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Yes, teachers get harassed and bullied by students. Here are videos to prove it.


In the wake of the South Carolina viral video last week of a sheriff's deputy throwing a student across the floor, several readers have chided me for not posting videos showing the other side -- teachers and principals being menaced by students.

There are several circulating this week, including a California principal being body slammed by a student.

So, I decided to post two videos making the rounds, both of which involve substitute teachers being harangued by students. But let me address several points:

  1. We expect students to make mistakes and do stupid things. It is part of growing up. Such behaviors need to be addressed and punished. Police officers and educators are professionals. We should expect better of them.

2. These videos are going to lead to the usual comments about inner city schools and "thug students." But any teacher in any school will tell you disrespect from students is pervasive. We live in uncivil times. Look at this obscenity-filled video of a University of Connecticut student who went ballistic in a campus food court when told there was no more macaroni and cheese with bacon and jalapeno peppers.

The first video is from a Baltimore school where a sub is being harassed by a female student. That video led to a student suspension as the news clip will tell you.

(Having subbed for a week in an all-girls high school, I can testify that girls can dish out some serious abuse to subs.)

The second video is from the Chicago Vocational Career Academy and also involves a sub. Several folks shared the video link with me.

However, the appalling video dates back to 2011, and I am unsure why it found new life now. The students involved are long gone.

Douglas L. Maclin, the principal of the Chicago Vocational Career Academy, has had to address the 4-year-old video, saying:

"We have recently become aware of a very unfortunate video that is being circulated on social media. While that is indeed CVCA, this video predates the current administration. Under our administration, disciplinary actions have been reduced from 1,149 a year to 146 a year. This video does not in any way reflect the current climate; this is not the CVCA way. "

The Chicago video shows more than just kids acting crazy. It also shows a strangely passive substitute teacher as one commenter noted:

If an administrator would have come into that classroom, the teacher would have been reprimanded for not doing her job. Those children were playing. They were not serious. No one was going to harm her. They were playing because she was not doing her job. The main job of a substitute is to maintain classroom discipline. Did you see her even attempt to do that? Did you see her call someone in, to even step into the hallway and call for help? She should have not been in that classroom. Any teacher worth anything would have done something to control the classroom or, if it was beyond her control, she should have picked up the phone and called someone in. She was more at fault than the students, and this type of story only perpetuates the idea that the police officer who threw the girl at another school was justified.

With that background, here are the two videos. (Warning: Rough language in the second video.) First Baltimore and then Chicago:


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About the Author

Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.