Pop-Up Post: The Bad Teacher

Classroom incident

This history teacher is history himself, at least at Gateway High School (courtesy of Andrew Swope)

Want to see what happens when a high school teacher reaches his breaking point and lashes out at a student?

As if this kind of thing never happens.

Check out the latest video from Gateway High School in St. Louis, Missouri. It is truly disturbing and can be found HERE, along with the original news story.

Basically, 16-year-old Stephanie White told her history teacher that she preferred to attend some other class where they were showing a movie. This apparently didn’t go over well and an argument ensued, one that ended with White‘s teacher slamming a desk on the ground and shoving her into some other desks nearby.

As is normally the case, the whole altercation was caught on video by another student who was quick on the draw with his cell phone. I can only assume it has found its way onto YouTube as well, though I didn’t look for it there.

The teacher was, of course, placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. And police may charge both White and her stressed-out teacher for the incident, although no details have been released yet.

It never ceases to amaze me how some people allow their emotions to get the best of them in situations where they know others will witness their bad behavior. And though I have no idea what prompted this attack—aside from the whole “let me watch a flick in some other class” thing—it is possible that White was behaving badly, too.

The difference is that when you’re a teacher, you have to learn to deal with this sort of thing because it happens a lot. And to me, the best approach—if you’re not getting through to a disruptive or annoying student—is simply to kick them out and/or send them to the principal’s office.

Collectively, we all want to bring an end to school violence, especially given all the shootings recently. There’s even talk of arming teachers with handguns and training them to handle violent situations, including active shooters on campus. But I ask you this: What might this teacher have done if he was packing a gat?

I shudder at the thought. And I hope stories like this will convince the “powers that be” that when it comes to guns in schools, the best approach is to ban them altogether. Otherwise, things could get much, much worse.

UPDATE: It was just reported that the history teacher responsible for this unwarranted attack—33-year-old Peter J. Sheppard—has been charged with third-degree assault. Thankfully, though, no charges were filed against the student. I think she’s been through enough, to be sure.

Posted on June 19, 2013, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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