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Back in January, Marquis Roy, an eighth-grader at Boles Junior High School in Arlington, Texas; was sitting at his desk with his head tilted back and his mouth open when a teacher helping out in his class walked by and poured pencil shavings into his mouth.  Incredibly, however, this teacher was allowed to return to school.  This is unacceptable.  Tell the Arlington Independent School District to fire both her and the school's principal.

I diaried about this on Thursday, but since then I haven't been able to stop thinking about how it is even remotely possible this teacher was allowed within an area code of that school or ANY school after this.  Marquis could have choked, or worse.  Any responsible principal would have fired that teacher on the spot and ordered her to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.  But the principal of that school, Jeff Provence, thought otherwise.  An argument can even be made that she should have been brought up on assault charges as well.  Nonetheless, Provence's failure to at the very least fire this teacher showed an unacceptable disregard for the safety of his students.

These two have to go.  Now.  Sign this petition to AISD superintendent Marcelo Cavazos and board of trustees president Peter Baron demanding that Provence and the teacher be fired.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (16+ / 0-)

    The NRA's response to calls for responsible gun law reform: noun, verb, Second Amendment

    by Christian Dem in NC on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:44:13 AM PST

  •  I signed it, but boy do I object to the ones (6+ / 0-)

    that require your address.  I always make one up.  Hope that's okay.

    Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

    by Smoh on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:06:23 AM PST

  •  He spit out the shavings, she apologized... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    doc2, Whatithink

    and was suspended for a time.  Lets move on.  Should not have happened, piss poor judgement...all that is a given.  But pencil shavings are not gong to permanently damage anyone's health, at least in that amount.  I just can't get all twisted up on this one.  

    The more you learn the less you know.

    by quiet in NC on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:07:20 AM PST

    •  He could have choked (14+ / 0-)

      And something like this borders on assault--all proves that she has no business being in a classroom.

      The NRA's response to calls for responsible gun law reform: noun, verb, Second Amendment

      by Christian Dem in NC on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:19:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'll give you that and go further... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        technically, it is assault.  But technically alot of things are assualt.  If we demand a person to be fired at every little mistake the none of us would be working--admit it, we all make mistakes.  The teacher stupidly took advantage of a sleeping kid to make a point.  Everyone lived.

        The more you learn the less you know.

        by quiet in NC on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:26:16 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  But I just punched my coworker in the face* and (8+ / 0-)

          I admit it was a mistake, so why should I be fired? technically, it is assault.  But technically alot of things are assualt.  If we demand a person to be fired at every little mistake the none of us would be working--admit it, we all make mistakes.

          *I did not actually punch anyone, but your argument works just as well for punching a coworker in the face.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 08:43:05 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  well, let's take it to the extreme here (6+ / 0-)

            I will do it because taking something to the absurd is one of my few talents:

            "I just shot my supervisor 17 times.  I admit it was a mistake, so why should I be fired? technically, it is assault.  But technically a lot of things are assault.  If we demand a person to be fired at every little mistake the none of us would be working--admit it, we all make mistakes."

            •  Excellent. n/t (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              The Marti, Nattiq, Avilyn

              You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

              by Throw The Bums Out on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:00:08 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  disagree this was not a little mistake (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              calling it a mistake or little is taking it to the extreme in the other way imo.

              this child was MOCKED by a teacher in front of other students. This is an "ok" to students that this student can be targetted and that it's funny. Especially if he is not fired.

              Now all the students will feel free to target him with "jokes" like dumping his books etc.

              Those of you who can't seem to understand how this would have felt to the kid (his year is likely ruined socially) must have had a relatively easy time in school socially or were not scarred by it. Some people are in fact scarred for life by school bullying.

              the teacher led the way. Teacher is suppose to protect this disabled (ie vulnerable) student. What a collosal betrayal.

              •  you do realize that what I posted was snark (0+ / 0-)

                and was cut and pasted from another poster's comments with edits by myself?

                •  I didn' t question that possibility (0+ / 0-)

                  until after I posted sorry. I wish there was a way we cold deleate comments (generally).

                  I read the whole thing twice it was hard to follow. I realized later the conversation went on hours ago. I'll do a better job at checking times so I dont jump into an old's too hard to follow sometimes.

                  •  no problem; at times my snark is a bit esoteric (0+ / 0-)

                    and given problems I have at times with comprehension it is hard to follow me at those times.  To follow it, you had to have followed the whole thread and realized it was all snark, with my piggybacking on a previous bit of snark.

                    My bad for not being clearer  

        •  I respectfully disagree... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          historys mysteries, gffish, jplanner

          the teacher made a choice not a mistake. If I turn on the wrong street, that is a mistake in judgement. Demeaning and hurting another individual shows cruelty...not a mistake. I wouldn't want that teacher around any of my children. I think the teacher should be fired!

        •  all or nothing argument "every little mistake" (0+ / 0-)

          this wasn't in the catagory of mistake...
          and it wasn't little.

      •  do you have kids in that school? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        litho, cardinal, quiet in NC, Whatithink

        Do you even live in that state? Why do you think that you need to get involved? This school district has lots of stakeholders - students, parents, teachers, administrators, lawyers. They collectively can and should figure this out. Not a bunch of people who read about the incident on a blog who feel that their opinions should trump all the others.

        •  Protecting children is something (10+ / 0-)

          that doesn't cross a state or district line.

          The NRA's response to calls for responsible gun law reform: noun, verb, Second Amendment

          by Christian Dem in NC on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:14:44 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  So the parents, teachers, admins, etc (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            that actually have real knowledge of this situation are all unequipped to deal with the situation properly, right? This blog is needed to swoop down and mete out justice, because we read about the story and know everything and we know that this teacher must be fired no matter what her superiors say. The suspension wasn't enough, we are all-knowing and we random bloggers insist that her career end right now. Right. Very progressive of you.

            How about we let justice be determined by those actually involved in the situation?

        •  You could say the same thing about Zimmerman, let (7+ / 0-)

          the family and their lawyers sort it out.

          You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

          by Throw The Bums Out on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:19:50 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No. One is a murder which is handled (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Whatithink, a2nite

            by the criminal justice system. And they're handling it. The other is a problem in a local school district. It is not our place to say what should be done to the teacher. I know nothing of this teacher's history, or of what happened that day exactly. I don't trust newspaper accounts enough to ruin somebody's life over it, do you?

            •  Except that the criminal justice system decided (0+ / 0-)

              there was nothing to handle until the meddling public got involved.  So just let the Trayvon's family handle it privately.

              You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

              by Throw The Bums Out on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:13:55 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  kid probably thinks his life is ruined (0+ / 0-)

              and I worry other kids will be left in same space with this teacher  unless her learned something from his mistake.

              Maybe he needs a suspension at least. His 'punishment" seems light and as if he doesn't get the emotional harm he caused.

              yet you are right about us not knowing the details for sure because newspaper accounts can get it wrong. That is the one problem for me.

        •  And you claim that you weren't (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ssgbryan, RUNDOWN

          defending the teacher on the diary on Thursday.

          •  No, and I'm not defending her now. (0+ / 0-)

            Her action was disgusting. But she is a public employee, and there is a chain of command. I do not think that any of us here is qualified to render a judgment on her. I'm taking a principled stand, not defending her actions. The whole idea of petitioning the school district to reverse their decision and fire not only the teacher but the principal as well is counter to everything I believe in.

        •  I don't think the diarist thinks his/her opinion (0+ / 0-)

          should trump others.
          My belief is diarist thinks other's opinions should be counted since it is an abuse of the child.

          I do see your point though. I wish I didn't call for rec'd it.

          See this child was mocked by a teacher...who is supposed to be helping/supporting him. He did it in front of the class so they all know that this disabled student is an ok target. Teacher did it probably for laughs from the class at disabled students expense. It is dispicable. He lacked impulse control. Unless he can show he learned something from this and really gets the emotional harm he has likely caused he should not work as a teacher IMO.

          I wonder why some of us say "what's the harm it was a mistake" and others are horrified. Maybe it has to do with our own experiences in school or those of our kids.

    •  In addition to us not having all (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the facts, this one is none of our business. If the parents of this teacher's students wish to discuss her punishment with the administrators, they should do so. They know the teacher, both her good qualities and bad. All we know is what the media is saying happened on one afternoon. Sometimes it's better to allow the process to procede in a fair way to all parties, especially when a person's career is involved. The mob mentality does not suit progressives well.

      •  Neither was Zimmerman, let the family convince (0+ / 0-)

        the police to investigate on their own if they can.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 05:14:31 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You are making my point for me. (0+ / 0-)

          In the Trayvon case the state looked like it might not investigate so public pressure made them do so. But in this case, the system did pay attention, and the teacher was punished. We as citizens get to demand that the government do it's job. But we don't get to dictate the outcome.

    •  you don't understand. You must not have been (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      quiet in NC

      bullied in school....or I'd think you would understand.

      A teacher crossed the line by basically getting physical with a student...mocking them in front of other students.

      THe physical harm is one thing. But the psychological harm was vast. He needs to make it right so that student isn't continually mocked for the duration of the year.

      Basically there is an imbalance of power between student and teacher. That's why when a teacher crosses the line it is MUCH worse than if another student did it. Your response is same as what I'd have if another student did it.

      But a teacher? Sure I get that seeing that open mouth was inticing to put something in it. But other people would have thought of how humiliating that would be and not wanted to LEAD the class in targetting this (disabled) student. He already has problems apparently It is the opposite of what he needed. Others if they thought of putting something in the gaping mouth would have have stopped themselves thinking he could inhale it.

      He is lucky the kid did not need surgery or at least a brochoscopy. Those shavings are pretty light weight as you know. To put something in a mouth of an unconcious (sleeping person) especially with head tilted back is perfect set up for them to inhale it. You can't leave wood and graphite in the lungs. It was in fact VERY LIKELY damage would have been done. Teacher (and student) were just lucky.

      I wonder about this teachers impulse control problems

    •  quiet in NC: bull. (0+ / 0-)

      this endangered the kid. Had he inhaled them he could've gotten pneumonia.

      LBJ, Lady Bird, Anne Richards, Barbara Jordan, Sully Sullenberger, Ike, Drew Brees, Molly Ivins --Texas is no Bush league! -7.50,-5.59

      by BlackSheep1 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 07:46:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  the teacher (8+ / 0-)

    "did not take advantage of a sleeping kid", she endangered a child in her charge.  whatever her reasons, she can not be excused.  that the child did not choke and/or come to any harm is her only saving grace.  why was she out around in the classroom with pencil shavings in her hand anyway?  sounds to me like she planned to hurt this child and brought the weapon with her.

  •  having taught myself I have to wonder if this is (5+ / 0-)

    a pattern of behavior?  I admit a teacher can snap with provocation and say something unfortunate or stupid or even get physical by snatching something out of a kid's hand.

    However, the shavings indicate premeditation.  Pencil sharpeners have reservoirs where shavings collect.  It is expected that these will be emptied from time to time and so are removable but only to a degree as I have struggled to empty a pencil trimmer more than once.  

    Therefore either she saw the kid sleeping and then removed the reservoir and then walked over and dumped the shavings.  If the reservoir had been a gun (please no RKBA arguments here) her act would have been premeditated.

    Or she anticipated the student would sleep as he does this habitually and she hid the reservoir and waited for him to go to sleep.  Again, premeditation.

    For this reason, I would like to have more context such as if the kid slept habitually and if she ambushed him or just acted with premeditation but on the spur of the moment.  Given context, there may be grounds to go farther and consider suspending or revoking her teaching credentials  

    •  I wasn't there and I don't know what happened (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      but I'm not convinced the incident had to be premeditated. It's possible, for example, that she had removed the shavings receptacle to carry it across the room to the wastebin, and happened across the poor kid along the way.

      We don't know if she emptied the entire receptacle, some of it, or even if pencil shavings happened to fall out as she was walking by. What we do know is that the principal investigated the incident and, in consultation with the union determined that a short suspension was the appropriate punishment.

      After the teacher served the suspension, the mother then appears to have decided that was not sufficient punishment. As a public school teacher myself, I do not want my employment conditional to the wishes of a single disgruntled parent. I want an open and transparent disciplinary process in which I have the right to defend myself and to appeal arbitrary and unfair decisions.

      When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

      by litho on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 09:25:24 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  As a teacher, when you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        historys mysteries

        make a mistake it is up to your principal and the school district and the parents to determine your fate. As it should be. Now, according to some, it should also be up to bloggers to determine if your punishment was enough. Doesn't sound like a reasonable way of meting out justice to me.

        •  Consequence of a Brave New World (0+ / 0-)

          whereby before the decision would have been local, even if it hit the local news, now it is different.  In the old days, the local public meant anyone in paper's distribution area; now it is anyone in the internet's distribution area which makes it universal

          •  Nah. We all get to hear about (0+ / 0-)

            everything going on all over the planet. But it is not up to people on this blog to determine the fate of the players. Some here have convinced themselves that we have that power. As crazy as that sounds, people believe it.

            •  and sometimes they actually do, it seems (0+ / 0-)

              but is it any more insane than Rush deciding some HS principal has offended his principles and siccing his dittos on the school district?  This is a new idea of community we are exploring, one the wingers have been trying to exploit for some time  

              •  Yeah, it actually is a lot like something (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                that Rush Limbaugh would do. And your point is what, that we should be emulating him and his followers?

                •  we should be aware of it and when we make (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  our choices, to determine which RW tactics we would be well advised to adopt and which ones to eschew.

                  At any rate, we probably will remain in some degree of disagreement but I understand and respect your POV (arguing keeps me a bit in intellectual shape also)  

      •  How do we know they consulted with a union? (0+ / 0-)

        Just asking. In Texas, I wouldn't say teacher's unions are nonexistent.  But Texas is a right to work state. Wonder what influence a union would have on personnel matters?

        •  In the original reporting (0+ / 0-)

          they quoted the local union president, who defended the suspension as the appropriate disciplinary response.  You can find a brief statement by the local president here and more extensive commentary here.

          When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

          by litho on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 02:45:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  BTW, looking over that second link (0+ / 0-)

          she was suspended  for two weeks and  received a formal reprimand.  That's an awful lot more than a slap on the wrist.

          The union denies categorically race was a motivating factor in her actions.

          When the union's inspiration /Through the workers' blood shall run /There can be no power greater /Anywhere beneath the sun /Solidarity Forever!

          by litho on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 02:48:12 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Signed/thx (3+ / 0-)

    This is a very ugly and potentially dangerous act.  And as someone noted above, apparently premeditated.


  •  Thank you for keeping this story in front of us (5+ / 0-)

    I cannot imagine any caring, professional educator doing this; it is assault.  The comments at the end of the local newspaper article are mostly racist; the student is black. Is the assault any less an assault because it was done to someone who is black, or poor, or badly-behaved?

    When we are licensed to teach, we promise, above all, to keep students safe.

  •  Rec'd. Please Rec'd to keep this diary up (0+ / 0-)

    The teacher saw the open mouth of a sleeping student. MANY people might have thought--what could I put in there? But they wouldn't have taken action! They'd have the impulse control not to. They'd remind self that

    -he could choke or inhale whatever was put in his mouth..(as diarist says).  Actually quite likely if he's sleeping/not expecting it and head is tilted back as it seems to have been. And to put wood and graphit shavings in? Bad stuff to inhale. Those shavings are light and easily enhaled.

    -the student would have been humiliated as everyone laughed at him. In the fierce social competition that is school that would go down as a very memorable thing that would follow the student around.

    -to have a teacher do it to a student is a Horrible example to other students

    -for a teacher to do it is abusive and very shaming and hurtful. Because the teacher is an authority figure is much more powerful. It is a betrayal of the role. The students self esteem I am sure suffered greatly for a student to have done this.

    I worry about the repercussions to the student if the teacher is fired ONLY because the initial action was not to fire.

    Has the teacher been forced to apologise directly to the student? and then has the teacher been forced to stand in front of the class that he did it in and explain exactly why he was wrong (as above...lack of impulse control etc).? Has anyone explained it? Has he apoligised in front of the class to the student and the class? wonder if this would make it worse.

    This teacher may have ruined this kids life for at least the duration of this school year and needs to be made to understand the consequences of his problem.

  •  student suffers more that a teacher did it I mean (0+ / 0-)

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