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Direct action
Posted by: McQ on Sunday, June 17, 2007

I have to admit I love it:
A music teacher is under investigation by school officials after a student stunned a concert audience with a profane tirade that she said was merely imitating the instructor's style.

Savannah Larson, 13, gave the first performance in the spring concert attended by about 700 students, teachers, relatives and friends at Monticello Middle School. At the end of singing Rogers & Hart's "Where or When," she delivered what first appeared to be a verbal nod to the instructor, Constance S. "Connie" Noakes.

"I forgot to thank my wonderful choir teacher, Ms. Noakes, for all that she's taught me these past couple of years, like always knowing what to say in any situation, like...," Larson began, then let fly a stream of expletives and obscenities she said Noakes regularly used in class.
Any takers on the bet that you could have heard the proverbial pin drop at the conclusion of the tirade?
Longview School District officials said they were investigating her claims about Noakes, who remained on the job. The teacher did not return several telephone calls from The Daily News of Longview this week, and could not be reached by The Associated Press at the school Thursday afternoon.

Larson and her mother, Anastasia Larson, said they had complained several times to school administrators and talked to Noakes about her language and behavior to no effect.
Well, that certainly got their attention, didn't it? Personally I'd also be investigating the school administrators to see why the complaints seemingly weren't taken seriously when previously reported.
 
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One swallow does not a summer make. I once received a course evaluation from a student at the end of a semester stating that every second word I uttered was a swear word or obscenity. I tend not to use such words in my daily speach, in or out of class, beyond the occasional "damn". As I had been teaching for 15 years at the time and had taught several thousand students without the issue having ever come up before (or since), I suspect that something else was at work.
 
Written By: Acad Ronin
URL: http://
I too have been on the receiving end of student complaints. One F I gave to a football player (and continued to give him even after he complained to me) somehow became a routine policy of picking on athletes by the time the guy got into the athletic director’s office. If I had five dollars for every kid who came through the assistant department head’s office complaining that I flunked them even though they had a scholarship and everything, I wouldn’t need to teach a second class this summer.

That being said, though, I’d be willing to bet that there was nobody at that school or district whose job it was to investigate claims of abuse like that. I’ve found that in the public schools, dealing with parent complaints isn’t the secretary’s job, because they’re too busy with their secretarial work, and isn’t the principal’s job, because that’s what they have secretaries for. It isn’t the teacher’s job to handle complaints about how a kid is being treated on the playground because they only deal with kids in the classroom, but it isn’t the administrators’ job because they only deal with things in the office, and it isn’t the playground aide’s job either because they’re just there to watch the little buggers, not to discipline them.

Nobody thinks they get paid enough to deal with anything outside the narrow scope of their dinky little jobs, and the system is so poorly set up that there are plenty of things that don’t fall within the narrow scope of anyone’s dinky little job. And making sure that things that really need attention get dealt with is DEFINITELY beyond the scope of ANYONE’s job, up to and including the district superintendent, who evidently only exists to give out shiny award plaques and file NCLB reports.
 
Written By: Wacky Hermit
URL: http://organicbabyfarm.blogspot.com
The teacher did not return several telephone calls from The Daily News of Longview this week, and could not be reached by The Associated Press at the school Thursday afternoon.
If the student can be believed, we probably don’t want to hear the teacher’s reaction anyway.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
I’m sure there are thousands of teachers who are wrongly accused, but in this case the story should be pretty easy to corroborate, or not, since the claim is this is language she uses routinely in class.

Of course that also means it could have been pretty easily investigated at the time of the complaints as well.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Who knows. There are teachers like that. I once had a college professor who routinely verbally abused the students. One day a student brought in a tape recorder and set it conspiciously on his desk. For the entire class the professor would glance over at that recorder like it was a snake. He was remarkably unoffensive that day. I have read of others doing the same. I hope this girl or her parents had the presence of mind to do the sasme.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I bet it was a union teacher. Union teachers get away with murder. You can’t fire them except for proven sexual abuse or statutory rape. The unions have got a stranglehold on schools.
 
Written By: Rumpledstilts
URL: http://
I’d be willing to bet that there was nobody at that school or district whose job it was to investigate claims of abuse like that.

I don’t know how they do it in Washington, but at the school where I work, something like that would be the responsibility of the teacher’s Stull* administrator, who would be either the principal or an assistant principal. I’ve seen the process firsthand several times, dealing with a wide variety of complaints. Judging from the information in the article (for what that may be worth, given the generally shoddy state of journalism these days), I’m inclined to take the teacher’s/school’s side. It says the student and her mother went to the administration, but mentions nobody else doing so. Two years of alleged outrageously offensive public behavior and not one single other person, student or parent, complained? It’s she-said/she-said, with the student’s word against the teacher’s and, given the apparent complete lack of corroborating witnesses, I’m not the least bit surprised no action was taken against Noakes. I am surprised the student chose to spend four semesters in an elective class when she was ostensibly so offended by the behavior of the class’ instructor.

*The Stull is a bi-annual (or annual, depending on the teacher’s status) teacher evaluation process named for the Stull Act that mandated it.
 
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://

 
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