FacebookTwitter
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » i am a science teacher. today we are branding a cross on your arms (Page 2)

  This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3   
Author Topic: i am a science teacher. today we are branding a cross on your arms
Elizabeth
Member
Member # 5218

 - posted      Profile for Elizabeth   Email Elizabeth         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Belle, I apologize if i sounded snippy, I did not mean to, but I am reading it that way! I know there are differences between schools and districts and states. It is certainly a power that can be easily abused, but I guess I have hope that people do the right thing, and often, around me, they do. Principals want to make sure they are not hiring a problem. It is their last chance with veto power.
Posts: 10890 | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Glenn Arnold
Member
Member # 3192

 - posted      Profile for Glenn Arnold   Email Glenn Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ok, I got out my tesla coil, turned it all the way down, and held the tip near my palm as I turned up the power. When the first spark jumped my hand pulled away involuntarily. On the second try I was able to hold my hand there, and at the lowest power that would create a spark, I got a sharp prickling feeling, accompanied by a jumping feeling in the muscles of my arm. It did not leave any mark on my skin. I also didn't do it to my forearm, because I knew that that would be more sensitive.

Also, the article said it was a hi frequency generator. A Tesla coil is high voltage, not a hi-freq generator. Mine operates at line frequency of 60Hz. Welding power supplies have a high frequency setting, which allows a welder to start an arc at very low voltages. A welder uses low voltage, and high current. It's the current that heats up the metal, not the voltage, or the frequency. In the case of this teacher, he must have been using enough current to cause the damage seen in the picture. That's clearly more than I was using from my tesla coil.

Posts: 3735 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Launchywiggin
Member
Member # 9116

 - posted      Profile for Launchywiggin   Email Launchywiggin         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I always pulled my hand away from the Van De Graff so I could feel like Emperor Palpatine with my blue lightning power. The shock isn't bad at all (probably 3/10 on my pain scale). Some people's threshold for pain is lower.

My take--seems like a cool science experiment. I bet the kids got a kick out of it, and that the one kid who didn't has a beef with the teacher that has nothing to do with the incident. The wording that the news story chose is clearly set up to sensationalize the story, and I think he's getting fired because they don't want the bad PR. My distrust of the media wins over on this story.

Posts: 1314 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Elizabeth
Member
Member # 5218

 - posted      Profile for Elizabeth   Email Elizabeth         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have known many middle school teachers who were beloved of their students because they, the teachers, broke the rules, and that was cool. Being well liked does not necessarily equate to being a good teacher.
Posts: 10890 | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Occasional:
I wasn't talking about the branding. That IS very stupid. I am talking about the underlying assumption both in the article and in the first few posts that he is a VERY bad teacher; especially of science.

Lets put it this way, I have seen far more times a teacher was fired or not rehired because of political or personal reasons than because they are a bad teacher. Sometimes it because the faculty doesn't like them and sometimes its because the influencial members of the community don't like them. I suppose that happens in any work environement, but it is especially the case in education. It takes a very serious stupid move like this stunt to remove some teachers where others are dropped almost without reason.

You still aren't making any sense.

You took THIS EVENT and used it to make your declaration that teaching is about politics.

You have not defended that. Now you're doing something else entirely. You're making claims based on anecdote.

Do you even have any understanding how hard it is to get rid of even openly incompetent teachers who have tenure? If we're getting into Anecdote Warz, I'm going to win, because my anecdotes are all larger and more detailed and I have more of them.

And the underlying assumption that he is a bad science teacher has to do with him teaching creationism in a science class, and has even more to do with him evidently discounting evolutionary theory and pimping out creationism and Christianity, because evolutionary theory doesn't match up with his religious beliefs.

Big question: if you are a public school teacher and you do this, should you be fired?

Posts: 15417 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jim-Me
Member
Member # 6426

 - posted      Profile for Jim-Me   Email Jim-Me         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Arnold:
Also, the article said it was a hi frequency generator. A Tesla coil is high voltage, not a hi-freq generator. Mine operates at line frequency of 60Hz.

I distinctly recall the tour guide describing the Tesla Coil I was shocked by as operating at a very high frequency and explaining that as the reason the shock was not lethal, so that may have had to do with my experiential difference from yours.
Posts: 3846 | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Glenn Arnold
Member
Member # 3192

 - posted      Profile for Glenn Arnold   Email Glenn Arnold         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The high frequency would allow a tesla coil to throw a spark at lower voltage, which would reduce the "shock" feeling from each spark. That makes sense.

But as I said, neither frequency nor voltage would cause tissue damage. It's the current that would do that. Without any personal experience (and this is an experiment that I'm not willing to try) ramping up the current enough to damage my skin would probably create a sensation which feels much more like heat, as opposed to the sensation of a high voltage spark.

Posts: 3735 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
cassv746
Member
Member # 11173

 - posted      Profile for cassv746   Email cassv746         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Launchywiggin:

My take--seems like a cool science experiment. I bet the kids got a kick out of it, and that the one kid who didn't has a beef with the teacher that has nothing to do with the incident. The wording that the news story chose is clearly set up to sensationalize the story, and I think he's getting fired because they don't want the bad PR. My distrust of the media wins over on this story.

That's my take on it also. I remember driving through Mt Vernon a couple weeks after news had broken in Ohio. In front of a small business there was a sign that read, "IF THE BIBLE GOES THE SCHOOL LEVY WILL FAIL."

Just adding more pieces to the story.

Posts: 106 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pH
Member
Member # 1350

 - posted      Profile for pH           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Elmer's Glue:
quote:
Originally posted by Glenn Arnold:
Lyrhawn, the example she gave was punching someone in the nose, from which one can heal. But it's still an injury, not writing with a sharpie.

The picture shows an injury.

And for what it's worth, I can't believe those here who claim they can't see the cross shape, which is clearly visible in the photograph.

See, I doubt the generator hurts. Punching someone in the nose hurts. Sharpie doesn't. The picture shows a mark, not an injury.
I used to give electricity demonstrations at a science museum in high school. At one point, I ended up with splotches up and down my arm, similar to the ones in the photos.

It hurt. It felt like being poked with a bunch of pins.

-pH

Posts: 9057 | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Threads
Member
Member # 10863

 - posted      Profile for Threads   Email Threads         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think with a little imagination we could use this incident to generate a very compelling horror movie plot.
Posts: 1327 | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ClaudiaTherese
Member
Member # 923

 - posted      Profile for ClaudiaTherese           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Stephen King. *nods
Posts: 14017 | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
T:man
Member
Member # 11614

 - posted      Profile for T:man   Email T:man         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
When does branding not hurt? Teaching creationism in science class is stupid, maybe they could get away with that in the vatican but here he should have been fired immediately!
Posts: 1574 | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
T:man
Member
Member # 11614

 - posted      Profile for T:man   Email T:man         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Noooooooooooooooooooooo lost the longest post I've ever written. Synopsis: No religion in school bad!
Posts: 1574 | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
adfectio
Member
Member # 11070

 - posted      Profile for adfectio   Email adfectio         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It makes me laugh that you are assuming he was teaching Creationism. Which is not the experience I had. Nor was it that of the fellow teachers and the students I talked to.

A majority of the faculty and student body was with Freshwater. They had a rally on the square in MV, which the news attended. I heard more than one story of people being turned down for interviews because the news was looking for someone who did not support him.


For those of you who don't know I grew up 20 minutes from Mount Vernon, where this happened. I now go to the University in Mount Vernon. It is a Christian University. Mount Vernon is a VERY conservative place.

Posts: 349 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Xann.
Member
Member # 11482

 - posted      Profile for Xann.   Email Xann.         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't personally see anything wrong with this as long as the children volenteered. It also doesn't look much like a cross to me, but either way i dont think he chose the shape. Finally is is not permanant and doesn't hurt, it can't even be seen that well. My teacher turned my left ahand purple and it lasted that way for a week last year, and that was infinitly more noticable.
Posts: 549 | Registered: Feb 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Javert
Member
Member # 3076

 - posted      Profile for Javert   Email Javert         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by adfectio:
For those of you who don't know I grew up 20 minutes from Mount Vernon, where this happened. I now go to the University in Mount Vernon. It is a Christian University. Mount Vernon is a VERY conservative place.

So branding a cross on a student's arm is now a conservative value?
Posts: 3852 | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
adfectio
Member
Member # 11070

 - posted      Profile for adfectio   Email adfectio         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Did I say that? Please don't put words in my mouth.


My point was that it's not how the news is portraying it. In fact, it is very much the opposite. Not Everyone wanted him out of there. In fact, most people wanted him to stay. It was only the people in charge who decided that they would rather get rid of one teacher than face a lawsuit who wanted him out.

Posts: 349 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:

For those of you who don't know I grew up 20 minutes from Mount Vernon, where this happened. I now go to the University in Mount Vernon. It is a Christian University. Mount Vernon is a VERY conservative place.

Unless you're assuming that a place being VERY conservative means that public schoolteachers there should be allowed to breach conduct rules regarding the separation of church and state, that don't really mean much.

quote:
My point was that it's not how the news is portraying it. Not Everyone wanted him out of there.
So you're saying that the news was portraying the situation as being "everyone wanted him out of there."

That and/or you are faulting the 'people in charge' for following the rules as opposed to defaulting to popular consensus on a teacher. That's crazy logic right there. A teacher here could toke up his kids under the creek bridge and be REAL popular with the students. Don't mean he shouldn't get his butt canned, yeah?

Posts: 15417 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ketchupqueen
Member
Member # 6877

 - posted      Profile for ketchupqueen   Email ketchupqueen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I am much more disturbed by the teacher burning students (whether it hurt or not at the time) than by what he burned on them (since it's true that it could be a cross but could just be a pair of intersecting lines; the proportions are a bit different than the typical "cross" I think of as a Christian cross.)
Posts: 21181 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I am much more disturbed by the teacher burning students
The question I've been asking is if burning, or branding or whatever is even an appropriate word.

We don't know what happened exactly. A sun tan is tissue damage, a scratch is tissue damage, a mosquito bite is tissue damage, if tissue damage is the issue, I don't see how just having it is a problem. It's the severity that matters. Or in general, it's the details that matter.

I don't think we know enough about what was done to pass any sort of judgement, and I think the articles linked to the story have been sensationalist.

Posts: 21897 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ketchupqueen
Member
Member # 6877

 - posted      Profile for ketchupqueen   Email ketchupqueen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
A sun tan is tissue damage, a scratch is tissue damage, a mosquito bite is tissue damage
Those are rather extreme examples but, I would have a problem with a teacher scratching a student on purpose, or placing a mosquito on the student's skin and allowing it to bite him. I would also have a problem with a teacher deliberately exposing a student to excessive sunlight or taking him into an area infested with mosquitoes where he would not normally be without providing parents and students with information on what would be happening and possible risks beforehand so they could prepare as much as possible (as in, wear sunblock or insect repellent) and make an informed choice whether or not to participate.
Posts: 21181 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
adfectio
Member
Member # 11070

 - posted      Profile for adfectio   Email adfectio         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'll admit that maybe my last few lines before were probably unnecessary, but I wanted everyone to realize that the news columns are wrong about this.

quote:
So you're saying that the news was portraying the situation as being "everyone wanted him out of there.
Yes, that is exactly what I'm saying.


But, Samprimary, You're escalating. If he had asked a student to volunteer to have iodine put on their skin to show that it stains the skin, would you be just as upset? The iodine causes no permanent damage and does no harm. And yeah, you can technically say that he "used a potent chemical to disfigure the student's body."

Should the teacher be fired for that? That also seems just as crazy. There is a time to follow the rules strictly, and a time to allow flexibility. It seems to me, that those of you who are suggesting that 1) He was preaching in the classroom and 2) He did real harm or damage to the student are not looking at all sides of the argument.

Posts: 349 | Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ketchupqueen
Member
Member # 6877

 - posted      Profile for ketchupqueen   Email ketchupqueen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've been doing some reading online about high-freq generators. The type that are designed for use on people's skin, at least (used in alternative medicine), do not appear to be designed to cause burns or marking on the skin of any sort, and warnings are attached that if they operate at too high a power level, they can cause burns, sometimes severe. I am leaning more and more toward this being a harmful practice, even if not extremely harmful, at least somewhat harmful.

And you know what? I'd have a problem with a teacher marking on a student's skin with a pen without parental consent. Even if it doesn't hurt, it's just not okay to do stuff like that. If someone did it to my daughter, even with her consent but without mine, I would not be okay with it.

Posts: 21181 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Yes, that is exactly what I'm saying.
Well then you are obviously wrong!

quote:
Freshwater's friend Dave Daubenmire defended him.

"With the exception of the cross-burning episode. ... I believe John Freshwater is teaching the values of the parents in the Mount Vernon school district," he told The Columbus Dispatch for a story published Friday.

Several students interviewed by investigators described Freshwater, who has been employed by the school district located 40 miles northeast of Columbus for 21 years, as a great guy and their favorite teacher.

These quotes completely deny the sentiment. Obviously, not everyone wanted him out of there. Nor did the news report state as such. Your statement is wrong.

quote:
If he had asked a student to volunteer to have iodine put on their skin to show that it stains the skin, would you be just as upset? The iodine causes no permanent damage and does no harm. And yeah, you can technically say that he "used a potent chemical to disfigure the student's body."

Should the teacher be fired for that?

The situation is not analogous unless he used the iodine to dye his religious symbol on the kid's skin. I'm not one of the people claiming that the real issue is that he mutilated the kid or something. The real issue is that he branded the christian cross on a student in a public school in his science class where he taught creationism and displayed the ten commandments. in a public school. and he was allowed to get away with this unacceptable breaching of the rules pretty much until he did something so stupid that it resulted in an independent investigation that found him guilty of all of it and resulted in a unanimous expulsion of him by even a demographically sympathetic school board.

quote:
those of you who are suggesting that 1) He was preaching in the classroom and 2) He did real harm or damage to the student are not looking at all sides of the argument.
quote:
A public school teacher preached his Christian beliefs despite complaints by other teachers and administrators and used a device to burn the image of a cross on students' arms, according to a report by independent investigators.

Mount Vernon Middle School teacher John Freshwater also taught creationism in his science class and was insubordinate in failing to remove a Bible and other religious materials from his classroom, the report said.

quote:
In its report, released Thursday, the company found Freshwater "did improperly use an electrostatic device on the student who filed the report" and had violated Ohio State standards by "teaching creationism and intelligent design."
Students charged him with preaching in the classroom. An independent investigation was called for because of reports of his improper behavior. independent investigation confirms everything. The people who say 'he was preaching in the classroom' are looking at the evidence we have. School board agrees with corroboration provided by independent inquiry. Report states, verbatim, "The manufacturer of Model BD-10A warns that the electric device has a high voltage output that should never be used to touch human skin.
Mr Freshwater applied the electric device to the arm of at least one other eighth grade student on December 6, 2007.
The area burned with Model BD-10A resulted in an easily identifiable cross consisting of red welts with blistering, swelling and blanching in the surrounding area.
On December 7, 2007, John and Jane Doe notified Defendant Superintendent Short regarding Mr. Freshwater's inappropriate activity in his eighth grade science class.
...
Mr. Freshwater knew that the electric device, model BD-10A, could cause harm if placed in contact with human skin.
As the eighth grade science teacher, it is Mr. Frewhwater's duty to understand and follow the manufacturer's advice regarding proper use of science instruments. "

Posts: 15417 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ketchupqueen:
quote:
A sun tan is tissue damage, a scratch is tissue damage, a mosquito bite is tissue damage
Those are rather extreme examples but, I would have a problem with a teacher scratching a student on purpose, or placing a mosquito on the student's skin and allowing it to bite him. I would also have a problem with a teacher deliberately exposing a student to excessive sunlight or taking him into an area infested with mosquitoes where he would not normally be without providing parents and students with information on what would be happening and possible risks beforehand so they could prepare as much as possible (as in, wear sunblock or insect repellent) and make an informed choice whether or not to participate.
Any field trip outside on a sunny day could result in a sun tan or sun burn. Any school event that takes place at night, around here anyway, well, not in Fall or Winter, is likely to result in a mosquito bite. And students might get scratched, bit, burnt, etc to some degree in many varieties of school functions that wouldn't cause any sort of uproar at all. Besides, you live in SoCal, when isn't there excessive sunlight when you're outdoors? [Wink]

I don't think they are extreme examples at all, because we don't know precisely what happened here. There's no basis for comparison when you don't really know what's being compared.

What if your daughter went to a school dance and they inked her hand when she walked in the door? That's what they used to do to kids at my school for dances in Jr. High. What if they wrote an X on her hand if she went to a high school foot ball game to show that she paid admission? If you have a problem with that, I guess there's nothing I have to say against it personally as it's your right to be as protective as you want to be with your kids, and generally I say the more proactive the parent the better.

But kids aren't made of glass, and I think expecting everyone in the world to treat them that way is unrealistic.

Posts: 21897 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ketchupqueen
Member
Member # 6877

 - posted      Profile for ketchupqueen   Email ketchupqueen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In all the cases you mentioned, I would know ahead of time what was likely to happen and have a chance to consent to it (and probably would.)

That's the difference. That, and the post above where it says the device carries a warning that it is not to come in contact with human skin.

Posts: 21181 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So you'd be upset if a teacher took his class outside for whatever reason on a hot sunny day?

I'm not attempting to be prosecutorial, I'm just curious as to where the line is.

Regardless, if what Samp says above is true, and I have no reason to believe it isn't, then it looks like yeah, he acted quite inappropriately.

Posts: 21897 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ketchupqueen
Member
Member # 6877

 - posted      Profile for ketchupqueen   Email ketchupqueen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It would depend on the circumstances. If it was unforseen or spur of the moment, I wouldn't mind as much, though I would be peeved if she got a sunburn (likely if, say, Bridey, my palest, went outside for more than 5-10 minutes without re-applying sunscreen more than a few hours after she had applied it) and probably give the teacher a talking-to about how I needed to know when my daughter would be going outside so I could make sure she had sunscreen with her and remind her to put it on beforehand (as well as give my daughter a talking-to about always having sunscreen with her, putting it on before going outside, and wearing a hat outdoors.)

But if the teacher KNEW that they would be going outside for an extended amount of time, gave no advance warning to allow us a chance to prepare for that eventuality, then I would be more upset.

Not to mention the schools I attended had strict rules about being outside of the classroom during class time in a class not already designated for that (like gym); they had to plan for that in advance, they couldn't just walk around campus. But this is beside the point; the two are not analagous. I have an especial thing about sunburns because my grandmother has had skin cancer for the past 30 years, they keep removing cancerous lesions from her skin and for all we know the next one could metastacize before they catch it. I don't expect all adults in my kids' lives to know how frightened I am of them getting sunburnt too many times like she did growing up.

This teacher, though, KNEW he would be using an instrument that specifically warns not to use it on skin on the students, and he knew it could cause harm, and he did not have the parents give permission or warn the parents or the students that it could cause harm. I think any reasonable adult would know that when using an instrument that says it can cause harm to human skin, you should not then test that statement by using it on the skin of a minor child.

Posts: 21181 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Lyrhawn
Member
Member # 7039

 - posted      Profile for Lyrhawn   Email Lyrhawn         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
This teacher, though, KNEW he would be using an instrument that specifically warns not to use it on skin on the students
Yeah I'm with you on that now. I don't think this was nearly as clear when I was probing for further information earlier in the thread, but now I agree that the situations are not analagous.
Posts: 21897 | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ketchupqueen
Member
Member # 6877

 - posted      Profile for ketchupqueen   Email ketchupqueen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't know, from the moment I saw the pictures and googled what he used, I knew it had the potential to be harmful. Even if he didn't read the directions (and being a science teacher, he should have), after the first time he saw what it did he should not have repeated it, and he should have tested it on himself if he was gonna do it on anyone.
Posts: 21181 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scott R
Member
Member # 567

 - posted      Profile for Scott R   Email Scott R         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Samprimary:

How did they determine that the teacher was teaching creationism and intelligent design?

Did they ask students? How did they interview students? What questions were asked? Did they observe the classroom? Review his testing material?

quote:
he should have tested it on himself if he was gonna do it on anyone.
Yep. My kids have varying tolerances of pain-- the youngest refuses to get in a bath of anything but what I would consider chilly water. You can't determine other people's pain threshold; only your own.

On the surface, it appears like the guy should be fired. Creationism and intelligent design (as the terms are generally understood by the general public) should not be taught in school. The branding thing is CREEPY.

Posts: 14554 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Launchywiggin
Member
Member # 9116

 - posted      Profile for Launchywiggin   Email Launchywiggin         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I wish I'd been around when kids were playing with mercury and liquid nitrogen.

Seriously, though--what made science class so much more interesting to me was that we were dealing with dangerous things--and we were responsible for our own safety. We burned balls of magnesium, and we were warned that if we looked at the flash, we'd almost certainly get permanent retinal damage. We dealt with high-concentration acids and bases, poisonous substances, super-sharp scalpels, and blue-hot bunsen burners. I could hear a similar "terrified parent" story for each case... "Students were given dangerous poison acids/razor-sharp scalpels/white-hot torches...very bad judgement on Mr Jones' part, and it cost him his job."

The teacher may have crossed a line, but I'm willing to bet that he'd been doing that same experiment for 21 years before now, and he hadn't been crossing a line back then. The LINE moved, and I'm not so quick to call him on bad judgement when he'd been doing (an essentially harmless experiment) for so long.

Posts: 1314 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tresopax
Member
Member # 1063

 - posted      Profile for Tresopax           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Now to address them from a personal experience.
1) He never preached in the classroom. He had posters, as many teachers do, hanging on his walls. Some of them included quotes from the Bible. He also had a Bible sitting on his desk for his own personal use. He offered to remove the posters, but the Bible was for his personal use, and would not remove it.

2) The branding, from my understanding, happened to more than one student. They volunteered and even asked if he would. The high voltage generator (my understanding is it was a Tesla Coil) does not produce any serious pain. No more than a Van de Graff generator. Just minor discomfort. The claim that the kid was unable to sleep because of pain is flat out not true.

If nothing permanent was done, if there was no pain, and if the kids were the ones that requested it, then there is no foul play in the specific cross incident. I had a chemistry teacher in high school who used to blow stuff up, shock students, and who I could imagine doing something like this. It would have been easy to write an article describing her actions in ways that would make it sound to people who had never stepped foot in her classroom that she wasn't fit to be a teacher. But the truth was, she was a fantastic teacher, precisely because she acted like that.

It sounds like this may be a situation where some parents have decided to inject their own personal political issues into a situation, and have ended up harming the students - by eliminating a well-liked teacher. Would there have been the same fuss if the shape he had "branded" into them was not affiliated with religion?

Posts: 8120 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ClaudiaTherese
Member
Member # 923

 - posted      Profile for ClaudiaTherese           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Launchywiggin:
I could hear a similar "terrified parent" story for each case... "Students were given dangerous poison acids/razor-sharp scalpels/white-hot torches...

Add onto that "with the intent to injure themselves" and you've got a winner. [Smile]

The issue isn't so much that he used the equipment, but that he misused it, according to item instruction warnings.

"How could he? Mr. Johnson drove the kids in a bus!"
.............. " ... at hazardous speeds on a slick road, sliding into a tree."

Even without permanent injury, that's not okay for a teacher to do, and never has been. Intent matters. Context matters. The same action can be done both safely and unsafely.

(I'm not even touching the other parts of the report. [Smile] )

Posts: 14017 | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Javert
Member
Member # 3076

 - posted      Profile for Javert   Email Javert         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Am I the only one who is curious as to why a science teacher needs a bible to sit on his desk for personal use?
Posts: 3852 | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I hope there's full discovery and a trial on the branding issue. I'd like to see a better statement of facts than what's available so far.

I read the complaint initiating the federal suit, and very little of it is aimed at the branding. Most of it is about the alleged establishment clause violations. There are two causes of actions: violation of the establishment clause and retaliation against the student involving a field trip and purposely putting the student in Freshwater's chaperon group after the parents complained about the in-class proselytizing.

If the brand were not in the shape of the cross, it would be absolutely irrelevant to the claims raised in the complaint.

The other thing the brand does is make monetary damages come into play, rather than just injunctive relief and attorney's fees.

Even without the branding, the facts as alleged make a prima facie case for an establishment clause violation.

Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tresopax
Member
Member # 1063

 - posted      Profile for Tresopax           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Even without permanent injury, that's not okay for a teacher to do, and never has been. Intent matters. Context matters. The same action can be done both safely and unsafely.
But that raises the following questions:
(1) Was it misuse? Did it or could it have reasonably caused any real harm?
(2) Does it warrant firing him? Should we label all teachers who go beyond the instruction warnings as "very bad teachers" and fire them?

Posts: 8120 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Puffy Treat
Member
Member # 7210

 - posted      Profile for Puffy Treat           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Javert:
Am I the only one who is curious as to why a science teacher needs a bible to sit on his desk for personal use?

When I was in school, many of my teachers had at least one or two non-teaching-related books they kept on hand to read during their break time, or when otherwise free.

Depending on the teacher, these could range from fiction books, to religious, to do-it-yourself stuff...a wide range of content. As long as they didn't read their recreational books when they were supposed to be teaching, the school didn't seem to care.

Posts: 6689 | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Javert
Member
Member # 3076

 - posted      Profile for Javert   Email Javert         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Puffy Treat:
quote:
Originally posted by Javert:
Am I the only one who is curious as to why a science teacher needs a bible to sit on his desk for personal use?

When I was in school, many of my teachers had at least one or two non-teaching-related books they kept on hand to read during their break time, or when otherwise free.

Depending on the teacher, these could range from fiction books, to religious, to do-it-yourself stuff...a wide range of content. As long as they didn't read their recreational books when they were supposed to be teaching, the school didn't seem to care.

I have no objection to him having it and reading it.

But keeping it out on his desk and flat-out stating he would refuse to remove it. That strikes me as strange.

Posts: 3852 | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Puffy Treat
Member
Member # 7210

 - posted      Profile for Puffy Treat           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The ones I knew kept their books on their desk because (if you'd ever seen their drawers) there was no other place to put them. [Smile] Maybe his was also over-stuffed?

I don't find refusing strange...confrontational, definitely, but not strange. Many people don't take demands that their personal property be removed from their work space well. It's just the way some people are.

Posts: 6689 | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
T:man
Member
Member # 11614

 - posted      Profile for T:man   Email T:man         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Not to mention teaching creationism in science class. [No No]
Posts: 1574 | Registered: May 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
But keeping it out on his desk and flat-out stating he would refuse to remove it. That strikes me as strange.
It depends. If teachers are allowed to have non-school related, personal-use only books out on the desk, then I would resist being told to hide it.

However, assuming all the other allegations are adequately supported by evidence, and assuming the school was keeping him instead of firing him, I would support a prophylactic order barring HIM from keeping the Bible out based on his difficulty in understanding the rules.

Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Samprimary
Member
Member # 8561

 - posted      Profile for Samprimary   Email Samprimary         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Did they ask students? How did they interview students? What questions were asked? Did they observe the classroom? Review his testing material?
While I'd much like to see the full reveal on the methodology used by the independent investigators, I don't think it's out yet. Or at least it's not out where I can find it. All we know at this point is that the independent investigators were brought on by the school district to investigate claims that the school district already suspected, or knew and needed independent verification to have any action taken on the matter of an insubordinate teacher. Based on the news reports it is possible that the school district slacked on this guy's obvious clause and rule violations until the public suit brought about by the parents of one of the multiple (at least two) children that the investigators determined had christian crosses marked on their arms by Freshwater. At any rate, the results of the independent investigation when combined with the school district's own internal review resulted in a unanimous decision of the school board to terminate Freshwater's employment. In the course of both the independent and the internal investigation, students were interviewed and statements were taken to help verify claims made by the family now charging Freshwater with inappropriate action as a teacher, violation of the constitution and of school policy, and furthermore charges the school with being negligent and not stopping Freshwater's repeated and egregious violations of Constitutional religious neutrality requirements.
Posts: 15417 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ClaudiaTherese
Member
Member # 923

 - posted      Profile for ClaudiaTherese           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Tresopax:
quote:
Even without permanent injury, that's not okay for a teacher to do, and never has been. Intent matters. Context matters. The same action can be done both safely and unsafely.
But that raises the following questions:
(1) Was it misuse? Did it or could it have reasonably caused any real harm?
(2) Does it warrant firing him? Should we label all teachers who go beyond the instruction warnings as "very bad teachers" and fire them?

My comment was directed at Launchywiggan's implicit and explict claims, not further. That is a separate discussion.

Given that you and I haven't seemed to be able to go anywhere productive in our interactions, that further discussion isn't one I want to enter into with you. I trust you understand.

Maybe someone else would be, though.

Posts: 14017 | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tresopax
Member
Member # 1063

 - posted      Profile for Tresopax           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
My comment was directed at Launchywiggan's implicit and explict claims, not further. That is a separate discussion.
Well, yes, but I was trying to direct your comment back to the topic at hand - if it is true that intent and context matters, what does that tell us about this particular case? In this particular case, is there misuse going on, and if so what consequences should it warrant?

quote:
Given that you and I haven't seemed to be able to go anywhere productive in our interactions, that further discussion isn't one I want to enter into with you. I trust you understand.
Um, actually, I don't! We haven't interacted in this thread yet and discussions in other threads have definitely in some cases been productive. Why are you singling me out to refuse a response? And why make a post explicitly to say you won't respond to me? All that does it make me wonder what is prompting you to hold a grudge against me in particular.... so what's the deal?
Posts: 8120 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ketchupqueen
Member
Member # 6877

 - posted      Profile for ketchupqueen   Email ketchupqueen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Tresopax, I've found reports of second-degree burns from similar instruments. The manufacturer says not to use it on humans. I think it most definitely is misuse, and resonably can cause real harm.

This is not a case of just "going beyond instruction warnings", though I don't think a blanket policy of saying "teachers are not to use science equipment for purposes not approved by the manufacturer without prior approval of the school or district" would be a bad thing. And yes, he should be fired for purposefully burning students and putting them at possible risk of more severe burns.

Posts: 21181 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In these kinds of discussions, I think it's almost irrelevant how well-confirmed the facts have been. Certainly, that's extremely relevant to the question of whether the teacher should be fired, disciplined, or exonerated. But, unless one lives in the school district, that's not the most important part of the discussion given that we have no accusations of an unfair investigation and no real detail into how the investigation was conducted.

The important question is "what should be done to or about this teacher, assuming the facts as alleged are true?"

We quite simply lack any actual facts to help us judge whether this teacher should be fired, because we don't know the strength of the evidence supporting the allegations. What we do know is that the school board thinks the evidence is sufficient to support those allegations.

I do think it's important that someone keep an eye on political entities and make sure that their conclusions are supported. But baseless speculation about deficiencies in the board's methodology aren't actually a way to do that. This teacher will have counsel in the lawsuit. Most teachers' unions provide representation concerning adverse employment actions. Each of these will help ensure that the investigation was thorough and reached the correct conclusion.

Absent specific allegations of wrongdoing on the part of the board, what's the point in raising questions about the investigation? Even if all those questions were answered, it would be easy to come up with new questions that, if answered in a particular way, would undercut the investigation.

Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tresopax
Member
Member # 1063

 - posted      Profile for Tresopax           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ketchupqueen,

I agree with the first part - it does seem to be misuse, if the manufacturer says it can harm humans. The second part (whether or not it warrants firing) is where I'd take issue. I don't think that lapse in judgement, by itself, demonstrates he is a bad teacher or that he needs to be fired. But if he repeats doing things like this, or refuses to stop when told to, as the article seemed to suggest, then I'd agree that firing is a step that could ultimately be necessary even if he is well-liked. As Dag said, we can't know the facts for sure, but in my mind the dividing line is whether or not this is a pattern that other discipline doesn't seem to rectify.

Posts: 8120 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ketchupqueen
Member
Member # 6877

 - posted      Profile for ketchupqueen   Email ketchupqueen         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
See, I think of it this way: a teacher at a public school is put in a position of trust and authority over other people's children. It is not unreasonable to expect better than average judgement and forethought in regards to protecting their physical safety than one would expect in the general public. In a case where he clearly did something with the potential to cause fairly extreme harm, and should have had reasonable knowledge and understanding that such harm could occur, I think a teacher should not be given a warning but should be fired. In a case where he had done it multiple times, he should be fired with even less consideration as to whether or not he should have known-- because after the first time he REALLY should have known.
Posts: 21181 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
romanylass
Member
Member # 6306

 - posted      Profile for romanylass   Email romanylass         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yes. I don't understand why it's even a question whether or not this guy should be fired.
Posts: 2711 | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 3 pages: 1  2  3   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2