robinson has since apologized, according to this:
I often preach to my students and other teachers that the mirror is the biggest tool for improvement. You have to look into the mirror and ask yourself reflective questions and be honest with the answers. It’s time for me to look in the mirror and reflect on my recent actions.”-Rodney Robinson
RPSSchools superintendent, Jason Kamras, weighed in on the “heartfelt” apology:
— Jason Kamras (@JasonKamras) December 31, 2020
A slap on the wrist.
The air in the educational sector is thick. I would argue that most teachers align with Democratic beliefs and ideologies and are fundamentally left-leaning. While freedom affords them to say and believe what they want, our teachers and administrators alike, need to have enough bearing to provide and example for the most impressionable youth who depend on them. The stark reality of the matter is not every student has a sound family to fall back on and some of these students, especially the most vulnerable who end up in Juvenile facilities, look to some of these teachers for guidance. This teacher has basically condoned breaking ribs to solve a conflict. And what about taking accountability for one’s actions? No, this teacher blamed “bots”. If we don’t see what is wrong with this picture, we are doomed.
Robinson’s remark is part of a bigger issue that needs to be addressed across the country. This is not just on the teachers, this onus is also on their administrators. Oftentimes, it is the school administrator who dictates the climate of the particular district and/or school. It is time to hold them accountable for these actions as well. If the administrators are, in turn, encouraging teachers to voice politically divisive remarks on their social media accounts (and doing so themselves), their feet should be held to the fire. Encouraging violence when claiming to “love all, accept all” is nothing but a hypocritical, empty gesture. There is no such sentiment in this world no matter how hard you try. Teachers encouraging students to be “above” remarks on social media and in turn, exercising the same, exact form of passive-aggressive, social media bullying defeats the purpose of all of the superficial anti-bullying campaigns they claim to support. Then there’s the concept of encouraging “education” while encouraging that English language and its use of pronouns has been wrong all along is failing our students. Teaching them that only some people are equal and to call everything out based on race is also failing our students. Haven’t we had enough of this? What kinds of kids are we bringing into the world with this hypocrisy? Educators and school administrators want to be regarded as important? As necessary and essential? It’s time to hold them to higher standards at our school board meetings.
Photo Credit: Wesley Fryer/FlickR/(CC BY-SA 2.0)/Cropped
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