Education

[UPDATED!] Do We Really Need More Teachers Who Have Kids Draw on Slow Readers' Faces With Permanent Markers?

Reason 24/7 News flagged this story a few days ago and I think it deserves a second post at the site. It's about a teacher who instructed some students to draw on the faces of others - in permanent marker! - as punishment for poor reading-test results.

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Update (11/20): A formal complaint has been filed against the teacher allegedly involved but any sort of resolution won't be happening soon. "It's a long process," explains an Idaho Dept. of Education spokesperson. Go here for the latest.

Reason 24/7 News flagged this story a few days ago and I think it deserves a second post at the site. It's about a teacher who instructed some students to draw on the faces of others—in permanent marker!—as punishment for poor reading-test results.

From an AP account:

A teacher in the southern Idaho town of Declo is being criticized after she had her fourth-grade students use permanent markers to draw on the faces of children who failed to meet reading goals….

Cindy Hurst told The Times-News that her 10-year-old son came home from school Nov. 5 with his entire face — including his eyelids — scribbled on with green, red and purple markers.

"He was humiliated, he hung his head and wanted to go wash his face," Hurst said. "He knows he's a slow reader. Now he thinks he should be punished for it."

Larsen, who has taught at the school for six years, didn't respond to requests for comment. But District Superintendent Gaylen Smyer confirmed what took place in her classroom, though he didn't name Larsen.

And get this: Here's Smyer's take on the issues raised by this incident:

Although teachers are allowed some latitude in class, he said, this incident comes down to an issue of safety in the classroom and school environment.

"There are things there that we questioned," Smyer said.

Yeah, bub, it's a safety issue. Because those markers might be toxic? I'd say it's more of a sanity issue—and on that score, the teacher, the school, and the superintendent all deserve to get tattooed over this.

More here.

Bonus fear for the future: President Obama has called for the hiring of more teachers (even as the story above suggests we're already scraping the bottom of the barrel). Here's why we don't need more teachers.

This is precisely the sort of story that helps explain the explosive growth (documented here) in the school-choice movement.

We recently interviewed Salman Kahn, founder of the educational enterprise Kahn Academy and author of the excellent new book, The One-World Schoolhouse: Education Reimagined. We discussed lots of stuff but somehow drawing on slow-reading kids' faces with permanent markers never came up as a pedagogy of the future.

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  1. I wonder if any kids refused to do this decorating of other kids’ faces. They should be held up as heroes.

  2. This is the sort of “productivity enhancing pedagogy” one learns in a Master of Arts in Teaching program, I presume.

  3. That asshole’s lucky somebody hasn’t taken his head off. No jury would convict.

  4. the teacher, the school, and the superintendent all deserve to get tattooed over this.

    Tattooing is too good for them.Branding would be more appropriate.

    “CHILD ABUSER” on the forehead and hands would be suitable. After a public flogging of course.

  5. President Obama has called for the hiring of more teachers

    FUCK YOU, CUT SPENDING

  6. This sort of thing happens all the time in Somalia.

    1. Impossible, no one can even get to school without ROADZ

      1. Get to what school? It’s all home-school, so it’s your sibling who defaces…your face.

        1. Not if your sibling dies of malaria first!

  7. Some parents and Cassia County School District leaders say the punishment given to nine students in Summer Larsen’s class was inappropriate and left the children feeling shamed.

    Having parents stupid enough to name you Summer, and being stupid enough to think this was somehow an appropriate thing to do to a fourth-grader, these two things aren’t coincidental.

  8. if someone did that to my kids, they would be punished, and I would not care what happened.

    1. Yes, Winter would be coming for Summer.

      1. Fantastic! You earned an internet!

  9. Ok, so here is what I don’t get, If I walked up to some random stranger and did this to them I would be charged with assault.

    If I used force or threat of force to get them to cooperate I’d probably be looking at additional charges.

    If it was a child I did this to it would almost certainly also mean a child abuse charge.

    So can someone please explain to me why none of the kids parents have pressed charges and had that teacher arrested yet?

    1. Because “fuck you, that’s why.” Not as blatant as cops shooting men with sticks but, after you scrape off the extra layer of bs that’s the rationale.

  10. Yeah, bub, it’s a safety issue.

    Does Gillespie have adamantium grafted to his skeleton?

    It doesn’t take genius to become a school administrator; it only takes having some certificates and knowing a majority of the school board.

  11. My favorite part: “Some parents are supportive of the move, however. Karla Christensen’s daughter is in Larsen’s fourth-grade class. The child met the reading goal, and so wasn’t punished.”

    It didn’t happen to her kid, so it’s okay. The stupid bitch goes on the talk about extra motivation for low readers because, you know, it’s her business how well other people’s children read. What a stupid twat.

    1. Not to mention the fact that a bad reader could be a perfectly intelligent person who is bad at reading due to dyslexia or some other sort of learning disorder. Obviously if that’s the case we just have to beat the dyslexia out of the kid.

    2. Tony would agree 100% with the stupid twat. After all, society, through its votes for government, has made the decision to punish slow kids by public humiliation. Tony would be saying this himself, but he is busy being held down and having dicks drawn on his face. So, I guess there is some upside here.

  12. My son is 10 months old. I will be losing sleep when he turns 3 and gets closer to school age.

    1. Another reason not to register your kids with the government. Losing the tax deduction hurts, but freedom isn’t free.

  13. What I truly love about teacher related arguments is when someone says that teachers can be fired for cause, but they shouldn’t be fired unless there’s a legitimate cause. Isn’t being terrible at your job cause for being fired? If someone is brutally awful at the job that they have been hired to do then why should I have to wait for them to molest a child before I’m allowed to fire them?

    1. Dude, that “fired for legitimate cause” is just bullshit they say to make themselves sound all reasonable-like. I bet you’d be hard-pressed to find a case where they admit there is actual legitimate cause.

      Remember this is the same mindset that leads people to pooh-pooh the kids’ rights as “constitutional niceties.”

      1. Obviously. I know they just use the ‘people should only be fired for cause’ argument because it allows them to constantly redefine ’cause’ such that whichever teacher is currently at fault didn’t do enough to be fired. Even so, the cause argument is inherently stupid before we even consider the constant goalpost moving.

  14. If it wasn’t for those damned pesky kids, teaching would be a great job!

  15. Obviously this is bad. But have any of you had to take a class with grown-ups who can’t read? Sometimes listening to some 20-year-old giving a tortured reading of Kant makes me want to jam a stick in my eye.

    1. Every reading of Kant sounds tortured. Even Lawrence Olivier would get lost in that hack’s labyrinthine sentences.

    2. Just a little thing you should consider.

      The ability to read and the ability to speak back what is being read in a coherent manner, especially in front of a crowd are not in any way related.

  16. There are things there that we questioned.

    We questioned “things,” not the incompetent fool we hired. They were there. And then we questioned those things that were there.

    Someone draw on this guy’s face with permanent market until he learns not to speak like a cheap knockoff of one of Orwell’s bureaucrats.

  17. It is KHAN nimrods. Not KAHN. Get your fucking spelling right.

  18. If someone did this to my kid, I would beat the living shit out of them. How is it that we don’t find more teachers’ corpses?

  19. That’s a great photo of the woman with the sad glasses. Anyone know where it’s from?

    1. According to a Google reverse image search, that’s Noirin Kelly from some country’s Big Brother tv show.

      1. Hmm. For me, it said she was the Hayek guy in those Hayek vs. Keynes rap videos.

  20. I went to school about half an hour away 🙂 I’m so proud…

  21. This is ~~the~~ bottom of the barrel.
    This person needs to be immediately suspended and charged with child endangerment, aiding and abetting on an assault charge as well as incitement to commit a felony act.
    If anybody deserves to be drawn on with a permanent marker it has to be the teacher for engaging in really childish thinking.

  22. When I was a kid, my teachers would sit me on a stool in front of the class with a big conical hat that said “DUNCE” on it… this was for not sitting sufficiently still (or at least it wasn’t because I couldn’t read).

    I was also locked in a closet on several occasions for the same offense.

  23. Wasn’t the fake premise of the Milgram experiment that pain could help you learn better?

  24. It is Declo, Idaho. You have never lived until you have been in a 12 block town in Southern Idaho. This town doesn’t even have a high school

  25. I obscenity in the milk of the teachers unions.

    Or is that teacher’s unions?

    Maybe it’s teachers’ unions?

    Am I safe with just teacher unions?

    Anyway, academia is the Olympics of stupid. Genghis Khan is said to have received into his presence two monks who wished to plead for the sparing of their monastery. Toward this end, they begged the mighty conqueror to consider that within their humble monastery were many rare writings, sure to be lost forever to the world were the monastery to be destroyed.

    Genghis thought on this briefly before replying.

    “I can’t read.”

    Meanwhile, officers with advanced degrees from Ivy League schools are befuddled by Afghanistan for over a decade, and economists of similar education preside over precedent-setting financial calamities.

    And when it comes to groveling in despair at the brink of destruction, it is the librarians who lay prostrate upon the ground.

    Those who can, do. Those who can’t…don’t matter.

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