Published On: Wed, Oct 23rd, 2013

Humiliation, taping mouths and tying up students: Are we going to stop teachers from bullying students?

Florida is the epicenter of the battle against bullying in school after Rebecca Sedwick in Polk County committed suicide in response to the barrage of humiliation from her fellow students. The question should now be expanded to examine if schools and parents will hold teachers to a similar standard.

photo Josh Janssen via Flickr

photo Josh Janssen via Flickr

Two teen girls have been arrested in the Sedwick case so the policy must be examined with the gravitas befitting the imminent danger to our children.

In California a teacher assigned thirty minutes of non-fiction reading for his middle school students, but rejected a student’s reading of the Bible, boldly attempting to humiliate the child in front of the class.

“The teacher said, ‘That’s not a nonfiction book,’” attorney Bob Tyler of Advocates for Faith and Freedom told Christian News Network when the story broke. “[The student] said, ‘Well, honestly, I believe it is a nonfiction book. The teacher then said in a sharp tone, ‘Well, I’ll get back to you.’”

The teacher did not seek consultation from his school administrators, nor did he contact the parents, but instead chose to take the issue to his middle school audience.

“[H]e went to the front of the classroom and in a very demeaning tone, asked the students, ‘How many of you think the Bible is nonfiction?” Tyler explained. “[He was] expecting that no one would raise their hand and this bully would find favor with all of the students.”

All but two kids raised their hands.

In New Mexico a teacher’s aide put tape over the mouth of an autistic child for continuing to meow like a cat on a field trip after a few warnings.

From Seminole County Florida, a male teacher was suspended two weeks without pay for tying up a disruptive female student with tape during class.

“District officials said (Greg) Sims first taped her hands together, tried to tape her mouth shut and taped her book bag to a pole,” the article notes.

This is no isolated incident as Sims has a track record of misconduct and embarrassing students dating back to 1999.

Personally, I can tell you from raising five children that it is the teachers, not the fellow students, who have the greatest impact on our children.

A demeaning tone or humiliating gesture is much more damaging that a harassing text or tweet. That middle schooler targeted for reading his Bible will NEVER, EVER forget that incident.

I’m not taking anything away from the Sedwick tragedy because kids have been, and always will be cruel, but we cannot slap a teacher on the wrist for tying up or duct taping the mouth of a child.

The Florida teacher, Mr. Sims, should have lost his job years ago and I’d file assault charges against the man.

Too harsh you say?

Would you let someone duct tape the mouth of your child or tie them up in any other walk of life: The babysitter….the cashier at Wal-Mart…how about the police?

I think we should follow the school’s lead on getting serious on bullying, but that would include the educators and I bet we can start with these.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

Displaying 3 Comments
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  1. Lisa says:

    I could not agree with you more!!!

    I am a parent of three children, two of which attend Lake Brantley High School where the duct tape incident happened.

    Actually, only one now attends…the other now homeschools as he could not withstand the verbal abuse given at the hands of a few select teachers over the past few years. It breaks my heart because his spirit is broken, possibly forever. Once a straight A student, he now struggles to find a reason to stay in school.

    I tell other parents that although you might not see signs in your child at this time that the behaviour of their teacher is affecting them… it can show up in later years. They need to be vocal and stand up for their child if they see inappropriate behavior of any kind…verbal or physical.

    Unfortunately, not much information was given regarding the ‘disruptive’ actions by the student….so, many comments on the local news channels are blaming her and applauding actions of the teacher.

    I find that repulsive.

    Unless she physically attacked him, there was no reason for him to put his hands on her! As you mentioned, Mr. Sims already had prior suspensions for the same type of behavior…why is he still allowed back in the classroom? He either needs to be let go or required to take mandatory anger management therapy before entering the classroom again.

    Typically, I do not jump on the ‘lawsuit train’, but in this case, I certainly hope the parents of that student are considering legal action!

  2. High School Student Basically Bound and Gagged by Teacher | OutFoxed says:

    […] high school teacher Greg Sims has been suspended without pay. This was Sims’ fourth self-sponsored vacation, having been suspended three times prior for […]

  3. ”words are like stones”-Stop Bullying | AUTHORS PROMOTION says:

    […] Humiliation, taping mouths and tying up students: Are we going to stop teachers from bullying studen… (theglobaldispatch.com) […]

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