Tuesday, January 21, 2014

You are always a teacher….

A teacher could set up a successful charity, spend lots of their own money helping kids, volunteer their time, or even go to the moon; chances are it will not get noticed. However, if a teacher does anything wrong, whether they are currently a teacher or maybe only taught for 6 months; they are always a teacher.

“Do Teachers Have Right to Private Life?”

“The media love to play up reports of public school teachers who have been accused of misconduct as if they are the rule. The latest example involves an elementary school teacher in New York City who was fined $7,500 after his arrest for having sex with a prostitute ("Judge: Teacher caught with hooker can sue over $7,500 fine," New York Post, Jan. 14).”

“The teacher contested the fine, and the court ruled that the district had failed "to offer any legal basis for penalizing a teacher for illegal conduct that has little or no apparent connection with his teaching duties."  The judge went on to note that the incident occured on a Sunday morning, and did not take place anywhere near the school.”

“The city's Department of Education believes that the fine is appropriate because "teachers are supposed to be role models for their students," and that the teacher's arrest "blotted that image." Moreover, the teacher failed to notify school officials of his arrest as is required.”  

“Putting aside the last point, I'm not at all surprised by events in New York City.  In 2012, a highly regarded guidance counselor at a high school in the district was fired after 12 years of exemplary work when photos of her in lingerie and bikinis from her early career as a model were seen on the Internet even though she had disclosed her past career when first hired ("Manhattan HS guidance counselor stripped of job over steamy-photo past," New York Post, Oct. 7, 2012).”

Being a teacher is a great responsibility and privilege, there is no doubt; but teachers are human. I do not recall ever being endowed with super powers when I got my teaching credential, I certainly do not recall signing away my rights or privacy.
What are your thoughts? Are teachers being held to unrealistically high standards in all walks of life?

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

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