When we grew up and went to school, there were certain teachers who would hurt the children anyway they couldPauly Revere thinks it is not only OK for that student in Columbus, Georgia who was talking to his mother (please note she is in a WAR ZONE and could die at any time) to be suspended, he has problems with all of us who see things differently.
by pouring their derision upon anything we did
exposing any weakness however carefully hidden by the children.
But in the town it was well known
When they got home at night their fat and psychopathic wives
Would thrash them within inches of their lives!
We don't need no education
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teacher! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it's just another brick in the wall.
All in all you're just another brick in the wall.
First, while I am sure the student could have handled things differently - gone to the lunch monitor and asked to take the call - this kid gets a call from his mother out of the blue. He is excited, and probably not thinking about anything else. To expect him to think through all the details in the heat of the moment is ridiculous. Pauly seems to think this would have made everything OK. Something completely unexpected and wonderful happens, your first thought should be making the lunch room monitor happy.
Second, I am not sure I believe the account published on the School System site. [warning, the statement is a PDF.] I can see the teacher walking up to the student, grabbing the phone, and saying something about the rules. Something to the effect, "Give me that phone! Don't you know the rules?!" And I can see the student getting disrespectful when the idiot hung up on his mother (who by the way is in a WAR ZONE and could die at any time.) Bureaucratic weasel-wording and butt-covering appear to be in full force in Columbus, Georgia.
Third, public school teachers - Pauly Revere at their head - are in love with enforcing the rules. No special treatment, no human judgment can stand up to rules - even if his mother was calling from her death-bed, Pauly? If we expected teachers - they call themselves professionals - to exercise human judgment, show simple compassion there would be chaos. That is Pauly's statement, not mine. Is that an indictment of the students or the teachers? If true, the system is surely broken.
It is exactly this attitude - rules above everything, teachers can't be wrong - that caused Roger Waters to write the lyrics above.
Pauly, all of us who think this teacher was an idiot, don't believe that he was doing his job. His job has to be more than to enforce the rules. Otherwise our schools are little more than prisons. Maybe that is the case today, in which case I hope everyone starts home-schooling. You say that you have to "teach students order." What about teaching them how to make informed judgments - not done in this case. What about teaching them to show compassion for someone who has been separated from the only family they have - also not done in this case. The only thing this teacher tried to teach is "Rules Uber Alles." I wouldn't show too much respect for that either.
Update May 8, 2005
The John Dewey quote comes to mind. "You can’t make Socialists out of individualists. Children who know how to think for themselves spoil the harmony of the collective society which is coming where everyone is interdependent.”
The teachers in this story are a product of the school system instituted by John Dewey, and it is clear that they don't expect to have to think for themselves. Maybe they are incapable.