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Rhode Island Educators: An Oxymoron?

Rhode Island Educators: An Oxymoron?

An eight-year-old, self-assuming kid named David Morales designed a baseball cap to display patriotism as a school project, and included a couple of toy soldiers—maybe three inches long—holding tiny toy guns.

The “educators” of the Tiogue School in Coventry, Rhode Island, sent him home for violating the school district’s zero-tolerance policy for weapons!

I am not making this up. You can’t make up this kind of dumb-ass, stupid management.

Teachers have a propensity today to call themselves “educators,” but they’ll tarnish that word in the same manner they’ve tarnished “teacher” because they are increasingly bereft of judgment. Pulling a girl’s pigtails is not nice, but neither is it sexual harassment, as it’s been cited by several school authorities around the country. A toy soldier’s gun is neither a weapon nor a violation of a policy about weapons, unless you have a lot of time on your hands and a perverse nature.

Teaching is demanding work. It always has been. Lately, there is a trend to blame poverty, the parents, the kids, lack of resources, and global warming for poor performance in classrooms and on tests. Maybe if the teachers and the unions started to reward excellence and judgment, and not just staying on one’s feet for a long time, we’d get somewhere.

Oh, yeah: In another story from yesterday, a teacher at Providence Country Day School—another “educator”—is facing charges for allowing a group of minors from his school to use his back yard at two in the morning to drink beer and vodka. He was asleep inside while his son was hosting the party that became so loud that neighbors called police.

Whether your tax dollars in the public schools, or your tuition in the private schools, don’t you begin to wonder who’s responsible for teaching the educators?

© Alan Weiss 2010. All rights reserved.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

Comments: 1

  • Linda Henman

    June 19, 2010

    To answer your question, unless things have changed significantly since I was at the university, the worst of the worst teach the education classes. You’ve hit the nail on the head. There is no judgment. Recall the 6 year old boy who was suspended several years ago for kissing another 6 year old–sexual harassment. Or the high school principal who looked under each girl’s dress as she entered the prom to make sure she wasn’t wearing thong underpants. Let’s face it, the best and brightest girls aren’t going into teaching any more as they did in my era. Now so many of the best–women and men–go into other professions. I would no longer want my name associated with public education, even though that’s how I got my start.

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